Professor George Whitesides, Robert Shepherd and their colleagues from Harvard University have designed a prototype soft, agile robot capable of crawling and squeezing under obstacles current rigid robots are can't handle. The flexible robot motion is controlled by a series of chambers within the 'elastomer' layer that can be inflated with compressed air. The air is fed through tubes attached to the robot.
FroboMind is a conceptual architecture for field robots. The idea is to use the same generic architecture on all field robots and hereby maximizing efficiency, reliability, modularity, extendability and code reuse. FroboMind is open source and is implemented in Robot Operating System. The project includes ASuBot , a research project focusing on weeding in organic orchards, Armadillo , a tracked toolcarrier within precision navigation in row crops, Casmobot , a semi-autonomous slope mower, and Hortibot , a tool carrier capable of traversing a field of row crops.
Boeing video showing its Unmanned Little Bird helicopter landing autonomously on a trailer moving along a runway at speeds up to 15 knots. The test was part of a program with France's Thales and DCNS to demonstrate technology for unmanned VTOL deck landings and take-offs on moving ships.
Here is a video of some of the highlights from The International Micro Air Vehicle Conference and Competition held in September. The competition part of the conference required the tiny autonomous flying robots perform missions in at an indoor and outdoor tasks like collecting objects from within a structure, popping balloons or dropping objects in specific locations. A summary of all the aircrafts that participated are available in this pdf.
Ideas in Action is a weekly PBS program hosted by Jim Glassman. A recent episode focused on the future of the American economy and the role of intelligent computers and robots will play. His two guests were Martin Ford, author of "The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future" and Dr. Robin Hanson, Associate Professor of Economics at George Mason University. The entire episode is available here .
Joe Jones, a co-inventor of iRobot’s Roomba vacuum cleaning robot left iRobot to found Harvest Automation along with three other industry veterans. Their first product is a small wheeled robot that picks up potted plants and move them from place to place. For nurseries that grow or distribute ornamental plants these task are labor intensive and the growing demand makes finding the human labor required difficult. The robot is being tested now in a few nurseries and Wired has a more detailed article here .
A research project at Harvard aims to demonstrate an autonomous multi-robot systems capable of the construction of 3D structures. The hardware comprises a mobile robot and specialized passive blocks; the robot is able to manipulate blocks to build desired structures, and can maneuver on these structures as well as in unstructured environments. To illustrate the robot’s ability to perform complex tasks combining these functions, they demonstrate it autonomously building a ten-block structure significantly larger than itself. The full paper can be found here .
From the video its hard to tell what technology is behind this robot but heres the Google translation of the press release: Communication robots for the elderly "Nodding Kabochan SMILE SUPPLEMENT ROBOT" Launched mid-November! Pumpkin is not nodding, communication robots for the elderly in the shape of a little boy. The reaction of five sensors that are built, or nodding, He makes a variety of chat depending on the season. To take advantage of robot technology, the elderly, who also receive care, How to care for, and further engaged in the business who care, safe delivery and a smile will help to improve life.
Parallel-link robot deployments will continue to see strong growth as more and more operations across all industries embrace automation as a way to cut costs and stay completive. When light payloads and very fast cycle times are required, whether it be assembly, picking, dispensing, or any number of other applications, parallel-link robots will continue to meet the challenge.
Robotic machining has additionally introduced new possibilities for surface texturing on the stone surface, significantly adding to the aesthetics, presenting an innovative and pleasing artistic appearance. The textures would be difficult if not impossible to achieve by any other production process.
TX90 robots - Reliable staff for tough conditions in the food industry
ROSCon 2012 , the first ROS developer's conference is a weekend conference which will comprise of tech talks and tutorials that will introduce you to new ROS tools and libraries. The event takes place in St. Paul, Minnesota May 19-20, right after the 2012 IEEE international Conference on Robotics and Automation.
The Xtion Pro Live by ASUS is similar to Microsoft's Kinect hardware. The hardware includes a depth sensor, RGB camera and set of microphones. The device is aimed at development and is powered through the USB 2 connection rather than requiring an addition power connection like the Kinect. Its also slightly smaller than the Kinect. I Heart Robotics has received one and they have additional information here . Currently its only available for purchase directly from ASUS and is currently on backorder.
PETMAN is an anthropomorphic robot for testing chemical protection clothing. Unlike previous suit testers, which had to be supported mechanically and had a limited repertoire of motion, PETMAN will balance itself and move freely; walking, crawling and doing a variety of suit-stressing calisthenics during exposure to chemical warfare agents.
Objet Ltd. with be demonstrating their newest 3D Printer at Wired Magazine's inaugural conference in London. The Objet260 Connex is able to use 60 different materials and it can simultaneously build 14 different materials into a single model part with a 16-micron print layer accuracy.
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Simpler, stronger, and more precise. ATI Industrial Automation has developed a series of Manual Tool Changers that provides a cost-effective solution for quickly changing tools by hand. They feature a unique design that combines high strength, excellent repeatability, and a patent-pending screw-cam locking mechanism with multiple fail-safe features, which resists vibration and prevents loosening. These robust and compact Manual Tool Changers can handle payloads up to 80 pounds (36 kg) and pass pneumatics and electrical signals.