The Xponential 2017 national conference was held May 8-11 by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. The event took place in the largest exhibit hall ever dedicated to unmanned systems and robotics, with over 370,000 square feet. It featured over 650 robotics organizations – companies, research institutions, universities, consultants, nonprofits and more – from the U.S. and countries worldwide.
In a three-year competition, five international teams competed to develop a robot for routine-, inspection- and emergency operations on oil & gas sites. Frequently, gas leaks on oil drilling rigs can cause an increased risk to safety and the environment.
How can we create robots that can carry out important tasks in dangerous environments? Machine learning is supporting advances in the field of robotics. To find out more, we talked to Dr Rustam Stolkin, Royal Society Industry Fellow for Nuclear Robotics, Professor of Robotics at the University of Birmingham, and Director at A.R.M Robotics Ltd, about his work combining machine learning and robotics to create practical solutions to nuclear problems.
NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and entrepreneurs aiming to jump-start human colonisation of space see the 3D printing of large scale objects, including entire habitations, as a major enabling technology for the future of space exploration.
The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) is part of a consortium which has received a £4.6 million grant to build a new generation of robots for use in nuclear sites. The funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council will help develop smaller robotics technologies that will be able to operate autonomously and effectively in hazardous environments.
Since the launch of the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco in December 2015, individuals from around the world have been racing to form Teams and develop a range of groundbreaking technologies to access the deep-sea. Registration closed at the end of September 2016 with 32 bold Teams stepping forward to take on the challenge of mapping and imaging our ocean as never before.
The UNEXMIN (Underwater Explorer for Flooded Mines) project is almost one year old. After a busy first year of work, UNEXMIN is on-schedule to deliver the first mechanical UX-1 prototype. Jussi Aaltonen, from TUT (Tampere University of Technology), leaders of WP1 – Robotic Functions Validations, talks about what has been done over the past year concerning his team’s work in UNEXMIN’s development scene.
Robots, like Julius from the Mining-ROX project, are a promising option to keep mining economical and safe. In our interview, we spoke with Prof. Bernhard Jung from TU Freiberg about why robots are important for the future of mining.
Workers have long confronted dangerous and dirty jobs. They’ve had to dig to the bottom of mines, or put themselves in harm’s way to decommission ageing nuclear sites. It’s time to make these jobs safer and more efficient, robots are just starting to provide the necessary tools.
With their near-vertical walls and deep fractures, glacier crevasses are dangerously narrow ice caves that present a huge risk to search and rescue teams. In a partnership between Flyability (Winner of the 2015 UAE Drones for Good Award) and the Zermatt Glacier mountain rescue team, drones were used to explore a remote crevasse in the Swiss Alps. The goal is to one day use the drones to help locate injured parties before dispatching a rescue team into dangerous territory, and also to help refine rescue techniques related to crevasse fall emergencies.