Four Robotics Related Kickstarters For January

EVB: Replace the brain of your LEGO® EV3 with BeagleBone / X PlusOne: Your Ultimate Hover + Speed Aerial Camera Drone / The ProtoCam+: An easy way to build projects and prototypes around your Raspberry Pi Camera Module with your A+ and B+ Raspberry Pi / Tektyte: LogIT Specialised Circuit Testers

Harmonic Drive® Publish 148pg Comprehensive Gearhead Catalog

The new Harmonic Drive® gearhead catalog includes detailed specifications of all Harmonic Drive® high performance gearheads for servo and stepper motors.

Gudel Introduces the Base-RAP Dress-out Solution

Standard routing and protection solutions for cable management from TrackMotion cable carrier to robot base.

Robot Learning Manipulation Action Plans by "Watching" Unconstrained Videos from the World Wide Web

From Yezhou Yang, Yi Li, Cornelia Fermuller and Yiannis Aloimonos:

In order to advance action generation and creation in robots beyond simple learned schemas we need computational tools that allow us to automatically interpret and represent human actions. This paper presents a system that learns manipulation action plans by processing unconstrained videos from the World Wide Web. Its goal is to robustly generate the sequence of atomic actions of seen longer actions in video in order to acquire knowledge for robots. The lower level of the system consists of two convolutional neural network (CNN) based recognition modules, one for classifying the hand grasp type and the other for object recognition. The higher level is a probabilistic manipulation action grammar based parsing module that aims at generating visual sentences for robot manipulation.

The list of the grasping types.

Experiments conducted on a publicly available unconstrained video dataset show that the system is able to learn manipulation actions by “watching” unconstrained videos with high accuracy.... (article at (original paper)

2014 Robotics In A Word: "MORE"

The list of top stories in robotics for 2014 is a story of "MORE": MORE uses of and for robots; MORE serious discussions about robots; MORE robots in unusual places; MORE news in the financial press; MORE funding, acquisitions and IPOs; and MORE choices.

MTI Systems Inspires Manufacturing Career Interest by Donating Again to FIRST Robotics Club

Robotics club size doubles gaining more students interested in manufacturing.

Morgan Advanced Materials announces ceramic capacitors for high voltage and high power radio frequency applications

Morgan Advanced Materials (MGAM) announces its extensive range of ceramic capacitors for high voltage DC and AC and high power radio frequency (RF) applications.

Intuitive Robot Programming for Flexible Aerospace Manufacturing

Robots are proving to be flexible tools for aircraft manufacturing and assembly. Their full potential however can be limited by the challenges of programming a robot in a CAD/CAM environment. Software that integrates offline programming, simulation, code generation, and path optimization makes the process seamless and error-free.

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)

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.

Intelligrated to highlight complete range of automated fulfillment solutions at 2015 NRF EXPO

Real-time fulfillment execution systems to manage order fulfillment process in booth #4409 at Retail's BIG Show

Wood Component Manufacturer Lays the Groundwork for Growth with Collaborative Robotics

At Walnut Creek Planing, Rethink Robotics' Baxter is Feeding Wood-Shaping Machines and Facilitating Smooth Transitions on New Lines

NEXCOM Fanless Computer Helps Reduce Number of Required Hardware on Work Floor

NEXCOM has released the fanless computer NISE 301 to help build an automation and control network with a streamlined architecture.

Novotechnik - New Position Sensor For Hydraulic and Pneumatic Applications

Designed for continuous use at operating pressures up to 350 bar, the Novotechnik TH1 touchless sensors are readily integrated into high-pressure hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders. TH1 transducers provide direct, precise, and absolute measurements from 100 to 4,250 mm with single or multiple position markers.

Opto Diode Introduces the SXUV300C 331 mm2 Photodiode

The company's full line of IRD ultraviolet photodiodes enables a broad range of UV measurements.

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