9 open source robotics projects

Jason Baker for OpenSource:  Open source isn't just changing the way we interact with the world, it's changing the way the world interacts back with us. Case in point: open source robotics. Robots are playing an increasing role in our world, and while we perhaps haven't reached the utopian future with robotic housekeepers imagined for us in the Jetsons, robotics are making advances in fields that fifty years ago would have been completely unimaginable. While undoubtedly manufacturing has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the robot renaissance, we are seeing robots enter the mainstream as well. Many of us have robots that clean our floors, clear our gutters, mow our grass, and more. And now, with the advances of self driving cars, drones, and other transport technologies, the line between what is a robot and what is a vehicle is steadily blurring. But let's be honest: a lot of us have an interest in robotics simply because it's fun! And the good news is you don't need to be an electrical engineer to enjoy robotics as a hobby. Fortunately, there are a number of open source projects out there that can help even the most novice beginner get started.  Full Article:

The Festo Bionic Elephant's Trunk, AirPenguin, AirJellies, and Other Robots Modeled from Nature Are Featured at the USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington D.C.

Festo representatives will host hands-on demonstrations, April 16-17, and will give a presentation on April 14 during the X-Stem Symposium on bionics. (Festo Booth 1823)

Mark Roberts Motion Control Celebrates 50 Years of Innovative Robotics

MRMC Will be celebrating its 50th anniversary and showcasing latest robotics at NAB

NRL Engineers to Lead Payload Development for Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites

The Front-end Robotics Enabling Near-term Demonstration, or FREND, flight prototype robotic arm performs fully autonomous grapple testing. This testing demonstrates RSGS on-board processing's ability to track and guide a robotic arm to grapple a launch vehicle adapter ring (left) that is common to many spacecraft designs.

New 4D Space Genius™ Robot Promises to Revolutionize Retail Analytics and Online Shopping

The 4D Space Genius™, a ground-breaking, patent-pending robotic imaging platform provides customers and retailers with the precise location of every product within a store.

Shockingly, Robots Are Really Bad at Waiting Tables

Evan Ackerman for IEEE Spectrum:  According to Chinese newspaper Workers’ Daily, two restaurants in Guangzhou, China, that gained some amount of notoriety for their use of robotic waiters have now been forced to close down. One employee said, “the robots weren’t able to carry soup or other food steady and they would frequently break down. The boss has decided never to use them again.” Yeah, we can’t say we’re surprised. As far as I can tell, all of these waiter robots can do essentially one thing: travel along a set path while holding food. They can probably stop at specific tables, and maybe turn or sense when something has been taken from them, but that seems to be about it. “Their skills are somewhat limited,” a robot restaurant employee told Workers’ Daily. “They can’t take orders or pour hot water for customers.” Those are just two of the many, many more skills that human servers have, because it’s necessary to have many, many more skills than this to be a good server.  Cont'd...

Zora, The First Social Robot Already Widely Used In Healthcare

Controlled via a tablet by health professionals, Zora can lead a physical therapy class, read out TV programmes, weather forecasts or local news.

How Robotics Help Speed Up Delivery of CPG to Store Shelf

Luckily, robotics can adapt to changing sizes, using end-of-arm tools that can adjust their grips on the items that need to be handled.

XPONENTIAL - U.S. Army, Navy Leaders to Speak at AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2016

Gen. David G. Perkins, commander of Training and Doctrine Command, and Frank Kelley, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for Unmanned Systems, to address largest trade show for unmanned systems industry

Introducing BIG-i, the World's Most Versatile Personal Robot

Interactive learning home companion by NXROBO was unveiled at the Pepcom Digital Focus Spring Showcase last week

WHILL and 5D Robotics Collaborate to Accelerate Autonomous Personal Mobility Development

"Fully autonomous personal mobility devices can bring our B2B customers enormous benefits in terms of greater convenience, lower cost and improved safety for their mobility services," said WHILL founder and CEO, Satoshi Sugie.

DENSO Invests in Semiconductor Laser Technology Startup TriLumina

DENSO is looking to speed up the adoption of LiDAR and driver monitoring technologies in Advanced Driver Assistance systems, which are key technologies used in autonomous vehicles. This strategic investment enables TriLumina to gain broader access to the automotive market.

Velodyne LiDAR Announces ULTRA Puck™ VLP-32A, High Definition Real-Time 3D LiDAR Sensor for the Automotive Market

Advanced, Small Form-Factor 32-Channel Unit To Make Public Debut at SAE 2016 in Detroit

Indiegogo - eeMod Is Released, a Revolutionary Arduino Compatible Prototyping Platform

eeRoots announces the crowdfunding campaign and pre-sale of eeMod, a prototyping platform that promises to greatly simplify electronic prototyping by combining the most useful sensors and modules in a single Arduino compatible integrated development platform for home automation, robotics, electronic control and other projects

SCHAFT Unveils Awesome New Bipedal Robot at Japan Conference

From Evan Ackerman at IEEE Spectrum:   Right now, the New Economic Summit (NEST) 2016 conference is going on in Tokyo, Japan. One of the keynote speakers is Andy Rubin. Rubin was in charge of Google’s robotics program in 2013, when the company (now Alphabet) acquired a fistful of some of the most capable and interesting robotics companies in the world. One of those companies was SCHAFT, which originated at the JSK Robotics Laboratory at the University of Tokyo... ... SCHAFT co-founder and CEO Yuto Nakanishi climbed onstage to introduce his company’s new bipedal robot. He explains that the robot can climb stairs, carry a 60-kg payload, and step on a pipe and keep its balance. It can also move in tight spaces, and the video shows the robot climbing a narrow staircase by positioning its legs behind its body (1:22). In a curious part of the demo (1:36), the robot is shown cleaning a set of stairs with a spinning brush and what appears to be a vacuum attached to its feet... ( article )

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Personal & Service Robots - Featured Product

ST Robotics - r12 robot arm

ST Robotics - r12 robot arm

ST Robotics have decades of experience in industrial robots having sold hundreds of robots over the years. The company has 3 main models, R12, R17 and R19 all using a unique simple industrial technology that dramatically reduces costs resulting in the lowest priced industrial robots available. The same uncomplicated technology vastly improves reliability. ST backs this up with a 2 year warranty. Typical applications are routine testing, sample handling and also education. The software is a different paradigm from most robots. It is command based; you type a command and see immediate action. Programming is a building block approach, building confidence as you program in small 'mind-sized bytes'. ST offers free unlimited technical support.