Festo is known for its appreciation of bio-mimicry in their robotic designs and the new BionicOpter is no exception. The BionicOpter leverages a unique multidisciplinary design approach combining lightweight sensors, actuators and mechanical elements with the latest in 21st century materials science. Much like Festo’s Bionic Handling Assistant the BionicOpter both looks and flies much like its organic dragonfly cousin.
These are not your nice cuddly, Saturday afternoon robots, these are kick ass, custom designed battle bots, yep folks its that kind of show. The Robot Combat League premiers February 26th 2013 on the SyFy Channel. Each week the show will feature robotic gladiatorial combat controlled by operators using an exoskeleton controller. Kind of reminds you of the 2011 movie Real Steel staring Hugh Jackman, just set now and not in the near future. Actually since the movie came out back in 2011 and this is now 2013 this is the future from the perspective from someone in the year 2011 so…anyway check it out.
Double Robotics has created a telepresence design that is simple, beautiful and elegant. It is in essence a self balancing remote operated stand for the iPad that allows it’s user to interact with people anywhere in the world with wireless or 4g internet access. According to Double Robotics “touch screen controls allow you to freely move around without inconveniencing others. You can stay at eye level, whether sitting or standing, by adjusting your height remotely, which makes conversations fluid and real”. Demand for the Double thus far has been overwhelming, in fact the company has already sold out of the first production run but has plans in place to produce many more to meet the extraordinary demand. Preorders for the next production run ship in early 2013.
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For more info go to: http://www.doublerobotics.com/
It looks like Xenomorphs better watch their back, Raytheon corporation has created a new robot design that is strangely reminiscent of the fictional Power Loader from the 1986 Aliens sequel. It’s a teleoperated heavy lift robot based on a ditch witch except this one packs two massive robotic arms. The idea is to supplement and amplify the movements of the operator which can choose to manipulate the arms while onboard or from a remote location. Capable of lifting over 300 pounds this robot could work in hazardous environments too dangerous for humans. So you may be wondering when you can pick up your own heavy lift robot the answer is a whole lot sooner than you may think.
(KSL News 5 has been nominated for the 2011 “Most Inappropriate End of News Story Comment” of the year award)
The GroundBot from Swedish company RotundusRobotics takes a new spin on robotics design. At first glance you can tell this robot is not playing around, it looks mean and aggressive but the rounded design is what makes the all terrain GroundBot uniquely capable of navigating around different types of obstacles and terrain types. According to the company ” it operates in most terrain including deep snow, ice, mud and sand. It also floats on water. GroundBot is surprisingly light. Conventional surveillance robots, tipping the scales at over 200 kg, have a tendency to get bogged down in soft, unresisting surfaces. It weighs just 25 kg and can roll across all kinds of surfaces with ease.” Source: RotundusRobotics One can’t help but think that if you saw a squadron of GroundBots coming at you at night with headlights blazing, ones natural reaction would be to run away and fast. Fortunately GroundBots are here to help us, serving as a highly flexible mobile surveillance platform for a wide variety of security applications including; airport patrol, harbor protection and border security.
It looks like something that would traverse the battlefield of the 21st century but it is in fact one of the first remote controlled robotic weapons ever created. It was called the Goliath Tracked Mine one of many advanced weapon systems concepts from the past. The weapon was “steered remotely via a joystick control box. The control box was attached to the Goliath by a triple-strand cable connected to the rear of the vehicle, for transmitting power to the electric driven version. Two of the strands were used to move and steer the Goliath, the third was used for detonation. The Goliath had 650 m of cable. Each Goliath was disposable, being intended to be blown up with its target.” Source Wikipedia
Something big is going on in the history of war according to Brookings researcher Peter W. Singer, author of “Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century.” What was once science fiction more and more is quickly becoming a reality of modern-day warfare. Remote operated unmanned combat air vehicles, automated machine guns and bomb defusing robots are only the beginning, the military establishments of the world are headed down a road that will make take mechanized warfare to the next level. With current technology there is usually a human being in the loop, a remote operator flying a drone thousands of miles away or a bomb technician guiding an explosive ordnance disposal robot hundreds of feet away. This will not always be the case. After all humans are slow, they become tired, they need rest, they feel pain and empathy for others, combat robots on the other hand need none of these things. Read more: Waging War With Robots, The U.S. Military’s New Warriors: Robots, War of the Robots — All Too Real Questions We Have to Ask
The German Aerospace Agency has created an advanced light weight robot that can catch a tossed ball with one hand or both hands simultaneously. The “Rollin’ Justin” robot achieves this by using it’s vision system to continuously predict the trajectory of the ball while altering it’s position and appendages to catch it. Thus far it has a catch rate of about 80% which is quite impressive, more impressive is its tactile force sensing capability allowing it to distinguish between soft or solid objects and adjust the firmness of its grasp accordingly. The robot can leverage it’s advanced sensing system to perform more complex tasks like making Coffey. For more information check out the white paper on this technology
“As a grad student, Cynthia Breazeal wondered why we were using robots on Mars, but not in our living rooms. The key, she realized: training robots to interact with people. Now she dreams up and builds robots that teach, learn — and play. Watch for amazing demo footage of a new kids’ game.” Source ted.com
“Eythor Bender of Berkeley Bionics brings onstage two amazing exoskeletons, HULC and eLEGS — robotic add-ons that could one day allow a human to carry 200 pounds without tiring, or allow a wheelchair user to stand and walk. It’s a powerful onstage demo, with implications for human potential of all kinds.” Source: Ted.com
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