April 9, 2012

Robot Recovers Oikos Weapon


Local police used a robot with sonar to search an Oakland, CA estuary and Friday found the .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun used by One L. Goh at the Oikos University shooting. They borrowed it from the San Francisco Police Department who also supplied a boat with underwater tracking. The tip was given by the expelled former student, who admitted to the crime and had apparently targeted Wonja Kim, a former nursing program assistant director. Goh remains jailed and returns to court April 30 after his initial court appearance.

Via SF Gate

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April 4, 2012

MA-UGV Used in Variety of Tasks

Intelligent Automation's Multi-Arm Unmanned Ground Vehicle can multi-task with three arms, three cameras with depth perception and 29º of freedom. The MA-UGV can be programmed for autonomous chores and is being used in tool handling and manipulation, backpack inspection, door breaching, knot tying and other military applications like IED diffusion.

Via I-A-I

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March 29, 2012

Robotic Jellyfish Close to Authentic

Virginia Tech researchers, in conjunction with other universities, created a robotic jellyfish that can be powered by sea water. Commissioned by the U.S. Navy, the robojelly mimics movements of its living counterpart by allowing water in, closing up to push it back out, resulting in a jet that propels it. Made mostly of silicon, its artificial muscles have a shape-memory alloy that helps it return to its original form. Environmentally friendly, possible usage could be in surveillance and environmental monitoring.

Via IOP Science.

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March 28, 2012

Doug, Autonomous Robot Luggage


Meet Doug, the latest creation from Ben Heck. He will cheerfully (if you can call a bot cheerful) carry your luggage and follow at your pace within 20 ft. He disables upon being picked up. Learn how to make your own on Ben's site.

Via Ben Heck

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March 22, 2012

Canon to Replace Workers With Robots


It seems that Canon plans to cut production costs by about ¥400 billion (~$4.8 billion) by using robotics. The company will be utilizing them in both their toner department and the assembly line for SLR cameras' lenses. They hope that the move will increase their profit margin over the next few years. Considering that the company is already in the robot building business, it certainly sounds logical. So if you admire and/or purchase one of their cams you can thank the robots for a job well done.

Via The Verge

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March 15, 2012

NRL Developing Shipboard Fire Fighter


The U. S. Navy has been developing a firefighter for its fleet based on Virginia Tech's CHARLI-L1. NRL is in charge of the project that also involves the University of Penn. The Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot will be able to sense a fire with the use of sensors and an IR camera can shoot through smoke. Made autonomous with the assistance of algorithms, it will work in small spaces or on ladderways and be capable of throwing extinguishing grenades at its target. SAFFiR can work for up to 30 minutes per charge and can move in all directions while balancing even in rough seas. Testing should occur onboard the ex-USS Shadwell in September 2013.


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March 14, 2012

Watson Tackles Citi Bank


Not content to merely be a Jeopardy champ and work with Wellpoint in the heathcare industry, IBM's Watson has now teamed with Citi to tackle banking. They are hoping to use it to improve both the overall business and customers' experiences. This is not the first time the two companies collaborated. In 1954, they used an Electronic Data Processing Machine to cut the time of a cost-benefit analysis from 1,000 to 9 ½ human hours.

Via Citigroup

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February 8, 2012

Bin Bots Replace Humans

Jerome Mack ran a company that made robotic tools. In 1998, his best friend died in a grain bin accident and he formed Mack Robots to make bots that could do the work. Last year the $15,000 - $17,000 Bin Bots began selling and were featured at this year's Minnesota Grain and Feed Association convention and trade show.

The service bot measures 6 x 2 feet, weighs 800 lbs. and can both fit through a grain bin door and is strong enough lift heavy buckets. It can be operated by a worker from outside with an optional video camera and lights.
Via Mack Robots

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January 24, 2012

Snakebot Assists Rescue Dog

Take your basic rescue dog and pair it with a Snakebot and you get Carnegie Mellon and Ryerson University's answer to finding disaster survivors. The dog sniffs out humans and the snake deploys from a pack around his neck when he barks. The bot can then send back video to the operators. This video demonstrates both finding a human and the robotic snake's perspective.

Via IEEE Spectrum

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January 23, 2012

ROV Assists Divers at Costa Concordia

Divers sent down an Ageotec Perseo ROV to search the wreckage of the Costa Concordia. Hopefully they will help in seeking the still unaccounted for passengers. There is no sound on this video but you can see just how well the robotic camera can get into small places. The five function vehicle is part of the equipment being used by the Italian Fire Department.

Via Ageotec

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