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The Federal Aviation Administration building in Washington D.C. Credit: Matthew Bisanz // Wikipedia
The Federal Aviation Administration building in Washington D.C. Credit: Matthew Bisanz // Wikipedia

The Federal Aviation Administration has released its proposed rules for the domestic, non-recreational use of drones weighing less than 55 lbs. USA President Obama issued a memorandum that outlines new privacy guidelines for government agencies that wish to fly unmanned aircraft. Read more on this week’s Drone Center roundup.

by   -   February 16, 2015
Ground-Air Collaboration
Ground-Air collaboration between robots (Photo: RPG and Alain Herzog).

Working in the field of rescue robotics, the Robotics Perception Group (UZH and NCCR Robotics) works on how to get air robots communicating with ground robots, with the aim of exploiting the strengths of each by working in a team.  In the video below, student Elias Müggler explains how he is doing this.

by   -   February 15, 2015

The Coalition looks forward to working with the Administration to develop a final rule that will preserve safety and ensure success of the industry.

by   -   February 15, 2015

FAA-Puma

A new document purporting to be prepared by the FAA Office of Aviation Policy and Plans provides hints regarding the anticipated proposed small UAS (sUAS) regulations. The possible leaked document is dated February 2015 and is titled “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regulatory Evaluation, Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems.” The document’s authenticity has not been established, however assuming that the document is authentic, here are some of the more noteworthy insights into the upcoming proposed regulations…

by   -   February 13, 2015

Lutz_PODThe government-baked robocar projects in the UK are going full steam, with this press release from the UK government to accompany the unveiling of the prototype Lutz pod, which should ply the streets of Milton Keynes and Greenwich.

by   -   February 13, 2015

seegrid-products_800_319_80

A bankruptcy judge cleared the way for Seegrid to exit from Chapter 11 by okaying the reorganization plan and rejecting challenges lodged by the ex-CEO.

by   -   February 13, 2015
Teams could test their AUVs in the real location one week before euRathlon 2014 competition. Photo credit: CMRE
Team testing their AUVs onsite one week before euRathlon 2014 competition. Photo credit: CMRE

euRathlon is a new outdoor robotics competition that invites teams to test the intelligence and autonomy of their robots in realistic mock emergency-response scenarios inspired by the 2011 Fukushima accident. The euRathlon 2015 Grand Challenge will require a team of ground, marine and aerial robots to work together to survey the scene, collect environmental data, and identify critical hazards. euRathlon 2015 will be held in Piombino, Italy, from the 17th- 25th September 2015. 

by   -   February 12, 2015
The Pleurobot
The Pleurobot (Photo: Hillary Sanctuary & BioRob).

The Pleurobot is a bioinspired robot being developed by the BioRob at EPFL and NCCR Robotics. Taking it’s cues from the salamander, the Pleurobot is a walking robot that can change its gait to help it to navigate uneven terrain, and is currently learning to swim.  Watch the video to see the researchers discuss what they are doing with the Pleurobot and how they hope to improve it in future.

by   -   February 12, 2015

Robots_for_Humanity_R4H

Henry Evans had a brain stem stroke in 2002 that left him quadriplegic. Since then he has turned to robotics to unlock his abilities. Robots For Humanity (R4H.org) is a project that chronicles Henry’s quest to find robotics solutions to augment and improve his life, and that of other people with disabilities, to “let people perform at their best”. 

by   -   February 11, 2015
To help HAPTIX performers more quickly and effectively conduct their research, DARPA is providing each team with open source simulation software in which to test their designs. The software includes a variant of the DARPA Robotics Challenge Simulator from the June 2013 Virtual Robotics Challenge, the first stage of the DARPA Robotics Challenge. Source: DARPA.
To help HAPTIX performers to quickly and effectively conduct their research, DARPA is providing each team with open source simulation software in which to test their designs. The software includes a variant of the DARPA Robotics Challenge Simulator from the June 2013 Virtual Robotics Challenge, the first stage of the DARPA Robotics Challenge. Source: DARPA.

The Gazebo team has been hard at work setting up a simulation environment for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)’s Hand Proprioception and Touch Interfaces (HAPTIX) program. The goal of the HAPTIX program is to provide amputees with prosthetic limb systems that feel and function like natural limbs, and to develop next-generation sensorimotor interfaces to drive and receive rich sensory content from these limbs. Managed by Dr. Doug Weber, HAPTIX is being run out of DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office (BTO).

by   -   February 11, 2015

3D_Robotics_Tower

3D Robotics, the largest drone manufacturer in the United States, has announced its latest version of the Flight Controller App ‘Tower’ to the open-source community. Tower acts as a powerful ground control station to command any 3DR-powered drone. Tower is only available on Android at the moment, and forms the latest iteration of DroidPlanner. 

by   -   February 10, 2015

UAE_Robotics_for_GoodToday the UAE’s new International Council on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (iCAIR) formally announced the AI & Robotics for Good award. The goal of the award is to encourage robotics innovation that benefits society, in particular in the areas of education, healthcare and social services, and both hardware and software solutions will be eligible. Two prizes will be given: a national prize worth 1M AED, and an international prize worth $1M USD. The Robotics for Good launch comes just days after the UAE’s Drones for Good competition held its awards ceremony in Dubai.

by   -   February 10, 2015

3m-

Ex-Willow Garage and Unbounded Robotics veterans get $3 million to bring mobile manipulator and mobile platform to market.

by   -   February 10, 2015

Flyability_Gimball

Flyability, a spin off company from LIS, EPFL and NCCR Robotics, has won the $1M inaugural UAE Drones for Good competition with Gimball, the world’s first crash resilient drone.

by   -   February 9, 2015

vlcsnap-2015-02-10-01h48m52s164

Boston Dynamics just released a video of a new four legged robot named “Spot”.  It is an evolution along the lines of their previous four-legged robots like BigDog and Wildcat, but this one is much smaller and lighter (160lbs / 72.5kg). As usual not many details are known, but Spot is electrically powered (others had an internal combustion engine onboard) and has a prominent rotating LIDAR on top.

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Robots Podcast: From the greenhouse to the fields
November 15, 2013



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