Grabit Inc. Demos Electrostatic Gripper

From Grabit Inc.: Enhanced Flexibility Grabit technology eliminates the need for part-specific grippers and minimizes gripper changeover, dramatically reducing costs and downtime. Gentle Handling Grabit grippers offer scratch and smudge-free handling with its clean grasping and eliminates the need to remove residue left by vacuum cups. Grabit’s uniform grasping effect eliminates high “point stresses” on large format glass sheets. Low Energy & Quiet Operations Grabit products operate at ultra-low energy levels providing cost savings and enabling mobile robot applications, and also offer quiet operations improving factory conditions and supporting the adoption of collaborative robots... ( homepage )

High-torque, Compact Motors And Rugged Design Create Economical, Light-weight Bomb-disposal Robot.

In a world in which an abandoned suitcase, a box, or even a pile of rubble can conceal an improvised explosive device (IED), bomb-disposal robots have become essential.

UCSD Investing in Robotics

San Diego already has major industry and defense players and employers with many robotics technologies and applications. There are also significant manufacturing sectors in San Diego and nearby Tijuana.

Watch That Windows Update: FTDI Drivers Are Killing Fake Chips

From Brian Benchoff at Hack A Day: The FTDI FT232 chip is found in thousands of electronic baubles, from Arduinos to test equipment, and more than a few bits of consumer electronics. It’s a simple chip, converting USB to a serial port, but very useful and probably one of the most cloned pieces of silicon on Earth. Thanks to a recent Windows update,  all those fake FTDI chips are at risk of being bricked.  This isn’t a case where fake FTDI chips won’t work if plugged into a machine running the newest FTDI driver; the latest driver bricks the fake chips, rendering them inoperable with any computer. Reports of problems with FTDI chips  surfaced early this month , with an explanation of the behavior showing up in  an EEVblog forum thread . The new driver for these chips from FTDI, delivered through a recent Windows update, reprograms the USB PID to 0, something Windows, Linux, and OS X don’t like. This renders the chip inaccessible from any OS, effectively bricking any device that happens to have one of these fake FTDI serial chips... ( full story with workaround solution )

Current Transducer Implementation Phenomena

Implementation of a current transducer is typically a straightforward affair. In the event that the output is not as expected, it must be understood that the source of the challenge may be rooted in the mechanical, magnetic or electric nature of the device.

At Japan Robot Week, Mechanical Barista Treats Visitors to Coffee

From  Japan Times :

iRobot Unveils Its First Multi-Robot Tablet Controller for First Responders, Defense Forces and Industrial Customers

From iRobot: The uPoint MRC system runs an Android-based app that standardizes the control of any robot within the iRobot family of unmanned vehicles. Utilizing the same intuitive touchscreen technology in use today on millions of digital devices, the uPoint MRC system simplifies robot operations including driving, manipulation and inspection, allowing operators to focus more on the mission at hand... ( full press release )

NASA's Free Flying Robot Challenge

From NASA, Google's Project Tango, and Top Coders: Welcome to the NASA Free Flying Robot Mission Patch & Naming Challenge sponsored by the NASA Tournament Lab!  In 2017, NASA is aiming to launch a robot that will be used on-board the International Space Station (ISS). The robot has been tentatively called the “Free Flying Robot”. Not that catchy, right?  So here’s where NASA needs your help – we need the Topcoder community to help design a custom mission patch AND develop a name for the Free Flying Robot.  So what is a Free Flying Robot? It’s a robot that is capable of functioning autonomously, but can also be controlled by a flight crew on-board the ISS or from Earth. It can conduct zero gravity robotics experiments, carry mobile sensors such as an RFID reader for logging inventory & inspect items using a built in camera  Currently on the ISS there are robotic devices called  “ SPHERES ”  (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites), and the new Free Flyer Robot program is being seen as a step forward in the use of robotic devices in spaceflight... ( submission form )  

Robotics Design, Synthesis and Processing

The total process of building a robot is first to identify a need, then defining the problem that must be overcome to accomplish the need.

In Haptics, Machines Imitate Life

Enter the discipline of haptics, which involves using robotics with sophisticated feedback and controls to simulate a tactile experience for the user.

3 Robotics Related Kickstarters And Crazyflie 2

Crowd Funding Projects include - CONTROLLINO PLC: First open programmable Open-Source PLC (Arduino-Compatible) / Scrobby Solar: Keeping your solar panels clean! / IR-LOCK: infrared target tracking for Drones & DIY Robotics

Collaborative Robot Development

Since the operator can work in the robot's workspace even when the robot is still in motion at full speed, there is much more collaboration between the operator and robot.

FPV Forest Quad Racing

From french quad racing association  Airgonay :    

Piezo Motors Power MRI Robot

Combining magnetic field immunity with high precision motion over inches of travel, piezo "leg" motors walk the line.

Soft Robotics Toolkit

From Harvard Biodesign Lab: The Soft Robotics Toolkit is a collection of shared resources to support the design, fabrication, modeling, characterization, and control of soft robotic devices. The toolkit was developed as part of educational research being undertaken in the Harvard Biodesign Lab. The ultimate aim of the toolkit is to advance the field of soft robotics by allowing designers and researchers to build upon each other’s work. The toolkit includes an open source fluidic control board, detailed design documentation describing a wide range of soft robotic components (including actuators and sensors), and related files that can be downloaded and used in the design, manufacture, and operation of soft robots. In combination with low material costs and increasingly accessible rapid prototyping technologies such as 3D printers, laser cutters, and CNC mills, the toolkit enables soft robotic components to be produced easily and affordably... ( project's homepage )

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Industrial Robotics - Featured Product

DENSO Small Assembly Robots

DENSO Small Assembly Robots

DENSO is the world's largest manufacturer - and user - of small assembly robots, employing over 17,000 of its robots in its own facilities. Over 77,000 additional DENSO robots are used by other companies worldwide. The compact, high-speed robots are used in traditional manufacturing sectors, as well as in advanced-technology applications in the medical, pharmaceutical and life sciences industries. Learn more about DENSO Robotics