VERSABALL Beer Pong Robot

From Empire Robotics:

The VERSABALL is a squishy balloon membrane full of loose sub-millimeter particles. The soft ball gripper easily conforms around a wide range of target object shapes and sizes. Using a process known as “granular jamming”, air is quickly sucked out of the ball, which vacuum-packs the particles and hardens the gripper around the object to hold and lift it. The object releases when the ball is re-inflated. VERSABALL comes in multiple head shapes and sizes that use the same pneumatic base... (Empire Robotics' site)

FIRST® RECYCLE RUSHSM 2015 Robotics Game Unveiled

RECYCLE RUSHSM Game Revealed by Dean Kamen to Nearly 75,000 High-School Students Worldwide at the 2015 FIRST® Robotics Competition Season Kickoff Students take advantage of opportunity to be mentored by world's best engineers Senator for New Hampshire Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) noted: "Knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects is the key to success."

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

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 Kurzweilai.net) (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.

Booming Holiday Drone Sales Creates Unknown Safety Risk

With thousands of drones given as holiday gifts this year, thousands more untested operators are about to launch their gifts into the sky, creating a mass safety risk of unknown proportions, according to Darrell Slaughter, Director of Business Development at Phoenix, Arizona-based Unmanned Vehicle University (UVU).

2015CES - INMOTION to Showcase New Self-balancing Smart Vehicles at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show

The Newest Smart Sensor Control Vehicles to be Demonstrated for the Media at Pepcom's Digital Experience

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.

ZOOM IN, ZOOM OUT: SPEEDY, AGILE UAVS ENVISIONED FOR TROOPS IN URBAN MISSIONS

DARPA aims to give small unmanned aerial vehicles advanced perception and autonomy to rapidly search buildings or other cluttered environments without teleoperation

World's First Robotic Entertainment On The High Seas For Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Robotic Arts and ABB Robotics join forces to debut groundbreaking RoboScreen® entertainment system.

ABB to exhibit at International CES for the first time, featuring innovative robotic technology at the 2015 show in Las Vegas

Highlights include two sizes of patented RoboScreen system, and smallest 6-axis robot, ideal for electronic products assembly

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)

LORD MicroStrain Wins Manufacturing Leadership Award

LORD Corporation MicroStrain® Sensing Systems was recently selected by Energy Harvesting Journal for having the "Best Technical Development of an Energy Harvesting Device."

TUSExpo reveals speakers line-up

TUSExpo, the first fully integrated European trade show and conference focused on the Unmanned Systems industry, has revealed its line-up of speakers.

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Industrial Robotics - Featured Product

Zimmer Group - THE PREMIUM GRIPPER NOW WITH IO-LINK

Zimmer Group - THE PREMIUM GRIPPER NOW WITH IO-LINK

IO-Link is the first standardized IO technology worldwide for communication from the control system to the lowest level of automation.