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.

Boeing buys Liquid Robotics to boost autonomous surveillance at sea

Alan Boyle for Geekwire:  The Boeing Co. says it has agreed to acquire Liquid Robotics, its teammate in a years-long effort to create surfboard-sized robots that can use wave power to roam the seas. The acquisition is expected to help Boeing create military communication networks that can transmit information autonomously from the sea to satellites via Sensor Hosting Autonomous Remote Craft, or SHARCs. Liquid Robotics was founded in 2007 and currently has about 100 employees in California and Hawaii. Once the deal is completed, the company will become a subsidiary of Boeing. The arrangement is similar to the one that applies to Insitu, a Boeing subsidiary that is headquartered in Bingen, Wash., and manufactures ScanEagle military-grade drones.   Cont'd...  

Japan Robots Riding on the Concept of Entertainment, Ease of Life and Engaging

The world's biggest robots ever made were unveiled by Japanese company On-Art Corp., wants to use them to build a tourist park called Dino -A-Live.

NIFA Announces $3 Million in Funding for Robotics Research

"These technologies are helping meet farm labor needs and making farming safer, more efficient, and more profitable," said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. "With each year of investment in agricultural robotic research we learn more about how humans can benefit from automation in the field."

RE2 Robotics Wins Contract to Design Assistive Manipulator Arm for the U.S. Army

The goal of ARIBO is to provide automated, on-demand transportation to wounded warriors traveling between the Warrior Transition Battalion barracks and the Womack Army Medical Center.

DARPA Creating Industry/Government Group for Safe Operation of Space Robotics

Consortium For Execution of Rendezvous and Servicing Operations (CONFERS) envisions consensus-based technical standards that would encourage responsible on-orbit commercial servicing operations

ViDi Systems wins the Robot Launch 2016 competition

Vidi Systems from Switzerland is the overall Grand Winner of the 2016 Robot Launch global startup competition, beating out many US contestants in a field that included sensors, artificial intelligence, social robots, service robots and industrial solutions.

Robots won't kill the workforce. They'll save the global economy.

Ruchir Sharma for The Washington Post:  The United Nations forecasts that the global population will rise from 7.3 billion to nearly 10 billion by 2050, a big number that often prompts warnings about overpopulation. Some have come from neo-Malthusians, who fear that population growth will outstrip the food supply, leaving a hungry planet. Others appear in the tirades of anti-immigrant populists, invoking the specter of a rising tide of humanity as cause to slam borders shut. Still others inspire a chorus of neo-Luddites, who fear that the “rise of the robots” is rapidly making human workers obsolete, a threat all the more alarming if the human population is exploding. Before long, though, we’re more likely to treasure robots than to revile them. They may be the one thing that can protect the global economy from the dangers that lie ahead.   Cont'd...

SMP Robotics S5 PTZ Security Robot Wins Awards for Tech Tank and Featured New Product Contests at ISC East Security Conference

SMP Robotics S5 Security Robot was presented at ISC East by a master distributor Make Em Move Robotics and was nominated in two categories: Tech Tank and Featured New Product Contest and won in both categories.

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Personal & Service Robots - Featured Product

ST Robotics - K11R robot controller now available for your own robot!

ST Robotics - K11R robot controller now available for your own robot!

St Robotics is making the K11R robot controller available for any robot that uses stepping motors including the IGUS range. Providing you use low inductance motors the K11R will provide surprising power and speed from it's 55v DC supply and Gecko micro-stepping drives controlled by a fast DSP and micro-controller. The software is RoboForth II V17 embedded in the controller which together with the PC project supervisor gets your robot going within minutes. It is a text based conversational language that is so easy to use yet permits programs of great complexity when required. The kinematics are easily tailored to any size of robot and any number of axes from 3 to 6. The controller will also provide easy calibration to sensors and also reads back and compares encoders if you fit them. Speed, acceleration and rate of acceleration (3rd order) are all programmable as is emergency stop and many other features. Your positional data and programs may be saved on your PC and also in the controller's flash memory. The K11R will also control external devices such as pneumatic gripper, vacuum pickup, air cylinders and communicate with a PLC. Pricing starts at $2500. Contact ST at sales@strobotics.com