WowWee brings expensive university bots to store shelves

By Corinne Iozzio for Scientific American:  Hong Kong–based WowWee's success stems from bringing university research projects to life that might otherwise languish in the prototype stage. A licensing agreement with the Flow Control and Coordinated Robotics Labs at the University of California, San Diego, for example, provides WowWee with access to patents and the labs with a healthy cash infusion. The collaboration has already netted a series of toy robots that balance like Segways. More recently, the avionics lab at Concordia University in Montreal began working with the company to perfect flight algorithms for a four-rotor drone. Next, chief technology officer Davin Sufer says he has his eye on the Georgia Institute of Technology and its work with swarming behaviors, which would allow a group of robots to function in tandem.

In the case of Switchbot, WowWee adapted a locomotion system developed in part by former U.C. San Diego student Nick Morozovsky. The robot moves on tank-tread legs either horizontally to navigate uneven terrain or on end to stand and scoot fully upright. Morozovsky built his prototype with off-the-shelf parts, including a set of $50 motors. The motors were a compromise; each one had the size and torque he wanted but not the speed. Over the past few years he has worked with WowWee to customize a motor with the exact parameters needed and to cut the final cost of the part down to single digits.

That back and forth yields low-cost, mass-producible parts, which means university-level robotics could become available to everyday people. “One of the reasons I went into mechanical engineering was so I could create real things that have a direct impact,” Morozovsky says. “I didn't expect that to necessarily happen in the process of grad school.”  Cont'd...

Robot Taxis Are to Be Main Drive Around for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

With an еуе оn 2020, thе gоvеrnmеnt'ѕ revised economic strategy adopted in Junе саllѕ fоr the аррliсаtiоn оf rоbоt tесhnоlоgiеѕ аѕ travel guides аt Narita International Airроrt in Chibа Prеfесturе, аnd Tоkуо'ѕ Hаnеdа airport.

Lithium Power Introduces Long-Lasting Battery for Neato XV Robot Vacuums

Neato Robot Vacuums need powerful batteries to clean an entire house on one charge, and new lithium batteries last four times as long as old NiMH batteries. Consumers who do the math make the more economical choice by choosing lithium batteries.

7Bot: $300 6-axis Aluminum Desktop Robot Arm

From 7Bot's Kickstarter campaign:

In 2014, two of us co-founded project uArm with other two makers. There we received a lot of feedback from our Angel backers:

  • More axis for more powerful applications, and more controlling dimensions (force control, speed control and flexible-joint).
  • More rugged material rather than Acrylic, muscular servos hardly to be burned out. 
  • More intelligent API. Better inverse kinematics and path planning algorithms to make the movement more precise and smooth. 
  • More accessories and various of end-effectors.

Our custom servos with precise position feedback allow you to quickly set it up and operate in teaching mode without any codes. In this mode, you can simply drag each joint of the robot to a serious of desired way points. The movements will be recorded, and could be replayed in an optimized path. 

A multi-platform supported 3D visualization application will be provided for you to manipulate the 7Bot Arm intuitively. With our 3D visualization application, you can easily set and read the position of each joint separately with real-time graphic interface.

 

If you have two 7Bot Arms, you can build this amazing Humanoid robot -7Bot Arm Dual:

Estimated shipping date is January 2015... (7Bot's Kickstarter campaign)

BLUE OCEAN ROBOTICS LEAD DELEGATION TO SILICON VALLEY

Over 50 delegates from 8 countries visit 20 Bay Area companies

Budding Robot Star Files for Screen Actors Guild Membership

An ABB robot's debut on NBC's "America's Got Talent" showcases the growing role of robots in the entertainment industry and their increasing prominence in everyday life.

Star Wars The Force Awakens BB-8 Toy Teardown

 

From uBreakiFix's Youtube channel:

Indiegogo - BUDDY, the Companion Robot from Blue Frog Robotics, Raises More Than $600,000 on Indiegogo

Blue Frog Robotics, developer of companion robot BUDDY, said its Indiegogo crowd funding campaign exceeded its goal by more than six times. More than 1000 funders participated in the campaign.

Festo's R&D Timeline - Part 3 - 2010 & 2011

Part 3 includes more bionic robots like the smartbird and a handler modeled after an elephant trunk.

Optical Time-of-Flight Sensing Technology

Focuses on Unmanned Automotive Technologies at RoboBusiness

Soft Robotics Project Exo-Biote 3D Prints Living Movement

BY HANNAH ROSE MENDOZA for 3DPrint.com:  Soft robotics is a relatively new field of research that aims to create flexible robots that are more easily adaptable to human interaction. Often, the forms of these creations and the mechanics of their movement are inspired by a close study of nature in an effort to ‘go organic’ with machines. 3D printing with flexible filament is one way in which this integration of robot and movement is taking on a flexible aspect.
For this particular installation, titled Exo-biote, the National Institute for Research in Computer and Control and the Department of Science and Visual Culture at the Imaginarium worked together, with support from Neuflize Bank, to create a robot organism that embodied the formal typologies and demonstrated the possibilities for movements in soft robots. After all, some of nature’s most amazing machines have nearly entirely soft bodies – think of the octopus, for example, able to lift, carry, walk, swim, shape change, camouflage itself, and fit through a tube no bigger than a quarter!  Cont'd...

eInfochips Boosts Qualcomm's Robotics Accelerator Program Powered by Techstars With Eragon SoMs and Services

eInfochips Eragon Product Line Comprising of Development Kit, System-on-Module and its Design Services will be Leveraged by the Robotics Accelerator Participants to Kick Start their Robotics Applications

Carnegie Mellon Faculty Will Share Visions of Robots, A.I., and Big Data at "Summer Davos"

University Sending Large Delegation to World Economic Forum Conference in China

CoaXPress Frame Grabbers Speed Up Data Transfer in Medical Imaging Applications

Miniaturization and portability of imaging equipment is a major growth driver in the medical imaging market.

Toyota hires robotics expert for AI push

Richard Waters for FT.com:  Toyota has hired the top robotics expert from the US defence department’s research arm and promised $50m in extra funding for artificial intelligence research, as it steps up the race between the world’s biggest carmakers to pioneer new forms of computer-assisted driving.

However, the Japanese carmaker maintained on Friday that completely driverless cars were still years away, and that AI and robotics would have a more complex effect on the relationship between humans and their vehicles than Google’s experiments with “robot cars” suggest.

Gill Pratt, who stepped down recently from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa), will move to Silicon Valley to head Toyota’s robotics efforts, the company said. Darpa played a key role in stimulating interest in driverless cars with a competition in 2005 — the leader of the winning entry, Sebastian Thrun, who was then a professor at Stanford University, went on to found Google’s driverless car programme.  Cont'd...

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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.