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Industrial Automation

143 Posts authored by: Cabe Atwell
An artist rendition of the LightSail 2 above Earth (Image credit: Josh Spradling / The Planetary Society)   Back in 2015, LightSail, the Planetary Society’s Carl Sagan inspired solar sailer, took flight. The kite-like aircraft was proposed as a way to guide satellites around space using energy from the sun instead of chemical fuel. The mission was a success proving the photon-powered craft was possible. Now, SpaceX is gearing up for round two. SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket will ...
  This isn’t the first time seeing robotic furniture or Ori Living’s furniture efforts. Glad something is on the way.   IKEA has started a collaborative effort with American furniture start-up company, Ori Living to develop a shape-shifting robotic furniture system called Rognan. The aim is to create a more suitable living environment in compact housing units and can be controlled through a touchpad, enabling the system to slide across a room, separating it into two space ...
Researchers used a team of AI agents with reinforcement learning to beat humans in capture the flag mode in Quake III. (Image credit: DeepMind)   Alphabet’s DeepMind AI has already beaten the best at Go, Shogi, and chess, and now Quake III can be added to its list of gaming achievements. The difference this time around, is that instead of just one player playing against another, it was team VS team in the popular first-person shooter’s capture the flag mode. In the game, teams ...
Researchers from Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a soft robot that could lead the way for robotic implementations for space exploration, biomimetics, medical surgery, search and rescue operations, rehabilitation and many more areas of interest.     The soft robot can be used in a wide range of applications and different fields including space exploration, medical studies and rehabilitation. (Image Credit: Bertoldi Lab / ...
Doggo, a robot that can do acrobatics comes at an affordable price Doggo can walk, trot, do backflips and even jump with ease and can prop itself back up if it loses its balance. (Image Credit: Stanford University)   Stanford's Extreme Mobility team has developed a four-legged robot that's capable of acrobatics, like backflips and can trot, dance, hop, jump up to 3.5 feet and even walk on rough terrain. The Stanford Doggo is available to anyone who can consult about comprehensive plan ...
The Skai eVTOL (electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing) vehicle can fly up to 4-hours, has a 400-mile range, and can seat up to five passengers. (Image credit: Skai press kit)   Alakai Technologies has recently announced the launch of Skai- a hydrogen-fueled eVTOL (electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing) vehicle, which looks like a cross between a drone and an SUV. The technology will allow the aircraft to shuttle up to five passengers (or a 1,000-pound payload) for up to four hours, at a ra ...
Maxar is set to build the power and propulsion element of the Lunar Gateway, which is based on the company’s SSL 1300 platform, which provides the flexibility to use a myriad of subsystems. (Image credit: Maxar via BusinessWire)   Colorado-based Maxar Technologies have announced NASA has contracted ($375-million) them to develop the power and propulsion element of the Lunar Gateway- a lunar orbital outpost that will allow astronauts to explore new locations all over the moon. Maxar&# ...
The satellites could not only obstruct our view of the universe, but they also make it harder for astronomers to observe far away objects. Starlink solar arrays capture and reflect sunlight making them easy to see from Earth at times. (Photo from SpaceX)   Aiming to create a low-cost high-performance satellite bus in an effort to implement a new space-based internet system, SpaceX’s Starlink is supposed to be good. Unfortunately, it could be problematic for astronomers. The Harvard-S ...
The NASA diagram outlines the Artemis mission set for establishing a permanent ‘Lunar Gateway’ on the moon. (Image credit: NASA via Ars Technica)   A leaked internal infographic from NASA outlines their ambitious journey to return astronauts to the moon in 2024, a series of landings shortly after, and an end-goal of establishing a permanent base on its surface by 2028. Known as project Artemis (twin sister of Apollo), the plan would use the moon station as a starting point for ...
On May 21, 2019, the United States Postal Service (USPS) granted a contract to a self-driving truck company, TuSimple, in an effort to carry out five round trips over a two-week time span. The goal is to deliver USPS trailers over 1,000 miles between Phoenix, Arizona and Dallas, Texas, where the distribution centers are located. A safety engineer and driver will be stationed inside the vehicle during the journey to monitor performance and o ensure public safety.   TuSimple's autonomous tr ...
Amazon will be deploying robotic machines to automate jobs already held by thousands of human workers in their warehouses. The robots can pack up hundreds of boxes per hour and can also wrap up packages that have been custom-built for each item. Even though each robot costs over a million dollars per unit, the company will expect to make up for costs in two years. Although they said robots will not replace workers in factories, they have made a revision.     Amazon has also conside ...
On May 7th 2019, Mack Trucks unveiled their long-awaited Mack LR battery electric vehicle (BEV) during the WasteExpo 2019 event. Coupling both the refuse design of the Mack LR model with an electric Mack drivetrain, the prototype will begin demonstrations in the busy streets of the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY).   Mack's electrically powered truck has many advantages that will make them a welcome addition. (Image Credit: Mack)   The Mack LR BEV runs on Mack's integ ...
The Asteroid they planned on impacting Earth. (Image credit: ESA Operations)   On April 29, 2019, space experts from NASA, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) created a simulation on a potential asteroid strike, creating experiments based on how to manage a disaster if one to ever occur. It took place at the yearly IAA Planetary Defense Conference and ran over five days, with a timeframe of eight years, but by the end, the simulation took a twist. ...
A Japanese startup company, Interstellar Technologies has successfully launched its experimental sounding rocket, "Momo" into orbit. The launch took place from a test site near Taiki on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido on May 4th. This was their third attempt with previous launches failing due to technical difficulties.   Interstellar Technologies' Momo-F3 mission was a complete success. (Image Credit: Kyodo News via AP) The Momo-F3 reached a peak altitude of 70.5 miles four minut ...
Drone transports organ to hospital for the first time A drone can now deliver organs to transplant donors at a hospital. (Image Credit: Mark Teske/University of Maryland School of Medicine)   Transporting organs to transplant patients will soon have a much different and more efficient route. A drone has already achieved this by delivery a kidney to a patient who had been waiting for nearly a decade for an organ donor. The kidney was transported on a 10 minute, 2.7-mile flight from Baltim ...