Artificial fingertip that 'feels' wins international robotics competition

Phys.org:  An open-source 3D-printed fingertip that can 'feel' in a similar way to the human sense of touch has won an international Soft Robotics competition for its contribution to soft robotics research.

Pushing the boundaries of soft robotics, the open-source tactile fingertip, known as TacTip, is a 3D-printed tactile sensor that has been developed by the Tactile Robotics Team from Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL).

The fingertip meets the need for a cheap, robust, versatile tactile sensor to give robots an artificial sense of touch. The sensor has a unique design in which a webcam is mounted inside a 3D-printed soft fingertip to track internal pins that act like touch receptors inside our own fingertips, making it cheap to build and highly customisable.  Cont'd...

AgFunder Announces AgTech Innovation Award Winners for 2016

As innovation in agriculture technology continues to accelerate, AgFunder is highlighting twenty companies and three accelerators for their leadership in innovation.

Alma Mundi Ventures Invests In AI Startup Nnaisense, The Pioneers Of Very Deep Learning

Alma Mundi Ventures is a venture capital firm focused on technology-based companies, which emphasizes business to business models that are raising their series A or B rounds. They invest between $500,000 and $5 million in each company through their first fund.

CTRL The Robot. A modern industrial robot for the desktop.

Via Yahoo Finance:  This robot arm is a fraction of the price of similar robots you might see in factories.  It’s called CTRL and was developed by Robotics Evolved to be an affordable robot arm.

Unveiled at CES 2017, this desktop-sized robot arm aims to make robotics more accessible to the masses.  The device is open-source and can be run on the programming language of the user’s choosing.  For those unfamiliar with code, CTRL can also learn to replicate movements when manipulated by hand.

CTRL is currently equipped with a gripping tool but the company plans to expand attachment offerings to include options like spray nozzles and engraving tools.

Robotics Evolved is currently seeking funding through a Kickstarter campaign and you can reserve your very own CTRL robot arm for just over $500.  Kickstarter page:

Robart Wows the North American Market and Partners with Its Low Cost Artificial Intelligence Robotic Unit at CES 2017

Robart Demonstrated its Innovative Artificial Intelligence "Brain" Created for the Production of Mass Market Robots at CES 2017

New Study Reveals Self-Driving Cars Could Open 2 Million Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities

Ruderman White Paper on Self-Driving Car Technologies: The Impact on People with Disabilities shows that mitigating transportation-related obstacles for individuals with disabilities would also save $19 billion in annual healthcare expenditures

DENSO continues strong commitment in 2017 to FIRST Robotics and STEM education

DENSO announced its plans today as Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Honorary Chair of the FIRST Championship Detroit Host Committee, and other Detroit leaders launched activities leading up to FIRST Championship Detroit in April 2018 at a press conference at the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center in Detroit.

Velodyne LiDAR Opens Megafactory in San Jose for Large-Scale Production of 3D LiDAR Sensors

New Megafactory caps off major expansion of Velodyne LiDAR's production, R&D, and corporate facilities around the world

Mouser Now Shipping Texas Instruments' TDC7201 Time-to-Digital Converter for Laser Range-Finding Systems

Device Ideal for Collision Avoidance in Dones, Robotics, and Vehicles

Robotics, Trump and Brexit turn up the heat amid the snow of Davos

Graeme Wearden for The Guardian:  The “fourth industrial revolution” will once again be a key theme at this year’s Davos, where the focus will be on the problems created by technologies such as smart robots and driverless cars. The WEF will examine whether the loss to these innovations of millions of jobs is undermining social cohesion and contributing to the rise of populist parties.

Davos will also consider whether increased use of artificial intelligence and the “internet of things” are laying firms open to a new wave of cyberthreats and security beaches. This area of technology has until now been only lightly regulated; is the world ready to hand more decision-making powers to machines?  Full article:

Volume Becomes One of the UK's First Certified Development Partners for SoftBank Robotics' Pepper Robo

Turning online digital experiences into experiential ones with the world's leading humanoid robot.

SoftBank Robotics America To Showcase the Future of Engagement in Retail at NRF'S BIG Show

Company to showcase new applications for Pepper, the humanoid robot, in retail to increase sales, innovate the customer experience, and provide real-time business analytics

Mouser and Imahara Showcase Real-World Case for Project First Responders: The Disaster Response Drone Network

Mouser Electronics and Grant Imahara launch the final video episode from the Project First Responders series. This new video explores the advantages of launching multiple drones in public safety operations. To see the video and more from the Empowering Innovation Together program, visit www.mouser.com/empowering-innovation.

FIRST® Celebrates Championship Event's 2018 Arrival in Detroit with Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and General Motors

At 2017 North American International Auto Show, Detroit leaders kick off activities welcoming STEM nonprofit to the Motor City

Robots: Legal Affairs Committee calls for EU-wide rules

EU Parliament News:  EU rules for the fast-evolving field of robotics, to settle issues such as compliance with ethical standards and liability for accidents involving driverless cars, should be put forward by the EU Commission, urged the Legal Affairs Committee on Thursday.

Rapporteur Mady Delvaux (S&D, LU) said: “A growing number of areas of our daily lives are increasingly affected by robotics. In order to address this reality and to ensure that robots are and will remain in the service of humans, we urgently need to create a robust European legal framework”. Her report, approved by 17 votes to 2, with 2 abstentions, looks at robotics-related issues such as liability, safety and changes in the labour market.

MEPs stress that EU-wide rules are needed to fully exploit the economic potential of robotics and artificial intelligence and guarantee a standard level of safety and security. The EU needs to take the lead on regulatory standards, so as not to be forced to follow those set by third states, argues the report.  Full Release:

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Maplesoft - Free Whitepaper: Developing a Robot Model using System-Level Design

Maplesoft - Free Whitepaper: Developing a Robot Model using System-Level Design

This paper uses NAO, the humanoid robot from Aldebaran Systems, to demonstrate how MapleSim can be used to develop a robot model, and how the model can be further analyzed using the symbolic computation engine within Maple.