New Lego Mindstorm EV3 With Linux-based OS

At CES Lego announced their new Mindstorm EV3 robotics platform. The big changes are the improved processor, USB 2.0 WiFi dongle, and the switch from a proprietary OS to an open-source Linux-based OS. Below is the promo video but for further in-depth info read the rundown at The NXT STEP Mindstorm Blog .

NASA Kicks Off 2013 First Robotics Season With Live Broadcast Jan. 5

NASA Television will broadcast the annual FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Kickoff event on Saturday, Jan. 5, starting at 10:30 a.m. EST from Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester. The event also will be streamed live on NASA’s website. As in past years, NASA plays a significant role by providing public access to robotics programs to encourage young people to investigate careers in the sciences and engineering. Through the NASA Robotics Alliance Project, the agency provides grants for almost 250 teams and sponsors four regional student competitions, including a FIRST regional competition in Washington that will be held March 28-30. Each year, FIRST presents a new robotics competition scenario where each team receives an identical kit of parts and has six weeks to design and build a robot based on the team’s interpretation of the game scenario. Other than dimension and weight restrictions, the look and function of the robots is up to each individual team. This year more than 2,500 teams from 49 states, and 12 countries will participate.

Automate 2013

I want the attendees to understand that automation can help companies in every industry become stronger global competitors. This is true for companies of all sizes - automation isn't just for large companies. Automation is more affordable and easier to implement than ever before, which is why we're seeing fast growth in automation use around the world.

The Patent Grip Loosens

There has been a lot of gossip and more serious discussion within the healthcare devices industry about patents, their use in marketing strategy, their hindering product development, and their true value as intellectual property (IP).

Interview With Gard Van Antwerp Of Reis Robotics

A turnkey automation provider like Reis, with extensive experience in solar module manufacturing specifically, can help you derive the best configuration for your product and your business plan.

Interview with Jay Liew of Double Robotics

The Double is "wheels for your iPad". Imagine having a Skype video conversation with your grandma who lives across the country--but with the additional ability for you to independently "walk" around her home, and go to the kitchen to see what's she's cooking for dinner.

Interview with Larry Sweet, Chief Technology Officer of Symbotic

A typical highly productive "selector" uses a voice pick system that directs the robot to a pick location, where he selects the case and solves the three-dimensional puzzle to build the pallet - at a rate of 150 cases per hour, driving over a mile in the process!

60 Minutes Segment On Brain Controlled Robotic Limbs

New AlphaDog Field Test Footage

For the past two weeks, in the woods of central Virginia around Fort Pickett, the Legged Squad Support System (LS3) four-legged robot has been showing off its capabilities during field testing. Working with the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL), researchers from DARPA’s LS3 program demonstrated new advances in the robot’s control, stability and maneuverability, including "Leader Follow" decision making, enhanced roll recovery, exact foot placement over rough terrain, the ability to maneuver in an urban environment, and verbal command capability.

Machines Imitate Life

In an increasingly virtual world, the ability to simulate touch provides powerful advantages, for example allowing an online shopper to "feel" a shirt fabric. Enter the discipline of haptics, which involves using robotics with sophisticated feedback and controls to simulate a tactile experience for the user.

Interview With Nena Street, The Global Robotics Innovation Park

Our vision is that GRIP will serve as the central hub of the Upper Midwest robotics industry. The robotics industry offers a compelling regional economic development opportunity for the Upper Midwest.

Spherical Vehicle - Mechatronics Demonstrator

Complex position control, in combination with fast mechanical implementation of the necessary commands, represented a challenge to both developers and the integrated components.

New Arduino Esplora With Built-in Onboard Sensors

The Arduino Esplora is a microcontroller board derived from the Arduino Leonardo. The Esplora differs from all preceding boards in that it provides a number of built-in, ready-to-use set of onboard sensors for interaction. The Esplora has onboard sound and light output interfaces. It alos has the potential to expand its capabilities with two Tinkerkit input and output connectors, and a socket for a color TFT LCD screen. Like the Leonardo board, the Esplora uses an Atmega32U4 AVR microcontroller with 16 MHz crystal oscillator and a micro USB connection capable of acting as a USB client device, like a mouse or a keyboard.   The Esplora has the following on-board inputs and outputs : Analog joystick with central push-button  two axis (X and Y) and a center pushbutton. 4 push-buttons  laid out in a diamond pattern. Linear potentiometer  slider near the bottom of the board. Microphone  for getting the loudness (amplitude) of the surrounding environment. Light sensor  for getting the brightness. Temperature sensor  reads the ambient temperature Three-axis accelerometer  measures the board's relation to gravity on three axes (X, Y, and Z) Buzzer  can produce square-waves. RGB led  bright LED with Red Green and Blue elements for color mixing. 2 TinkerKit Inputs  to connect the TinkerKit sensor modules with the 3-pin connectors. 2 TinkerKit Outputs  to connect the TinkerKit actuator modules with the 3-pin connectors. TFT display connector  connector for an optional color LCD screen, SD card, or other devices that use the SPI protocol.

iRobot Co-founder's New Company And Product Unveiled

Helen Greiner left iRobot four years ago to start a new robotics company now called CyPhy Works. Their website has info on two of the robots they have been working on. The Extreme Access System for Entry (EASE) (pictured above)is a small hovering robot designed for inspection and ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) applications. EASE is intended for operating in close quarters, beyond line of sight, and in GPS denied areas; all of which are critical when performing search and rescue missions, building clearing, or civil infrastructure inspection. The EASE system consists of a lightweight ground control station (GCS) and a micro Vertical Takeoff and Land (VTOL) air vehicle. It is not dependent on a GPS signal for operation, making it not only effective as a micro UAS in the traditional sense, but also enables it to fly indoors and in confined spaces as effectively as it does in open spaces. It has unmatched endurance due to our patented microfilament technology that enables the use of hot-swappable batteries, which power the entire system from the base station. The fishing-line thin microfilament provides directly connected communication between the GCS and the air vehicle, as well as power. Unlike all other RF controlled UASs, the microfilament makes the EASE impervious to jamming while the microfilament is unaffected by water, power lines, etc.    ​ The Persistent Aerial Reconnaissance and Communications (PARC) system is designed to provide long term persistent stare capabilities and enable reliable long distance communications. PARC uses CyPhy Works' patented microfilament system to deliver extreme endurance, increased capabilities, and a smaller logistical footprint. PARC flies itself, so very little user training is required; and when operating the system the user can focus on the data that PARC produces, instead of the system itself. The PARC system consists of a Ground Control Station (GCS) and a purpose built quadrotor VTOL air vehicle. The PARC vehicle carries a gyro-stabilized, gimbal mounted, EO/IR camera payload. In addition to the camera system, PARC has additional payload capacity for communications devices. If additional payload capacity is required, the camera payload can be removed. The PARC vehicle can operate at altitudes of up to 1,000 feet above ground level, or 11,000 feet density altitude. This high altitude capability enables long distance communications and extends visual reach.

Liquid Robotics' Marine Robot Completes 9,000 Mile Record Breaking Journey

Liquid Robotics today announced the first Pacific Crossing (PacX) Wave Glider, "Papa Mau", completed its 9,000 nautical mile (16,668 kilometers) scientific journey across the Pacific Ocean to set a new world record for the longest distance traveled by an autonomous vehicle. Throughout his journey, Papa Mau navigated along a prescribed route under autonomous control collecting and transmitting unprecedented amounts of high-resolution ocean data never before available over these vast distances or timeframes. The Company is providing open access to this data as part of its PacX Challenge, a global competition seeking new ocean applications and research using the PacX data set.

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Intelligrated - Robotic integration capabilities

Intelligrated has deep experience implementing robotic solutions that work seamlessly with existing automated equipment and is recognized by the Robotic Industries Association as a certified robot integrator. The company's extensive robotic integration capabilities include solution development, design engineering and project management, complete manufacturing capabilities, installation and commissioning, and lifecycle support services.