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Tag : iRobot

by   -   February 17, 2014

 

 

On February 5th iRobot reported their quarterly and annual report. 4Q revenue was up 25% from the previous year and full year 2013 revenue of $487 was up 12%.

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   -   June 11, 2013

Ava-500-Hallway-Conversation
New iRobot AVA 500, planned for 2014 delivery, navigates autonomously and can be sent from point A to B using an iPad.

by   -   March 15, 2013

ftx_-rq-9-reaper-gps-robohub-orgThis is a brief presentation of some of the most widely used robots (or remotely controlled, semi-autonomous systems) from militaries around the world. There are numerous other projects that are currently under development and others that are either abandoned or replaced but here only systems that are currently under use are mentioned. If you have any objections or suggestions you are welcome to make a comment.

by   -   February 25, 2013

iRobot Corp. (NASDAQ: IRBT), a leader in delivering robotic technology-based solutions, today announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase program. Under the program, iRobot may purchase up to $25 million of its common stock beginning March 28, 2013 and ending March 27, 2014.

by   -   January 24, 2013

Based on the following press release, iRobot, a leader in delivering robotic solutions, announced that the RP-VITA Remote Presence Robot has received 510(k) clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in hospitals. RP-VITA is the first autonomous navigation remote presence robot to receive FDA clearance.

by   -   January 24, 2013

iRobot Corporation and Rayheon BBN Technologies Corp. have filed a US patent entitled “Robotic Fabricator“, a completely autonomous all-in-one product fabrication robot that handles manufacturing (including 3D printing) and all the post printing work from seed component to mature product.

by   -   January 4, 2013

The annual CES - Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, is always a great opportunity for trendspotting and innovation hunting in consumer electronics including consumer robotics. CES 2013 will be held January 8-11 and some of the hot topics discussed this year will be mobility and connectivity, the new mantra of consumer electronics, the state of tech retailing in 2013 including show rooming, battling for online supremacy, OEMs going direct, private label. Other topics are cloud computing and the implications for consumer tech and the future of auto technology.

Consumer robotics is still an emerging technology issue and only a few companies are exhibiting products ready for sale, among them market leader iRobot, announcing the demo of the new Mirra 530 Pool Cleaning Robot and Looj 330 Gutter Cleaning Robot.

 

Credit: Suitable Technologies, Beam

Telepresence robots have been identified as a promising consumer application for many years and there is a growing number of start-up companies developing new mobile platforms for video conferencing, tele-traveling and remote control.

Read more

 

by   -   August 22, 2012

Max Nisen of Business Insider wrote recently of a list of seven stock picks discovered in a Credit Suisse report on long term trends. One of those trends was increasing global automation (particularly in China) and the seven picks relate to companies poised to benefit from those needs.

The article and list prompted a series of quick personal opinions concerning almost all of their selections which I thought might be interesting to followers of the robotics industry.

by   -   August 1, 2012
Last week I attended the 7th Annual Remote Presence Clinical Innovations Forum hosted by InTouch Health in Santa Barbara, CA, a two-day users conference disseminating the latest information regarding a wide range of telemedicine-related topics through presentations and workshops. The keynote address, by Yulun Wang, Chairman and CEO of InTouch Health and Colin Angle, Chairman, co-founder and CEO of iRobot, Remote Presence’s Future: From Enabling Access to Coordinating Care, provided the platform to announce and display InTouch Health’s new RP-VITA telepresence robot which autonomously brought itself onstage skillfully avoiding a few obstacles.

InTouch Health has installed their remote presence robots and portable devices in hospitals all over the world, and their devices are used more frequently year by year. In his keynote speech, Wang said they were in “500 hospitals and have 60,000 high acuity consults a year now, and growing at a nice clip.” This is up from 300 hospitals and 20,000 consults two years ago.

by   -   August 1, 2012
 By Frank Tobe, editor/publisher, The Robot Report

Last week I attended the 7th Annual Remote Presence Clinical Innovations Forum hosted by InTouch Health in Santa Barbara, CA, a two-day users conference disseminating the latest information regarding a wide range of telemedicine-related topics through presentations and workshops. The keynote address, by Yulun Wang, Chairman and CEO of InTouch Health and Colin Angle, Chairman, co-founder and CEO of iRobot, Remote Presence’s Future: From Enabling Access to Coordinating Care, provided the platform to announce and display InTouch Health’s new RP-VITA telepresence robot which autonomously brought itself onstage skillfully avoiding a few obstacles.

InTouch Health has installed their remote presence robots and portable devices in hospitals all over the world, and their devices are used more frequently year by year. In his keynote speech, Wang said they were in “500 hospitals and have 60,000 high acuity consults a year now, and growing at a nice clip.” This is up from 300 hospitals and 20,000 consults two years ago.

After the address I spent a few moments with Colin and asked him about iRobot’s role with InTouch and about their goals for their new mobility platform.

I saw and played with the new RP-VITA robots and they are truly slick. But the most enlightening thing I saw was four hours of tightly-packed presentations by critical care doctors and hospital administrators, all users of InTouch Health’s remote presence robots, and all portraying different aspects of why remote presence in health care is relevant, is saving lives and is necessary today and why it will continue to be in the future.

  • A Trauma Telemedicine outfit from Halifax, Canada is providing pre-natal care in a Third World South American nation. They are using InTouch Health’s portable remote presence devices with a traveling nurse to assist in taking and discussing ultra sound exams and other pre-natal treatments with health care professionals in Canada for rural pregnant women.
  • Two hospital systems (one in Florida and the other in Pennsylvania) are letting their patients see their doctors by telepresence at nearby local facilities using InTouch’s robots and other telepresence technology thereby making in unnecessary to drive to a big city university hospital.
  • Virtual tutoring was presented – in which an amazing feat of software was shown – superimposing the consulting surgeon’s hands over the view of the actual surgery so that it could be seen and discussed by both the consulting and on-site physicians.
  • Robots were used to provide admitting and initial diagnosis — one system actually has a 7 pm to 7 am robot shift. Nurses commented that by using the robots they could quickly get nighttime help and, because of the cameras and two-way dialogue capabilities, there has been no disagreement about what is seen by each of the various people involved.
  • A survey at one hospital utilizing InTouch robots showed a reduction of length-of-stay by 1+ days, the average patient census was down by 1, and there was an increase in cases by 9.
  • In a couple of presentations, a mobile robot was hooked up to the ballroom speaker system when the speaker had to be in two places at the same time. One doctor was a team physician for an Olympic soccer team in London; another missed a plane and was using his laptop at the airport to operate the robot on the stage.
  • There was one testimonial after another — and that was before the announcement of the new RP-VITA robot!

iRobot’s Mobility Platform

iRobot’s mobility platform is as slick, shiny and elegantly crafted as is the re-designed InTouch Health application station and “head” that is mounted atop it. Neatly encased in iRobot’s pedestal are three PrimeSense 3D sensors (two below and one above), four omni-directional Swedish wheels, an acoustic sensor, a laser sensor and iRobot’s Aware2 operating system. For the joint venture with InTouch, iRobot has provided an enhanced navigation system so that the device can quickly and autonomously move from point to point, rerouting as necessary for collision avoidance. This frees the health care professional from remotely driving the robot. [The autonomy feature is pending FDA approval which is expected in Q4.]
Also, the new RP-VITA specs contain a simple-to-use iPad interface for navigation and interaction with the patient and health care team. Thus, with the Aware2 operating system and software developer kit (SDK), and an iPad SDK both available to developers, thousands of developers can provide applications for a single, solid, proven platform.
Product engineering and appearance are always important considerations. Continued Colin, “When we test drove the RP-VITA without the skin, people thought it moved too fast and was unstable. But when we encased it and made it look as it does now, there were none of those complaints.”

Colin Angle stated that iRobot’s ultimate goal is to have a multi-purpose mobile robot in every home for every type of care and service. Thus, with this smooth-running new RP-VITA platform and the Aware2 SDK, iRobot is ready to take its know-how anywhere and everywhere. About the joint venture, Angle commented that “It was definitely the beginning of something important.”

InTouch Health’s RP-VITA Mobile Robot

Over the past 10 years, InTouch Health has been modifying it’s remote presence products to adapt to what health care professionals have needed. They gradually came to the conclusion that one methodology doesn’t fit all needs. Enabling a doctor to be in two places at once involves a whole series of products and systems. Currently they have three very capable solutions to those remote presence needs: a portable Xpress device for ambulances and remote locations unfriendly to mobile robots; a portable operating room station (Vantage and Lite); and the new mobile VITA robot. The swiveling wide-angle and zoom cameras and monitor and the two-way communication are integral parts of all of their products. The general purpose of each product is to easily perform real-time consults with patients and other physicians and health care providers through the use of secure interfaces supported by a speedy and secure network infrastructure.

As a pioneer in the field of health care telepresence, InTouch Health has had the unenviable task of keeping up with technological change while offering state-of-the-art remote presence robotic products. The release of this new RP-VITA robot and the partnership with iRobot, indicate how this new venture is paying off: the integration of new iPad apps integrated with the iRobot platform and an API making further clinical apps easily available, InTouch seems to have a viable forward plan.

However, competition is just around the corner. VGo Communication, Giraff Technologies and other telepresence robot companies are working with hospitals and municipalities to find uses their products can provide:

  • Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Vermont and New Hampshire has leased four VGo robots for a pilot program. They will be on site to supplement nurses in homes of patients in the group’s hospice to allow medical specialists in other locations to have live consultations about the case.
  • Another pilot program using VGos is under way with Children’s Hospital Boston where the hospital sends VGos home with kids after their operations so that doctors can check on their young patients once they’re home and talk with parents or caregivers about their care.
  • Giraffs are being placed by visiting nurses where frequent contact is desired. Giraffs can also be used by family members for communication and video conferencing.

Certainly, the joint venture with iRobot has freed InTouch to focus more on what it does best and leave the driving to iRobot.

by   -   July 27, 2012

In a joint press release, US companies InTouch Health and iRobot have announced a new telepresence robot for hospitals. The robot called “RP-VITA” builds on iRobot’s AVA platform introduced at last year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Similar to the AVA, the RP-VITA uses a tablet as the user interface and has autonomous mapping and navigation capabilities. The RP-VITA can also connect with diagnostic devices, such as otoscopes and ultrasound, and comes equipped with the latest electronic stethoscope. The robot is currently pending clearance by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), with results expected in the last quarter of 2012.