Beginners Tutorial: Autonomous Robot Control Theory

From Nick McCrea at Toptal: In this article, I’m going to describe the control scheme of my simulated robot, illustrate how it interacts with its environment and achieves its goals, and discuss some of the fundamental challenges of robotics that I encountered along the way... ( full article )

Robotic Biopsy System Drives the Point Home

Compact, high-torque motors precisely control biopsy needle to improve speed, efficiency, and radiation exposure.

Unbounded Robotics to Shut Down Due to Issues With Willow Garage Spin-Off Agreement

From Evan Ackerman at IEEE Spectrum: IEEE Spectrum has learned that Unbounded Robotics, a spin-off of Willow Garage that developed the UBR-1 mobile manipulator, is currently "in the process of shutting down." The UBR-1 is no longer for sale. Recently, a source (who asked not to be named) forwarded us an email from Unbounded Robotics CEO Melonee Wise. Our source received the message after requesting a quote for a UBR-1 robot: "Unfortunately Unbounded Robotics is in the process of shutting down due to issues with our Willow Garage spin off agreement that prevents us from raising series A investment. Unbounded Robotics is no longer selling the UBR-1.... ( cont'd )

Upcoming Tradeshow, Conference & Exhibition Summary - September, October, November

Back to school and back to work with the tradeshow schedule for the Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing industry heating up. This year RoboticsTomorrow has setup a special newspage devoted to news and announcements from International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS 2014) taking place beginning of September.

Vacuum-based Bag Handling

Traditionally, vacuum-based bag handling systems have been marred by problems to the extent that it has been almost impossible to use them.

Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge 2014

Introduction: This challenge evaluates algorithms for object detection and image classification at large scale. This year there will be two competitions: A  PASCAL-style  detection challenge on fully labeled data for 200 categories of objects, and An image classification plus object localization challenge with 1000 categories. NEW: This year all participants are encouraged to submit object localization results; in past challenges, submissions to classification and classification with localization tasks were accepted separately.One high level motivation is to allow researchers to compare progress in detection across a wider variety of objects -- taking advantage of the quite expensive labeling effort. Another motivation is to measure the progress of computer vision for large scale image indexing for retrieval and annotation... ( rules and results )  New York Times article: Started in 2010 by Stanford, Princeton and Columbia University scientists, the Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge this year drew 38 entrants from 13 countries. The groups use advanced software, in most cases modeled loosely on the biological vision systems, to detect, locate and classify a huge set of images taken from Internet sources like Twitter. The contest was sponsored this year by Google, Stanford, Facebook and the University of North Carolina. Contestants run their recognition programs on high-performance computers based in many cases on specialized processors called G.P.U.s, for graphic processing units. This year there were six categories based on object detection, locating objects and classifying them... ( cont'd )

Digital Design using CAD/CAM for Innovative Robotic Design

With 3D CAD software, designers can actually simulate a robot's capabilities by reviewing how the robot's construction will be effected by the selected materials.

Why I Automate - This Robot is Changing How We Cure Diseases

The benefits of automating a medical research lab include sifting through massive amounts of data in a short period of time.

T100 Underwater Thruster Designed for Marine Robotics

From BlueRobotics' Kickstarter: An efficient, rugged, affordable underwater thruster to propel the future of marine robotics and ocean exploration. ( $100 dollars a thruster, est delivery Nov 2014 ) The T100 is made of high-strength, UV resistant polycarbonate injection molded plastic. The core of the motor is sealed and protected with an epoxy coating and it uses high-performance plastic bearings in place of steel bearings that rust in saltwater. Everything that isn’t plastic is either aluminum or high-quality stainless steel that doesn’t corrode. A specially designed propeller and nozzle provides efficient, powerful thrust while active water-cooling keeps the motor cool. Unlike other thrusters, our design doesn’t have any air- or oil-filled cavities - water flows freely through all parts of the motor while it's running. That means it can go deep in the ocean and handle extreme pressures. The thruster is easy to use: just connect the three motor wires to any brushless electronic speed controller (ESC) and you can control it with an RC radio or a microcontroller. It's usable with Arduino, ArduPilot, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, and many other embedded platforms... ( kickstarter )

Coding & Marking Challenges: Common Industrial Print Techniques and Their Challenges

If a barcode or marking is unreadable, it can result in recalls, unhappy customers, and even fines. It is important to identify these issues early by implementing regular checks and verification to ensure quality.

Self-Folding Origami Robot Goes From Flat to Walking in Four Minutes

From IEEE Spectrum: Printable, self-folding robot created by Harvard and MIT researchers... ( IEEE Spectrum story ) ( full paper )

Hitchbot is Halfway Across its Canadian Journey

From hitchBOT's page: I am hitchBOT — a robot from Port Credit, Ontario. I am traveling from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Victoria, British Columbia this summer. As you may have guessed, robots cannot get driver’s licences yet, so I’ll be hitchhiking my entire way... ( cont'd )

Nvidia Jetson TK1 Development Kit

Features ( $192 ): Tegra K1 SOC Kepler GPU with 192 CUDA cores 4-Plus-1 quad-core ARM Cortex A15 CPU 2 GB x16 memory with 64 bit width 16 GB 4.51 eMMC memory 1 Half mini-PCIE slot 1 Full size SD/MMC connector 1 Full-size HDMI port 1 USB 2.0 port, micro AB 1 USB 3.0 port, A 1 RS232 serial port 1 ALC5639 Realtek Audio codec with Mic in and Line out 1 RTL8111GS Realtek GigE LAN 1 SATA data port SPI 4MByte boot flash Dr. Dobbs has an in depth look here .

Ino: Command Line Toolkit for Arduino Hardware

Ino tools webpage : Ino is a command line toolkit for working with Arduino hardware It allows you to: Quickly create new projects Build a firmware from multiple source files and libraries Upload the firmware to a device Perform serial communication with a device (aka serial monitor) Ino may replace Arduino IDE UI if you prefer to work with command line and an editor of your choice or if you want to integrate Arduino build process to 3-rd party IDE. Ino is based on  make  to perform builds. However Makefiles are generated automatically and you’ll never see them if you don’t want to. Features Simple. No build scripts are necessary. Out-of-source builds. Directories with source files are not cluttered with intermediate object files. Support for  *.ino  and  *.pde  sketches as well as raw  *.c  and  *.cpp . Support for Arduino Software versions 1.x as well as 0.x. Automatic dependency tracking. Referred libraries are automatically included in the build process. Changes in  *.h  files lead to recompilation of sources which include them. Pretty colorful output. Support for all boards that are supported by Arduino IDE. Fast. Discovered tool paths and other stuff is cached across runs. If nothing has changed, nothing is build. Flexible. Support for simple ini-style config files to setup machine-specific info like used Arduino model, Arduino distribution path, etc just once. ( Homepage )  

REMUS SharkCam: The Hunter and the Hunted

From Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's Vimeo page: In 2013, a team from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution took a specially equipped REMUS "SharkCam" underwater vehicle to Guadalupe Island in Mexico to film great white sharks in the wild. They captured more than they bargained for. Additional article in  Oceanus Magazine.

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Industrial Robotics - Featured Product

Universal Robots - Collaborative Robot Solutions

Universal Robots - Collaborative Robot Solutions

Universal Robots is a result of many years of intensive research in robotics. The product portfolio includes the UR5 and UR10 models that handle payloads of up to 11.3 lbs. and 22.6 lbs. respectively. The six-axis robot arms weigh as little as 40 lbs. with reach capabilities of up to 51 inches. Repeatability of +/- .004" allows quick precision handling of even microscopically small parts. After initial risk assessment, the collaborative Universal Robots can operate alongside human operators without cumbersome and expensive safety guarding. This makes it simple and easy to move the light-weight robot around the production, addressing the needs of agile manufacturing even within small- and medium sized companies regarding automation as costly and complex. If the robots come into contact with an employee, the built-in force control limits the forces at contact, adhering to the current safety requirements on force and torque limitations. Intuitively programmed by non-technical users, the robot arms go from box to operation in less than an hour, and typically pay for themselves within 195 days. Since the first UR robot entered the market in 2009, the company has seen substantial growth with the robotic arms now being sold in more than 50 countries worldwide.