The total process of building a robot is first to identify a need, then defining the problem that must be overcome to accomplish the need.
Enter the discipline of haptics, which involves using robotics with sophisticated feedback and controls to simulate a tactile experience for the user.
From Ian Lenz, Honglak Lee, Ashutosh Saxena: Abstract We consider the problem of detecting robotic grasps in an RGB-D view of a scene containing objects. In this work, we apply a deep learning approach to solve this problem, which avoids time-consuming hand-design of features. This presents two main challenges. First, we need to evaluate a huge number of candidate grasps. In order to make detection fast and robust, we present a two-step cascaded system with two deep networks, where the top detections from the first are re-evaluated by the second. The first network has fewer features, is faster to run, and can effectively prune out unlikely candidate grasps. The second, with more features, is slower but has to run only on the top few detections. Second, we need to handle multimodal inputs effectively, for which we present a method that applies structured regularization on the weights based on multimodal group regularization. We show that our method improves performance on an RGBD robotic grasping dataset, and can be used to successfully execute grasps on two different robotic platforms... ( homepage ) ( full pdf paper )
Crowd Funding Projects include - CONTROLLINO PLC: First open programmable Open-Source PLC (Arduino-Compatible) / Scrobby Solar: Keeping your solar panels clean! / IR-LOCK: infrared target tracking for Drones & DIY Robotics
Since the operator can work in the robot's workspace even when the robot is still in motion at full speed, there is much more collaboration between the operator and robot.
From french quad racing association Airgonay :
Combining magnetic field immunity with high precision motion over inches of travel, piezo "leg" motors walk the line.
From Harvard Biodesign Lab: The Soft Robotics Toolkit is a collection of shared resources to support the design, fabrication, modeling, characterization, and control of soft robotic devices. The toolkit was developed as part of educational research being undertaken in the Harvard Biodesign Lab. The ultimate aim of the toolkit is to advance the field of soft robotics by allowing designers and researchers to build upon each other’s work. The toolkit includes an open source fluidic control board, detailed design documentation describing a wide range of soft robotic components (including actuators and sensors), and related files that can be downloaded and used in the design, manufacture, and operation of soft robots. In combination with low material costs and increasingly accessible rapid prototyping technologies such as 3D printers, laser cutters, and CNC mills, the toolkit enables soft robotic components to be produced easily and affordably... ( project's homepage )
Lightweight, high-efficiency servomotors stabilize and position sensor turrets on unmanned aerial vehicles.
From Evan Ackerman at IEEE Spectrum: The video below has four parts to it: the first shows the difference between the robotic octopus swimming with just flexible arms, and swimming with just flexible arms in addition to a web. The most obvious difference is the speed: just over 100 millimeters per second with arms only, and up to 180 mm/s (or 0.5 body lengths per second) with the web. This is a significant increase, obviously, but what's more important is the overall cost of transport (CoT), which is a measure of the efficiency of the robot (specifically, the ratio of the energy put in over the resulting speed). The CoT for the arms-only version is 0.85, whereas the web drops that down to 0.62. So yeah, having that web in there is better in almost every way... ( cont'd )
Watching a form-fill-seal machine in operation is rather fascinating. It looks so easy, but the precision technology needed to ensure that bag after bag is being filled without breaking, or its intended content being misdirected and wasted, is far from simple.
From Nixie's homepage: Nixie is a tiny wearable camera on a wrist band. The wrist straps unfold to create a quadcopter that flies, takes photos or video, then comes back to you... ( cont'd )
Robotmaster Software Is Used To Create An Automated Way Of Producing Custom Orthotics Using Milling Robots
Our simplified working procedure imports the unique patient 3D model into a preprogrammed production design strategy that takes account of all the pertinent milling and robot articulation data.
From Clive Thompson: A few weeks ago I got duped by a robot. In the mail. I was sifting through my dead-tree postal mail and tossing junk in the recycling bin. Nearly everything that arrives in my mailbox is junk, so I was tossing, tossing, tossing … until suddenly, whoops: A hand-addressed letter. This looked legit, so I ripped it open — only to find it was an oily invitation to take out a second mortgage on my home. I’d been fooled... ( cont'd )
There are obviously many outstanding issues to be dealt with, but given the momentum of progress in this area, and the number of vehicles being added to the highways every day, the future might just link us all with intelligent highways.
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IPR Robotics offers a wide range of servo-driven 7th axis linear rails for industrial robots. These rails come in ten different sizes and are constructed from modular high strength extruded aluminum sections to handle payloads of 100 kg to 1600 kg or from steel to handle 2000 kg payloads. This variety of rail sizes allows each application to be sized correctly, controlling the space required and the price point. The drive train design of these rails utilizes helical gear-racks and is proven over 10 years to be repeatable and reliable, even in tough foundry applications.