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Robotics

14 Posts authored by: GardenState
  Former Skype co-founders Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis have announced the launch of a new company, Starship Technologies, which plans to introduce fleets of small, earthbound delivery robots for use by parcel delivery firms or local grocery stores. Starship’s concept is aimed at allowing retailers to ship their goods in bulk to a local hub, then use the robot fleet to complete the delivery to the shopper’s home at much less cost that today’s door-to-door delivery services. ...
Toyota Motor Corp.’s FCV Plus hydrogen-powered concept car. Toyota Motor Corporation has announced it will establish a new company, Toyota Research Institute Inc. (TRI), as an R&D enterprise with an initial focus on artificial intelligence and robotics. The headquarters will be located in Silicon Valley near Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. A second facility will be located near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The new company ...
Google test drone shown releasing a package.   A secretive “Google X” team has been working for two years on Project Wing, a drone-based delivery system not unlike the drones that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced last year.   But until yesterday we didn’t know what Google’s timeline was for the drone delivery service. Now Reuters has reported that during a lunchtime keynote address to the 60th ATCA (Air Traffic Control Association) Annual Conference, Dave Vos, wh ...
Without doubt the “Best in Show” concept at the 44th Tokyo Motor Show taking place this week is Yamaha’s motorcycle riding robot. Called MotoBot, the robot is shown in an impressive video cruising around an old, abandoned airfield, taking turns, twisting the throttle and tapping the clutch, all while remaining upright, Yamaha says its end goal is to have the robot ride an un-modified motorcycle on a track at more than 124 mph.  And not just any motorcycle: a big, powerful ...
(Photo Credit: SSL). Geostationary communications satellites can be very large, creating launch constraints.   Commercial satellite builder Space Systems/Loral (SSL) has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to study robotic assembly of geostationary communications satellites in orbit. Called Dragonfly, the program is designed to enable very large satellites that cannot be launched fully assembled (because the completed satellite will no ...
ReWalk Robotics Ltd. has unveiled the latest edition of its FDA-cleared, electric-powered exoskeleton system—the ReWalk Personal 6.0. ReWalk is a device invented by an Israeli scientist which allows paraplegics to walk again, offering those in the spinal cord injured community what the company claims is “the most functional exoskeleton system with the fastest walking speed and the most precise fit.”  A computer-controlled device that uses servos in the hips and knees to h ...
EasyJet, Europe’s second largest discount air carrier has successfully completed a trial for the use of automated drone technology to scan and inspect its planes, reporting on any damage that may require further attention or maintenance work. With the successful test, the airline plans to roll out the small unmanned aircraft to inspect aircraft for damage at its 10 engineering bases across Europe within the next year. These include London Luton, London Gatwick, Geneva, Basel, Berlin, Paris ...
Team Kaist’s DARPA Robotics Challenge winner DRC-HUBO completes the vehicle egress task The DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals competition was held Friday and Saturday at the Fairplex in Pomona, California. After years of research and development, several intense days of preparation at the competition site, a day of rehearsal and two full days of head-to-head competition the winner, taking the  $2 million in prize money that goes with it, was DRC-HUBO, the latest of the "HUmanoid rob ...
MIT researchers who previously built a robotic cheetah have now trained it to automatically detect and leap over multiple objects while it runs. The scientists claim it's the first four-legged robot to be able to do so. To get a running jump, the robot plans out its path, much like a human runner: As it detects an approaching obstacle, it estimates that object’s height and distance. The robot then gauges the best position from which to jump, and adjusts its stride to land just short of the ...
The DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) is a competition of hardware and software teams vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and man-made disasters.  Designed to be extremely difficult, the DRC Finals, which will take place from June 5-6, 2015 at Fairplex in Pomona, California (just east of downtown Los Angeles), will require robots to attempt a circuit of consecutive physical tasks, with reduced communications between the robots and their operators. The w ...
Last week a small group of about two dozen protestors supposedly representing an organization called “Stop the Robots” marched in front of the entrance to the annual South by Southwest tech festival taking place at the Austin Convention Center. The group came complete with picket signs proclaiming "humans are the future,"  they chanted "I say robot, you say no-bot," and they were wearing blue t-shirts with the inscriptions, "Stop the robots." and "Humans make mistakes.” ...
The Internet of Things (IoT) we’ve all been hearing about usually involves people wearing health monitoring bracelets or intelligent additions to the human ecosystem, such as smart lighting controls for the home and smart car systems in which sensors alert the driver when a vehicle wanders outside of its traffic lane. Less well known, but a very big new opportunity for the Internet of Things focuses on industrial infrastructure. Smart machines (or as General Electric has described the ...
Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space, was sent to the International Space Station with the intention of eventually taking over tasks too dangerous or mundane for astronauts, (see "Robonaut 2 on the ISS")  and the first such task identified for it was monitoring air velocity. Astronauts onboard the space station generally have to measure the air flow in front of vents inside the station to ensure that none of the ventilation ductwork gets clogged or blocked. The task involves holdin ...
Making things happen by themselves is easier said than done. To enable a robot to perform tasks as a result of acquiring its own inputs involves a wide variety of complementary disciplines including EE, Mechanical Engineering (ME), Computer Engineering and Real-Time Software and Control. Taken together, these fields of study comprise what is called mechatronics, a word that comes from "mecha" for mechanical and "tronics" for electronics. Ongoing advances and new developments in mechanical ma ...

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