Changing Automation with Sensitive Robots

Critics of automation claim robots are out to replace people. The near future will show that people are definitely in control and will be able to leverage technology for greater profitability and professional satisfaction.

Communicating Cars the Future?

If uninterrupted conversations between cars make driving safer, then self-driving cars will become safer as well.


From iaac: Minibuilders was conceptualized as a community of three modestly sized robots which were tasked with very specific jobs that aggregated to a large scale operation. Each robot completes its programmed job in sequence to fully construct an automated, inhabitable structure... (full article)

Why I Automate: MPI Systems

The latest figures show that 179,000 industrial robots were sold worldwide in 2013, according to the International Federation of Robotics. That was a 12 percent jump over 2012. The increase is expected to continue when the final numbers are tallied for 2014.

Boston Dynamics' Spot

From Boston Dynamics' Youtube page: Spot is a four-legged robot designed for indoor and outdoor operation. It is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. Spot has a sensor head that helps it navigate and negotiate rough terrain. Spot weighs about 160 lbs. At this time Boston Dynamics hasn't released any additional info.  

The Art of Electronics Third Edition Coming In April

From Paul Horowitz & Winfield Hill: 3rd Edition Description At long last, here is the thoroughly revised and updated third edition of the hugely successful Art of Electronics. It is widely accepted as the best single authoritative book on electronic circuit design. In addition to new or enhanced coverage of many topics, the Third Edition includes: 90 oscilloscope screenshots illustrating the behavior of working circuits; dozens of graphs giving highly useful measured data of the sort that's often buried or omitted in datasheets but which you need when designing circuits; 80 tables (listing some 1650 active components), enabling intelligent choice of circuit components by listing essential characteristics (both specified and measured) of available parts. The new Art of Electronics ​​retains the feeling of informality and easy access that helped make the earlier editions so successful and popular. It is an indispensable reference and the gold standard​​ for anyone, student or researcher, professional or amateur, who works with electronic circuits. Over 450,000 copies sold of first and second editions The leading practical guide to circuit design Fully up to date and packed with valuable advice Preorder at amazon .

Quirkbot: Arduino Platform For Building Things Out Of Straws

From Quirkbot's  kickstarter page : Quirkbot is a microcontroller toy that anyone can program.It is compatible with the open construction toy  Strawbees  and can be used along with readily available materials like regular drinking straws, LEDs, and hobby servos (motors) to create a wide variety of hackable toys suitable for anyone aged 10+.

European Research Consortium Collaborates to Develop Unmanned Robot to Manage Vineyards

A European research consortium comprising Spanish, French, Italian and German universities and companies is working on the development of an unmanned robot, equipped with non-invasive advanced sensors and artificial intelligence systems, which will help manage vineyards.

Raspberry Pi 2

From Raspberry Pi Foundation: Let’s get the good stuff out of the way above the fold. Raspberry Pi 2 is now on salefor $35 (the same price as the existing Model B+), featuring: A 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU (~6x performance) (Broadcom BCM2836) 1GB LPDDR2 SDRAM (2x memory) Complete compatibility with Raspberry Pi 1 In stock now at element14 . From Microsoft: We’re excited to announce that we are expanding our Windows Developer Program for IoT by delivering a version of Windows 10 that supports Raspberry Pi 2. This release of Windows 10 will be free for the Maker community through the Windows Developer Program for IoT... ( sign up page )

Winner of the AAAI Video Competition People's Choice Award

Mario Lives! An Adaptive Learning AI Approach for Generating a Living and Conversing Mario Agent: Also Robohub has links to the rest of AAAI videos here .

Robots Explore Dangerous Mines with Novel Sensor Fusion Technology

The 3D Riegl scanning laser range finder and an Acumine 2D scanning millimeter wave radar were transported on Husky and used to record video footage and densely sampled data sets. The data is being submitted to the International Journal of Robotics Research to ensure that this insight and information is available to the robotics community.

SAM Robotic Surrogate Operator

From AkihabaraNews and Robohub: Conceptually, it’s quite simple: joysticks, knobs, and switches manipulated on a custom radio controller direct the flexing and relaxing of pneumatic “artificial muscles” arranged along “arms and legs” that attach to a vehicle’s pedals and levers. When actuated, the robot replicates a human body’s controlling movements. Kowa Tech claims the system delivers input strength equal to that of human limbs and an overall operational capability 80% that of in-vehicle operation (with gains expected as the system matures). The 3-piece modular robot is weather and vibration-proof, weighs only about 30 kg (66 lbs.), easily installs in under 30 minutes, and can be removed in half that time. Current prototypes are operable from up to 200m, and commercial models are expected to reach 1 kilometer. Rounded out with video monitoring for an in-vehicle perspective, in theory ActiveRobo SAM is a near-comprehensive surrogate operator. Most of their demos and testing have thus far been limited to excavator and other heavy equipment work, but the company hopes to eventually make the system adaptable to any vehicle... ( full article )

The Industrial Automation Exchange

New online tool connects manufacturers with industrial automation expertise, products

Anibit Online Graphical Programmer for the Pololu 3pi Robot

From Anibit: We have adapted a graphical programming environment for the Arduino known as "Blocklyduino" to be tailored to Pololu's 3Pi Robot Platform. Blocklyduino is itself an adaptation of Blockly, a software package for developers to create graphical programming environments. All of this is heavily inspired by Scratch and the MIT App inventor. If you are not familiar with those tools and watch to teach kids about programming, you really should check the out. Graphical Programming is a great introduction to programming for kids. and the Pololu 3Pi is a low cost, ready-made robot that kids love. As part part of our mission at Anibit to inspire and educate about robotics, we felt the need to bring the two together... ( Anibit link )

My 2015 Predictions: Big Deployments, Big Ideas and Big Problems Solved

I see three exciting and significant trends taking place right now that I think will begin to gain some very real traction in 2015.

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