By Erico Guizzo and Evan Ackerman for IEEE Spectrum: Today in Tokyo, Toyota announced that it is investing US $1 billion over the next five years to establish a new R&D arm headquartered in Silicon Valley and focused on artificial intelligence and robotics. The Toyota Research Institute (TRI) plans to hire hundreds of engineers to staff a main facility in Palo Alto, Calif., near Stanford University, and a second facility located near MIT in Cambridge, Mass. Former DARPA program manager Dr. Gill Pratt, an executive technical advisor at Toyota, was named CEO of TRI, which will begin operations in January. Toyota president Akio Toyoda said in a press conference that the company pursues innovation and new technologies “to make life better for our customers and society as a whole,” adding that he wanted to “work with Gill not just because he’s an amazing researcher and engineer, but because I believe his goals and motivations are the same as ours.” Cont'd...
Part 3 includes more bionic robots like the smartbird and a handler modeled after an elephant trunk.
More fascinating bionics projects from Festo.
Since 2006 Festo has been developing and supporting projects and test objects whose basic technical principles are derived from a wide variety of principles found in nature.
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Designed for assembly and inspection applications in the electronics equipment and automobile components industries, the THE600 SCARA is a powerful automation tool. Advancing from the specifications of the existing THE400 SCARA, the THE600 has been developed to meet growing demand for fast-cycle automation. The THE600 model includes improvements in synchronised control and tracking precision. The THE600 is compact in design and offers improved high speed, with 60 per cent higher payload capacity than competing SCARA models in the same price range, making it the price-to-performance leader. Affordable price, impressive performance.