At the first step we are targeting researches in robotics, artificial intelligence and computer vision as well as hobby robotics enthusiasts. For this purposes, we identified and addressed the following key requirements:
should be complete open (hardware and software)
equipped with typical and widely used set of sensors
easy customizable to integrate new or different types of sensors and actuators
energy efficient yet powerful on-board computer
provide bi-directional communication link to transmit sensor and control data in real-time
set of software modules which support distributed data processing and provide hardware abstraction layer. It should let developers concentrate on experiments and applications of their core competences
considerably lower cost comparing to the similar available products
The ReWalk™ exoskeleton suit uses patented technology with motorized legs that power knee and hip movement. Battery-powered for all-day use, ReWalk is controlled by on-board computers and motion sensors, restoring self-initiated walking without needing tethers or switches to begin stepping. ReWalk controls movement using subtle changes in center of gravity, mimics natural gait and provides functional walking speed. A forward tilt of the upper body is sensed by the system, which triggers the first step.
Professional and hobbyist roboticists alike are snapping up Robotis Dynamixel Servos. These "smart" servos serve an important niche between $30 hobby servos and super-expensive harmonic drive servos. They sport torques ranging from 12 kg·cm to 106 kg·cm, and even more when doubled-up. Most of my experience is with the RX-28 and RX-64 variants, which have 300° swing, 10-bit position sensing resolution, (roughly) 8-bit position control, force/torque sensing, available compliance mode, and can daisy-chain more than 250 servos. At Georgia Tech's Healthcare Robotics Lab, we use dozens of these servos. I recently invested a decent amount of time overhauling our open-source (Python) control software, adding (among other things) thread-safe operation and ROS (Robot Operating System) compatibility. In this post, I'll do a brief overview of the Robotis Dynamixel offerings, look at a number of impressive applications where they are utilized, share pictures of a servo's disassembly, and give a brief tutorial using the new (awesome) open-source software libraries.
Ah, booze. The only thing it's (generally) missing is the sweet and vaguely servo-y taste of robotics. A little robot named Wall-Ye is trying to get involved in the process from the ground up by helping out in vineyards in France, meaning that we'll get to add "robotolicious" to the official list of wine descriptors.
Beam is available now for pre-order, and will begin shipping in November for $16,000. The dock is another $950. As far as telepresence platforms go, this is not cheap: you can buy an Anybots QB for $9,700, a VGo for about $6,000, a Double for just $2,000, and there are many more options as well.
Researchers at the University of Southern California's Viterbi School of Engineeringhave succeeded in making an artificial fingertip outperform humans in identifying a range of textures. That fingertip, the BioTac® from SynTouch LLC, is a molded elastomeric sleeve with a fingerprint-like pattern on the outside and sensors on the inside, filled with a conductive fluid. What the USC researchers have done is to develop algorithms for interpreting the data produced by the fingertip and for optimizing the movement of the robotic arm or hand on which it is mounted to most efficiently produce useful data. Their findings have been published in Frontiers in Neurorobotics. SynTouch LLC, founded in 2008, is a start-up technology business that develops and manufactures tactile sensors for mechatronic systems.BioTac® sensors are available as an evaluation kit, and also as kits for theBarrettHand and the Shadow hand.
The robot is designed to stroke the arm of a dying person and provide pre-recorded comforting phrases. As the stroking mechanism simulates the type of touch a human caretaker might perform, the robot tells the patient “ I am the Last Moment Robot. I am here to help you and guide you through your last moment on Earth. I am sorry that your family and friends can’t be with you right now, but don’t be afraid. I am here to comfort you. You are not alone, you are with me. Your family and friends love you very much, they will remember you after you are gone.”
Open Source Robotics Foundation, Inc. (OSRF) is an independent non-profit organization founded by members of the global robotics community. The mission of OSRF is to support the development, distribution, and adoption of open source software for use in robotics research, education, and product development.
ECCERobot was built to move just like a human being and to interact with its environment in the way that a human body would. Its design allows it to leave behind the typical mechanical movements and move with the fluidity characteristic of us meatbags. It features the same bones as humans and “muscles” that work very similarly to our own.
What Fraunhofer is trying to do is mimic the ant swarm system with robots. For example, instead of having one central computer control the movements every robot (as with Kiva), Fraunhofer's system utilizes robots that make their own decisions with onboard computers. Each robot communicates with all the other robots in the swarm simultaneously using WLAN, and they use algorithms based on a model for how ants forage for food to cooperatively decide which of them should go where and do what.
The robots don't need fixed localization points, but instead rely on "integrated localization and navigation technology" (including signal-based location capability, distance and acceleration sensors and laser scanners) to find the most direct routes to their destination without crashing into anything or each other. This makes them very efficient, and it also makes the system easily scalable, since you can introduce new things and the robots won't freak out.
HDT Global has just introduced some new robotic limbs to give explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) robots like PackBots and Talons [pictured above] a helping hand (or two) when it comes to complex and delicate tasks like defusing bombs. This is a very good idea, since just poking high explosives with a simple gripper doesn't always work outthe way everyone would like.
Kilobot, a robot designed to make testing collective algorithms on hundreds or thousands of robots accessible to robotics researchers. To enable the possibility of large Kilobot collectives where the number of robots is an order of magnitude larger than the largest that exist today, each robot is low cost and takes only a few minutes to assemble. Furthermore, the robot design allows a single user to easily oversee the operation of a large Kilobot collective, such as programming, powering on, and charging all robots, which would be dificult or impossible to do with many existing robotic systems. We demonstrate the capabilities of the Kilobot as a collective robot, using a 29 robot test collective to implement some popular swarm behaviors.
iRobot Corp., makers of the beloved Roomba (and a lot more), announced that it would be investing $6 million in InTouch Health, a telemedicine company operating in 80 hospitals around the world. Though $6 million represents just a minority stake in the company, it’s--needless to say--a substantial investment, and a strong expansion of a joint development and licensing agreement the two companies had announced last summer.