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by   -   October 19, 2013

DEMO describes itself as the launchpad for emerging technology and trends. The DEMO Fall 2013 Conference was produced by IDG, the publishing giant of Computerworld, PC World, MacWorld, etc. I went to see the 40 start-ups presenting their new products and apps, searching for anything robotic, and interested in everything else that might be trendsetting. Videos of all 40 presentations can be seen here.

by   -   August 8, 2013

In light of the popularity of his AR.Drone tutorials, we have invited Robohub contributor Mike Hamer to act as Guest Editor for our next focus series “Getting Started in Robotics.”

Like many children who show an early interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), my childhood years were spent constructing Lego masterpieces and deconstructing household electronics.

by   -   July 27, 2013

SUSBEXPO is the first conference about unmanned systems to really focus on the growing commercial opportunities of this market. AUVSI put on a spectacular annual show, but it is predominantly military systems. SUSBEXPO is the brain child of Patrick Egan, who is a UAS business consultant, as well as being deeply involved in AUVSI, SUASNews, building on a background with the military and regulatory groups. The conference was held at the Golden Gate Club in San Francisco on July 25-26 and attracted attendees from all over the US and beyond. UAVs were on exhibit from companies like 3D Robotics, AgriFlight and MLB Drones, and Patrick Egan is expecting SUSBEXPO to be even larger next year.

Over the last few years, there has been increasing talk about the potential of agriculture as a market for robotics. Speaking about future markets for unmanned aerial systems in a recent presentation at Maker Faire, DIY Drones founder and CEO of 3D Robotics Chris Anderson characterized agriculture as the “biggest economic potential with the lowest regulatory barriers,” and talked about the important role they can play in supplying much needed data to farmers, stating that “agriculture is a big data problem without the big data.”

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   -   June 9, 2013

There have been many headlines about “killer robots” and invasion of privacy. They protest that robots will soon choose targets and then bomb or shoot those targets under their own direction and will also invade people’s privacy through the use of drones. The issue, without the hyperbole, is whether there should be controls, what those controls should be, and who should administer them so that when advanced autonomous versions of today’s drones happen, as is sure to be the case 10-30 years from now, they won’t have the capability to kill people without human and governmental supervision and observe without legal authority.

by   -   June 9, 2013

AVC 2013 Logo

Most robotics hobbyists will be familiar with the name SparkFun, associating it with an electronics and robotics parts and kits supply house, located in Boulder, Colorado, and perhaps also with the instructional videos they publish on their YouTube channel.

The SparkFun Autonomous Vehicle Competition (AVC) for 2013 took place Saturday, June 8th, on a strip of land separating Boulder Reservoir from a private lake to the south. The event site was fenced in, encompassing what I’d guess to be about ten acres, with an adjacent area of water of similar dimensions marked off by buoys for the aerial course. There was also a fence around the ground course, to separate the vehicles from the crowd.

compound_eye

Flies have small brains that would not be able to process high-resolution images such as those that we see with our own eyes. Instead, they’ve perfected the use of compound eyes, composed of a dense mosaic of tiny eye-like structures called ommatidia. Each ommatidium consists of a microlense that focuses light from a specific section of the insect’s field of view onto an independent set of photoreceptors. Think of it as having many low-resolution cameras pointing in different directions. The result is a vision system with low spatial resolution (i.e. it can’t see details), but a wide field of view (i.e. it can see all around). By comparing information across the different ommatidia, flies can extract temporal information useful for detecting motion. This motion information, also called optic flow, is what allows flies to navigate, take-off, land and avoid obstacles while using very little processing power.

by   -   May 15, 2013

The Northrop Grumman X-47B unmanned aircraft made its first aircraft carrier launch this week. Landings come later.
The US Navy’s Naval Research Lab (NRL) flew a UAV for 48 hours, breaking a fuel-cell-for-flight record. The UAV was powered by a liquid hydrogen fuel in a cryogenic fuel storage tank and delivery system.

by   -   May 14, 2013


Much has been said about the need to augment the skills and increase the productivity of small factory workers by using robotic assistants called co-robots. Europe funded an SME (Small and Medium-sized Enterprise) public-private consortium to determine the needs and develop robotic solutions for those needs. In America, venture and privately-funded Rethink Robotics whose founder and CTO is ex-MIT Professor and iRobot co-founder Rodney Brooks has been doing the same thing: developing an adaptive manufacturing robot that can work safely alongside human workers. Brooks is devoted to — and an eloquent spokesman for — his mission of creating smarter, more adaptable, low-cost robotic solutions that can help manufacturers improve efficiency, increase productivity and reduce their need for offshoring.

ROS-I_Puzzle_GraphicLRROS-I is developing and promoting a manufacturer-independent open-source library of drivers and the transfer of established components from research to industry – not just h/w interfaces and MS, IOS and Android support, but legal and standardization issues as well.

by   -   May 7, 2013

On April 8-9, Stanford Law School held the second annual robotics and law conference, We Robot. This year’s event focused on near-term policy issues in robotics and featured panels and papers by scholars, practitioners, and engineers on topics like intellectual property, tort liability, legal ethics, and privacy. The full program is here.

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert L. Stephenson

by   -   April 24, 2013

irobot-stock-jumps-on-q1-news2

iRobot’s stock (ISRG:NASDAQ) jumped 15% today on yesterday’s earnings report which exceeded analysts’ expectations for both the quarterly earnings and the annual projections.

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Cognitive Robotics Under Uncertainty
November 26, 2019


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