Robots in the Deep

The oceans are unfathomable, dark and dangerous; yet researchers are building undersea robots that can find their way in the mysterious deep. Scientists now have a variety of research and work vehicles to explore where no man has gone before.

Robotmaster software and Kuka Robots make a significant impact at Automatica 2012

Concerns of robots maintaining tolerances and producing finish quality parts were put to rest by the live machining done at both booths.


An old video recently surfaced demonstrating Pantomation, a tracking system built in 1977. The system was built with some variation of the PDP and could track body movement by isolating objects held by performers and was used to drive music or live performances. Cool early stuff.

Cannes Light Show Performed By KMel Robotics

A troupe of 16 quadrotors (flying robots) dance to and manipulate sound and light at the Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors' Showcase 2012.

The Complete ROSCon 2012 Presentation Videos

Willow Garage posted these videos of all the presentations at this years ROSCon and we thought we'd compile ths list for you here. 11+ hours of great content.

MPU-9150 Nine-axis MotionTracking device

The MPU-9150 is a System in Package (SiP) that combines two chips: the MPU-6050, which contains a 3-axis gyroscope, 3-axis accelerometer, and an onboard Digital Motion Processor™ (DMP™) capable of processing complex 9-axis MotionFusion algorithms; and the AK8975, a 3-axis digital compass. The part’s integrated 9-axis MotionFusion algorithms access all internal sensors to gather a full set of sensor data. For precision tracking of both fast and slow motions, the parts feature a user-programmable gyro full-scale range of ±250, ±500, ±1000, and ±2000°/sec (dps), a user-programmable accelerometer full-scale range of ±2g, ±4g, ±8g, and ±16g, and compass with a full scale range of ±1200µT. Designworld has a video from InvenSense's CES 2012 booth demonstrating the MPU-9150. The DIYDrones post has additional info and comments. Official product site.

Picking Robotics Stocks Is Complicated: Some Are A Waste Of Time

If you believe that the robotics industry is ready for you to invest in, you wouldn't purchase either Boeing or John Deere -- they aren't representative of the industry and their stocks move to the beat of a different drummer than robotics. Instead, you would pick from a list of pure play robotic stocks (if such a list existed).

What will you say to an Intelligent Robot?

The advances in genetics, brain research, artificial intelligence, bionics and nanotechnology are converging to accomplish the goal of overcoming human limitations and create higher forms of artificial intelligent life. By 2035, the robotics industry could rival the automobile and computer industries in both sales and jobs.

A Guide For Small Assembly Robots In Upstream Packaging Processes

The first step in automating a process with a robot is to determine whether the tasks to be performed will require a four-axis SCARA or six-axis articulated robot, and what type and size of end effector, or end-of-arm tooling (EOAT), is needed.

AUV's And The Secrets Of The Depths

Whether the search is for treasure, new medical cures, oil, underwater life, or deep-sea life, the underwater robots will take the lead in our journey for knowledge and riches.

Co-operative Robotics

The controller is built inside the mechanism eliminating the need for external controller cabinets or external harnessing. This reduces floor space requirements and cost. The only external cabling necessary is a standard AC power cord, reducing the cost of cable management.

ROSCon 2012 Presentations Available Now

Willow Garage just posted Youtube videos of all the presentations at this years ROSCon. 11+ hours of great robotic content: Day One Opening Remarks ( 10mins )  [youtube] Day One Keynote: ROS: Past, present, and future ( 66mins )  [part 1]   [part 2] URDF and You ( 44mins )  [youtube]   [slides] Motion Planning in ROS ( 44mins )  [youtube] Introduction to rosjava ( 39mins )  [youtube]   [slides] The Gazebo Simulator as a Development Tool in ROS ( 46mins )  [youtube]   [slides] Using ROS on Field Robotic Experiments in Remote Locations ( 20mins )  [youtube] ROS for Humanoid Robots ( 23mins )  [youtube]   [slides] “Moe” The Autonomous Lawnmower ( 18mins )  [youtube]   [slides] Lightning Talks ( 46mins )  [youtube]   Day Two Opening Remarks ( 2mins )  [youtube] Day Two Keynote: Architecting Real-time Control of Robonaut 2 using ROS and Orocos ( 56mins )  [youtube] Understanding tf ( 38mins )  [youtube] The current state and future of multi-master, multi-robot systems using ROS ( 35mins )  [youtube] Writing Hardware Drivers ( 40mins )  [youtube]   [slides] Understanding the Kinect ( 42mins )  [youtube] ROS on Windows ( 19mins )  [youtube] The ROS wiki how to make the best use of it ( 19mins )  [youtube] Measuring and Tracking Code Quality in ROS ( 22mins )  [youtube] Teaching Robotics with ROS: Experiences, Suggestions, and Tales of Woe ( 20mins )  [youtube] Robot Web Applications ( 22mins )  [youtube] Using Open Sound Control Hardware and Software with ROS ( 13mins )  [youtube] Closing Remarks ( 4mins )  [youtube]

Bosch Indego Robotic Lawnmower

IEEE Spectrum has info about a new autonomous lawnmower from the German company Bosch. Seems the only official info available at the moment is a Swedish press release but it appears the mower communicates with its docking station (and maybe GPS) allowing the unit to cut areas in ordered parallel lines rather than the chaotic back and forth paths you see from other sensor based robotic lawnmowers or vacuums. You will still have to install wire around the perimeter so the robot stay on the grass. The battery lasts 20 minutes per charge and resumes where it left of after a 90 minute charge.


The Fluid Mechanics Laboratory and the Swartz Lab at Brown University are in development of a biological inspired bat robot platform that aims to reproduce the amazing maneuverability of these flying mammals. Bats exhibit extraordinary flight capabilities that arise by virtue of a variety of unique mechanical features. These flying mammals have developed powerful muscles that provide the folding and extension of their wing-membrane during flight (morphing). The maneuverability is achieved by reproducing the flapping and morphing capabilities of their wing-skeleton structure. This structure is composed by several joints and a membrane that generates the required lift forces to fly. Each wing has 4 degrees of freedom: the shoulder has two, the elbow joint is actuated by Migamotors SMA-muscles, and the wrist is an under-actuated joint that moves as a function of the elbow. The robot morphology is alike in proportion compared to the biological counterpart (half the size): total wingspan: 50cm, humerus length: 5.5cm, and radius: 7cm. The total weight of the skeleton is 34g (including both wings). The morphing actuation mechanism attached to the humerus bone is based on smart muscles that provide elbow rotation.   More info can be found on their research site here .

Why you should care about the Uncanny Valley

As the demand for human-like robots grows, the Uncanny Valley phenomenon will impact robot manufacturers and developers more and more. With populations aging in countries as diverse as China and the United Sates, roboticists will increasingly focus on social robots. They will ignore the Uncanny Valley at their own risk.

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