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by   -   July 31, 2015
T=0 hours. AtlantikSolar team  hand launches AS-2 at 09:32 on July 14th, hoping to set new world records.
T=0 hours. AtlantikSolar team hand launches the AS-2 at 09:32 on July 14th, hoping to set a new world record.

Two weeks after demonstrating AtlantikSolar’s first 24-hour flight, the fixed-wing team of ETH Zurich’s Autonomous Systems Lab has reached another milestone: 81.5 hours and 2316 km of continuous flight for its 6.8kg AtlantikSolar 2 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (AS-2). This breaks the flight endurance world record in its class.

by   -   July 30, 2015

Alibaba_Softbank_Pepper_FoxConnDeveloping Story: Softbank today announced that it will be taking preorders for the enterprise version of their Pepper robot, called “Pepper for Biz” starting October 1 this year. This comes one day after Japanese telco rival NTT launched a competing consumer robot called Sota. The enterprise model will be available on a three year rental contract, after which Softbank will reclaim the robot. During the rental period Softbank will provide phone and technical support. The monthly cost will be 55,000 JPY (~$440USD), for a total of 1,980,000 JPY (~$16,000USD) over the three years.

by   -   July 29, 2015

Yesterday a second Japanese telecommunication firm entered the consumer robot-as-a-service market when the state-owned Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) announced it would partner with its subsidiary NTT Data and robot maker Vstone to develop a tabletop companion robot that can talk and communicate with smart devices. NTT joins Softbank in the move to market networking and cloud computing services to a massive existing consumer base using consumer robotics. NTT says its Sota companion robot will cost about 100,000 JPY (~$800USD), with a monthly service fee of a few thousand JPY (~$30). UPDATE:  Softbank will take pre-orders for enterprise version of Pepper starting Oct 1 

by   -   July 28, 2015

Over one thousand of the world’s top experts in Artificial Intelligence (AI) are in Buenos Aires this week for the 2015 International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (#IJCAI15).

Mythbusters co-host Jaime Hyneman test flies a drone. Credit: DLC. Via: io9

by ,   -   July 27, 2015

Speakers CU

Renowned technology commentators and authors John Markoff, Jerry Kaplan and Martin Ford entranced the audience with their perspectives on robotics, automation, AI and the impact on society. The event at IDEO on July 16 was one of a new series of salon talks organized by Silicon Valley Robotics to create a venue for enjoyable, intelligent and informed discussion around the important issues in robotics and AI.

by ,   -   July 26, 2015
Joseph F. Engelberger, Ars Electronica Symposium 1996. Image courtesy of Ars Electronica.
Joseph F. Engelberger, Ars Electronica Symposium 1996. Image courtesy of Ars Electronica.

“Happy Birthday!” to industrial robotics pioneer Joe Engelberger who turns 90 today, July 26. That also means that robotics as an industry is around 60 years old. Joe Engelberger and Georges Devol formed Unimation, the world’s first robotics company in 1956 and the first Unimate arm was installed in General Motors in 1961, transforming the automotive industry. Today the robotics industry is a multibillion dollar business. While the automotive industry is still the largest piece of the robotics pie, the range of commercial uses for robotics is expanding into many of the service areas Engelberger also pioneered decades ago.

by   -   July 24, 2015

stock_market_exchange_money

Below are recaps of the eleven June and July fundings, IPOs and acquisitions for robot and robotics related companies, followed by a thoughtful piece by Farhad Manjoo of the NY Times about why start-ups are staying private. UPDATED 7/30/15 to add Rethink Robotics April add-on to an earlier Series D funding and Siemens’ investment in Magazino in May.

by   -   July 24, 2015

ICRAduckies

ICRA 2015 is just behind us (see our coverage) and the team is already gearing up for the next edition in Stockholm, Sweden mid-May.

by   -   July 22, 2015

Rotimatic

Zimplistic, the Singapore and Silicon Valley startup behind the Rotimatic, a robotic home flatbread maker, sold over $5 million at their launch last year. Today, they have a backlog of $72M in orders and over 5,000 distribution partnership requests. Also today, they received $11.5M in venture funding.

by   -   July 21, 2015

One of the main problems with putting cameras into the sky via a flying platform is weight. The heavier the camera, the bigger the rig you need to put it into the sky. This is why GoPro have successfully surfed the growth of the drone industry with their small, relatively cheap and lightweight package. But digital imaging experts have announced their new Z Camera. E1 is the smallest 4K camera with an interchangeable lens system.

The National Drone Racing Championships took place last week in California.

by   -   July 20, 2015

Raleigh-Medical-SurgiBot
UPDATED 7/22/15 Commercial drones will reach $4.8B by 2021. Agricultural robots will reach $16.8B by 2021 and $73.9B by 2024. And demand for healthcare robotics to show “tremendous growth” in the next 5 years.

by   -   July 19, 2015

Vecnas-new-product-lineup_800_284_80Vecna, a growing robotic mobility provider for hospitals and warehouses, acquired VGo, a provider of mobile telepresence devices, for an undisclosed amount.

by   -   July 17, 2015

Bowing_Abe_robot_China_Japan

The long-term rivalry between China and Japan, often characterised as the “World’s Most Dangerous Rivalry,” was exacerbated at the CIROS show held in Shanghai last week by a bowing Prime Minister Abe look-alike robot and an enterprising Chinese sales group.



Artificial neural networks and intelligent information processing, with Kurosh Madani
March 6, 2015



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