Robots Learning Judo Techniques to Fall Down Without Exploding

By Evan Ackerman for IEEE Spectrum:  The best and worst part of the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals waswatching all of those huge expensive humanoids topple over in a series of epic faceplants. Faceplants are called faceplants because you’re planting your face into the ground as a means of breaking your fall, which usually also breaks your face, among other things. This tends to happen when you’re unprepared for falling, which with most robots, is 100 percent of the time. Now researchers at Georgia Tech want to teach humanoid robots to fall more safely with techniques adapted from judo, which might protect them enough to actually be able to get up again. Falling safely (or, as safely as you can), assuming that you have very little control over the nature of your fall, is all about controlling exactly when and how your body crashes down. During a fall, your body is busy converting potential energy to kinetic energy, all of which has to go somewhere when you hit the ground. If your face hits the ground first, then that’s where all the energy goes at once, but if you can manage to contact the ground with a bunch of different parts of your body at different times on the way down, the energy will be spread out. Ideally, the energy gets spread out to the point where each individual impact doesn’t do enough damage to hurt you in a permanent sort of way.  Cont'd...

FIRST Reveals 2016 FIRST Robotics Competition Game Name: FIRST STRONGHOLD

Video Teaser Offers Game Hints; Urges Students to Join Competition by Starting FIRST Robotics Competition Team

Cyberworks Robotics Wins Prestigious Federal Research Grant for New Robotic Technology

Collaborates With University of Waterloo

Five Bomb Disposal Robots

Bomb disposal robots will have immeasurable impact on saving innocent lives.

Cyberworks Robotics Announces Re-Entry into Industry it Created 30 Years Earlier

Great Rock Development's (OTC: GROC) wholly owned subsidiary Cyberworks Robotics announces a return to the Robotic Industrial Cleaning market.    As the world's oldest autonomous mobile robotics engineering company, with over 30 years of pioneering experience, Cyberworks has again revolutionized autonomous robotic vision and guidance systems, this time redefining the way industrial space will be cleaned.   "We were the pioneers in this massive market decades ago" explained Vivek Burhanpurkar, President of Great Rock. "Some 25 years ago Cyberworks worked with major companies in this industry to manufacture and sell Autonomous Robots for Industrial cleaning" added Burhanpukar. In the United States alone, commercial cleaning is a $25 billion dollar a year "invisible niche industry" where 50% of costs are attributable to labor. Said Burhanpurkar, "We are not interested in the consumer market where products like Roomba dominate. The industrial market is a totally different animal and we know the major multinational players within it." "We created this market, in partnership with leading industrial companies, when we developed the world's first industrial robotic sweeper and the technology we have today is once again years ahead of the competition. Industry participants will now be able to retro-fit the Cyberworks Guidance System into existing fielded equipment, creating an inexpensive robotics machine" explained Burhanpurkar.  Full Press Release:

Cyberworks Robotics Announces Re-Entry into Industry it Created 30 Years Earlier

Cyberworks has again revolutionized autonomous robotic vision and guidance systems, this time redefining the way industrial space will be cleaned.

Call 911 For A Rescue Robot Near You

Whether there is a necessity to pull someone from a collapsed building, find a survivor trapped in a pile of debris, locate a lost child, or save victims by putting out a fire, robots will be an intrinsic member of the first responders in the future.

MecklerMedia's RoboUniverse Conference & Expo in San Diego to Explore Robotics Applications in Agriculture, Cognitive Science, Drones, and Manufacturing & Logistics

RoboUniverse San Diego will take place at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California on December 14-16, 2015.

Rhoeby Dynamics 2D LiDAR set to dramatically reduce the cost of robotics navigation

The new Rhoeby Dynamics R2D LiDAR is the smallest, lightest, lowest-cost device on the market today. It's proven capable of performing mapping, navigation and dynamic obstacle avoidance in the indoor setting, and comes complete with its open-source ROS driver for rapid integration into any robotics platform.

Bigger, Better, Stronger 6DOF Platforms Using AMC1280USB Controller

From  Thanos 6DOF Motion Simulator Electronics blog : Lately we see more and better DIY 6DOF platforms being build. The community is growing strong and the interest in 6DOF systems is bigger than ever. Its the only way to provide full immersion for motion simulation at the moment, that combined with other new technologies like the oculus rift or fully enclosed detailed cockpits can really make the difference. The times that desktop racers or flight enthusiasts were enjoying their simulation games or training for the real thing is past without return. Even older motion systems that provide 2DOF (seat movers) or 3DOF platforms are now the past, offering too little to the immersion of gaming... ( more projects )  

ULC Robotics, Inc. Wins Game Changer Award for CISBOT Robotic System

ULC's Robotic Technology for the Repair and Rehabilitation of Cast Iron Gas Mains is Recognized as a Leading Robotics System in Construction, Mining and Energy by Robotics Business Review

littleBits Invents New Way To Play With Debut of Gizmos & Gadgets Kit, Unlocking the Imagination for Amazing Tech-Infused Creations

Themed Kit and Debut of App Provide Roadmap to Invention with 12 Projects that Empower Kids to Create and Hack Their Worlds

Motek 2015: Festo Presents FlexShapeGripper and eMotionButterflies

At Motek 2015 from 5th to 8th October in Stuttgart, Festo presents current research projects from the Bionic Learning Network.

Three Tiny Robots that Could Change Healthcare

Imagine a world, where Tiny robots can go inside your body, see what's wrong it with and target therapies only for that area. Here are 3 Tiny Robots to make you believe your imagination could come true.

Science, Disrupted: Crowdsourcing Visions About the Future

Attendees at DARPA's Wait, What? forum share visions of what's just over the techno-horizon

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Personal & Service Robots - Featured Product

ST Robotics - R17HS-6, the 6-axis version of the high speed R17 variant

ST Robotics - R17HS-6, the 6-axis version of the high speed R17 variant

The 6-axis version of the R17HS high speed variant of the R17 robot is now available. As is our policy the 6th axis is an optional bolt-on module. At the same time we have made it even faster and new software eliminates shake and greatly improves repeatability as this video shows. Please see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wG0MeiJ-yE. The video would seem to imply a repeatability of 0.01mm but we are sticking with 0.2mm in the spec. The motor specialist was able to tune the motors from the other side of the pond. My first reaction when we put power on and entered the first commands was to jump back in amazement (and maybe an expletive). Tip speed is now 3m/s; that's 3 times as fast as its nearest competitor yet costs half the price. I love it when a plan comes together.