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All the latest news for robotics

Robohub is an online platform that brings together leading communicators in robotics research, start-ups, business, and education from around the world.
by   -   February 26, 2014

bubo-owl

We were really excited to see so many entries in the first days of Robot Launch 2014. What most people don’t realize is that you can enter the startup competition immediately but still keep updating your answers until the March 30 deadline. The only part of your entry that is public is your abstract and team bio. And that’s where the early birds will catch the ‘worm’ – getting extra attention for their startups and maybe also getting a head start for the ‘most popular’ startup award. We’ll be announcing more information about awards and judging over the next few weeks.


by   -   February 17, 2014

This post is part of our ongoing efforts to make the latest papers in robotics accessible to a general audience.

Teaching robots to do tasks is useful, and teaching them in an easy and non time-intensive way is even more useful. The algorithm TRIC presented in the latest paper in Autonomous Robots allows robots to observe a few motions from a human teacher, understand the essence of what the demonstration is, and then repeat it and adapt it to new situations.


by   -   February 11, 2014
DSIA logo
The Drone Social Innovation Award is a new initiative of the rapidly growing Drone User Group Network (DUGN). With over 3000 members across North America, Australia and Europe, DUGN is the largest community in the world dedicated to teaching people to build and operate their own flying robots. What better way to celebrate the use of drones by civilians, than by starting an award for the best ideas for the social or civil use of flying robots! The grand prize is $10,000 US and entries close June 20, 2014.

by   -   February 7, 2014

Auto_cars_highway

Photo:  Osvaldo Gago

SAE International‘s On-Road Automated Vehicle Standards Committee, on which I serve along with experts from industry and government, has released an information report defining key concepts related to the increasing automation of on-road vehicles.


by   -   February 5, 2014
Will we see flying donkeys racing around Mount Kenya with 20 kilo payloads in 2020? The dream of lifting Africa will come one step closer when the 2014 preliminary “Flying Donkey Challenge” takes place in Kenya in November, but entries, including grant applications, close on February 28. 

by   -   January 15, 2014

ekso

Rehabilitative robotics company Ekso Bionics announced today that it has completed a public offering which will provide $20.6 million in a ‘reverse merger’. Funds raised will go primarily to expanding sales, while paying off $2.5 million in venture debt and continuing research and development.


by   -   January 13, 2014

google_plus_nest

Is Google getting a robot company? Or just another source of roboticists with the Nest acquisition that was announced today? Alongside Google’s recent acquisition of eight robotics companies, there has been a slow and steady flow of robotics talent into the Silicon Valley based behemoth. The small sampling of roboticists I’ve spoken to who are employed at Google have shed little light on future plans, but it seems that with so many roboticists, spread out across so many different areas, that a unified robot research park is the least likely outcome. Perhaps Google is collecting libraries and IP instead, in the same way that Wolfram is talking about owning the database of the internet of things.


by   -   January 9, 2014

Startups_CEHPSlide

Eureka Park at International CES 2014 is the zone for innovation, for startups and for spinoffs from university and grant funded research. Eureka Park is sponsored by Indiegogo and by the National Science Foundation. The hall features the Indiegogo Zone, strolling VCs and accelerators like Vegas Tech Zone. The live stage events include VC and investor panelists providing critiques on your 2 minute pitch. And what’s not to love about robot startups like Barobo, Rehabtek, and the solar powered robot beer cooler from Solar Cool Technologies!


by   -   January 8, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 12.32.55 PM

Robotics has a starring role at International CES 2014, the world’s largest gadget expo, starting with a VIP Robotics on the Runway event organized by the producers of the Digital Health Summit, Living in Digital Times and Silicon Valley Robotics. But while robotics is increasingly prevalent across all floors at CES, robotics as a consumer technology is still 5-25 years out and the majority of CES visitors either won’t see a robot or won’t realize that they are looking at one. The major trends at CES this year are self driving vehicles, plus 3D printing, scanning, viewing and projecting, and a wide range of smart device mounts, aimed at connecting you, your car or your house up to your tablet or phone in a whole new range of ways.


by   -   December 23, 2013

Materials used to produce IRO competition events being prepared for removal from convention center

Materials used to produce International Robot Olympiad competition events.

The 2013 (15th annual) International Robot Olympiad competition has come to a close. Next year it will take place in Beijing, China, and is tentatively scheduled for October. Between 400 and 500 young people from 10 countries (including Canada and Mexico, as well as the U.S.) participated in this year’s event, and there would have been approximately 60 more had the bulk of the Indonesian team not been prevented from obtaining visas.


by   -   December 18, 2013

Let me admit up front that I’m not the best person to be covering a robotics competition. In fact this is only the second one I’ve attended; the first, Sparkfun’s AVC, is a tough act to follow and set my expectations pretty high. On the other hand, the theme of this year’s International Robot Olympiad is Robots in Agriculture, which is right in line with my own interests, so maybe it’s a wash in this instance.


by   -   December 15, 2013

KUKA-Quantec-robot
KUKA cut the ribbon at their new factory outside of Shanghai. The factory will begin employing 350 and produce the QUANTEC line of robots and controllers and will be able to produce 3,000 robots and controllers annually. Although KUKA has had sales and service facilities in China for the past 9 years, this is the first manufacturing factory.


by   -   December 10, 2013

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Robolution panel at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna.

It’s not every day you get to ask pioneering robot startup founders about their journey. The Robolution panel at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna comprised Rodney Brooks from Rethink Robotics and previously iRobot, Steve Cousins from Savioke and previously Willow Garage, Noland Katter from Anybots, and Walter Wohlkinger and Michael Zillich of Blue Danube Robotics, a new startup from Vienna University. Between them the panelists have started or spunoff well over 15 robotics companies, started the first robotics venture fund and been hugely influential in shaping the current rapidly emerging robot startup space. ‘Fast, cheap and out of control’ was Brooks’s 1987 insight into robot exploration of the solar system, but is very apt today, as drivers like open source software, affordable COTS and crowdfunding expand possibilities.


by   -   December 10, 2013


Amazon isn’t the only delivery service testing flying robots. DHL and microdrones are testing drones that could be used to deliver urgently needed goods to hard-to-reach places, eg, medicines to remote sites.


Deutsche Post DHL, Germany’s express delivery and mail company, is working with German UAV provider microdrones GmbH to test various methods of flight (piloted or autonomous), types and weights of packages, etc.


Read more.


by   -   December 6, 2013


In a revealing NY Times interview with Google’s Andy Rubin, some heretofor unknown things came to light. Google is now in the robotics business. They’ve made seven acquisitions in the last six months to give them some talent and a head start. And they are as closed mouth about their plans for their new robotics division as Google has been about everything else.