Introducing UBR-1

Introducing UBR-1 from Unbounded Robotics on Vimeo.

UBR-1 Robot From Unbounded Robotics Revolutionizes Affordable Mobile Manipulation

Unbounded has been working in stealth mode for the past year, but our best guess was that they were developing a low-cost mobile manipulator for research and education: something like a PR2, except (we were hoping) significantly cheaper. Today, Unbounded is unveiling UBR-1, a shiny new human-scale one-armed robot designed to completely revolutionize the market for research and education robotics and beyond, for just a tiny fraction of the cost of similar platforms.

UBR-1 is a 13-DoF mobile robot that includes a 7-DoF arm. It navigates with a laser scanner in its base, and uses a PrimeSense 3D sensor in its head for perception. Thanks to a torso lift, the robot can pick objects up off the floor, and put them onto tables and countertops. It's got a beefy computer in the torso, along with two big fat batteries that'll keep it running for up to 5 hours continuously, or up to 10 if it's not moving around too much, and you can get a charging dock so that you never have to plug it in. UBR-1 runs ROS, and comes out of the box with the ability to navigate and interact with objects. And (arguably) the most important spec of all is that UBR-1 starts at just $35,000, which is wicked cheap for a robot this capable.

UAV Textbook Delivery Service

Australia-based Zookal and Flirtey want to deliver textbooks to people in Sydney using aerial drones:

New Boston Dynamics Videos

Introducing WildCat:

Legged Robot Testing in Desert:

Atlas Update:

Arduino Galileo From Intel And Arduino TRE From TI

Official Intel Datasheet:

Galileo is a microcontroller board based on the Intel® Quark SoC X1000 Application Processor, a 32-bit Intel Pentium-class system on a chip. It is the first board based on Intel® architecture designed to be hardware and software pin-compatible with Arduino shields designed for the Uno R3. Digital pins 0 to 13 (and the adjacent AREF and GND pins), Analog inputs 0 to 5, the power header, ICSP header, and the UART port pins (0 and 1), are all in the same locations as on the Arduino Uno R3. This is also known as the Arduino 1.0 pinout.

In addition to Arduino hardware and software compatibility, the Galileo board has several PC industry standard I/O ports and features to expand native usage and capabilities beyond the Arduino shield ecosystem. A full sized mini-PCI Express slot, 100Mb Ethernet port, Micro-SD slot, RS-232 serial port, USB Host port, USB Client Port, and 8 MByte NOR flash come standard on the board.

Available Nov 29 for under $60

Arduino Blog:

Arduino TRE, based on the Texas Instruments Sitara AM335x ARM Cortex-A8 processor is the “most powerful Arduino to date” and the first that will be able to run “full Linux.”

Thanks to the 1-GHz Sitara AM335x processor, Arduino developers get up to 100 times more performance with the Sitara-processor-based TRE than they do on the Arduino Leonardo or Uno. This performance opens the doors to more advanced Linux-powered applications. The Sitara-processor-based Linux Arduino can run high-performance desktop applications, processing-intensive algorithms or high-speed communications.

The Arduino TRE is expected to be available in spring 2014

IEEE Spectrum Tours NASA's Drone Research Lab

IEEE Spectrum:

The Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) is located approximately in the middle of nowhere, inside Edwards Air Force Base on a huge dry lake bed out in the Mojave desert. The remoteness of the area, plus the availability of over 100 square kilometers of empty flat lake bed to land on if necessary, makes Dryden a fantastic place to test out all kinds of futuristic and occasionally bizarre aircraft. And we got to meet a few of them... cont'd

Microduino: Arduino Compatible Hardware The Size Of A Quarter

Kickstarter:

The Microduino series is a 100% Arduino compatible open source hardware, compatible with Arduino IDE development environment and existing Arduino sketches.

MICRODUINO IS SMALL

Microduino is small. Its size is about a quarter (25.40mm X 27.94mm / 1.0inch X 1.1inch), much smaller than the original Arduino board.

MICRODUINO IS STACKABLE

All Microduino boards adopt a uniform U-shape 27-pin standard pin-out (UPin-27). Thus Microduino series can be easily stacked together through the UPin-27, and all modules are delivered ready to stack... cont'd

 

ABB Robotics Pack Expo 2013 Exhibit Highlights New 8kg IRB 360 Flexpicker

ABB Robotics:

High Speed Picking Demo

The centerpiece of the high speed picking demo is the new 8 kg IRB 360 FlexPicker with a Schmalz vacuum gripper, simulating a carton loading application by picking five liquid filled plastic bottles in a single cycle, and placing them on a conveyor. A 1 kg FlexPicker model uses vision guidance and conveyor tracking to individually pick the randomly positioned bottles off the conveyor, and place them in uniform groups back on the initial conveyor to continue the loop. Both FlexPicker models utilize ABB's PickMaster 3 software, which integrates conveyor tracking, advanced vision guidance and vision inspection capabilities in an easy-to-use programming platform... cont'd

UAV Provides Colorado Flooding Assistance Until FEMA Freaks Out

IEEE Spectrum:

There's been some terrible, terrible flooding going on in Colorado. Rain is still falling, making it difficult (or impossible) for airplanes and helicopters to get in and out of the area. Drones can fly, though, and while they're not able to pick up people or drop off supplies, they are able to make damage assessment maps to help relief agencies coordinate their efforts. Or at least, they were, until the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) showed up and grounded them... cont'd

Makeblock Aluminum Extrusion Construct Platform

The Makeblock Kickstarter was successfully funded in January and now the aluminum beams and kits are available through their online store.

The Open Hand Project

Open Hand Project Indiegogo Campaign:

What is it?
The Open Hand Project is an open source project with the goal of making robotic prosthetic hands more accessible to amputees.

The Dextrus hand is the realization of this goal, it's a robotic hand that can be put together for well under £650 ($1000) and offers much of the functionality of a human hand.

Who's it For?
The Dextrus hand is for anyone who wants an advanced robotic hand. This could be an amputee who wants a little more than a metal hook, a researcher who's looking into control systems for telepresence robots or perhaps a hobbyist who is making a humanoid robot.

2012 Venture Funding Roundup From Hizook

Hizook:

Due to the popularity of Hizook's list of VC Funding for Robotics in 2011, we figured folks would be curious how 2012 fared in comparison.... and the news is promising!  cont'd

Flutter: $20 Wireless Arduino With Half Mile Range.

Kickstarter campaign:

What is Flutter?

Flutter is a wireless electronics development platform based on Arduino. With over half a mile of usable range, a powerful ARM processor, and integrated encryption, Flutter makes it easy for you to build projects that communicate across the house, across the neighborhood, and beyond.

Whether you want to check the temperature of a beer-brewing setup, have your mailbox send you a text message when the mailman arrives, control a swarm of flying robots, or just turn on your lights with your phone, Flutter gives you the range, power, and flexibility to do it.

We’re not just building circuit boards though. Our goal is simple: make it easier for engineers, makers, builders, and hackers to go farther with their projects than ever before. Even if it's their first time. We’re going to arrange and keep a set of basic electronics tutorials so getting started with Flutter is as easy as possible.

Getting Connected

Creating Flutter networks is easy, even if it’s just two boards. Specify networks in Arduino code or configure Flutter with our mobile app. Once configured, devices can enter and exit the network seamlessly. This makes it extremely easy to set up a network at home (or anywhere else) where all of your projects can reliably communicate. Flutter is like a second network for your devices.

Suitable Technologies Retains Willow Garage Talent to Further Develop Beam Remote Presence

Suitable Technologies, Inc:

Suitable Technologies, Inc., has retained a majority of employees from Willow Garage, Inc. to increase and enhance the development of Suitable Technologies' Beam™ remote presence system. Suitable Technologies will use the combined resources to further product development, sales and customer support. Beam enables users to travel instantly to remote locations using video conferencing technology, over a WiFi or cellular 4G LTE connection, that users can drive. Beam is the market's most effective and reliable solution for remote presence, providing uncompromising quality with a robust offering of features. Scott Hassan, founder of both Willow Garage and Suitable Technologies, said, "I am excited to bring together the teams of Willow Garage and Suitable Technologies to provide the most advanced remote presence technology to people around the world." Willow Garage will continue to support customers of its PR2 personal robotics platform and sell its remaining stock of PR2 systems... cont'd

JPL's RoboSimian

Jet Propulsion Laboratory:

JPL and Stanford will build a simian-inspired limbed robot to participate in the DARPA Robotics Challenge. This groundbreaking RoboSimian uses deliberate and stable operations to complete challenging tasks under supervised tele-operation while in a degraded human environment. This emphasis on stability over dynamics and deliberation over reaction will result in faster and more robust overall operations by decreasing missteps for both robot and human operator. To accomplish this end, the team will employ design methods, system elements, and software algorithms that have already demonstrated success for JPL’s unique ATHLETE and Lemur robots, JPL’s first-place DARPA ARM-S team, and Stanford’s selectively compliant DARPA ARM-H design. In particular, RoboSimian will use its four general purpose limbs and hands, capable of both mobility and manipulation, to achieve passively stable stances; create multi-point anchored connections to supports such as ladders, railings, and stair treads; and brace itself during forceful manipulation operations.

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Industrial Robotics - Featured Product

ROBOTMASTER V6

ROBOTMASTER V6

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