ABB launches YuMi and acquires gomTec

ABB leapt into the collaborative robotics space at the Hannover Messe trade show by launching their two-armed YuMi robot and simultaneously announcing their acquisition of German startup gomTec

Service Robots Use Flat Motors

Service robots being designed for the disabled must be reliable, safe, and easy to use. Having the right motion system components is essential for these highly specific applications.

Festo BionicANTs and eMotionButterflies

From Festo Bionic: With the bionic butterflies, for the first time Festo combines the ultralight construction of artificial insects with collision-free flying behaviour in a collective. For coordination purposes, the eMotionButterflies make use of a guidance and monitoring system, which could be used in the networked factory of the future... ( additional info ) Like their natural role models, the BionicANTs work together under clear rules. They communicate with each other and coordinate their actions and movements among each other. The artificial ants thus demonstrate how autonomous individual components can solve a complex task together working as an overall networked system... ( additional info )

February Was Another Good Month For Robotic Investments

February was another big month for investments in robotic startup companies. 3D Robotics, Flyability, Fetch Robotics, EHang and many others.

Is A Sperm Robot Coming To You?

Single-cell management has traditionally been accomplished with pipettes, optical tweezers, or specialized small volume designs. Now, other bio-inspired methods rely on controlling applied magnetic forces, such as the wireless control of microrobots.

What You Wanted To Know About AI

Run down of the state of AI from FastML: Let’s take a look at how advanced we are, really. Two representative and well known examples of the current state of the art are: Automatic image annotation using a combination of convolutional and recurrent neural networks DeepMind’s deep reinforcement learning for playing Atari games ( cont'd at FastML )

Runt Rover Robot Kits from Actobotics

From Servocity:  Simply mount your electronics using our innovative multi-board mounts that are compatible with a variety of micro-controllers; such as Raspberry Pi, Arduino and the SparkFun Redboard. The Runt Rovers™ are perfect for beginning light programming and educational applications... ( Servocity available options )

UAVs Emerging as Key Addition to Wildlife Conservation Research

Automatic object detection is software that can automatically identify animals or poachers. This would enable tasks such as counting animals to become completely automated.

Using UAVs For Environmental Research

An Interview with Dr Paul Scholefield, Large Scale Ecosystem Modeller at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Robotnik's Mobile Manipulator RB-1

From Smashing Robotics: Spanish company Robotnik introduced earlier this week their very own RB-1 mobile manipulator. The robot is designed for indoor use in household as well as professional environments, and is brought to life by using well known Dynamixel Pro series servo actuators which add up to 13 degrees of freedom (DOF), depending on variant. It is well suited for remote manipulation or human assistance applications and can be fully autonomous or manually controlled... ( full article ) ( datasheet )

Regulating the UAV Industry: Current Status and Future Trends

Current UAV regulation is not a cause for concern as is so often suggested. Regulations for commercial UAV usage are fit for purpose and are likely to become more relaxed as UAV technology evolves.

Robotics Engineers: What are the salary levels & who is hiring?

The below salary charts for robotics engineers shows the highest salary levels for robotics engineers in New York & San Francisco at approx. $110,000.

Beating Super Hexagon With Computer Vision

Two great examples of using Computer Vision to beat Super Hexagon. Super Hexagon is a really hard game. The goal of Super Hexagon is to control a small triangle which circles around a central hexagon (which occasionally collapses into a pentagon or square in the hexagon and hyper hexagon difficulty) attempting to avoid contact with incoming "walls".  First example from Valentin Trimaille's Super Hexagon bot: Ray Casting Wall Detection The point is that a bot for this game makes a really nice image processing project to start learning OpenCV: simple shapes but lots of human disturbing effects, fast-paced game meaning real-time is required, very simple controls: rotate CW or CCW... ( full article ) Second example from Shaun LeBron's  Super Hexagon Unwrapper: This project is written in Python. It employs Computer Vision algorithms provided by SimpleCV to establish a reference frame in the image. Then it warps (or "unwraps") the image based on that reference frame, using OpenGL fragment shaders... ( github code ) ( full explanation )

Proposed FAA Commercial UAS Rules

From IEEE Spectrum: Unmanned aircraft must weigh less than 55 lbs. (25 kg). Visual line-of-sight (VLOS) only; the unmanned aircraft must remain within VLOS of the operator or visual observer. At all times the small unmanned aircraft must remain close enough to the operator for the operator to be capable of seeing the aircraft with vision unaided by any device other than corrective lenses. Small unmanned aircraft may not operate over any persons not directly involved in the operation. Daylight-only operations (official sunrise to official sunset, local time). Must yield right-of-way to other aircraft, manned or unmanned. May use visual observer (VO) but not required. First-person view camera cannot satisfy “see-and-avoid” requirement but can be used as long as requirement is satisfied in other ways. Maximum airspeed of 100 mph (87 knots). Maximum altitude of 500 feet above ground level... (full article)

Communicating Cars the Future?

If uninterrupted conversations between cars make driving safer, then self-driving cars will become safer as well.

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Opportunity Tonasket:  You Only Get to do this Life Once, So Let's Make it Count.

Opportunity Tonasket: You Only Get to do this Life Once, So Let's Make it Count.

Our primary mission is to promote economic development and growth in the city of Tonasket, WA and surrounding area. This is a group of local citizens sharing a common goal. We wish to assist and promote existing businesses wishing to relocate, local businesses wishing to expand and local individuals wanting to startup a business. Preserving and enhancing the small town and rural lifestyle in a way which benefits everybody and maintains a healthy lifestyle. Opportunity Tonasket was created to be a hub for information and contacts with local city and county agencies, as well as local businesses and real estate connections. Their goal is to connect current and newly relocated individuals and businesses and "plug them in" with the best services, advice and experts in the area. Opportunity Tonasket is like a leg-up, as if one's already had a foothold in the community.