Flexible Muscle-Based Locomotion for Bipedal Creatures

From John Goatstream's Vimeo Videos:

We present a muscle-based control method for simulated bipeds in which both the muscle routing and control parameters are optimized. This yields a generic locomotion control method that supports a variety of bipedal creatures. All actuation forces are the result of 3D simulated muscles, and a model of neural delay is included for all feedback paths. As a result, our controllers generate torque patterns that incorporate biomechanical constraints. The synthesized controllers find different gaits based on target speed, can cope with uneven terrain and external perturbations, and can steer to target directions... (full paper) (follow up videos)

Microscan Unveils New AutoVISION® Machine Vision Technology at The Vision Show

Microscan, a global technology leader in barcode, machine vision and lighting solutions, will launch their newest innovations in machine vision software and hardware in Booth #323 at the upcoming Vision Show conference and exhibition, scheduled to take place April 15-17, 2014.

Microscan to Showcase Machine Vision and Verification Solutions at Interpack 2014

Microscan, a global technology leader in barcode, machine vision and lighting, will demonstrate its product line for packaging applications at its booth #CS104 at the "components for processing and packaging" show alongside Interpack 2014.

PanelScan Traceability Technology Showcased at IPC APEX Expo

Microscan, a global technology leader in barcode traceability solutions for the electronics industry, announces it will showcase its PanelScan™ PCB Traceability System in Booth #838 at the upcoming IPC APEX electronics conference and exhibition, scheduled to take place March 25-27, 2014.

Military Robots Will Protect 12 Cities During the 2014 World Cup

SMi's 2nd annual Military Robotics conference takes place on the 21st & 22nd May 2014, London, UK.

Gamma 2 Robotics Names G4S Executive to its Advisory Board

Senior Marketing Executive, Lew Pincus, of G4S, has been appointed to serve as advisor for security robot company Gamma 2 Robotics

Automation Leader Introduces New Product for Heavy Weight and Press Tending Applications

SAS Automation announces Hybrid 'HX' End Effectors for 5+ Axis Robots

Basic knowledge of lasers for newcomers

LASYS 2014: basic knowledge of laser technology to be imparted during the 2-day "Short Course - Basics on Lasers and Laser Material Processing" organised by WLT e.V.

NovaTorque Adds Industry Veteran to Management Team

Strengthens Focus on Next Generation Motor Technology

DARPA Begins Phase One of VTOL X-Plane Program

From DARPA:

DARPA tasks four companies with designing new aircraft to revolutionize vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) flight capabilities.

For generations, new designs for vertical takeoff and landing aircraft have remained unable to increase top speed without sacrificing range, efficiency or the ability to do useful work. DARPA’s VTOL Experimental Plane (VTOL X-Plane) program seeks to overcome these challenges through innovative cross-pollination between the fixed-wing and rotary-wing worlds, to enable radical improvements in vertical and cruise flight capabilities. In an important step toward that goal, DARPA has awarded prime contracts for Phase 1 of VTOL X-Plane to four companies: 

  • Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation
  • The Boeing Company
  • Karem Aircraft, Inc.
  • Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation

“We were looking for different approaches to solve this extremely challenging problem, and we got them,” said Ashish Bagai, DARPA program manager. “The proposals we’ve chosen aim to create new technologies and incorporate existing ones that VTOL designs so far have not succeeded in developing. We’re eager to see if the performers can integrate their ideas into designs that could potentially achieve the performance goals we’ve set.”

VTOL X-Plane seeks to develop a technology demonstrator that could:

  • Achieve a top sustained flight speed of 300 kt-400 kt
  • Raise aircraft hover efficiency from 60 percent to at least 75 percent
  • Present a more favorable cruise lift-to-drag ratio of at least 10, up from 5-6
  • Carry a useful load of at least 40 percent of the vehicle’s projected gross weight of 10,000-12,000 pounds

All four winning companies proposed designs for unmanned vehicles, but the technologies that VTOL X-Plane intends to develop could apply equally well to manned aircraft. Another common element among the designs is that they all incorporate multipurpose technologies to varying degrees. Multipurpose technologies decrease the number of systems in a vehicle and its overall mechanical complexity. Multipurpose technologies also use space and weight more efficiently to improve performance and enable new and improved capabilities.

The next major milestone for VTOL X-Plane is scheduled for late 2015, when the four performers are required to submit preliminary designs. At that point, DARPA plans to review the designs to decide which to build as a technology demonstrator, with the goal of performing flight tests in the 2017-18 timeframe. 

Innorobo to Host First Edition of the French Robotics General Assembly

As part of the France Robots Initiatives plan from the French Ministries of Industrial Renewal and Higher Education & Research, in partnership with the Rhone-Alpes Region, Innorobo will be hosting the first edition of the French Robotics General Assembly from 18 to 20 March 2014 in Lyon.

DARPA tasks four companies with designing new aircraft to revolutionize vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) flight capabilities

DARPA has awarded prime contracts for Phase 1 of VTOL X-Plane to four companies

Klein® Tools Introduces the All-Purpose Pliers

Combines the functions of a wire stripper and long-nose pliers in one tool

Intelligrated launches automated material handling sales and engineering operations in China

Shanghai office provides local support for key customers in Asia-Pacific region and opportunities for new market penetration

STAC5 - NEW Lower Price for Powerful Microstepping Drive

Applied Motion's powerful stepper drive costs the same as a competitors drive without a built-in power supply, and features…

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