A Robotics ETF Tries to Find its Way

Brenton Garen for ETF Trends:  This year has seen another crowded field of new exchange traded funds come to market and within that group are plenty of niche funds, indicating that ETF issuers continue to slice and dice investment ideas into increasingly fine fund packages.

The Global X Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Thematic ETF (NasdaqGM: BOTZ) is one of those niche funds. BOTZ provides exposure to companies involved in the adoption and utilization of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), including those involved with industrial manufacturing, medicine, autonomous vehicles, and other applications.

BOTZ follows the Indxx Global Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Thematic Index. The ETF, which debuted in September with the Global X FinTech Thematic ETF (NasdaqGM: FINX) and the Global X Internet of Things Thematic ETF (NasdaqGM: SNSR), holds 28 stocks with an average market cap of $8.8 billion, putting the ETF in mid-cap territory.  Cont'd...

Engineers Devise New Method to Heighten Senses of Soft Robot

Written by AZoRobotics:  Most robots achieve grasping and tactile sensing through motorized means, which can be excessively bulky and rigid. A Cornell group has devised a way for a soft robot to feel its surroundings internally, in much the same way humans do.

A group led by Robert Shepherd, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and principal investigator of Organic Robotics Lab, has published a paper describing how stretchable optical waveguides act as curvature, elongation and force sensors in a soft robotic hand.

Doctoral student Huichan Zhao is lead author of “Optoelectronically Innervated Soft Prosthetic Hand via Stretchable Optical Waveguides,” which is featured in the debut edition of Science Robotics. The paper published Dec. 6; also contributing were doctoral students Kevin O’Brien and Shuo Li, both of Shepherd’s lab.  Cont'd...

The IDC FutureScape Report: Worldwide Robotics 2017 Predictions

IDC predicts a compound annual growth rate of 17% to reach a global total market for robotics around $135 billion by 2019.

Visteon's Silicon Valley Technical Center to Lead Development of Artificial Intelligence for Autonomous Vehicles

The recently opened facility in Santa Clara, California, will work closely with global Visteon tech centers to develop excellence in artificial intelligence software, advanced driver awareness systems (ADAS) and deep machine learning.

2017 RBR50 Nominations Now Open: The Most Influential Companies In The Global Robotics Industry

Is your company a leader in the industry? Are you a startup making waves? Robotics Business Review (RBR) is accepting nominations for this prestigious list now through January 31, 2017.

Velodyne LiDAR Announces Breakthrough Design for Miniaturized, Low-Cost Solid-State LiDAR Sensors

Application of integrated circuitry leads to a new approach to LiDAR sensors for the autonomous vehicle, 3D mapping, and drone industries

AutonomouStuff Changes the Game of Self-Driving Research with Fleet of Automated R&D Platforms

AutonomouStuff, the leader in enabling the future of transportation, will proudly unveil additions to their R&D Platform fleet and modular-based software applications at CES 2017. The fleet, which expands on their original Lincoln MKZ-based platform, now includes the Ford Fusion, Polaris Ranger and Polaris GEM.

Robotics Trends To Produce Robotics Conference & Marketplace At CES® 2017

Get a first look at the robots responsible for changing the way we live during the CES Robotics conference track and within the Robotics Marketplace, both presented by Robotics Trends.

MIT's Modular Robotic Chain Is Whatever You Want It to Be

Evan Ackerman for IEEE Spectrum:  As sensors, computers, actuators, and batteries decrease in size and increase in efficiency, it becomes possible to make robots much smaller without sacrificing a whole lot of capability. There’s a lower limit on usefulness, however, if you’re making a robot that needs to interact with humans or human-scale objects. You can continue to leverage shrinking components if you make robots that are modular: in other words, big robots that are made up of lots of little robots.

In some ways, it’s more complicated to do this, because if one robot is complicated, robots tend to be complicated. If you can get all of the communication and coordination figured out, though, a modular system offers tons of advantages: robots that come in any size you want, any configuration you want, and that are exceptionally easy to repair and reconfigure on the fly.

MIT’s ChainFORM is an interesting take on this idea: it’s an evolution of last year’s LineFORM multifunctional snake robot that introduces modularity to the system, letting you tear of a strip of exactly how much robot you need, and then reconfigure it to do all kinds of things.  Cont'd...

New Vertical, Linear, and Rotary Precision Positioning Stage Family, from PI

A new family of precision positioning can be combined for multi-axis positioning.

Unmanned Systems and Solutions Launches Professional Drone Repair Facility

Combat UAS veteran owned, Unmanned Systems and Solutions can repair consumer and commercial drones in our 120,000 square foot US facility. Most repairs take less than a week.

Milrem: In the Foreseeable Future Soldiers in Most Dangerous Situations Will Be Replaced by Smart Robotic Systems

Milrem has successfully tested the THeMIS as an unmanned weapons platform together with the Estonian Defence Forces and Singapore Technologies Kinetics, one of Asia's leading land systems companies and producer of the remote weapon station.

Boeing to Acquire Liquid Robotics to Enhance Autonomous Seabed-to-Space Information Services

Developer of Wave Glider® ocean robot boosts ocean data collection capabilities

Osteopathic Emergency Physician Launches New Medical Disaster Drone for Audience of Homeland Security, Global Health Organizations

Technology demonstration showcases life-saving capabilities of medical disaster drones in a simulated active shooter scenario; gives emergency physicians rapid response capabilities--eyes, ears, and voice to remotely treat victims of disaster and terrorism

Underwater Vehicles Follow Tagged Turtles in the Wild

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) engineer Amy Kukulya teamed up with marine biologist and WHOI guest investigator Kara Dodge to use an underwater robot called TurtleCam to track and film leatherback sea turtles in their natural environment. The researchers tagged their first turtle in Massachusetts's Vineyard Sound in September 2016 and captured remarkable footage - from cameras on TurtleCam and on the turtle tag - that allows the researchers to record how much a turtle eats as well as how often it breathes.

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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.