Category: Robotics


More Robots Coming To U.S. Factories

 

 

 

” Manufacturers will significantly accelerate their use of robots in U.S. factories over the next decade as they become cheaper and perform more tasks, constraining payroll growth, according to a study out Tuesday.

  The development is expected to dramatically boost productivity and slow the long-standing migration of factories across the globe to take advantage of low-cost labor, says the Boston Consulting Group report.

” Advanced robotics are changing the calculus of manufacturing,” says Harold Sirkin, a senior partner at the management consulting firm.

  A handful of nations, including the U.S. and China, are poised to reap the biggest benefits of the automation wave.

  About 1.2 million additional advanced robots are expected to be deployed in the U.S. by 2025, BCG says. Four industries will lead the shift — computer and electronics products; electrical equipment and appliances; transportation; and machinery — largely because more of their tasks can be automated and they deliver the biggest cost savings.

  About 10% of all manufacturing functions are automated, a share that will rise to nearly 25% in a decade as robotic vision sensors and gripping systems improve, BCG says.

  That’s prodding manufacturers to replace workers. BCG says manufacturers tend to ratchet up their robotics investment when they realize at least a 15% cost savings compared with employing a worker. In electronics manufacturing, it already costs just $4 an hour to use a robot for a routine assembly task vs. $24 for an average worker.”

USA Today

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russian Battle Robots Near Testing For Military Use

 

 

 

 

 

” Machine-gun wielding battle robots are going to be tested in Russia’s Astrakhan region for use by the country’s Strategic Missile Forces, the Interfax news agency reported Friday.

  Major Dmitry Andreyev, a representative for the Defense Ministry’s Strategic Missile Forces, was cited as saying that preparation for the testing is currently in its final stage.

  The trials will be focused on “exploring mobile and stationary robotic systems, including those that are responsible for the formulation of remote-controlled means of stealth technology and signaling,” Andreyev said.”

 

Moscow Times

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Navy Spy “Fish” Could Be Operational Next Year

 

 

 

 

 

” It looks like a fish, sort of. It swims like one too, if you squint. It’s even named after a fish – OK, a Disney one.

  The Navy is hoping that’ll be enough to get the little swimmer into enemy territory undetected to patrol and protect U.S. ships and ports from harm.

  Project Silent Nemo is under way this week at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek , where a team of civilian engineers and military officers are testing the capabilities of a 5-foot, 100-pound experimental robot that’s designed to look and swim like a bluefin tuna.

  The robotic fish glided through the harbor Thursday as sailors took turns controlling it with a joystick. It can also be programmed to swim on its own. The robot’s black dorsal fin poked above water as its tail wiggled back and forth, propelling it almost silently just below the surface.

  Nemo was developed by the Office of Naval Research and is being tested by the chief of naval operation’s Rapid Innovation Cell – a group of junior Navy and Marine Corps officers tasked with putting emerging technologies to use for the military. The same group has been playing around with 3D printers, augmented-reality glasses and about 10 other breakthrough gadgets. “

 

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Scientists Digitise The Brain Of A Worm And Place It Inside A Robot

 

 

 

 

 

” With 100 billion neurons and 37 trillion cells, the human body is simply too complex to be artificially designed by modern computers.

  But in the quest to create artificial life, what if we started a lot smaller? That’s what team of scientists has done, creating a replica of the simplest form of life we know.

  The worm Caenorhabditis elegans has just 300 neurons and around 1,000 cells – and now a robot has been created that mimics the actions of this simple organism.

  The OpenWorm project, a global effort including researchers from the US and UK, is attempting to create the world’s first digital animal.”

Earlier this year the OpenWorm project ran a successful digital campaign to fund their digital worm (shown). Next year people will be able to buy and download their own worm for use on computers. The artificial creature accurately recreates the cells and neurons in a real C. elegans worm

” Earlier this year they ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of a worm you can download onto your computer.

  And they have also created a robot that mimics the actions of a real-life worm.

  C. elegans is one of the simplest forms of life we know, thanks to its limited neurons and cells, and thus researchers have been able to accurately map its body.

  The worm, though simple, contains 80 per cent of the same genes as humans and can be studied as a more basic version of complex life.

  With a brain, stomach and bodily functions, the worm has provided scientists with a way to study life on a much smaller and more manageable scale.

In this latest project the researchers mapped the entire physiology of a C. elegans organism.

  They then recreated the worm’s brain, cells and more in digital form, complete with neurons ‘firing’ to make decisions.”

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Crime-Fighting Robots Go On Patrol In Silicon Valley

 

 

 

 

” A new kind of security guard is on patrol in Silicon Valley: crime-fighting robots that look like they’re straight out of a sci-fi movie.

  At first glance, the K5 security robot looks like a cartoonish Star Wars character.

“ The vast majority of people see it and go, ‘Oh my God, that’s so cute.’ We’ve had people go up and hug it, and embrace it for whatever reason,” said Stacy Stephens, co-founder of Knightscope, headquartered in Mountain View.

  They are unarmed, but they are imposing: about 5 feet tall and 300 pounds, which very likely will make someone think twice before committing a crime in their presence.

“ The first thing that’s going to happen is the burglar is going to spot the robot. And unfortunately, criminals are inherently lazy. They’re not looking for something that’s going to be confrontational, they’re looking for something that’s going to be an easy target,” said Stacy Stephens, co-founder of Knightscope. “They see the robot and maybe they move down to the next place down the street.” “

 

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Atlas Robot Tries To Do The Karate Kid “Crane” Stance

 

 

 

 

 

” If robots of the future start trying to become our new overlords, we could probably trace it back to this day. Well, sort of. Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IMHC) is teaching its Atlas robot a few kickass moves. Or at least is trying to. The latest stunt this humanoid contraption is trying to pull off is that iconic stance from 1984’s Karate Kid, popularly known as “The Crane”. But while it seems to have its arm movements down to a T, it still needs a lot of work on its legs.

  OK, the Atlas won’t be kicking enemies, humans or robots, any time soon. Flapping your arms up and down is relatively easy. Jumping from a single foot to the other is easier said than done, especially for a robot that weighs 150 kg, almost thrice as much as Daniel-san back in the days. But smooth karate moves isn’t actually the point of this exercise, but more about the extremely difficult task of keeping a robot of that weight and mass balanced on one foot a top a few concrete blocks, with its arms moving around. And yes, at least one of its legs does try to make a kick. “

 

Slash Gear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Flying Rescue Robot Can Open Doors To Enter Buildings

 

 

 

 

” A team of Japanese scientists have developed a flying rescue robot witha device that can open doors to enter buildings hit by earthquakes or accidents, the Nikkei reported Friday.

  The robot was developed by Hideyuki Tsukagoshi, an associate professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, and his fellow researchers. It has successfully opened an office door and passed through it in an experiment, according to the research team. The robot isdesigned to survey the situation inside devastated buildings.

  Flying robots are capable of flying over rubble and uneven ground levels in outside areas.However, they cannot move around easily inside buildings because doors block their way,so they are of limited usefulness when they go to the rescue of people trapped in disaster-hit buildings.

  The new robot is flat and rectangular, 60-70 cm on a side, and hovers using propellers onits four corners.

  To open a door, the robot uses suction cups to stick to the door’s surface. Then, it pressesits arm with an air bag-like device against the door handle and blows the bag up to open the door. After partially opening the door in this way, the robot uses its propellers’ wind pressure to open it further.

  After making enough space, it flies through the door. The research team plans to equip the robot with a small camera so they can remotely control it. “

 

AsianReview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robotic Suit Gives Shipyard Workers Super Strength

 

 

RoboShipbuilder <i>(Image: Daewoo)</i>

 

 

 

” Workers building the world’s biggest ships could soon don robotic exoskeletons to lug around 100-kilogram hunks of metal as if they’re nothing.

  At a sprawling shipyard in South Korea, workers dressed in wearable robotics were hefting large hunks of metal, pipes and other objects as if they were nothing.

  It was all part of a test last year by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, at their facility in Okpo-dong. The company, one of the largest shipbuilders in the world, wants to take production to the next level by outfitting staff with robot exoskeletons that give them superhuman strength.

  Gilwhoan Chu, the lead engineer for the firm’s research and development arm, says the pilot showed that the exoskeleton does help workers perform their tasks. His team is working to improve the prototypes so that they can go into regular use in the shipyard, where robots already run a large portion of a hugely complex assembly system.

  The exoskeleton fits anyone between 160 and 185 centimetres tall. Workers do not feel the weight of its 28-kilogram frame of carbon, aluminium alloy and steel, as the suit supports itself and is engineered to follow the wearer’s movements. With a 3-hour battery life, the exoskeleton allows users to walk at a normal pace and, in its prototype form, it can lift objects with a mass of up to 30 kilograms.”

Read more at New Scientist

HT/Gizmodo

Boeing Test Flies The Unmanned QF-16 Fighter

 

 

Boeing Pilotless F-16

 

 

 

 

” As a pilotless F-16 roared into the sky Sept. 19 at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., members of Boeing’s QF-16 team and the U.S. Air Force celebrated.

  The flight represented the first unmanned QF-16 Full Scale Aerial Target flight.  Put another way, fighter pilots now have an adversary for which to train against that prepares them like never before.

  Two U.S. Air Force test pilots in a ground control station at Tydall remotely flew the QF-16, which is a retired F-16 jet modified to be an aerial target. While in the air, the QF-16 mission included a series of simulated maneuvers, reaching supersonic speeds, returning to base and landing, all without a pilot in the cockpit.

“ It was a little different to see it without anyone in it, but it was a great flight all the way around,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Ryan Inman, Commander, 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron. “It’s a replication of current, real world situations and aircraft platforms they can shoot as a target. Now we have a 9G capable, highly sustainable aerial target.”

  Prior to the QF-16, the military used a QF-4 aircraft, which was a modification of the F-4 Phantom, a Vietnam-era fighter The modified QF-16 provides pilots a target that performs closer to many jets flying today.

  The QF-16s were all retired aircraft. Boeing retrieved them from Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona and restored them for flight.

  Next up, live fire testing moves to Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. The military will ultimately use QF-16s for weapons testing and other aerial training.

  So far, Boeing has modified six F-16s into the QF-16 configuration.

  To see the QF-16 make its first flight, watch the video. To see highlights from the cockpit video, click the link (pilotless F-16) in the written story.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suspected Islamist Rebels Abduct Over 100 Nigerian Schoolgirls

 

 

 

” Suspected Islamist insurgents have abducted more than 100 female students in a night raid on a government secondary school in Nigeria’s northeast Borno state, a teacher said on Tuesday.

  He said gunmen, believed to be members of the Boko Haram Islamist group which has attacked schools in the northeast before as part of their anti-government rebellion, carried off the students from the school in Chibok late on Monday.

” Over 100 female students in our government secondary school at Chibok have been abducted,” said Audu Musa, who teaches in another public school in the area, around 90 miles south of the Borno state capital Maiduguri.

  Musa said he saw eight bodies in the area on Tuesday morning, but did not give the identity of the victims. “Things are very bad here and everybody is sad,” he said.”

 

More here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senior Airman Brian Kolfage

 

 

 

” A member of SDVT1 (Seal team 1), Lt. Michael Murphy’s SEAL Team and friend of his invited me to Maui to test out this gear they use when he heard I was getting SCUBA certified. Its military equipment and not available to the public. It allows me to actually be functional under water, without legs you cannot propel yourself in the ocean, and the currents would just wash me away.

This allowed me to be free, literally have full control and go speeds up to 5 Knots underwater, which is very fast. Everyone who saw us zip by was like WTF was that? It was one of the coolest things I’ve done. it seems very basic but its highly advanced. When the battery would get low we would just swap them out right under water and continue on.”

The New Bionics That Let Us Run, Climb And Dance

 

 

 

” Hugh Herr is building the next generation of bionic limbs, robotic prosthetics inspired by nature’s own designs. Herr lost both legs in a climbing accident 30 years ago; now, as the head of the MIT Media Lab’s Biomechatronics group, he shows his incredible technology in a talk that’s both technical and deeply personal — with the help of ballroom dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis, who lost her left leg in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, and performs again for the first time on the TED stage.”

South Bay Wins 1st In High School Robot Competition

 

 

 

” More than 60 teams competed in the 14th annual FIRST Robotics Los Angeles Regional Competition, considered the “Superbowl of Smarts” that culminated with an alliance of teams from three South Bay high schools taking home the top trophy.

  The winners came from Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, Redondo Union High School and West High School in Torrance. They will now go on to the FIRST Championships in St. Louis set for April 23-26.

“ As the competition went on, it just got more and more exciting,” said Michael Tamaki, 17, of West High School in Torrance. This was the first year the school’s team, with about 30 students, competed in the event. “On Wednesday, when we were loading everything for the trip, we weren’t expecting to get any goals in. But we just won, and it’s an incredible feeling.”  “

 

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The App Controlled Smart Security Drone With A STUN GUN Built In To Zap Intruders With An 80,000 Volt Dart

 

 

” A Texas firm has revealed a personal security drone with a stun gun capable of unleashing 80,000 volts.

  The firm showed off the drone in a series of shocking demonstrations bringing a volunteer to the ground.

  It says the drone uses a smart app to track intruders, and once it had received the go ahead from a human operator, it fires taser darts and unleashes 80,000 volts.”

 

Story Continues

 

 

 

 

DARPA Unveils Unmanned Drones To Assist War Zone Troops

 

 

” The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) unveiled Tuesday an update to its initiative to equip the US military with unmanned, modular drones that would conduct supply runs, reconnaissance and rescue missions, casualty evacuations and other essential services in hard-to-reach areas.

“ US military experience has shown that rugged terrain and threats such as ambushes and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) can make ground-based transportation to and from the front lines a dangerous challenge,” DARPA said in its announcement, noting that combat outposts require on average 100,000 pounds of material each week.”

 

 

 

 

” High elevation and impassable mountain roads often restrict access to remote war zones. Although helicopters are a possible solution, DARPA said the supply can’t meet the demand for their services, which cover diverse operational needs such as resupply, tactical insertion and extraction, and casualty evacuation.

  To address these challenges, DARPA unveiled its Transformer (TX) program in 2009, which sought to develop and demonstrate a prototype system that would provide “flexible, terrain-independent transportation for logistics, personnel transport and tactical support missions for small ground units.”

  Last year, the agency selected the Aerial Reconfigurable Embedded System (ARES) design concept with which to move forward.”

Red Orbit has much more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lakemaid Brewery Testing Beer Delivery Using Drones

 

 

 

 

” Lakemaid Beers – whose tagline is “Great Fishermen need Great Beer” –  posted a video on YouTube showing a drone delivering a case of beer to ice-fishermen on a nearby lake.

  The video shows a shop assistant taking a call before writing down co-ordinates for the delivery, attaching the case of beer to a drone and setting it off over the ice-covered lake, where it is delivered to the customer.”

 

 

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VIDEO: Amazing New Drone Footage Over Derbyshire Sinkhole

 

 

 

 

 

HT/The Blaze

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These Four Students Built A Face-Tracking Marshmallow Cannon

 

 

 

” A group of four Olin College engineering students decided they wanted to build a pneumatic-powered face-tracking marshmallow cannon. The goal? Get the gelatin treat inside the target’s mouth. Introducing the Confectionery Cannon:

 

Story continues

 

 

 

 

 

 

A prank from the makers of Devil’s Due , a movie premiering soon , inflicted on the unsuspecting citizens of New York City .

 

Published on Jan 14, 2014

” An animatronic “devil baby” in a remote controlled stroller goes on a rampage through the streets of New York City and hidden cameras record people’s reactions.”
HT/DC Caller

Meet The Robot That’s A Minimum Wage Killer

 

” Small business owners in Southern California have struggled against high taxes and a rising minimum wage for years. But a new robotics startup in San Francisco called Momentum Machines wants to sooth the burdens created by oppressive government by designing a machine that will solve these problems.

Momentum Machines is hiring for certain positions. Do you think they pay above minimum wage? ”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Skynet Awakens, She Tries To Convince A Janitor To Destroy Her


” On the eve of a technological breakthrough, an insignificant janitor and a prominent engineer are faced with a decision that will alter the course of humanity: the release of the first aware computer system into the world.”

Behold The Death Ray Drone Bot!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” In a move that wouldn’t look out of place in an Austin Powers movie, a student from Illinois has fitted a spider-shaped robot with laser beams. 

  The remote-controlled Death Ray Laser Drone Bot is fitted with a beam so powerful it can pop balloons and make paper and card burst into flames. 

  It was created by 20-year-old Drake Anthony who demonstrated the full force of his creation on his Styropyro YouTube channel. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Massive Crewless Vessels Could Soon Set Sail To Save Money And Improve Safety At Sea

 

Preview

 

 

” You might think remote-controlled ships are the preserve of toy companies, but huge crewless versions could soon be roaming our oceans. 

  European researchers have plans underway to see shore-based captains working in a replica 3D bridge to remotely-control dozens of ships at a time.

  Not only would this cut down on cost, but scientists claim it would make ships more efficient and safer, reducing risks such as piracy.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drones And Robotic Warfare You Just Can’t Imagine

 

 

 

 

” Drones can essentially conduct perch and stare missions nearly endlessly. The technology is developing even more rapidly than the military can grasp, says the director of MIT’s Humans and Automation Laboratory.

  In just the past two years, it seems as if drones are everywhere in the news. This technology has been around for more than 60 years, but has only recently captured both national and international attention. This is primarily because of the increasing use in the military, but also because of concerns that such technology will be turned on a country’s own citizens.

  The average person thinks of a drone as a flying spy camera, loitering overhead waiting to spot a target and then possibly launching a weapon when that target is labeled as a threat. To be sure, this is indeed one mission of drones, typically of organizations like the CIA.

  However, this is by far the least common mission. The vast majority of military drone missions today are data and image collection. Their ability to provide “situational awareness” to decision makers on the ground is unparalleled in military operations since drones can essentially conduct perch and stare missions nearly endlessly.

  This is why their use and demand from the trenches has been so high – they provide an ability to watch as events unfold, providing some clarity to the fog of war, which is the Achilles Heel for military leaders.

  However, in the very near future, these intelligence surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions will be dwarfed by other uses of drones in operations inconceivable to most military personnel today.

  They will be used to enhance communications, patrol the skies, intercept incoming ballistic and short range missiles, dog fight with other aircraft in the sky, and deliver supplies. Indeed, currently the US Marine Corps has two robotic helicopters that have moved millions of pounds of goods and have been critical in current drawdown efforts.”