Why you should care about the Uncanny Valley

As the demand for human-like robots grows, the Uncanny Valley phenomenon will impact robot manufacturers and developers more and more. With populations aging in countries as diverse as China and the United Sates, roboticists will increasingly focus on social robots. They will ignore the Uncanny Valley at their own risk.

Application Case Study: Continental AG, Czech Republic Division

Smart Cameras Provide Additional Benefits to Auto ID Applications

The Camera Has Many Eyes

Coupled with computers and software, plenoptic cameras can enable a robot to better navigate its environment with less confusion and work autonomously. Robotic sensors, using light filed technology, match up to the human sense of sight, serving as a robot's eyes, allowing the robot to get around in its surroundings.

Interview - Video Quality for UAVs

Exceptional image quality, including the ability to transport this high-bandwidth video in real time, is absolutely essential to protecting our war fighters, as well as civilians who may be in harm's way.

TurtleBot 2 Coming Soon

ROSCon 2012 was held in St. Paul, Minnesota over the weekend. Willow Garage was showing off a prototype refresh of the TurtleBot. The biggest change is that the iRobot Create bases are being replaced by a new base designed by the South Korean company Yujin Robot. They are calling the new base Kobuki and it has a number of upgrades from the Create base. Changes include an odometry system, integrated gyroscope, large batteries, and access to all the hardware through a panel at the back of the base. Kobuki will also have the ability to use a self-charging dock that can feed power to both the base and the attached laptop make 24/7 operation possible. The Kobuki official site.

Honda UNI-CUB

Honda Motor Co. unveiled the new UNI-CUB personal mobility device. UNI-CUB features Honda's proprietary balance control technology and the world's first omni-directional driving wheel system (Honda Omni Traction Drive System). The technology thrown into the making of UNI-CUB comes from Honda's research into the ASIMO robot. The UNI-CUB allows the rider to control speed, move in any direction, turn and stop, all simply by shifting his or her weight. Since the rider can freely move forward, backward, side-to-side and diagonally. Starting in June 2012, Honda will jointly conduct demonstration testing of UNI-CUB with Japan's National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation.

Mission Impossible: Mining The Ocean

Working at extreme ocean depths presents a myriad of problems, which will still take years to overcome. To be truly successful, AUVs will have to be totally autonomous and free moving without the restraints of tethers. As we use up our resources on land, the oceans are the next frontier. The most important question is "How will ocean mining effect the environment?"

HyQ: Hydraulic Quadruped Robot

HyQ is a fully torque-controlled Hydraulically actuated Quadruped robot (pronounced [hai-kju:]) developed in the Department of Advanced Robotics at the IIT. HyQ is designed to move over rough terrain and perform highly dynamic tasks such as jumping and running with different gaits (up to 3-4m/s). To achieve the required high joint speeds and torques, a combination of hydraulic cylinders and electric motors are actuating the robot’s 12 active joints.

FDA and USDA Certified Robotic Food Processing Systems

A Review of Regulations and Considerations for Increasing Sanitation in Food Manufacturing Facilities

Case Study: Why American Packaging Chose Robots Over AGVs

The flexibility robots provide meets the wide variety and responsiveness required for the facility. With Seegrid robots they can train a new route and it can be operational within minutes. The robotic pallet trucks gave American Packaging the labor savings and safety solution they were looking for.

Interview - iRobot Military Applications

We are in the early stages of unmanned systems being used on the battlefield. While robots are being used in a growing number of missions, work continues on the research side to integrate new systems and capabilities to continually expand their value on the frontlines.

What is Redwood Robotics?

Travis Deyle at Hizook has some interesting info about Redwood Robotics, a Silicon Valley startup with backing from Willow Garage, Meka Robotics and SRI. The company has been in stealth mode for the past year but yesterday at an event in Menlo Park they announced the first real statement about their plans for the company. At the event Aaron Edsinger, who is CEO of Meka Robotics, said the goal of the new company would be: "To enable the personal and service robot markets through a new generation of robot arms that are simple to program, inexpensive, and safe to operate alongside people." Sounds like a smart plan. Be sure to read  Deyle's full post over at Hizook.

Stompy: A Giant Two Seat Spider Robot

The Artisans Asylum in Boston Massachusetts s a non-profit community craft studio. In their next robotics class their goals are fairly simple: build a car-sized two-person hexapod robot and ride it. What makes their plans different from the scribbling of every 12 year old who just found Japanese animation is that the guys teaching the class have worked on projects real projects like Boston Dynamics PETMAN, AlphaDog and BigDog. Hizook does a good job of summarizing what Artisans Asylum is and Stompy. The project is still in the conceptual stages but the team has a blog with some of the tests and presentations they've done so far.

Festo ExoHand

The ExoHand from Festo is an exoskeleton that can be worn like a glove. 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 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. .

Sensor Based Adaptive Arc Welding

Tactics and tips for solving arc welding problems using sensors and machine vision.

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