Underactuated Rotor For Simple Micro Air Vehicles

From MODLAB (The modular robotics laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania): We derive thrust, roll, and pitch authority from a single propeller and single motor through an underactuated mechanism embedded in the rotor itself. This allows new types of conventionally-capable micro air vehicles which only require two motors for practical control. This contrasts with the many servos and linkages of conventional helicopters or the many drive motors found in quadrotors... ( cont'd )

Robotic Farming For The Future

If you think about the global population growth and the need to feed this mounting population, farmers must become more efficient at the harvesting and production of all crops. In the future, robots will be utilized to accomplish most tasks, from seeding to fertilizing as well as chemical application.

Interview with David Sands, ST Robotics International

We call our robots entry level for a very good reason. People can get started so easily with our robots. They are not the best robot arms on the planet but they are affordable and incredibly easy to use.

Using Reverse Engineering Techniques for Product Innovation: The Legitimate Way

The goal of utilizing RE should be to identify flaws in your version of the product design and figuring out ways to eliminate the errors and bring out a flawless product eventually.

iRobot Create 2 Programmable Robot

From iRobot ($199 US): Create 2 is a mobile robot platform built from remanufactured Roomba robots and designed for use by educators, developers and high-school and college-age students. Program or build your own projects or start with our sample projects provided online. Create 2 is ready to go, right out of the box, so there is no need to assemble the drive system or worry about low-level code. Other Create 2 features include: Serial cable sends commands from a computer or other microcontroller to the robot Preprogrammed behaviors can be controlled via Open Interface Commands Built-in sensors allow the robot to react to its environment Drill template on faceplate shows safe drilling areas. Removing the faceplate exposes the serial port. Robot returns to Home Base to dock and recharge. Rechargeable battery charges in three hours. Compatible with Roomba 600 Series accessories including batteries, Home Base®, remote control and Virtual Wall® What are some of the things I can do with iRobot Create 2? Program movements, sounds and the LED display, as well as read all of the robot's onboard sensors Add an external computer or microcontroller with additional sensors and actuators to transform Create into exactly the robot you want. Add a camera to build your own camera bot! Use our 3D printable file to create a storage bin and ensure your additional electronics are safely housed within the robot's chassis... ( details )

Ozobot, Knightscope, Hibot and Airware all get funded

Toward the Dream of a Baseball Android

From Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory: We have been developing robotic systems that individually achieve fundamental actions of baseball, such as throwing, tracking of the ball, batting, running, and catching. We achieved these tasks by controlling high-speed robots based on real-time visual feedback from high-speed cameras. Before integrating these abilities into one robot, we here summarize the technical elements of each task... ( site )

A Robot's View of the World

For the Harvest Automation engineering team to get an accurate view of what the robot is seeing, we've constructed a tool that we call Mindprobe which collects all the sensor data, interprets it and displays this in a graphical form.

How 4 Mexican Immigrant Kids and Their Cheap Robot Beat MIT

From Wired: Ten years ago, WIRED contributing editor Joshua Davis wrote a story about four high school students in Phoenix, Arizona—three of them undocumented immigrants from Mexico—beating MIT in an underwater robot competition. That story, La Vida Robot, has a new chapter: Spare Parts, starring George Lopez and Carlos PenaVega, opens in January, and Davis is publishing abook by the same title updating the kids’ story. To mark that occasion, WIRED is republishing his original story... ( full article )

Optimal Actuator In MIT's Cheetah Robot

From Biomimetics MIT Cheetah project: The high speed legged locomotion of the MIT Cheetah requires high accelerations and loadings of the robot’s legs.  Because of the highly dynamic environmental interactions that come with running, variable impedance of the legs is desirable; however, existing actuation strategies cannot deliver.  Typically, electric motors achieve their required torque output and package size through high gear ratios.  High ratios limit options for control strategies.  For example, closed loop control is limited to relatively slow speed dynamics.  Series elastic actuation adds additional actuators and increases system complexity and inertia.  We believed a better option existed.  In the end, we developed a novel actuator, optimal in many applications...  ( project homepage ) ( full published article )

DARPA-Funded Inflatable Robotics Helps Spark Idea for Silver Screen Star

DARPA's M3 program is creating and demonstrating novel design tools, fabrication methods and control algorithms to make robots more mobile and better able to manipulate objects in their environment.

Black Friday & Cyber Monday

From Adafruit : Welcome to the Black Friday sale – 15% off plus all the free items & shipping as you shop! Use code: BLACKFRIDAY on check out. We thought about doing flash sales or complicated codes but that’s a lot of frustrating hoop jumping for everyone, so we came up with what we think is an amazing deal that is straight forward, no stress and valuable – a 15% off discount anything in stock and lots of great free things automatically depending on how much you order.  We are currently offering a  FREE Adafruit Perma-Proto Half-sized Breadboard PCB  for orders over $100, a  FREE Trinket 5V  for orders over $150,  FREE UPS ground (Continental USA) for orders $200 or more, a  FREE Pro Trinket 5 V for orders over $250 From Sparksfun: On Cyber Monday (12/1), everything in our Actobotics category is 20% off. Next on 12/1/2014, we are offering hourly flash sales from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, with 30-50% off on some of our most popular products. These items have been hand-selected by our employees and are some of our favorite designs! See below for the complete list, so you can plan ahead to snag these great deals. Flash Sales are ONLY valid during their time window. If an item is sitting in your cart and the flash sale for it ends, the price will go back up! There is no combining flash sale orders throughout the day. Flash sales are a “while supplies last” sort of deal (which means no backorders!) - so get ‘em while the getting is good.... ( list of flash sale items ) From Servocity: ( Full pdf flyer for monday's sale ) Two random orders from monday will recieve a "golden ticket" worth $500 of actobotics parts. From Robotshop: ( Full list of sale items available friday through monday ) Free hexbug nano with every purchase.

Kissing It Better: Lifting Ergonomically with Vacuum

By using the right suction and the right lips for the job, you really can "kiss it better" before lifting, rather than after.

OpenCV Vision Challenge

From the OpenCV Foundation: OpenCV Foundation with support from DARPA and Intel Corporation are launching a community-wide challenge to update and extend the OpenCV library with state-of-art algorithms. An award pool of $50,000 is provided to reward submitters of the best performing algorithms in the following 11 CV application areas: (1) image segmentation, (2) image registration, (3) human pose estimation, (4) SLAM, (5) multi-view stereo matching, (6) object recognition, (7) face recognition, (8) gesture recognition, (9) action recognition, (10) text recognition, (11) tracking. Conditions: The OpenCV Vision Challenge Committee will judge up to five best entries. You may submit a new algorithm developed by yourself or your implementation of an existing algorithm even if you are not the author of the algorithm.  You may enter any number of categories.  If your entry wins the contest you will be awarded $1K. To win an additional $7.5 to $9K, you must contribute the source code as an OpenCV pull request under a BSD license.  You acknowledge that your contributed code may be included, with your copyright, in OpenCV. You may explicitly enter code for any work you have submitted to CVPR 2015 or its workshops. We will not unveil it until after CVPR. Timeline: Submission Period: Now – May 8th 2015  Winners Announcement: June 8th 2015 at CVPR 2015 (full details)

Robotic Assembly

Manual assembly procedures, which previously have been neither ergonomic nor appropriate for automation, can currently be automated in a cost-effective way.

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Industrial Robotics - Featured Product

DESTACO’s ACCELERATE® COLLECTION

DESTACO's ACCELERATE® COLLECTION

The Accelerate Collection is a range of products designed to help stamping press operators speed up their production lines with higher efficiencies. Working with our customers helped to bring innovative new products to the market, which in turn helps them produce more stamped parts per hour, while reducing moment forces and overall system wear and tear. Accelerate Collection products include Lightweight Tooling, Polyurethane Vacuum Cups, Sheet Metal Grippers, Plastic Proximity Switch Mounts, and new Digital Solutions.