news    views    talk    learn    |    about    contribute     republish     archives     calls/events

latest developments

Robohub is an online platform that brings together leading communicators in robotics research, start-ups, business, and education from around the world.
by   -   April 9, 2014

Top-30-image

Are you ready to find out who the semifinalists are in our first Robot Launch global startup competition for robotics? With 76 applications from 19 different countries, and entries covering industrial, service and consumer robotics, it’s clear that robotics is entering a period of strong growth. The judges did not have an easy job, but here are the TOP 30!


by   -   April 7, 2014

rr_3
A quick, hassle-free way to stay on top of robotics news from the past month, our new monthly digest will be released on the first Monday of every month.

March 2014 was a contentious month for the robotics community. An intense debate about the commercialization of drones in the US was sparked (or re-ignited) after a US Court ruled against the Federal Aviation Administration in the case of a 29-year old Austrian who had been accused of operating a drone recklessly and without a license. With the FAA’s appeal, regulation of drones in the US is still a hot topic and will probably remain so for some time to come.


by   -   April 7, 2014

Porton-Man---cropped
UK’s Ministry of Defense invested 1.1M GBP in a new robotic mannequin that will test protective suits and equipment for the UK’s armed forces. The project is named “Porton Man” and is able to emulate the movements of a soldier (march, sit, kneel and pose). It is equipped with more than a hundred sensors that monitor in real-time the performance of the tested article.


by   -   April 6, 2014

da_Vinci_Xi_system_560_560_80_s_c1

Intuitive Surgical announced FDA clearance and US introduction of their new da Vinci Xi Surgical System which has a movable overhead architecture rather than the fixed floor-mounted existing systems.

“The new overhead architecture means that multi-quadrant surgery can be performed without repositioning the system, an innovation long sought by surgeons,” said Gary Guthart, Intuitive CEO.


by   -   April 4, 2014

 

 

Talking mobile personal robots in our homes such as the robot seen in the movie “Robot and Frank” may be in our future but they don’t presently exist except in research labs around the world. Recently however, many new artificial intelligence breakthroughs, hi-speed Cloud services, and software apps for speech recognition and processing are enabling new companies to build low cost devices that provide some of the services we can expect 10-20 years from now.


by   -   April 2, 2014

Drone_Adventures_Fukushima_Drone_View

Drone’s eye view of Hisanohama, Fukushima prefecture. The blue marker indicates the drone launch point. © Mapbox © OpenStreetMap

fukushima-caesiumIt’s been three years since a massive magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami destroyed large parts of the eastern coast of Japan and incapacitated the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Life for many of the displaced families, however, has far from returned to normal; around 150,000 residents of the prefecture are still living as evacuees in temporary accommodations, and many villages are still too contaminated for people to return. What is the current state of the cleanup and reconstruction effort? Drone Adventures teamed up with Taichi Furuhashi, researcher at the Center for Spatial Information Science at the University of Tokyo, to try to answer this question.


by   -   April 2, 2014

EuRoC_LogoThe call for Europe’s newest robotics competition opened yesterday when a consortium of leading robotics and research institutions from across the EU announced the launch of the European Robotics Challenge (EuRoC). The competition will consist of a series of three industry-relevant challenges created to help keep Europe’s manufacturing industry globally competitive and at the leading edge of innovation. € 7M in grants, funded through the European Commission, will be awarded throughout the duration of the four-year program.


by   -   April 1, 2014

Dan Bacher has always been fascinated by two things: electrical engineering and neuroscience. While these interests may seem divergent, the synthesis of them led him to Brown University’s BrainGate Group, where he is the Senior Research and Development Engineer. Says Bacher, “applying technology to the area of neuroscience just always fascinated me.”


by   -   March 28, 2014

MIT_printable_robot_Foldable

MIT’s printable robot wins first place in Hardware category.

In 2012, the African Robotics Network (AFRON) challenged the robotics community to design a $10 educational robot that could inspire kids worldwide about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. With so many expensive products on the market, the goal was to create a class of robots that are “an order of magnitude less expensive than existing products”. The latest iteration of the competition challenged teams to enhance upon the winning 2012 designs, and to develop easy-to-use software and curricula to go with them. AFRON announced the winners earlier this week.


by and   -   March 28, 2014

subaru_drones_tif

What’s with all the quadrotors in auto advertising these days? And what do quadrotor swarms have to do with cars? Probably not much at all, but apparently associating your auto brand with high-performance quads is de rigeur. Subaru is following the lead of Lexus (which launched its quadrotor ad last November), upping the ante by having the driver of the new WRX STI engage in a pas de deux (or should we say, ’pas de plusieurs?’) with a swarm of 300 LED-lit quadrotors. It makes for some pretty stunning footage, but before you get too excited, unlike the original Lexus ad (which had at least a decent portion of real footage from Kmel’s impressive quads) almost all of the quadrotor eye-candy in the new Subaru ad is CGI. The automaker’s desire to associate themselves with cutting edge technology may be a sign of just how popular quadrotors have become, but is hyper-realistic CGI enhancement inflating consumer’s expectations of what quadrotors can actually do? (see the video below)


by   -   March 26, 2014

Robot Launch 2014 is the first global online startup competition for robotics, and as the deadline for first round entrants approaches (11pm PDT on March 30) we’re excited to see just where in the world all the robot startups are coming from! There are already more than 40 entrants representing 18 different countries. The US needs to look over its shoulder as Europe and Australia are very well represented. And while the competition is being run in English, many entries are from non-English-speaking countries, giving a real global reach to our first robot startup competition.


by   -   March 25, 2014

When it comes to complex tasks like building a house, many people with different skills work together to accomplish a single, larger goal. Instead of trying to create a perfect robot capable of building a house solo, could scientists replicate how humans function and make a “swarm” of imperfect robots capable of working together to accomplish complex tasks? This is the question Dr. Jekan Thanga hopes to answer. Thanga is one of the leading researchers who are applying bio-inspired neuro-evolutionary methods to robotics, and heads up Arizona State University’s Space and Terrestrial Robotic Exploration Laboratory.


by   -   March 24, 2014

Cybathlon-image

As we have been enjoying amazing scenes from Sochi, Russia where disabled athletes have been completing in the winter Paralympics, researchers in Switzerland have been considering a new route for athletes for whom normal devices such as prosthetic feet and modified wheelchairs are not suitable. For these athletes, robotic technology that can interface with the user, such as powered exoskeletons, may be better adapted to allow fair and exciting competitions.

On 8th October 2016 Zurich, Switzerland will host the Cybathlon, a championship for athletes using robotic assistive devices. Teams consisting of one or more “pilots” and a technology provider (academia or industry) will compete in one of six disciplines:


by   -   March 24, 2014

AppleTV-prime-sense

Ever since Apple bought Prime Sense, roboticists have been asking what’s going to fill the gap. Robots need to know where they are and what’s around them. The Carmine, and the unveiled but undelivered Capri from Prime Sense, were the smallest, cheapest and most effective ways of mapping the environment available. Microsoft’s first Kinect was based on Prime Sense technology, and it enabled a raft of robotics developments, as did the Asus Xteon. But with the core Prime Sense technology off the market now, there are questions about what will fill the gap, and what will some crowd funded projects use to fulfill their campaigns.


by   -   March 24, 2014

Douglas-Westwood, an energy research group, says (in their $5,000 World ROV Operations Market Forecast 2013-2017 report), that ROV operations expenditures will grow 80% over the next 5 years.