From September 23rd to October 2nd the first TRADR Joint Exercise (TJEx) took place at the Tremora hospital (ex American hospital of Calambrone) near Pisa, Italy, in cooperation with the TRADR partners and the firefighters from the Firebrigade of Pisa. Using a proven-in-practice user-centric design methodology, TRADR develops novel science and technology for human-robot teams to assist in disaster response efforts over multiple missions.
A very unfortunate incident for NASA and the commercial orbital transportation services program took place yesterday. The Antares rocket that was about to send the Cygnus spacecraft on the ISS exploded a few seconds after its launch from NASA’s Wallops flight facilities. No casualties or even small injuries were reported, although the area is being contained and treated with caution. It is a major incident for US spaceflight that breaks a trouble-free period and could have important implications for the private spaceflight sector.
Both Dyson and Samsung have upgraded the vacuuming function of their robotic cleaners to be equivalent to non-robotic cleaners. Consequently, they have endorsed what iRobot invented many years ago: a convenient robotic method of cleaning carpets and floors. But their endorsement comes at the expense of competition that is sure to happen in the years to come.
Gridbots Technologies, a start-up located in Ahmedabad, India, has focused their efforts on providing the power industry, particularly nuclear power companies, defense organizations and space agencies with robotics, AI and vision products.
Fellow Robots, in partnership with Lowes Hardware, today launched the OSHbot as a customer assistant robot at the Orchard Supply Hardware store in San Jose. Although the robot can only give information, this trial will help determine what sort of benefit a robot assistant can provide, both to customers and to store associates.
Funded by the European Research Council (ERC), Poppy is a 3D printed open source humanoid designed by the Inria’s Flowers lab, a French research facility that creates computer and robotic models as tools for understanding developmental processes in humans. Inria Research Director Pierre-Yves Oudeyer (who developed Poppy as a tool for studying the science of learning and development) hopes that the open source and 3D printable aspects of the project will enable researchers to quickly print custom body parts and experiment with different robot morphologies in order to study their impact on behaviour and learning.
The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) recently released their annual statistical recap and four-year forecast for the robotics industry. The IFR produces two research books: one that covers industrial robots and the other for service robots.
In January, 2014, Google acquired London-based DeepMind Technologies for $643 million. Now it is adding to that purchase with two more companies, ten new hires and a substantial contribution to Oxford University.
Seegrid filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this week. The bankruptcy judge authorized Seegrid to borrow from its lender and biggest shareholder, Giant Eagle, so that it could continue operations.
What is a social robot supposed to look like? We have asked ourselves this question many times during the last year. HUGE design was fortunate enough to be partnered with the Jibo team and tasked with creating the industrial design/look and feel for Jibo. At first, it seemed that our lack of experience designing anything remotely close to a robot might be a problem. We quickly learned however that this product needed to be unlike any existing robot, and a fresh industrial design was going to be a crucial part in defining this new socially charged experience for users.
Robocar R&D is moving fast in Singapore, and this week, the National University of Singapore (NUS) announced they will be doing a live public demo of their autonomous golf carts over a course with 10 stops in the Singapore Chinese and Japanese Gardens. The public will be able to book rides online, and then summon and direct the vehicles with their phones. The vehicles will have a touch tablet where the steering wheel will go. Rides will be free, and will take place Oct. 23-25, Oct. 30-31 and Nov. 1.