Robotics and Automation - Articles, Stories & Interviews

Underactuated Rotor For Simple Micro Air Vehicles

From MODLAB (The modular robotics laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania): We derive thrust, roll, and pitch authority from a single propeller and single motor through an underactuated mechanism embedded in the rotor itself.

Robotic Farming For The Future

If you think about the global population growth and the need to feed this mounting population, farmers must become more efficient at the harvesting and production of all crops. In the future, robots will be utilized to accomplish most tasks, from seeding to fertilizing as we

Interview with David Sands, ST Robotics International

We call our robots entry level for a very good reason. People can get started so easily with our robots. They are not the best robot arms on the planet but they are affordable and incredibly easy to use.

Using Reverse Engineering Techniques for Product Innovation: The Legitimate Way

The goal of utilizing RE should be to identify flaws in your version of the product design and figuring out ways to eliminate the errors and bring out a flawless product eventually.

iRobot Create 2 Programmable Robot

From iRobot ($199 US): Create 2 is a mobile robot platform built from remanufactured Roomba robots and designed for use by educators, developers and high-school and college-age students. Program or build your own projects or start

Interested in contributing an article or review?

Robotics and Automation - Featured Story

John Carmack On Modern C++

Winter break homework from John Carmack. Gamasutra reprint article "In-depth: Functional programming in C++":

A large fraction of the flaws in software development are due to programmers not fully understanding all the possible states their code may execute in. In a multithreaded environment, the lack of understanding and the resulting problems are greatly amplified, almost to the point of panic if you are paying attention. Programming in a functional style makes the state presented to your code explicit, which makes it much easier to reason about, and, in a completely pure system, makes thread race conditions impossible... (full article)

Also "Lessons to learn from Oculus development team when using the “Modern C++” approach":

Modern C++ doesn’t imply necessarly the overuse of templates

Andrei Alexandrescu says about the Modern C++ design:

"Modern C++ Design defines and systematically uses generic components - highly flexible design artifacts that are mixable and matchable to obtain rich behaviors with a small, orthogonal body of code."

Modern C++ has a close relation with generic programming; probably it’s the reason that makes many developers neglect the modern C++ approach. They think that the code will be mostly implemented as templates, which makes the code difficult to read and maintain.

In the SDK, the templates represent only 20% of all types defined and most of them are related to the technical layer... (full article)

Robotics and Automation - News Headlines

LORD MicroStrain Wins Manufacturing Leadership Award

LORD Corporation MicroStrain® Sensing Systems was recently selected by Energy Harvesting Journal for having the "Best Technical Development of an Energy Harvesting Device."

TUSExpo reveals speakers line-up

TUSExpo, the first fully integrated European trade show and conference focused on the Unmanned Systems industry, has revealed its line-up of speakers.

University of Pittsburgh Team Publishes New Findings from Mind-Controlled Robot Arm Project

In another demonstration that brain-computer interface technology has the potential to improve the function and quality of life of those unable to use their own arms, a woman with quadriplegia shaped the almost human hand of a robot arm with just her thoughts to pick up big and small boxes, a ball, an oddly shaped rock, and fat and skinny tubes.

Robotics and Automation - Featured Product

Allied Motion - New Mfh170i Housed Brushless Torque Motor Has Integrated Servo Drive And Optical Encoder

Allied Motion - New Mfh170i Housed Brushless Torque Motor Has Integrated Servo Drive And Optical Encoder

Allied Motion's Megaflux MFH170i series of 170 mm (6.7 in) diameter housed brushless torque motors consists of a high performance brushless DC torque motor, a digital servo drive, and an optical encoder, all integrated into a rugged machined aluminum housing with robust duplex bearings. The MFH0170i series features a 63.5 mm (2.5 in) large-bore through shaft, and is characterized by a very high torque-to-inertia ratio. There are three stack lengths in the series with peak torque ranging from 8.5 up to 16.9 Nm (75 up to 150 lb-in). The standard winding voltage is 48 V. And to ease the hassle of long leadtimes for prototypes, the new MFH170i is now available through our QuickShip program.

Robotics and Automation - Featured Company

Trimble

Though best known for GPS technology, Trimble integrates a wide range of positioning technologies including GPS, laser, optical and inertial technologies with application software, wireless communications, and services to provide complete commercial solutions. Its integrated solutions allow customers to collect, manage and analyze complex information faster and easier, making them more productive, efficient and profitable.