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.

Disney Research Papers On Robotics

Disney Research has published a bunch of papers related to robotics. Topics covered include biped robot to maintain balance and walk on a rolling ball , playing catch and juggling with a humanoid robot , siting and standing , and using a swarm of mobile illuminated robots to coordinate and form images .

Face of the Future

Micro drives gives humanoid service robots human traits.

Interview with Michael Walker, CMO of Bossa Nova Robotics

Consumer robotics is the next big frontier. Military, academic, and industrial robotics are thriving segments due to an abundance of financial resources and clear cut cost benefits in costs, safety and efficiency. Small businesses will start to have access to technology that was only available to larger enterprises (e.g. manufacturing, warehousing robots).

Making Robots More Human

Sensing is very important for robots to perform the functions that they were developed to execute. Sensing capabilities, such as sight, touch, and hearing are making robots appear more human. These capabilities are available because of algorithms that require feedback.

Interview With William Lovell, CEO of c-Link Systems

Non-programming users will buy and use the product because they can move or modify a picture, very intuitive. We use a graphical system on Forager for doing dry stack wall layout. I have looked at Grasshopper and will be evaluating the immediate use in the M18-Arm line for both class and commercial applications.

Case Study: Fairfield Manufacturing

The system is being used during all three shifts of the workday and has successfully deburred over 300 different parts. The custom software has stored all of the part recipes and can be instantly recalled when that part is run in the future.

Lehmann Aviation's LA100 UAV

Lehmann Aviation's LA100 is a fully autonomous UAV designed to capture 5 minutes of flight at the height of 80m-100m using a mounted GoPro camera. Camera can be mounted on the top of the wing for Oblique images (Hero, Hero2 or Hero3) or at the bottom of the wing for Vertical images (Hero3). You can also choose to fly with 2 cameras at the same time.

Noam Chomsky on Where Artificial Intelligence Went Wrong

Lengthy Atlantic interview with linguist Noam Chomsky on the state of AI and the use of statistical models. The interview can be read here and a detailed overview and reply by Director of Research at Google, Peter Norvig is  here .

ST Robotics Offers 11-Axis Tandem Robot System for under $20,000

ST Robotics announced today the latest addition to their R12 robot product line, the Tandem R125, a low cost two-armed robot system. Including the programmable carousel, ST Robotics' Tandem R125 robot has a total of 11 axes. The entire system is available for less than $20,000 and includes everything to get up and running: the two R12 five-axis robot arms mounted on the carousel, two K11R controllers, RoboForth II software, intuitive teach pad, simple interfacing with other equipment, cables, manuals, a two-year warranty and unlimited free technical support.

11 Ways to Increase OEE and Productivity

By robotically automating one or more elements of the assembly or packaging line, manufacturers can increase productivity and OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) while enjoying a low total cost of operation (TCO) and quick return on investment (ROI).

Robots in Architecture

There are various factors that make industrial robots such suitable tools for architects, and designers. Especially since architectural projects often require the fabrication of large, complex, three dimensional elements.

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