Robot Octopus Takes to the Sea

From Evan Ackerman at IEEE Spectrum: The video below has four parts to it: the first shows the difference between the robotic octopus swimming with just flexible arms, and swimming with just flexible arms in addition to a web. The most obvious difference is the speed: just over 100 millimeters per second with arms only, and up to 180 mm/s (or 0.5 body lengths per second) with the web. This is a significant increase, obviously, but what's more important is the overall cost of transport (CoT), which is a measure of the efficiency of the robot (specifically, the ratio of the energy put in over the resulting speed). The CoT for the arms-only version is 0.85, whereas the web drops that down to 0.62. So yeah, having that web in there is better in almost every way... ( cont'd )

Nixie: The First Wearable Camera That Can Fly

From Nixie's homepage: Nixie is a tiny wearable camera on a wrist band. The wrist straps unfold to create a quadcopter that flies, takes photos or video, then comes back to you... ( cont'd )

Robotmaster Software Is Used To Create An Automated Way Of Producing Custom Orthotics Using Milling Robots

Our simplified working procedure imports the unique patient 3D model into a preprogrammed production design strategy that takes account of all the pertinent milling and robot articulation data.

How To Tell When A Robot Has Written You A Letter

From Clive Thompson: A few weeks ago I got duped by a robot. In the mail. I was sifting through my dead-tree postal mail and tossing junk in the recycling bin. Nearly everything that arrives in my mailbox is junk, so I was tossing, tossing, tossing … until suddenly, whoops: A hand-addressed letter. This looked legit, so I ripped it open — only to find it was an oily invitation to take out a second mortgage on my home. I’d been fooled... ( cont'd )

Are Intelligent Highways in the Near Future?

There are obviously many outstanding issues to be dealt with, but given the momentum of progress in this area, and the number of vehicles being added to the highways every day, the future might just link us all with intelligent highways.

7 Signs That Your Business is Ready for Automation

Investing in automation has to make financial sense for individual businesses, regardless of trends. Here are seven signs that could point to your company's need to automate.

Unbounded Robotics Closes Down

The UBR-1 was quite an achievement that sadly will not come to market.

The Hershey Company

Until 2005, everything at the Hershey plant was hand-palletized, resulting in low palletizing rates and high manual labor costs.

Pawly: Play With Your Pet Anywhere Anytime

Indigogo campaign for Pawly: Take your playtime to the next level with Pawly's accessory. Pawly can be equipped to play and reward your pets in real time, mimicking the way pet-owners would play with their pets. Treat Blaster Reward your pet when they do back flips when you're away. Toss them a treat with Pawly's Treat Blaster. This safe but exciting accessory will shoot out a treat at the press of a button. The LEDs found on the dome light up, followed by a sound before shooting out their favourite treats. To use the Treat Blaster, mount it on top of Pawly by lining up the teeth of the accessory to the three holes on top of Pawly. Turn on Pawly's app and start blasting away.. ( cont'd )

Top Six Trends in Industrial Robotics

Here are six emerging trends in the world of industrial robots that will likely have a big impact on a wide variety of industrial sectors, and provide benefits well beyond what was once imaginable.

Sensing, Measurement and Process Control Robots

One of the major problems with a robot is sensor irregularity, where the sensors provide data that at times is accurate and at other times inaccurate.

ArduIMU V4: An Arduino Based Integrated Measurement Unit

Kickstarter for version 4 of ArduIMU: Initially, the ArduIMU project was started as an open source project by 3DRobotics in 2007 to create an inertial measurement unit based on the Arduino™. We contributed to the software development of that project, but, the initial ArduIMU was meant to be used solely as an inertial measurement unit. We want to do better than that; so we developed a brand new platform with other sensors such as a barometer, relative humidity sensor, and light sensor. We also included wireless communication capabilities as well an SD card for data logging and storage. Since then, we have gone through many revisions, adding even more sensors and functions which are present in the latest ArduIMU V4. With this new augmented and improved sensor board we are redefining the term IMU. We proudly present our Arduino™ based Integrated Measurement Unit: the ArduIMU V4... ( cont'd )

Quickstick® Linear Synchronous Motors Increase Productivity in Pharmaceutical Application

A major mail order pharmacy was planning a new facility so they approached their long time supplier of automated solutions, Tension Packaging, to design a system that would reduce their cost per prescription and produce 1,000 validated and labeled pieces per hour.

MIT's Cheetah Untethered Running And Jumping!

From MIT: Further info from Evan Ackerman at IEEE Spectrum: We were wrong: it's not running untethered, it's bounding untethered. And unconstrained. And outdoors!  Two things strike us as particularly amazing about this: the first thing is that it's quiet, powered by electric motors and batteries. We've come to expect that compact systems capable of delivering high amounts of power rely on liquid fuels and hydraulics, because that's how you get the most power density: it's why Boston Dynamics uses gasoline engines to power hydraulic pumps on all of its dynamic robots. Also, high torque electric motors (like you'd need to get a robot to jump) have a tendency to overheat and destroy themselves, but MIT seems to have solved all of these issues, since they have a bounding, battery-powered robot that works. We're not sure yet how long it works for, but it works... ( cont'd )

Motors Level Ocean Bottom Seismometers Reliably and Efficiently

With a combination of high torque density and precision motion, compact stepper motors provide full 360° of correction for instrument tilt.

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Industrial Robotics - Featured Product

Universal Robots - Collaborative Robot Solutions

Universal Robots - Collaborative Robot Solutions

Universal Robots is a result of many years of intensive research in robotics. The product portfolio includes the UR5 and UR10 models that handle payloads of up to 11.3 lbs. and 22.6 lbs. respectively. The six-axis robot arms weigh as little as 40 lbs. with reach capabilities of up to 51 inches. Repeatability of +/- .004" allows quick precision handling of even microscopically small parts. After initial risk assessment, the collaborative Universal Robots can operate alongside human operators without cumbersome and expensive safety guarding. This makes it simple and easy to move the light-weight robot around the production, addressing the needs of agile manufacturing even within small- and medium sized companies regarding automation as costly and complex. If the robots come into contact with an employee, the built-in force control limits the forces at contact, adhering to the current safety requirements on force and torque limitations. Intuitively programmed by non-technical users, the robot arms go from box to operation in less than an hour, and typically pay for themselves within 195 days. Since the first UR robot entered the market in 2009, the company has seen substantial growth with the robotic arms now being sold in more than 50 countries worldwide.