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.
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.
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.
Complex position control, in combination with fast mechanical implementation of the necessary commands, represented a challenge to both developers and the integrated components.
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.
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 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 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 .
Micro drives gives humanoid service robots human traits.
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).
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.
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.
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 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.
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