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All the latest news for robotics

by   -   April 16, 2014

Seeburger

We had a some amazing entries in Robot Launch 2014 across a wide range of fields, and not all of our favorites made it through to the Top 30. So we’d like to share some highlights of the First Round robot startups.

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   -   February 27, 2014

Serge_KernbachGuest talk in the ShanghAI Lectures, 2010-12-02

Collective systems play very important role on Earth, and we encounter them in all sizes, scales and forms; in biological and technological areas; in ocean, air and on the ground. Examples include viruses, different colloidal systems, nano- and micro-scale particles, huge world of social insects and animals; collective systems in robotics vary from nano- up to large space exploration robots. To some extent, collective systems are ubiquitous. Such a prevalence and diversity and can be explained by several unique properties: scalability, reliability, flexibility, self-developmental capabilities. This guest lecture introduces the area of collective robotics and answers the questions “what and why”. Special attention is given to reconfigurable robotics, we discuses a big vision of “universal modularity” and several ways of its achieving.

by   -   February 26, 2014

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

To get around unknown environments, most robots will need to build maps. To help them do so, robots can use the fact that human environments are often made of geometric shapes like circles, rectangles and lines. The latest paper in Autonomous Robots presents a flexible framework for geometrical robotic mapping in structured environments.

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
Sadly, the Flying Donkey Challenge was put on hold indefinitely. See details here.
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.

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