17 robotic innovations among 2013 Edison Award winners

01 May 2013

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Last Thursday in Chicago at a ceremony attended by 400 international business leaders and innovators, the Edison Awards – which honours game-changing new products and services – announced its 2013 winners. While the innovations featured at the event crossed a broad spectrum of industries and applications, seventeen of 130+ award-winners came from the fields of robotics, automation or sensing.

Here they are …

Baxter by Rethink Robotics (Gold Award – Productivity Tools)
Rethink Robotics creates robots for manufacturers that are different: Robots with Common Sense™ that anyone can use, just about any company can afford, and require no programming.

iRobot Looj® 330 Gutter Cleaning Robot (Gold Award – Household)
iRobot Looj 330 cleans up to a 30-foot section of gutter in 5 minutes and up to 200 linear feet per charge. The remote control has a communication range of up to 50′, allowing users to remain in a safe position while the robot cleans further. The low profile design allows Looj to fit in 90-percent gutters worldwide, traveling under gutter straps and over downspout holes.

Wave Glider® by Liquid Robotics (Gold Award – Power Generation/Utilization)
Many of the most dramatic challenges humanity will face in the next century will relate to our oceans. Liquid Robotics is revolutionizing the observation of our oceans with the invention of the Wave Glider, the 1st wave powered marine robot able to stay at sea for year without fuel/personnel/no emissions.

Quill™ by Narrative Science (Gold Award – Collaboration/Knowledge Management)
Quill is an engine that automatically transforms structured data into narratives indistinguishable from those generated by humans. A synthesis of data analytics and artificial intelligence, Quill generates English language briefs based on insights it derives from the data it processes. It finds and explains the insight hidden in your data.

ecoATM® by ecoATM, Inc. (Gold Award – Environment/Conservation)
ecoATM’s automated self-serve recycling kiosks use patented, advanced machine vision and artificial intelligence to evaluate and buy-back used electronics from consumers for cash. By providing convenience and immediate cash incentive, ecoATM’s kiosks are dramatically raising recycling rates and paying millions of dollars to consumers in the process.

Advanced Robotic Laser Coating Removal System (ARLCRS) by Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center and Concurrent Technologies Corporation (Gold Award – Processes)
The Advanced Robotic Laser Coating Removal System (ARLCRS) uses a powerful laser depainting tool and state-of-the-art mobile robots to automatically remove paint and coatings from aircraft. A custom HEPA system collects debris, minimizing its impact on the environment. The complete system is scalable from fighters to cargo and tanker aircraft.

MakerBot® Replicator® 2 Desktop 3D Printer by MakerBot (Gold Award – Design)
The MakerBot® Replicator™ 2 Desktop 3D Printer is the easiest, fastest, and most affordable tool for making professional-quality models. Designed for the desktop of an engineer, designer, or “maker,” the MakerBot Replicator 2 sets a new standard in 3D printing with 100-micron layer resolution and 410 cubic inch build volume.

Bioprinters for Regenerative Medicine by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine (Gold Award – Game Changer)
Two unique printers designed by scientists at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine print living cells and biomaterials rather than ink. The goal is to print replacement tissues and organs for human patients. Current projects include printing skin cells onto burn wounds and printing a prototype human kidney.

ARTAS® Robotic System by Restoration Robotics, Inc. (Gold Award – Aesthetics)
The ARTAS® System is a physician-controlled, state-of-the-art, interactive, computer-assisted system that enables harvesting of hair follicles during hair restoration procedures. ARTAS utilizes a robotic arm guided by special imaging technology to enhance the quality of hair follicle harvesting for the benefit of physicians and their patients.

Magellan™ Microprocessor Foot Ankle system by Orthocare Innovations (Gold Award – Assistive Devices)
Magellan™ recreates organic movement for people with lower limb prostheses. Magellan™ intuitively adjusts to the user’s movements, provides greater control, wider range of motion, more comfort and stability than other devices on the market. Magellan™ is the first prosthesis linking users with clinicians through mobile communications technology and cloud computing.

MatrixSelect™ Automated Storage and Fulfillment System by Symbotic LLC (Silver Award – Productivity Tools)
Symbotic’s MatrixSelect has developed an advanced analytic solution leveraging a hierarchical framework for optimal autonomous guidance of its mobile autonomous robots to transform how materials are sourced and distributed through warehouses delivering a higher ROI for high throughput, optimal space utilization and flexible configuration through an existing supply network.

Kingfisher Unmanned Surface Vessel by Clearpath Robotics (Silver Award – Research and Collaborative Tools)
The Kingfisher M200 is an unmanned surface vessel with applications ranging from environmental data collection to harbor safety. Collecting nearly 100 times more data, up to eight times faster than traditional survey methods, the Kingfisher can cut labor and budget requirements by 60% – all while dramatically improving onsite safety.

Hermes by Advanced Optical Systems, Inc. (Silver Award – Safety)
Flying over life-threatening IEDs, mines and roadside bombs is a critical goal of US military logistics. Advanced Optical Systems (AOS) has developed the Hermes proximity, location and ranging system, giving pilotless helicopters the ability to pick-up and deliver supplies autonomously. This revolutionary system is currently in Afghanistan.

Mixed Row Palletizing (MXRP) Gripper by Grenzebach Americas – RSW BV (Bronze Award – Productivity Tools)
KUKA Systems offers a new, innovative Mixed Case Row Palletizing (MXRP) cell that can deliver efficiency gains of 40% or more in building same-store pallets in the warehouse.

Guideline™ Robotic Convoy System by Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (Bronze Award – Safety)
Guideline Robotic Convoy System is a simple but revolutionary way to guide robotic convoys through combat zones, industrial sites, and other dangerous areas. The Guideline tether attaches to any leader, and algorithms measure the cable length and vector to calculate the exact course for the unmanned follower vehicle.

Intelligent Lighting System by Digital Lumens (Bronze Award – Lighting)
Digital Lumens is redefining industrial lighting with intelligent LED lighting systems and services that deliver unmatched energy savings, flexibility and unique value to customers. With smart, networked LED fixtures that are centrally managed via software, the Intelligent Lighting System is proven to deliver lighting energy savings of up to 90%.

mySentry™ Remote Glucose Monitor by Medtronic Diabetes (Bronze Award – Assistive Devices)
mySentry, the world’s first remote glucose monitor of an integrated insulin pump with Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM), was designed to enhance nighttime protection with sensor alerts and alarms that can awaken a caregiver of a person with diabetes to important information.

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Hallie Siegel robotics editor-at-large
Hallie Siegel robotics editor-at-large

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