Left Column Top Stories
Google’s Response to Apple’s Siri: Buy Cleversense
Posted 12/18/11 at 06:28 PM
... Cleversense, a learning AI with a natural language processing front-end - and the developer of the popular Alfred personal assistant app - has been sold to Google for an undisclosed amount.
... Fear that Apple’s Siri “could provide a new paradigm for searching the Web that circumvents Google’s search engine and ads” may be the reason.
... The first language processing front-end made available to developers by either Apple or Google will be a windfall for human-robot communication systems development.
Robots in the Kitchen: Sooner Than You Think
Posted 12/17/11 at 06:43 PM
... “James (a PR2 robot from Willow Garage) and Rosie (a custom lightweight two-armed robot from Kuka and DLR) aren’t specifically programmed with a “left, right, break egg, stir” type command set. They’re taught the ingredients for the dishes, and the order that things work in, and whether they need heating and so on. The robots then make all the decisions about adding items, mixing, turning on the stove and so on. Essentially they’re acting as very dim sous-chefs, and this hints at an exciting future of robotic home assistants that may be useful far ahead of when we’d been assuming.” Kit Eaton, FastCompany.
2011 Robot Gift Suggestions
Posted 12/01/11 at 05:06 PM
... Gift and book suggestions for almost every family member.
... Product descriptions, photos, prices, and where to buy.
Intelligrated adding 200 tech/engineering jobs at new Ohio facility
Posted 11/22/11 at 10:38 PM
... Intelligrated, a material handling automation integrator, is building a new R&D facility in Ohio. 200 new tech and engineering jobs will be added.
... The new facility will support the company’s plans for strategic growth in the material handling industry, a growth area for industrial robotics.
... Intelligrated’s move gives credence to IFR statement at iRex: “Robots to create more than a million jobs by 2016.” And also Metra Martech 64-page report: “Positive impact of industrial robots on employment.”
Aldebaran Robotics Acquires Siri-like Front-End for their NAO Robot
Posted 11/22/11 at 07:38 PM
... Aldebaran Robotics, the venture-funded Paris-based developer of the NAO robot, has acquired the assets of the recently defunct Mindscape, a French gaming software company. NOTE: there are now 2,000 NAO robots in and around academia and a lower-cost commercial version is on the way.
... Karotz, a Siri-like internet-connected device which Mindscape acquired when Karotz’s parent Violet had financial problems, will now be operated and funded by Aldebaran and also merged into the NAO robot platform - think Siri on a NAO robot. Siri, on all new Apple iPhone 4’s, is a speech recognition, internet-connected method of easy communication.
Robots Coming Online in 2012, 2013 and 2014
Posted 11/11/11 at 01:20 PM
... Harvest Automation’s labor-saving potted plant mover to go commercial in 2012 and 2013
... Sea Robotics hull-cleaning navy robot is slated for 2014
... Foxconn factory robots - from their own robot manufacturing plant to their own factory floors - are planning to deploy 300,000 in 2013 and another 700,000 in 2014 and 2015
... Plus companies like KIVA Systems having record sales.
iRobot to cut 9% of workers from military div; consumer products booming
Posted 11/05/11 at 04:17 PM
... iRobot CEO Colin Angle said the workforce reduction will result in a $1 million charge but won’t impact the home robots business unit.
... Federal government cutbacks in military R&D spending are the reason for the reduction in force.
... The home robot business grew 32 percent in the quarter — with 56 percent growth outside the U.S.
MS Donates 2,500 Kinects to F.I.R.S.T.
Posted 10/08/11 at 08:23 AM
... The Kinect sensor will be a valuable enhancement to the FIRST robot competition experience. Teams will be able to either program their robots to respond to their own custom gestures, or use default code and gestures.
... The Kinect sensor includes a depth camera and both video and audio sensors to capture video data in 3D.
... During the 2011 F.I.R.S.T. season, 2,072 teams totaling 51,800 students competed at 59 events in the U.S., Canada, and Israel.
Five Finalists Chosen for RoboBowl Healthcare Robotics Competition
Posted 10/05/11 at 02:36 PM
... Five finalists in the RoboBowl next-generation competition for healthcare robotic devices hosted by CMU were announced. Each wins $5,000. The best of the five wins another $20,000.
... Proposals include (1) personalized video games and robotics for stroke and trauma patients; (2) toy-like robots that therapeutically interact with autistic children; (3) providing low-cost robots for STEM education and therapy outreach; (4) integrating the latest search and rescue robots with medical diagnostics and treatment technologies; and (5) a haptic feedback system from contact to the surgeon’s fingertips.
... Presentations before a distinguished panel of judges. Winner to be chosen October 13; prize given October 14.
PerkinElmer acquires Caliper Life Sciences for $600 million
Posted 09/10/11 at 08:33 AM
... Both companies design, produce and market lab automation robots.
... Sale will be finalized in two months.
Win $25,000 for Healthcare Robotics Invention
Posted 09/03/11 at 12:34 PM
... Carnegie Melon University (CMU), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Robotics Technology Consortium (RTC) and the Innovation Accelerator (IA) are all working together to organize and host a contest to find new ventures with “big idea” robotic systems in healthcare and for quality of life.
... Top five winners each get $5,000 and the grand prize winner gets an additional $20,000. Open to all and a good opportunity to be reviewed by notable jurists.
Robotic Technology for Treating Hair Loss Gets $41 Million
Posted 09/03/11 at 07:13 AM
... Restoration Robotics, Inc received clearance from the FDA in April for it’s ARTAS™ System for harvesting hair follicles from the scalp in men. It combines an image-guided robotic arm, special imaging technologies, small dermal punches, and a computer interface to identify and harvest individual follicular units - and it does it less painfully, with shorter recovery times, and more efficiency than present methods.
... Now it has received $41 million in a series C round of financing from Clarus Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures, Alloy Ventures and Interwest Partners to provide the means to bring the product to market.
Free Stanford online course in AI
Posted 08/20/11 at 06:27 PM
... Artificial Intelligence is the science of making software that reasons about the world around it. Humanoid robots, Google Goggles, self-driving cars, music you might like to hear suggesting software, are all examples of AI. The class will be taught by two of the leaders in the field, Peter Novig and Sebastian Thrun. Dr. Norvig is Director of Research at Google. Dr. Thrun is well known for his work on robotics and self-driving cars and is research professor at Stanford and a Google Fellow.
... Over 110,000 have expressed interest in taking the course. Sign up here.
DoD Orders Just Keep Coming
Posted 08/17/11 at 10:35 AM
... AeroVironment receives $65 million for Puma unmanned aircraft systems.
... iRobot receives $14.1 million from US Navy and $7.4 million from US Army.
... ReconRobotics gets $5.8 million for Scout and pole-bots.
Willow Garage’s PR2 Robot Loses Arm and $80,000
Posted 08/15/11 at 06:53 AM
... To enable more scientists, educators and engineers to explore the capabilities of a personal service robot, Willow Garage launched a new one-armed PR2 for $200,000. It includes an open source operating system (ROS) and a Kinect device and new sensor suite.
Stephen Colbert Jokes About Quadcopter with MIT’s Missy Cummings
Posted 07/30/11 at 06:44 PM
... Navy pilot turned college professor jokes back and tells how MIT lab is enabling the use of inexpensive quadcopters with surveillance packages and tablet or smartphone front-end controllers for soldiers and first responders.
Korea robotics industry booming and receives additional governmental stimulus
Posted 07/24/11 at 02:26 PM
... Korea’s robotics industry is accelerating with record growth in output, sales and exports. According to a government survey of 395 firms, their combined sales nearly doubled to $2.1 billion last year from a year earlier. Total production volume and exports shot up 75% and 137% respectively.
... In January, seven ministries involving industry, education and the environment devised a plan to pump $95 million into 10 pilot projects to develop service and industrial robots. Under the plan, robots will be deployed for education, fire-fighting, sewage repairs and manufacturing this year, while others will patrol danger zones, remove mines in the DMZ and do farm work starting next year, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said.
Driverless Cars and Trucks Demoed in Sweden; New Law Allows Driverless Cars in Nevada
Posted 07/06/11 at 11:35 PM
... The EU’s HAVEit (Highly Automated Vehicles for Intelligent Transport) consortium, celebrated the final event of their multi-year research project by displaying driverless cars and trucks.
... VW and Volvo demoed driverless cars and trucks and compared their systems to Google’s driverless car (which last fall drove 140,000 driverless miles on California highways).
... In support of all these developments, Nevada passed a new law enabling driverless cars in that state.
3D Printing Going Mainstream
Posted 06/10/11 at 10:16 AM
... Recent examples of 3D printing include intricate meshed titanium gloves and plastic bikinis.
... Apple had to use prototyping 3D printers from Japan because it couldn’t manufacture a critical iPad part in time.
... All sorts of apps - in the UK they’re remaking wing parts in lighter titanium because every pound lightened saves $2,000 in annual fuel costs.
... MakerBot, an entry level machine, has sold more than 4,000 so far.
UC Berkeley Student Team Solving Laundry Problem With Robots
Posted 06/07/11 at 11:02 PM
... The difficulties of loading a hamper of dirty clothes into a washer, transferring it to a dryer, removing and then folding all the different types of clothing and undergarments is a desired app for a home robot - and one being attempted by a whole class of robotic students at UC Berkeley using a WillowGarage PR2 robot.
... WillowGarage video and story by Alex Knapp at Forbes is the most in-depth thus far about the process, complexities and novel solutions.
Graduating Without A Wheelchair
Posted 05/15/11 at 10:18 AM
... CBS News Sunday Morning featured a UC Berkeley graduate who was able, using an exoskeleton constructed by UC Berkeley’s Robotics & Human Engineering Laboratory, to stand and accept his diploma.
... Just down the road is Berkeley Bionics, a UC Berkeley spin-off and designer of HULC and eLEGS exoskeletons. eLEGS is a wearable, artificially intelligent, bionic device that enables people with paralysis to stand up and walk. The exoskeleton is battery-powered and untethered. Presently it is used under medical supervision for rehabilitation and training.
Pics of iRobot’s PackBots inside Fukashima
Posted 04/18/11 at 12:46 PM
... First really good video from Japan’s IDG of how robots are being used inside the Fukashima nuclear power plant and also outside for remote controlled cleanup and debris removal.
... Drone video and comments from Andrew Revkin at DotEarth.
South Korea Moving Ahead With R-Learning Program
Posted 03/30/11 at 12:58 PM
... Sang-Rok Oh, KIST professor and adviser to the South Korean government for r-learning, spoke at InnoRobo, the Innovation Robotics Summit in Lyon, France and clarified the full extent of the r-learning program versus what has shown up in the press as the English-teaching robot.
... The President of Yujin Robotics, Kyung Shin, also spoke at InnoRobo and described South Korea’s $1 billion stimulus investment in the r-learning program and in helping South Korea become a bigger player in the robotics industry.
Telepresence going mainstream
Posted 02/25/11 at 07:38 PM
... Feature article in BusinessWeek Magazine entitled “I’ll have my robots talk to your robots.” Article compares Vgo’s $6,000 telepresence robots to Cisco’s $300,000 telepresence suites and suggests that mobility isn’t a gimmick but qualitatively changes what a remote user can do. It is also humanizing and enables effective stand-ins for people.
... Vgo telepresence robot used by disabled Texas student to attend high school. From the safety of his home, he can control his proxy with his computer. The full video and audio capabilities of the telepresence robot allow him to ask his teachers questions and work along with fellow students. Watch him be remotely interviewed with his Vgo on the TODAY Show. Touching and informative.
... Vgo’s first production run of their telepresence robots sold out.
... Homemade telepresence robots using Kinect, laptops, Skype and iRobot’s Create are dropping the price of telepresence and increasing buyer interest.
... French robotics software developer Gostai has launched a $10,000 telepresence robot line focused on security, connection and branding: Jazz Security, Connect and Icon respectively.
... InTouch Health announced that more than 45 telemedicine networks are currently under management. In total, these networks represent 475 contracted hospital locations where 375 are delivering telemedicine clinical services and the remaining 100 are undergoing pre-installation planning. “Of the more than 45 telemedicine networks we are involved with, a large portion are stroke specific, which virtually places a neurologist at the stroke victim’s bedside at a moment’s notice” said Yulan Wang, CEO.
My Keepon Bot to be Available for Xmas 2011 at $40
Posted 02/05/11 at 11:19 AM
... Beatbots and Wow! Stuff are partnering to convert Beatbot’s Keepon robot into a robotic toy that sells for $40 and will be available for the 2011 Christmas gift season.
... “A percentage of the profit from each My Keepon toy will go towards subsidizing BeatBots’ research-grade robots to therapists and researchers,” said Wow! Stuff head of inventor relations Graham Taylor.
Alabama Robot Center Opens
Posted 01/30/11 at 02:57 PM
... Alabama’s recently opened Robotics Technology Park is a serious $73 million three-pronged endeavor to provide (1) an industry training program where technicians will be trained to work on robotic machinery; (2) a test facility for NASA and the US Army for research and testing of leading edge robotics for defense and space exploration; and (3) a facility to allow start-up companies to build and adapt robots for new industries. Imagine if this kind of state-sponsored forethought were done on a national level.
10 Billion Downloads from Apple App Store
Posted 01/24/11 at 12:37 PM
... Apple App Store phenomena continues beyond iPhones, iPads and iPods with apps for all Apple products.
... App Store concept being introduced to robotics - because it’s the right way to customize to user needs.
Center Column Featured Links
Iranians Hacked US Drone And Instructed It To Land In Iran
Posted 12/17/11 at 04:00 PM
... In an exclusive to The Christian Science Monitor, an Iranian engineer describes how they hacked a U.S. military drone - a Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel - into landing at an Iranian airbase.
... First they cut off communications links and then reconfigured the drone’s GPS coordinates to make it land at what the drone thought was its actual home base - but instead was in Iran.
... Iran’s “electronic ambush” jammed the drone’s communications forcing it into autopilot where it used stored GPS coordinates to fly home. But the home coordinates were hacked into and altered to be the coordinates for an airfield in Iran.
Robotics Labs and Companies Open Up for EU Robotics Week
Posted 11/28/11 at 10:58 AM
... Today is the start of the first European Robotics Week: from 28th of November to 4th of December 2011. Check events calendar for an event near you.
... In a novel approach to show their labs efforts, more than 45 European Robotics Labs open their doors to the public via live-streaming.
Foxconn to mass produce their own robots
Posted 11/18/11 at 07:43 PM
... Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry (Foxconn) breaks ground for $223 million R&D and manufacturing facilities in Taiwan to develop and produce robots.
... The project is expected to generate an estimated $4 billion in production value in the next three to five years, create about 2,000 jobs, replace 500,000 mainland Chinese workers with 1 million robots and double the world’s industrial robot population.
... Details in Christian Science Monitor article.
Emerging Underwater Businesses
Posted 10/24/11 at 05:19 PM
... ROVs repairing underwater oil rigs; treasure hunters finding $230 million in silver; recovering the black box from a crashed airline; tracking sea creatures - these are just a few of the non-defense/security uses of unmanned maritime systems and devices.
... iRobot, Liquid Robotics and Teledyne Technologies all have maritime operations and each are profiled in this interesting report.
iWalk expanding availability of lower limb bionic prosthetics
Posted 10/08/11 at 09:22 AM
... MIT spinoff iWalk now producing a leg system that replaces the combined functions of the foot, ankle and calf regions of the human body for amputees.
... Prosthetic emulates or even augments physiological function through electromechanical replacement.
Notes from IROS 2011 San Francisco
Posted 09/26/11 at 07:43 AM
... Week long conference on intelligent robots and systems had presentations, exhibitions, demonstrations and interactive sessions.
... Read one observer’s picks for most interesting, crowd pleasing and unusual presentations and demonstrations at the show.
... See 15 photos taken at the conference by the Denver Post.
Yaskawa Porting ROS to Robot Line
Posted 09/10/11 at 03:26 PM
... Southwest Research Institute porting Willow Garage’s Open Source ROS Robotic Operating System to Yaskawa line of Motoman robots.
... Work to be done by Q1 2012.
... “The next step for industrial robotics is to be more sensor aware; to be able to accomodate the many new capabilities showing up in the service sector. It’s clear that ROS is able to handle all of these,” says Erik Nieves, Technology Director for Yaskawa America’s Motoman Robotics Division.
Foxconn to deploy 1,000,000 robots by 2014
Posted 08/27/11 at 08:15 AM
... Foxconn is planning to up their factory robot count to 300,000 by 2012 and 1 million by 2014.
... A Taiwanese contract manufacturer with factories in Taiwan, China, Vietnam and Indonesia, Foxconn employs 1.2 million workers, 400,000 of which work on iPad, iPhone and other Apple products.
... Read story in Christian Science Monitor.
... Combining low-cost skilled labor with new-tech robotics will increase Foxconn’s productivity and efficiency and insure that offshoring is economically the best choice for global electronics manufacturers.
... What does it mean to the global robotics industry? And to America? Read more....
Unmanned Agricultural Tractors Gaining Momentum
Posted 08/15/11 at 07:01 AM
... Row-crop equipment manufacturer Kinze hooked up a Jaybridge Robotics driverless kit to a John Deere tractor pulling a grain cart and integrated it so that the unmanned tractor and cart pull alongside a harvester, receive a load while moving, drive to a staging area to drop the cart and get a new one and then repeat the process. Watch the video
... Kinze also launched an autonomous row-crop planting system. Here’s that video.
20 US Stocks Involved in the Robotics Industry
Posted 07/30/11 at 09:34 AM
... Is it time to invest? Check this list of 20 US stocks involved in the robotics industry.
... Read Q&A on the subject by CNET’s Tim Hornyak.
... List also includes stock symbols and nine additional European and Japanese robotic manufacturers.
Hansen Medical’s Magellan Robotic System receives EU CE Mark approval
Posted 07/26/11 at 10:53 AM
... US FDA go-ahead for Magellan's vascular intervention system still pending.
Us and Them: Informative and wonderfully graphic, from National Geographic Magazine
Posted 07/24/11 at 02:42 PM
... A visual overview of developments in social robots from National Geographic in their August issue.
... Wonderful pics; good overview; full of questions. (Much like the industry.)
Teledyne to provide Navy with 150 marine gliders for $53 million
Posted 07/17/11 at 06:59 PM
... The Navy plans to use the fleet of deep and shallow water gliders with their relative low cost, minimal power usage and longevity at sea, to acquire critical oceanographic data to improve positioning of fleets during naval maneuvers.
Pres. Obama Approves $70 million for Robotics; STEM Problem Not Addressed
Posted 06/24/11 at 11:16 AM
... NSF, NASA, NIH and the Dept of Agriculture to provide $70 million to support research in next generation robots that will work closely with human operators – allowing new ability for factory workers, healthcare providers, soldiers, surgeons and astronauts to carry out key hard-to-do tasks. The overall goal is to foster “co-robots” that work closely with people.
... Robotics funding is part of a larger Advanced Manufacturing Partnership. Details here.
... Award-winning high school physics teacher Amir Abo-Shaeer has answer to STEM problem - and he’s successfully practicing it.
News from various blogs:
Posted 06/18/11 at 12:29 AM
... Google and Android team up with iRobot and their AVA platform to add tablet and apps to AVA. [Robotland]
... U.S. Senator calls robot projects wasteful. Robots call Senator wasteful. [IEEE Spectrum Automaton]
... Great video about a new Japanese ball-copter—better than Parrot’s AR.Drone. [Everything-Robotic]
... The Datron Scout UAV is a military version of the AR.Drone and blog shows the tactical uses. [Gizmag]
... Economic conditions and opportunities bode well for robotics market. [Robotics Online]
... Has AI finally taken a turn to be able to keep up with the mechanical, electronics and systems side of robotics? [Everything-Robotic]
... Will the big robot manufacturers be able to transition to producing service and personal robot? [Everything-Robotic]
Kiva Systems starts rental program
Posted 06/16/11 at 01:08 PM
... Good idea justs keeps getting better. Kiva Systems launches rental program to help businesses with high peak or seasonal demand.
New robo thriller book - movie coming
Posted 06/10/11 at 10:34 AM
... New scifi thriller Robopocalypse receiving rave reviews and comments by Stephen King, Clive Cussler and Lincoln Child. Wired Magazine review.
... Movie rights sold to Stephen Spielberg and big-budget movie is scheduled for 2013.
Smaller bomb-carrying drones being readied for combat
Posted 06/03/11 at 06:01 PM
... Citing one of the few growing areas of the DoD’s budget, drones - excluding robotic weapons development spending - represents $4.6 billion, and is focusing on cheaper, smaller UAVs “to wage war in the 21st Century” says a recent article in the LA Times.
... Raytheon, one of many vendors in this field (including AeroVironment) is developing a small, tactical, GPS-guided bomb that can be strapped onto a drone (see photo) and quick-dropped into action.
FIRST Robotics World Championship Finals Awarded
Posted 04/30/11 at 03:25 PM
... St Louis’ HEC-TV broadcast the 2011 FIRST Robotics World Championships and Awards Ceremonies before a live crowd of more than 22,000 at the St Louis Dome stadium.
... Will.I.Am and The Black Eyed Peas played for the 300+ teams, their sponsors, mentors and parents, from more than 50 countries, which had qualified for the finals competition.
... The three winning teams were from high schools in Ontario, Canada, Connecticut, and a special school for the deaf in New Jersey.
... Neil Bascomb, author of “The New Cool,” a story about the Santa Barbara, CA FIRST team, announced that there will soon be a film adaption of his book.
DARPA ARM project launches public robot simulator and lab testing
Posted 04/17/11 at 07:43 AM
... DARPA’s Autonomous Robotic Manipulation (ARM) project to develop robot software and hardware to autonomously manipulate, grasp, and perform complicated tasks… think unzip a duffle bag and rifle through the contents searching for drugs and weapons.
... DARPA is now offering public access to an identical simulated robot allowing anyone the opportunity to write software for the ARM robot to complete similar grasping and manipulation challenges.
AP Reports Predator Drone May Have Killed Two US Troops
Posted 04/12/11 at 05:36 PM
... Roboticist’s worst nightmare: friendly fire mistake leading to deaths by Hellfire missles. “Currently, Air Force Predators and Reapers, the high-flying hunter-killer drones, are logging 48 24-hour air patrols a day, moving toward a goal of 65 in 2013. The aircraft are prized for their intelligence gathering proficiency and ability to pinpoint targets, reducing the risk to U.S. pilots and other personnel.”
Robots in the News:
Posted 04/10/11 at 01:39 PM
... HR 658, the bill to promote the safe integration of unmanned systems into the national airspace, has passed the House. Follow the results in the Senate.
... Passport screening by multi-lingual robots begins in May at Taipei airports.
... Festo once again creates the unimaginable: SmartBird, an ultralight bionic adaption from nature which can start, fly and land autonomously - with no drive mechanism.
... Civilian exoskeletons are coming to the consumer market. There’s Berkeley Bionics’eLegs for rehab and mobility. And Equipois’ $2,500 x-AR, an exoskeleton arm that provides support throughout the natural range of arm motion thereby enabling working with your arms outstretched for long periods with little fatigue or discomfort.
... Boy Scouts initiate a new robotics merit badge. Scouts will have to design and build a robot learning about programming, robotic movement and sensors to do so.
Job Creation With Robotics
Posted 03/27/11 at 01:17 PM
... Tom Atwood, Editor-in-Chief of Robot Magazine said, “There is much discussion of job creation and producing the next generation of American innovators. India, Korea and China are producing far more computer scientists and engineers than we are here in the U.S. Although our government is beginning to push for an expansion of robotics education in schools, these and similar programs are not enough for our country to maintain its competitive technological edge. We need a national robotics policy that is a clear call to action, and we need backing by Congress and industry. We are including in our May/June issue an interview with Frank Tobe, creator of The Robot Report, which really drives this point home.”
... Click here to read the interview.
WSJ 2010 Winner of Robotics Innovation Technology Award Gets $18 million Venture Money
Posted 03/21/11 at 08:42 PM
UPDATE 3/21/11: Story in BusinessWeek Magazine about Liquid Robotic’s founder Roger Hine. Corrects venture capital investment upwards to $23.1 million. The article also told of the sale of 60 wave gliders for use in the Gulf of Mexico to track oil spill movement.
... Liquid Robotics, inventor of the Wave Glider which converts the up-and-down motion of waves into forward thrust, making it possible to propel the buoy indefinitely without relying on batteries or other power sources thereby enabling very long missions, has received $18 million from unknown sources.
... Applications for the Wave Glider include port and harbor security, search and rescue, climate science, protected area monitoring, pollution detection (BP purchased two gliders) to name a few.
2011 Venture Fundings & Acquisitions
Posted 03/10/11 at 08:54 AM
... Tibion Bionic Technologies, a medical device company, secured $10.17 million.
... Mazor Robotics, an Israeli medical surgical devices company, secured $6.3 million
... iWalk, another bionic prosthetics company, raises $15 million.
... Cobham, a British aerospace/defense supplier, has acquired Telerob, a German bomb disposal robots manufacturer, for €78 million.
The New Cool - a look inside the FIRST Robotics Program
Posted 03/05/11 at 08:19 AM
... P.W. Singer said of this book: “If America is ever going to fix its broken education system and re-energize the economy, we’re going to need more schools, teachers, and kids like those in this book.”
... As the 2011 FIRST Robotics Program goes into high gear, this is a wonderfully informative book for parents, educators, legislators and students alike. A compelling read. Buy it here.
... Bascomb also wrote a piece for The Huffington Post about how we could change our educational system to take advantage of technology, make better use of teachers and improve student outcomes. A must read.
IBM’s Watson Easily Wins Jeopardy!
Posted 02/16/11 at 08:30 PM
... Day 3 results: Watson wins handily over Jeopardy!‘s two most successful champions - Ken Jennins and Brad Rutter.
... The real test will be applying - commercializing - Watson’s underlying analytics for language processing and data management for different industries. On IBM’s Watson website, healthcare, finance, customer services and handling ambiguity are explored.
... AI already being used by Google to interpret queries; credit card companies use it to find and track fraud; Netflix uses it to recommend movies; and it’s used to process and audit billions of financial transactions and trades. AI in robotics, particularly in human-robot communication, is lagging and slowing progress.
... What can we expect from Watson and IBM in the next decade? Read this.
2011 Engelberger Robotics Award Announced
Posted 02/10/11 at 10:24 PM
... Dr. Henrik Christensen won for Education. Currently the KUKA Chair of Robotics at Georgia Tech, Christensen also is the driving force behind America’s Roadmap for US Robotics.
... Åke Lindqvist won for Leadership. Recently retired after 37 years with ABB Robotics in Sweden and North America, he has also served as President of the Intl. Federation of Robotics and past Chairman of the RIA.
... Joseph Engelberger, in 1956, founded Unimation, which was the world’s first robotics company, and is known as ‘the father of robotics”
Kinect boon to Robotics
Posted 01/24/11 at 11:11 AM
... Viable $100 replacement using cameras and depth-perception software for $5,000 laser range finders presently used to guide robots.
... iRobot’s AVA concept robot using Kinect-like software and drivers; WillowGarage’s PR2 and ROS ran a contest to “do something cool, funny, or useful.” See video of 1st place winner.
There’s a robot in your future
Posted 01/19/11 at 12:04 PM
... 2011 will offer exciting developments of manufacturing robots but also point out the weaknesses apparent in U.S. robotics. Read “Manufacturing with Robots: prospects and Problems Ahead”.
... Predictions for 2011-2020: Predictors include Bill Gates, Samsung, the government of South Korea, Toyota, Ray Kurzweil, CMU’s Hans Moravec and the Robotics Industry Association.
... The Intl. Fed. of Robotics (IFR) forecasts welding, electronics assembly and food packaging - and any application in China - will almost double by 2013. And Fanuc’s Chairman says, “Everything comes down to China. That’s where the growth is.” Fanuc is challenging ABB and Kuka for the lead in China’s robot market.