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Adept Cobra s800 Inverted SCARA IP65 robot

May 14, 2008 The latest high-speed handling robot from Adept Technology - the Cobra s800 Inverted IP65- is designed for case and carton loading applications in the packaged goods industry.  Read More

SPARK programs robots with insect perception

The EU-funded SPARK project has developed a perceptual control architecture that allows robots to adapt to cluttered and changing environments, and learn from experience – an ability that may eventually suit it to disaster or war zones. The design is based on the neural processes of insects, and allows robots to form a unique, abstract representation of the environment, and modulate their behavior accordingly.  Read More

Raytheon Sarcos Exoskeleton
 Photo: Raytheon Company

May 6, 2008 The advent of the robotic age is upon us and we can expect a huge transformation in the coming decade as robots of all shapes and sizes make their presence felt in many aspects of our lives. But robots wont just stand by our side as assistants, we'll actually climb aboard and wear them like a shell or suit of armor. This type of robot - known as an exoskeleton - is being developed in various guises that deliver extraordinary strength and endurance to the wearer and have the potential to impact on military, medical, industrial and transport arenas - anywhere that personal mobility, agility and strength is required. Raytheon's progress in the field is making headline news this week thanks in part to an intriguing article appearing in the May issue of Popular Science which makes the link between the company's ongoing research for the U.S. military and the release of the much hyped superhero flick Ironman(R).  Read More

VEX logo

May 6, 2008 Close to one hundred teams from around the world invaded the Matadome at California State University, Northridge with their robots last weekend for the inaugural VEX Robotics World Championship. An alliance of three teams from China won the fast-paced competition with robots built by the students using the VEX Robotics Design System. The winning alliance teams, Chengdu Shuangliu Experimental Middle School, Chengdu No.7 High School and Nanshan High School Mianyang, were triumphant on the game “Bridge Battle”, which was created by Innovation First, the organization behind the Vex Robotics World Championship.  Read More

A notional representation of what a future micro autonomous robot may look like
 (Graphic ...

April 29, 2008 From fire fighting to termite eradication and exploring the Martian surface, the role of robots in performing tasks that are too dangerous for humans is already well established. Like many emerging technologies, the key driving force behind the development of these systems comes from military applications where robots are now regularly employed for tasks such as battlefield reconnaissance, communications and neutralizing the threat of explosive devices. In the latest news in this rapidly evolving field, BAE Systems has signed a $38 million agreement with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory to spearhead development of the next-generation intelligence-gathering military robots with a focus on versatile, miniature platforms suited to use urban environments and inaccessible terrain.  Read More

MACS is trying to replicate in machines an 'affordance-based' perception of the world

The Multi-sensory Autonomous Cognitive Systems project is an attempt to imprint robots with the ability to understand the affordances of objects in their environment - or the physical qualities of an object, and the tasks it can be used for. It is hoped that this new approach to computer perception will allow robots to perceive more interaction possibilities, giving them the cognitive tools they need to successfully improvise and interact with their environment in a more human manner.  Read More

ASIMO to conduct the Detroit Symphony Orchestra

After an extended world tour in 2007, Honda’s ASIMO humanoid robot will show off its skills in 2008 by conducting the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO). ASIMO will lead the Orchestra as it performs “Impossible Dream” to open a special concert performance with renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma as a way to highlight the DSO’s nationally acclaimed music programs for young people in Detroit.  Read More

The uBOT-5 aged care robot.

April 17, 2008 For members of Generation X, a realization must soon be dawning that our parents won't be self-sufficient captains of industry forever - and for the enormous baby-boomer generation, it must be sobering to realize they'll be relying on the most self-focused generation in history to look after them once peaceful retirement gives way to a need for assistance from an aged care industry that will struggle to accommodate demand. Money hasn't traditionally been a problem for the boomers, so perhaps it's a prudent time for technology to start making it as easy as possible for Gen Xers to look after their parents in the autumn of their years. One way is to employ remote robot carers like uBOT-5, which can quietly follow its owner around the house, take care of the cleaning, give reminders about medication, help with shopping and make communication with doctors and loved ones much easier. The uBOT-5 also has the ability to recognize when its owner has fallen or become unresponsive, allowing it to immediately dial 911 for medical attention and relay important information to caregivers en route.  Read More

Charlie Kemp, director of the Healthcare Robotics Center at Georgia Tech and Emory Univers...

March 25, 2008 The nuances and imprecise nature of human language pose big challenges for developers looking to advance voice control technology of helper robots, but researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have found an effective way to circumvent verbal communication by instructing a robot to fetch items under direction of a laser pointer. The El-E (pronounced like the name Ellie) robot could provide help to users with mobility impairments by moving or retrieving items via its sophisticated combination of in-built omni-directional cameras, height and pressure sensors, laser range finders and face detection technology.  Read More

iRobot to develop mobile communications relay robot

March 5, 2008 Most notably known to consumers for its Roomba robot vacuum range and an assortment of home help bots, iRobot has received an award under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) LANdroids program to develop a small, mobile communications relay robot that would empower US warfighters with communications.  Read More

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