DARPA Announces Winners of Virtual Robotics Challenge (VRC)

The goal of the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) is to generate groundbreaking research and development so that future robotics can perform the most hazardous activities in future disaster response operations, in tandem with their human counterparts, in order to reduce casualties, avoid further destruction, and save lives. Disaster response robots require multiple layers of software to explore and interact with their environments, use tools, maintain balance and communicate with human operators. In the Virtual Robotics Challenge (VRC), competing teams applied software of their own design to a simulated robot in an attempt to complete a series of tasks that are prerequisites for more complex activities. Twenty-six teams from eight countries qualified to compete in the VRC, which ran from June 17-21, 2013. DARPA had allocated resources for the six teams that did best, but in an interesting twist, good sportsmanship and generosity will allow members of the top nine teams, listed below, to move forward: Team IHMC, Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, Pensacola, Fla. (52 points) WPI Robotics Engineering C Squad (WRECS), Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Mass. (39 points) MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. (34 points) Team TRACLabs, TRACLabs, Inc., Webster, Texas (30 points) JPL / UCSB / Caltech, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. (29 points) TORC, TORC / TU Darmstadt / Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va. (27 points) Team K, Japan (25 points) TROOPER, Lockheed Martin, Cherry Hill, N.J. (24 points) Case Western University, Cleveland, Ohio (23 points) 

Kinect 2.0 for Windows Developer Kit Program Preorder

You can apply to take part in the Kinect for Windows developer kit program. This program, which begins in November 2013, will provide developers with tools and a pre-release sensor as soon as possible so they can start building new applications before general availability in 2014. The program fee will be US$399 (or local equivalent) and offers the following benefits: Direct access to the Kinect for Windows engineering team via a private forum and exclusive webcasts Early SDK access (alpha, beta, and any updates along the way to release) Private access to all API and sample documentation A pre-release/alpha sensor A final, released sensor at launch There are a limited number of spots in the program. Applications must be completed by July 31, 2013, 9:00 A.M. (Pacific Time). Apply here .   For broad information about the new Kinect check out Wired's first look video .

MakerBot Sold To Stratasys

Bloomberg Businessweek : The 3D printing industry turned downright frothy Wednesday as Stratasys agreed to acquire the startup MakerBot for about $403 million. Founded in 1989, Stratasys is a 3D printing veteran used to selling large machines to industrial customers. Based in Brooklyn, MakerBot has operated on the opposite end of the spectrum, making $2,000 or so machines that can sit on a designer or consumer’s desk and print three-dimensional objects out of plastic using techniques not all that dissimilar from traditional inkjet printers.   The 3D printing industry has been consolidating as interest in the technology heats up. Stratasys acquired Objet, one of its main rivals, last year, while 3D Systems bought its rival Z Corp. The purchase of MakerBot could be seen as a lost opportunity for Hewlett-Packard, which many people in the 3D printing business have expected to enter the market, given its printing chops.   MakerBot will continue to operate independently. The company has been something of a grassroots player, getting its start on the back of open-source hardware designs and software. The company’s CEO and co-founder, Bre Pettis, has also served as the charismatic voice, more or less, of the 3D printing movement.

Robots Of The Chernobyl Disaster

IO9 has photos taken from an open air museum in the Ukraine that holds a bunch of robots used in the clean up of the Chernobyl disaster (1986). If you really want something heavy for Monday's breakfast---below is a documentary about the Russian soldiers, known as "biorobots", that sealed the reactor manually for the most part.

Where Has All the Training Gone?

While the CSS program is clearly a success, the company still would prefer to focus solely on manufacturing. They created the program to fill a void, and it means they will be able to promote from within their own ranks, but CSS would prefer not to take the place of educational institutions.

Online Robotics Certificate Program

The program is offered in an asynchronous format, which means you can study any time, any place. We also offer a "pay as you go" tuition option where students pay for each course as they complete it.

Robot Programming for the Future

Dynamic interaction with a robot programming software has never been easier but it did come at a cost. Our entire simulation framework had to be designed from ground up to allow for instantaneous interaction.

Muscle Bound Robot

Carbon nanotubes hold great promise for more efficient robotic muscles as well prosthetics. There are many other technologies that will benefit from carbon nanotubes, including nanotechnology, electronics, optics, and architecture because of their exceptional electrical properties, astonishing strength and effectiveness in heat conduction.

Can Robots Work Alongside Humans Safely?

The same technology that has provided value for warfighters can be brought into the commercial world to provide safety and efficiency for forklifts, golfcarts, lawnmowers and porters to carry your luggage in resorts and shopping carts that can follow or lead you in retail stores.

iRobot And Cisco's Ava 500 Telepresence

Linkbot Modular Robotic Platform Kickstarter

Kickstarter : Each robot has three buttons for user interface and a 3-axis accelerometer. The brain behind all these features is the ATmega128RFA1 by Atmel, running at 16MHz. It integrates an 8-bit AVR microcontroller with an 802.15.4-compliant and ZigBee-capable radio transceiver operating in the 2.4GHz band. Out of the box, it communicates at 250kbps over the air, but with custom firmware you can enable speeds of up to 2Mbps for an 8X increase in throughput.   Atmel AVR Microcontroller: Compatible with Arduino so you can re-flash with your own firmware using the on-board bootloader ZigBee-Capable Radio: Communicate wirelessly with an 802.15.4-compliant radio, create mesh networks, control and monitor remotely Multi-Color (RGB) LED: Select from a full spectrum of colors 3-Axis Accelerometer: Detect free-falls, bumps, tilt angles Buzzer: Play notes or complete tunes, give audio responses to inputs RJ11 (6P4C) Expansion Connector: Use a standard phone cable to connect our Bluetooth/breakout boards or your own electronics to your Linkbot's power and I2C bus 3x Buttons - Easily control Linkbot modes and functions or write custom functions for button presses Micro-USB Connector: Connect to a computer or charger with a standard Micro-USB cable Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery: Run your Linkbot for over 3 hours for most applications before having to charge High Torque:Weight-ratio Motors: Light-but-strong motors produce up to 100oz-in of torque Absolute Encoding: Precisely control and measure speeds and angles down to 0.5 degrees BaroboLink Software: Graphical interface lets you run programs, actuate motors and read sensors on your computer Polycarbonate Housing: Super-durable, drop-tested from second-story building (not recommended) so it can handle your demanding projects SnapConnector Mounting Surfaces: Quickly connect and remove wheels, connecting plates, grabbers, even multiple Linkbots; or connect your own accessories with standard screws

Romo - Robot Powered by a SmartPhone

Romo is an adorable miniature robot that harnesses the powerful processor in your smartphone, making him an affordable personal robot you'll want to take home to your family.

Rethink Robotics' Baxter and Universal Robots UR5 and UR10 are Succeeding

Low-cost robots are marching into Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

What is the best way to explore Mars?

No matter how we look at it, robots are the logical choice at this time to explore the red planet and as we make robots more autonomous, they will be better at their assignments than humans.

A Conversation with Henri Seydoux, CEO of Parrot

The success of the AR.Drone and now the AR.Drone 2 has proven Henri's conviction that there is a large consumer market for this type of entertainment product and that there are other related high-potential markets on the horizon.

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Industrial Robotics - Featured Product

Festo - Complete Mechatronics Motion Solutions

Festo - Complete Mechatronics Motion Solutions

Mechatronic Motion Solutions from Festo is a unique system of components, modules, and software. It integrates all types of pneumatic, servopneumatic and (electro)mechanical automation motion and combines them according to your task. Irrespective of the control system environment you use, Mechatronic Motion Solutions always provides the appropriate interfaces. The fingers can be actively moved and their strength amplified; the operator's hand movements are registered and transmitted to the robotic hand in real time. The objectives are to enhance the strength and endurance of the human hand, to extend humans' scope of action and to secure them an independent lifestyle even at an advanced age.