Liquid Robotics, a Silicon Valley startup, has raised a $22 million round of funding to expand its fleet of self-propelled, solar-powered, ocean-going robots. Called Wave Gliders, the robots currently are roaming the worlds oceans to monitor oil and gas wells, keep tabs water quality in the Gulf of Mexico and gather data on the melting of Arctic icecaps, according to Bill Vass, Liquid Robotics new chief executive. These Roombas-of-the-sea deploy fins that tap the up-and-down movement of waves to propel themselves through the ocean while solar panels power the Wave Gliders sensor and communications arrays. The base model costs $100,000 and Liquid Robotics has deployed nearly 100 Wave Gliders over the past year-and-a-half that have racked up 150,000 miles of ocean travel, according to the company.
IEEE Robotics and Automation Society have awarded the 2011 Pioneer in Robotics and Automation Award to Dr. Mark W. Spong for his innovative contribution to the field of robotics. The Pioneer Award was aimed at honoring persons who have explored new areas of engineering, development or research that played a major role in the growth of robotics and automation. The society selected Spong for his original contributions in the field of robotic control and teleoperators. He has also made significant contributions in the field of robotics education. Spong has authored and co- authored numerous research papers in the robotics field. Californias Jet Propulsion Laboratory and New Mexicos Sandia National Labs have utilized systems based on the theoretical fundamentals of robot control established by Spong. The results of his work over the past 30 years have been applied in systems used by R&D facilities and companies worldwide.
At LIGNA 2011, KUKA Roboter GmbH is presenting the new QUANTEC product generation, the KUKA.WorkVisual software platform and the KR C4 robot controller, which is set to simplify automation in the wood industry.
Schneider Packaging Equipment Co., Inc., specializing in end-of-line solutions for case packing and palletizing needs, is honored to announce Chris Hoover and William Carolan have successfully completed training and received professional certifications from Fanuc Robotics. Chris Hoover received Fanuc Certified Service Engineer certification, and William Carolan received Fanuc Master Service Engineer certification, Fanucs highest level of engineering certification.
Bombardier Aerospace today announced that it expects to achieve predictable repeatability and enhanced quality while preventing ergonomic issues on the production line for the CSeries aircraft by using six 12-ton (10.89 metric ton) robots in the assembly of the cockpit and fuselage of the jetliner. In addition, the company also expects to reduce by more than 40 hours the cycle time needed to assemble the aircraft.
Rosie the robot maid may not remain a 'Jetsons' fantasy for too much longer. MIT computer scientists have honed a decision-making process that may help robots juggle diverse chores such as preparing dinner or loading laundry into the washing machine. That means getting robots to do advance planning to accomplish their goals, but not planning out each step in such detail as to leave robots without room for flexibility. It's similar to how humans know how to get to the airport early and check in to board a plane, but don't plan their exact walking routes through the airport. "Were introducing a hierarchy and being aggressive about breaking things up into manageable chunks," said Tomas Lozano-P©rez, co-director of MITs Center for Robotics. The MIT approach creates a rough timeline of what robots may need to do, but plans detailed moves for only the first few steps. That may not be as efficient as a robot that follows a set of detailed commands like a choreographed ballet to tackle the household chores, but it allows for the unknowns
StĂ¤ubli Robotics, manufacturers of high speed and precision robots for industrial applications, was a major attraction at this years AUTOMATE show in Chicago. Among the highlights at the StĂ¤ubli booth was a raffle for a complete RS40B CS8C 4-axis SCARA robot system, which went to lucky winner Dorothy Williams from Kellogg Company.
Schneider Packaging Equipment Co., Inc., specializing in end-of-line solutions for case packing and palletizing needs, has appointed two new personnel effective immediately.
Moog Inc. (NYSE: MOG.A and MOG.B) announced today that it has acquired Animatics Corporation. The purchase price is approximately $25 million consisting of 467,749 shares of Moog Class A stock (based on a 30 day average price of $42.76) and $5 million in cash. Animatics, founded in 1987, is a leading supplier of SmartMotorâ„˘ servo motors and linear actuators used in industrial applications. Animatics had trailing 12 month revenues of $15 million.
The X PRIZE Foundation and the LEGO Group today announced MoonBots 2.0: A Google Lunar X PRIZE LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Challenge.
Automated assembly lines from KUKA Systems outfit Canadas largest solar panel plant
According to a new market research report, "Global Machine Vision and Vision Guided Robotics Market (2010 - 2015)", published by MarketsandMarkets (www.marketsandmarkets.com), the total global machine vision system and component market is expected to be worth 15.3 billion USD by 2015, out of which the camera & smart camera will account for nearly 27.3% of the total revenues. The global market is expected to record a CAGR of 9.3% from 2010 to 2015.
North American robotics companies enjoyed their best opening quarter since 2007, according to new statistics released by Robotic Industries Association (RIA), the industry's trade group.
Active Silicon announces the first in a new line of high-speed frame grabbers.
PhillieBot for Cy Young? It's unlikely. But the one-armed, three-wheeled robot, designed by engineers at the University of Pennsylvania, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Wednesday's game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers as part of Science Day festivities at Citizens Bank Park, said Evan Lerner, a spokesman for Penn's engineering school. The pitching robot has been in the makings for a month and a half as Penn engineers Jordan Brindza and Jamie Gewirtz assembled parts and wrote software in their spare time, Lerner said. They started with a Segway, gave it a robotic arm and added a third wheel. They also gave it a pneumatic cylinder, which delivers a burst of compressed carbon dioxide to power the pitch. The robot's computer brain can be tweaked to change pitch velocity and trajectory. On Monday, Brindza and Gewirtz took PhillieBot out to the mound for its final test, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. After the press of a button, the robot's mechanical arm reared back and then moved toward home plate; at the top of its delivery, it flicked its mechanical "wrist" and shot the ball forward. The ball appeared to be traveling no more than 30 or 40 miles an hour, the Inquirer reported. But that was by design, since the Phillies didn't want the pitch approaching Major League speeds.
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