Steadily the service robotics movement is gaining traction. Contracts are being given, funding is arranged, companies are expanding, partnerships are happening and all the while a stream of youths are inspired to enter STEM career paths.
Here are a few recent developments and awards:
Universal Robots, manufacturer of the UR line of one-armed collaborative robots, has moved into new facilities sevenfold times bigger than their previous factory and offices. Since the first UR robot hit the market in December 2008, production has doubled annually.
“Our new premises allow us to increase daily production to more than 150 robots. This expansion of production capacity is urgently needed, as we plan to sell 2,000 robots in 2014. Furthermore, we plan to keep doubling our sales every year from 2014 to 2017,” says Enrico Krog Iversen, CEO of Universal Robots.
Suitable Technologies received a Gold
Liquid Robotics, of wave glider fame, has announced two joint ventures: (1) Liquid Robotics and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations (NOAA) announced the signing of a multi-year Cooperative R&D Agreement to expand integrated sensors to augment information, fill data gaps and lower data acquisition costs; to enable collecting data in areas or conditions too difficult or risky for manned observations; and to augment or replace existing data collection devices such as moored buoys, satellites and research vessels, and (2), a joint development project with Ultra Electronics USSI to provide affordable, long duration, maritime surveillance for the world's protected areas, zones, ports and coastlines.
Honeybee Robotics gets funding for adaptive LIDAR vision systems to create a new compact technology for navigation of unmanned ground vehicles. They also got funding for a variety of NASA space projects.
The 2014 Edison Awards were held on April 30 in San Francisco and included the following robotics-related winners:
RobotsLab, received a Gold Award for innovation in the development of new products and services.
“We embed non-traditional and engaging new methods to teach abstract math and science concepts, ensuring the next generation’s career and college readiness. Our educators are constantly seeing breakthroughs in students’ understanding, thanks to the robots and the integrated learning experience we bring” said Elad Inbar, the company’s CEO.
- Suitable Technologies won a Media and Communication Gold Edison Award for their Beam remote presence mobile device.
Cyberdyne’s Robot Suit HAL also won a Gold Edison Award for their exoskeleton used to assist lower limb movements according to the wearer’s intentions.
Seegrid won a Bronze Edison Award for Industrial Productivity. In addition to the Edison Award, Seegrid recently announced that it had modularized it's automated vision-guided navigation system and, through an arrangement with Hyster, will be offering those modules to Hyster-Yale Materials Handling customers. Hyster manufactures and distributes a full range of material handling lift trucks and is
Clearpath Robotics Grizzly Robotic Utility Vehicle (RUV) won the Bronce Edison Award for Commercial and Industrial Design.
Last weekend concluded both the F.I.R.S.T. Robotics Championships and the VEX Robotics World Championship: