August 4, 2010

Cimcorp Adopts RMT Robotics


Although it is located in Canada, the Finland-based Cimcorp Oy is now the proud owner of RMT Robotics. While both companies manufacture material handling systems with gantry technology, Cimcorp believes the merger will better serve warehouse, distribution and food and beverage markets. RMT will remain in Toronto under its present name.

(Thanks, Kathryn)

Via Cimcorp

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August 3, 2010

Go to Work With Anybots QB


Join the telepresence robot set with Anybots' QB. The bot is controlled via your PC and features a 5 megapixel camera, speaker, microphone, WiFi connectivity and a whopping 3.5 mph speed. Be one of the first to pre-order one for $15,000 and become part of the official 100 Club. Membership entitles you to a signed, numbered QB, access to the launch party and Anybots updates.

Via Anybots

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August 2, 2010

Service Bots Taking Over Tokyo

Helpful service bots were featured at a recent expo in Tokyo. Participants included Chapit, a robot that can answer questions and crack jokes, the Personal Mobility Robot that has four cams and a sensor to help humans move around and DiGRO, an advanced helpbot that can draw pictures for kids that it finds on the Internet. Japan's latest estimate is that by 2050, 40% of its population will be over 65 so expect those service bots to be frequent companions.

Via Reuters India

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July 27, 2010

Pancake Tossing Bot Uses Reinforced Learning

Mmmm, pancakes. An Italian Institute of Technology team paired a Barrett WAM robotic arm and a simulated pancake in an effort to teach it to toss. While the video shows it to be almost an exercise in futility, it finally gets the hang of it. To further prove reinforced learning, team leader Sylvain Calinon also taught it to iron.

Via Sylvain Calinon

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July 26, 2010

Softbots Ape Caterpillars


The scientific explanation may be a bit dry and complicated, but the gist of the story is that Virginia Tech is developing "softbots," robots that move similarly to Manduca sexta caterpillars. They "gut slide" to move forward as it turns out that their legs are not doing the walking. Future applications may include search-and-rescue or even internal travel in a human.

Via Current Biology

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July 20, 2010

DLR Robonots to Repair Satellites


DLR's German Aerospace Center has developed a telepresence robot to repair satellites in space. About the size of a human, Justin has extremely sensitive fingers and stereoscopic vision to accomplish this. The head of the project, Alin Albu-Schaffer, sees a future that teams the humans and robonauts together. Although there is no target date for launch, it gives some lucky controllers the chance to vicariously hang out in space.


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July 14, 2010

EPFL Spy Cam Sticks to Surfaces

Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne has developed a spy system for vehicles with cameras that can attach themselves to walls, trees, or other surfaces. Mirko Kovac demonstrated the system that can not only be used on various sizes of flyers, they can be placed on hoppers as well. Usage could include checking out catastrophic conditions and searching for damage victims.

Via EPFL (translated)

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July 13, 2010

FURO Serves With a Modicum of Emotion

Although FURO is supposed to exhibit more emotion than earlier generations, the robotic waitress stills seems fairly non-committal to us. The Korean bot from Future Robot takes an order on its touchscreen, expresses mild displeasure when the customer changes his mind and allows him to pay by credit card.

Via Plastic Pals

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July 12, 2010

Beer Me, PR2

What does Willow Garage do after lending out some of its PR2s to those who will teach them practical tasks? Use one to do something really important. Check out the video that shows the beerbot fetching the correct brew, open the bottle and deliver it. The Beer Hackathon Team's creation has certainly earned its keep, but suppose the beer has a flip-top?

Via Willow Garage

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AQUA2 - Companion Under the Sea

Now you can have your very own underwater pet to take with you on your ocean adventures. The AQUA2 has 6 flippers to propel it in the water and even up on shore. (We dig the robot's eye view.) The McGill University fishbot works by remote fiber optic or Ethernet wire and can travel up to 120 feet (sing along now) 'under the sea.'

Via McGill

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