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Robotics summer day camp comes to Fort Calhoun – Blair Enterprise Publishing

“Oh, I love that noise,” exclaimed Fort Calhoun Elementary’s high ability learners (HAL) teacher, PJ Mallette, above the whirrs and clicks of carefully assembled robots. “That means we’re ready to program!”

The sound in question was a series of electronic beeps administered by the various iPads and laptops in the Summer Jam Camp classroom at the elementary school. As HAL teacher, Mallette taught a hugely successful robotics unit during the 2016-17 school year. As a result, he brought a modified version of the unit back for the school’s summer program.

“This is the first time I’ve taught kindergarteners robotics,” Mallette said. “I’m surprised how fast they’re picking it up. If you had put this stuff in front of me when I was in kindergarten, I would’ve been lost.”

For 45 minutes a day, Fort Calhoun Elementary’s cafeteria is filled with chatter, laughter a

According to after-school program director Christina Bowser, the camp is one of the most popular of the summer season because it allows the kids to be as creative as they want, and it provides them with challenges that flex their problem-solving muscles.

“The younger kids have really kept up with the older kids,” Bowser said. “The building part they have no problem with. They’ve worked with Legos and blocks before, so it’s really similar to what they’re building with now. None of them are giving up. They just keep trying.”

Aside from building and programming their robots, kids are working on constructing robots made from red- or blue-painted tin cans green was also an option, but evidently an unappealing one which were donated by the community. With the aid of adults, kids are connecting the cans with wire and gluing on button faces.

On Friday, the students filed down to Pioneer Park, where Mallette set up a course and various challenges and events for the kids’ robots to complete.

“This camp comes with many challenges that the kids face head on,” Bowser explained. “They’re learning to not become discouraged when they can’t quite get the challenge correct. They’re also working on problem-solving skills, and working with their partners.”

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Robotics summer day camp comes to Fort Calhoun – Blair Enterprise Publishing

Robotics and the click-to-ship revolution – The Engineer

Viewpoint

Robots have always been considered as futuristic. The reality is, they are entering the here-and-now in a significant and transformative way and nowhere more so than in the modern warehouse, as Simon Cooper of Dematic explains

Across all walks of life, robots, in the form of autonomous cars, drones and voice-activated artificial intelligence, are gaining public attention. Trials of autonomous cars have taken place in several major cities already, including London, and drones have been famously used by Amazon to deliver online orders. But robots are set to have a far wider influence on industry, logistics and retail enterprises.

Of course, articulated robots have been a common sight in automotive assembly plants for years, and to some extent, they are often seen within warehouses assembling pallet loads. But, the use of robotics for ecommerce order fulfilment is something new and is fast becoming a major focus of attention for the large retailers.

Robotics will soon become the key differentiator for retail businesses competing on cost-to-serve and speed of delivery for online orders. Many retailers are aiming for 15 minutes from click to ship an ambitious target that can only be achieved through the use of robots. Major retailers across the globe are actively engaged in seeking solutions to these challenges.

The interest in robotics is strong. A recent report published by Research and Markets found that worldwide sales of warehousing and logistics robots hit $1.9 billion in 2016 and predicts that the market will reach $22.4 billion by the end of 2021. In a separate study by analysts Tractica, worldwide shipments made by warehousing and logistics robots are set to rise from 40,000 units in 2016 to 620,000 units annually by 2021.

This growing interest in warehouse robotics is being fuelled, in the main, by the consumers continued preference to shop online, with the rising expectation for next day delivery. According to figures released in March 2017 by the UKs Office for National Statistics (ONS), shoppers spent an estimated 1bn a week online with UK retailers during February, 20.7% up on the same month last year accounting for 15.3% of all retail spending.

But, how will omnichannel retailers cope with this significant and continuing shift to online sales? Where will the labour force come from to match the rising demand for single order picking? In large ecommerce fulfilment centres many hundreds of people are already employed as pickers and packers and, in key areas, finding staff is becoming increasingly difficult, but many more will be needed if the trend to online continues as predicted.

Perennial fears over the loss of some manual warehouse tasks to robots could possibly stand in the way of a sensible solution to the problems of scale of demand and cost. A draft report to the European parliament, prepared by MEP Mady Delvaux in 2016, even raised the idea of a tax on robots. However, robots can increase the productivity of the existing labour force and would be invaluable in the boost to activity leading up to Christmas, when finding extra staff can be difficult.

Importantly, robotics and automation radically improve productivity and through these gains, businesses grow and develop, requiring more people to maintain systems and run the newly developed channels of growth. Thus, the overall prospect for jobs remains positive going forward, although some roles may change.

In the UK, there are some that believe finding labour for picking processes may become more difficult following the decision to leave the EU, making investment in robotic picking an even more compelling option. It seems likely that many retailers will choose to amortise the cost of automation over a longer time period, and so ensure operational efficiency and customer service, rather than be exposed to the possibility of being dependent upon a dwindling pool of labour, with the linked prospect of rising labour costs.

There is already evidence of a growing number of retail businesses with large manual operations looking to the viability of automated DCs that incorporate robotic systems. Even organisations that presently use paper pick lists are exploring automation.

Mixed case palletising and roll-cage building is becoming increasingly important for retailers, particularly grocers, as they look to store friendly sequencing to achieve greater efficiency with shelf replenishment at their retail outlets. Dematic have developed shuttle-based systems to deliver full cases of product in sequence to specially created robot handlers and these dedicated machines pick-and-place product in mixed case fashion to a pallet or roll-cage. In this type of operation it is critical that the storage and retrieval system supplying the robot is fast enough to handle the cases and intelligent enough to deliver the cases in the exact sequence.

Similarly, many retailers are asking for retail totes to be built up on pallets or dollies automatically by robot in a store friendly sequence. This is relatively straight forward, removing manual labour and using intelligent software to sequence and build the load in accordance to the planned layout of the retail store building the load in reverse drop sequence. When the dolly is wheeled down the aisle in the store, items are available in order, ready to be placed on the shelves.

However, the Holy Grail in warehouse automation, and undoubtedly the most difficult challenge to date, is the use of robots for single item picking from a stock tote to an order tote. This is cutting edge technology and Dematic is actively engaged in developing robots for picking individual items, such as a bottle of shampoo or a tee shirt, from a stock tote and placing it to an order tote. Dematics RapidPick XT robotic picking system is leading this field and can consistently pick up to 1,200 items per hour with an uptime approaching 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The robot is fully articulated and equipped with a 2D/3D vision system.

It is the vision system and the gripper that are the two most highly complex aspects of this challenge. Dematic are trialing both gripper and vacuum technology to effect the pick and creating machines that are able to swap these hand pieces accordingly, depending on the characteristics of the items being picked.

Another robot that has just been developed by Dematics research unit in Grand Rapids is the Multishuttle ARM. This is a completely automated piece picking system that combines the Multishuttle donor tote buffer storage and conveyance system, a robotic arm, vision equipment, and warehouse control and order management systems to enable picking of individual items to batch or order totes. Multishuttle ARM replaces manual goods-to-person processes for order fulfilment operations.

There are many more exciting developments taking place regarding AGVs and robotics.

Robotic solutions have become viable only through recent advances in artificial intelligence. They are now far more cost-effective and are able to quickly identify, verify, pick-up and place single items at speed. These are complex problems that are being solved, here and now. Robots are no longer science fiction; they are fast becoming a very real part of the contemporary warehouse.

Simon Cooper is business solutions sales director for Dematic Northern Europe

About Dematic Dematic employs over 6,000 skilled logistics professionals to serve its customers globally, with engineering centers and manufacturing facilities located across the globe. Dematic has implemented more than 4,500 integrated systems for a customer base that includes small, medium and large companies doing business in a variety of market sectors. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Dematic is a member of KION Group, a global leader in industrial trucks, related services, and supply chain solutions.

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Robotics and the click-to-ship revolution – The Engineer

Why did the Itasca County 4-H Robotics Team plant a pollinator garden at the library? – Herald Review

It all started with the Lego Robotics Competition which focused on using technology to assist nature. Itasca Countys 4-H Cobra Programming Robotics Team earned second place in their division at Regionals and took first place in robot design and programming. At Sectionals, the team took first place in the Head-to-Head and first place for innovative robot design.

For the project portion of the competition, the robotics team chose to help bees. Through their research, they discovered that native bees and other pollinators are at serious peril because of a lack of native plants to provide nutrition, habitat and pesticide-free places to rear their young. They learned from the University of Minnesota Bee Lab that habitat loss has had a devastating effect on native pollinators that rely on wild and semi-wild areas for forage. In Minnesotas increasingly altered landscape, we are seeing troubling declines in the diversity of both native flowering plants and our native pollinators. The Robotics team was surprised to learn that more than one-third of their food supply requires pollination and that the 400 species of Minnesota native bees as well as honey bees are vital to pollination of such crops as apple, cherry, blueberry, squash and many others.

One of the ways they chose to help the bees was by planting a native pollinator garden. Thanks to the support of the Grand Rapids Library and help from the Grand Rapids Public Works Department, the team was able to plant the garden on library grounds near the river walk. More than a dozen native, pesticide-free plants were donated from the pollinator gardens of Library Volunteer Coordinator, Bonnie Henriksen, and Itasca County Extension Master Gardeners Coby Bunna, Sue Roy and Bonny Siegford. Siegford created a garden plan and assisted the team with planting and mulching their flowering plants. The 4-Hers in the Itasca County Science and Robotics program will water, maintain, and care for the garden. The team members are looking forward to seeing their garden in bloom with a variety of pollinators harvesting nectar and pollen from native plants.

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Why did the Itasca County 4-H Robotics Team plant a pollinator garden at the library? – Herald Review

Please ignore the robots – The Verge

Welcome to First Click, a daily essay written by The Verge staff in which we opine on lives lived in the near future.

Its just a ruin in a field now, but in 15th-century England, Boxley Abbey was a hotspot for the faithful. Pilgrims would travel from across the land to see a statue of Christ on the cross that was housed in the monastery and known as the Rood of Grace. On holy days, the Christ would come alive, with a contemporary account describing how the figure hypnotized crowds with its ability to:

shake and stirre the hands and feete, to nod the head, to rolle the eies, to wag the chaps, to bende the browes [] shewing a most milde, amiable, and smyling cheere and countenance. 1

During Henry VIIIs Dissolution of the Monasteries, when the riches of the Church were being confiscated in the name of religious conformity, the Rood was removed and its secrets laid bare. Inspectors discovered that protruding from Christs back was a mess of wire [and] old rotten sticks, which the monks had used to operate it from afar. The statue was taken to London and, during a sermon outside St Pauls Cathedral, broken into pieces by an angry crowd, to put an end its great idolatrie once and for all.

Stories like this are strange and familiar. They show that robots have been shocking society for far longer than we usually think. To us they seem a modern phenomenon, but for centuries, the rich and powerful have been building automata to amuse themselves and awe the masses. Sometimes, though, we forget about the strings that are being pulled.

Look at the news from last month that the police force of Dubai has hired its first robotic cop. The bot in question is about the size and shape of a human, but with wheels for legs, cameras for eyes, and a tablet embedded in the middle of its chest. During press events, the robot was pictured shaking hands and saluting dutifully. One officer commented: These kinds of robots can work 24/7. They won’t ask you for leave, sick leave or maternity leave. It can work around the clock.

Its all rubbish of course. Dubais robot an off-the-shelf model built by Spains Pal Robotics wont be doing any real work. Its a tablet on wheels, designed to trundle around tourist centers and dole out directions. The same can be said of many other high-profile bots like Pepper, or various home hub robots. The work they do is usually just that of a mobile phone or a security camera. Occasionally, if theyre big enough, theyll knock over a child, just to break up the routine.

But as in 15th-century England, these particular robots are serving another, more important purpose. Historical accounts of the Rood of Grace are divided over whether or not pilgrims were actually fooled by the mechanical Christ. Did they believe they were witnessing a miracle, or were they just impressed by the technology and what it represented: the power and wealth of the Church.

the robots that will actually take our jobs are far less exciting

Similarly, although the practical uses of Dubais new robot are limited, as a symbol its potent. The government of the United Arab Emirates is currently pursuing its Vision 2021 strategy a plan to shift the countrys economy away from oil-dependence to a diverse mix of technologically advanced industries. Part of this involves embracing automation, from artificial intelligence to driverless cars and drones. And, yes, that will include robots working for the police, but they wont be humanoid because thats not practical. Theyll be like this CCTV-equipped self-driving car; one that Dubais police force is also testing just with less fanfare.

Many robots we see today are simply avatars of larger economic and technological forces. It is absolutely certain that in the years to come, the tools of automation (including the robots we dont see; hidden away in factories and warehouses) will destroy some jobs, create others, and dramatically reshape societies around the world. Whether or not governments can stop these changes harming workers is another question. Although lots of news coverage of robots and AI veers between wild apocalyptic predictions and a sort of bemused wonderment, we need to split the difference and consider the real, unexciting challenges ahead most of which will have political, not technological, solutions.

Just like the congregants in Boxley Abbey, the questions we should be asking when we see these marvels are: who is pulling the strings here, and what is it they want from us?

1The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument Over What Makes Living Things Tick, Jessica Riskin

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Please ignore the robots – The Verge

The rise of the BritBot UK Robotics Week highlights AI progress – Diginomica

Robotics and autonomous systems (RAS) form one of the Eight Great Technologies that Britain believes are vital to its future prosperity, and UK Robotics Week throws an annual spotlight on the countrys ambitions to lead the field, inspiring pupils, undergraduates, and professionals alike.

The events are hosted by the UK-RAS Network, an action group of academics run by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the UKs main agency for funding research in these areas. Robotics Week 2017 ended on 30 June with a showcase that also launched an independent report on the quality, reach, and impact of the EPSRCs work.

So are the robots rising in the Brexit gloom?

The panel that produced the report chaired by Prof. David Hogg of the University of Leeds, with senior representatives from Dyson, Harvard University, UC San Diego, UCL, and Kings College London, among others concluded that while there is world-class research in the UK, there are greater opportunities to collaborate across disciplines, such as robotics, machine learning, and computer vision, and to identify critical investment gaps.

One way of doing this would be to establish a shared UK infrastructure for RAS research, says their report. It urges private companies to provide universities with experimental facilities, and information-centric organisations such as Deep Mind and Amazon to place their data in the public domain, complementing the UKs wealth of anonymised data sets. Industry-specific data will be a huge growth market over the next 5-10 years.

But another of the reports recommendations might prove to be more challenging, thanks to Brexit rearing its ugly head once again:

The RAS research community and EPSRC should work to sustain and develop international research links and joint funding opportunities, both within Europe and beyond.

What the EPSRC calls a risk of a reduction in funding for UK institutions from the EU is a certainty if Brexit goes ahead, and it may affect inward investment from elsewhere, too. That said, a number of technology companies, including Apple and Google, have significantly increased their presence in the UK since the referendum.

There are other signs of hope. The UK may benefit from a Trump bump in robotics research at least, according to one delegate. Pietro Valdastri, Professor and Chair in RAS at the University of Leeds, told diginomica how Trumps America first policy is damaging international collaboration within the US, so he has come to the UK to seek a more welcoming community. Other experts may follow as Trumps disinterest in science and the environment takes its toll.

The EPSRC notes that while there will always be a need for fundamental UK research into robots which another delegate described as the arms, legs, and eyes of the internet there is:

an opportunity for a greater proportion of the overall portfolio to be linked to societal needs and industry challenges.

In other words, academic research into RAS sometimes takes places in an ethical, societal, and industrial vacuum and gives too little consideration to the technologies real-world purpose. Backroom boffins must do more to translate their efforts into applications that benefit society as a whole.

Speaking at the event, Dr Lester Russell, Senior Director EMEA Scale Team at Intel, urged the RAS community to consider the ways in which the black box of AI can be used for social good:

You do need the people and the process and the technology to each be set to one, otherwise the output will be zero. If either the people or the process is set to zero, all the technology in the world will make zero difference.

He added that by considering the ethical and societal impacts at the design stage, the future application of robots, AI, and autonomous systems will be less about replacing workers, and more about how we segment our work and create new jobs.

The showcase also saw the launch of four UK-RAS white papers on: the development of AI and machine learning; RAS for resilient infrastructures; robotics in extreme or hazardous environments; and robotics in social/health care.

In Britain, the last two are particularly important.

The UK will spend 2bn every year for the next 100 years cleaning up its nuclear waste principally that left behind by the arms race, rather than by nuclear power stations. So RAS represents a 200 billion opportunity in one industry alone.

Nuclear fusion is another robotics hotspot in every sense but extreme temperatures, electronics-killing radiation, and residual magnetic fields currently make it almost as hazardous to robots as to human beings. So there are enormous opportunities to develop haptics, AI, and autonomous/remote systems to work in the power stations of the future what RAS-UK calls a race to zero in terms of human intervention.

With climate change, the global need for early warning technologies and more resilient critical systems is just as clear. According to RAS-UK, 263 million people worldwide were affected by disasters in 2010 110 million more than in 2004, the year of the Asian tsunami.

The UK already has a strong network of universities that are conducting world-class research into sensors, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), batteries, and AI in these fields, along with leading institutes, such as the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) and the National Oceanographic Centre (NOC), which offer global perspectives on their application.

Search and rescue bots, smart oil fields, and the remote maintenance of offshore wind farms are further areas in which the UK is conducting world-beating research.

The paper makes a number of recommendations on how the UK can capitalise on its extreme- environments expertise. These include the need for:

The white paper concludes that RAS technology has reached a tipping point in these areas, with massive commercial opportunities already being demonstrated. It adds:

Careful regulation and strategic stimulus is required to ensure that the UK has a significant impact in the use of, as well as the design, development, and manufacture of, RAS services and solutions.

Robotics will also have a significant impact on social/health care worldwide, as ageing populations create unprecedented societal challenges.

The need for technology assistance is real. By 2020 there will 12 million people over the age of 65 in the UK, and by 2035 that figure will have increased to 17 million. There are too few qualified nurses and care professionals already, together with high staff churn, and yet public spending on social care is falling in real terms.

In England and Wales, 2015-16 expenditure stood at 8.34 billion, only fractionally more than the 8.3 billion spent a decade earlier. Factor in the effects of inflation and an increase of nearly two million in the 65+ population during that timeframe, and this represents a per-capita reduction in available funds of more than one-third, according to RAS-UK figures.

Fortunately, the UK has a number of world-leading university research projects (at Bristol, Hertfordshire, Sheffield, Edinburgh, and elsewhere) exploring how RAS technologies can help ageing, sick, or disabled people to live more independent lives: a programme of assistive and rehabilitative care rather than the dehumanised system that some have predicted.

According to RAS-UK, these technologies can help address physical, cognitive, and companionship challenges within ageing populations, and provide smarter home, residential, and hospital environments, tele-health systems, and more. For people with disabilities, driverless vehicles could be a transformative technology.

The white paper counters the widely held belief that RAS in a social/health care environment will mainly be about replacing human workers:

First, as technologists who are trying to understand the challenge of care, we are very aware of the level of human skill involved in everyday care activities [] RAS can be developed to assist with these activities, but they will not match or replace the ability of human carers in the near future.

Second, the interpersonal aspects of care, such as empathy and understanding, are uniquely human. AI personal assistants and social robots may be able to provide a form of synthetic companionship that people may find engaging, but this will never replace human companionship.

The paper recommends that RAS development in these fields should focus on relieving the burden of repetitive, strenuous work so that human carers can handle the professional, human-to-human aspects of care. It adds that robotics will have an important role to play in rehabilitation and the delivery of medical assistance in the home, with systems that allow people to stay in their own homes for longer.

Excellent progress for the UK, and positive goals for researchers and suppliers. So lets hope that customers dont only see the opportunity to slash costs, rather than augment human abilities.

But a lot of buy-side analyst and think tank research on robotics, automation, and AI focuses on the potential to remove human workers rather than to assist humans, improve society, or complement skills.

Take the recent Reform group report on robotics and automation in the public sector, which saw opportunities to remove 250,000 staff, including teachers and nurses, and create an automated environment in which human workers compete via reverse auction for ad hoc work.

Like all of the UK Robotics Week publications, the social/health care white paper is a clarion call for UK ambition and talent. It concludes that the UKs innovation culture, combined with its thriving academic base and a burgeoning SME sector, proves that Britain can be a world leader in RAS over the next quarter century.

However, todays Brexit landscape of political instability and regulatory uncertainty, together with a lack of central investment in the national infrastructure and secondary education, mean that the UK has a fight on its hands to avoid squandering its own potential and to persuade buyers not to junk real benefits in favour of easy, cheap answers.

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The rise of the BritBot UK Robotics Week highlights AI progress – Diginomica

Robotics Market Forecasts: Consumer Robots, Enterprise Robots … – PR Newswire (press release)

NEW YORK, July 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The definition of a robot is in flux and traditional robot manufacturers that have been building and supplying robots for decades have seen this industry undergo a dramatic transformation in the past few years. Robots have either been part of popular culture and science fiction or have been the workhorses of industrial shop floors until now. Tractica’s analysis presents a fresh perspective on the robotics market, which is not constrained by traditional viewpoints or definitions, but instead expands the definition of robots to include not just industrial robots or service robots, but also unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and

Read the full report: http://www.reportlinker.com/p04971166/Robotics-Market-Forecasts-Consumer-Robots-Enterprise-Robots-Industrial-Robots-Healthcare-Robots-Military-Robots-Unmanned-Aerial-Vehicles-and-Autonomous-Vehicles.html

autonomous vehicles, which are robots in their own right. Tractica also tracks the innovations and breakthroughs occurring in logistics and customer service robots, military robots, healthcare robots, and agricultural robots, which together constitute a comprehensive picture of the robotics market today and how it will be reshaped in the near future.

The key underlying story emerging in the industry is that industrial robotics, which has been the traditional pillar of the robotics market, dominated by Japanese and European robotics manufacturers, has given way to non-industrial robot categories like personal assistant robots, UAVs, and autonomous vehicles, with the epicenter shifting toward Silicon Valley, which is now becoming a hotbed for artificial intelligence (AI), a set of technologies that are, in turn, driving a lot of the most significant advancements in robotics. Tractica forecasts that the robotics market will experience strong growth between 2016 and 2022 with revenue from unit sales (excluding support services such as installation and integration) of industrial and non-industrial robots growing from $31 billion in 2016 to $237.3 billion by 2022. Most of this growth will be driven by non-industrial robots, which includes segments like consumer, enterprise, healthcare, military, UAVs, and autonomous vehicles.

This Tractica report covers the global market for robotics, including consumer robots, enterprise robots, industrial robots, healthcare robots, military robots, UAVs, and autonomous vehicles. These categories are further segmented into 23 robot application markets. Market data within the report includes robot shipments and revenue segmented by world region, application market, and enabling technology. The technologies included in the attach rate analysis are machine vision, voice/speech recognition, gesture recognition, and tactile sensors. The forecast period for this report extends from 2016 through 2022.

Key Market Forecasts – Total Industrial and Non-Industrial Robotics Revenue, World Markets: 2016-2022 – Total Robotics Revenue by Application Market (Detailed), World Markets: 2022 – Total Robotics Shipments by Region, World Markets: 2016-2022 – Total Robotics Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2016-2022 – Total Robotics Shipments by Application Market, World Markets: 2016-2022 – Total Robotics Shipments by Application Market (Detailed), World Markets: 2016-2022 – Total Robotics Revenue by Application Market, World Markets: 2016-20202221 – Total Robotics Revenue by Application Market (Detailed), World Markets: 2016-2022 – Total Robotics Technology Attach Rates, World Markets: 2016-2022 – Total Robotics Shipments by Technology, World Markets: 2016-2022

Application Markets – Agriculture – Automotive – Commercial AVs – Commercial UAVs – Construction – Consumer AVs – Consumer UAVs – Customer Service – Electrical/Electronics – Exoskeleton/Prosthetics – Hospital – Household – Logistics – Military Demining – Military Exoskeletons – Military UAVs – Military UGVs – Military UMSs – Surgical – Telepresence – Toy and Educational

Technologies – Machine Vision – Speech/Voice Recognition – Gesture Control – Tactile Sensors – Bluetooth – Wi-Fi

Geographies – North America – Europe – Asia Pacific – Latin America Read the full report: http://www.reportlinker.com/p04971166/Robotics-Market-Forecasts-Consumer-Robots-Enterprise-Robots-Industrial-Robots-Healthcare-Robots-Military-Robots-Unmanned-Aerial-Vehicles-and-Autonomous-Vehicles.html

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Robotics Market Forecasts: Consumer Robots, Enterprise Robots … – PR Newswire (press release)

High-school tech club up against the best in robotics challenge – Nantucket Island Inquirer

Carolyn Bostick I&M Staff Writer @CBostickIM

(June 29, 2017) A dust storm descends upon Mars, destroying equipment and disrupting a robots mission in documenting the foreign environment.

It may sound like the plot of a science-fiction movie, but it actually describes a computer- generated challenge NASA posed to promote interest in robotics and their use in the space program.

Ninety-two teams, from 13 countries, entered the challenge.

Only 20 made it to the finals. The only high-school team among them was the Nantucket High School Technology Club. Teacher Jedediyah Williams and 2017 graduate Evan Borzilleri did the lions share of the work in the finals.

To read the complete story, pick up the print edition of this weeks Inquirer and Mirror or register for the I&Ms online edition byclicking here.

For up-to-the-minute information on Nantuckets breaking news, boat and plane cancellations, weather alerts, sports and entertainment news, deals and promotions at island businesses and more, Sign up for Inquirer and Mirror text alerts.Click Here.

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High-school tech club up against the best in robotics challenge – Nantucket Island Inquirer

Latino students explore robotics in week-long camp – The Republic

COLUMBUS, Ind. About 30 students attending a Purdue Polytechnic Institute robotics camp first turned their workshop into LEGO Land for a week, and then received a visit from Billy, a robot made out of LEGOs and mechanical sensors.

The annual robotics camp allows students, ages 8 to 14, to be immersed in the world of robotics for three hours a day during a week-long camp, said camp director Joe Fuehne, who is also director of the Purdue Polytechnic Institute in Columbus.

But this year, Fuehne and his team changed the strategy behind one of the camps. For the first time since establishing it 12 years ago, Fuehne partnered with IT Robotics, which recently opened in North Vernon, to offer a free camp specifically for Latino students.

Please read Tuesdays Republic for more details.

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Latino students explore robotics in week-long camp – The Republic

7 robots that were inspired by nature – TechCrunch

Nature has inspired robotics since its earliest days. In 1739, French artist Jacques de Vaucanson gave the world the Digesting Duck, a surreal automaton that appeared to eat and, yes, poop out grain. In the middle of the 20th century, British neuroscientist William Grey Walterinvented turtle and tortoise robots, so-named for their slow movement and shell shapes.

In modern robotics, biology is often view as a method for problem solving to help modern robots move more naturally and better interact with their world. Natures inspiration has been wide ranging in recent robotics, from flying bats and swimming fish, to Big Dogs, to mollusks like squids and octopi, which have led to the creation of the important subcategory of soft robotics.

The biorobotics field has been booming in recent years, leading to some of the most innovating and interesting machines weve seen to date.

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7 robots that were inspired by nature – TechCrunch

Country School competes in robotics – New Canaan Advertiser

New Canaan Country Schools Middle School Robotics Team participated in the eighth annual ROBOnanza!, a competition for Westchester and Fairfield county independent schools held in Greenwich on May 13. The Country School Cougar Bots, robots built completely out of LEGOs and programmed by the fifth and sixth graders, contended against robots from other schools in three levels of challenges.

The CSI-inspired theme of this years ROBOnanza! was Forensic Frenzy. With that in mind, the students were challenged to build robots that could travel down a lane and knock over as many burglars (pins) as possible in a 5-frame game (Bowling For Burglars); navigate to five numbered areas with various LEGO evidence worth various point values (Collect the Evidence); and complete an obstacle course autonomously (Police Academy Training).

Country School sixth graders Sofie Petricone (Rowayton) and Charlotte Calderwood (Darien) took home the first-place trophy for Police Academy Training, while the fifth grade team of Malcolm Stewart (Darien), Cyrus Pearson (New Canaan) and Decatur Boland (Rowayton) netted second-place honors in the same category. The Cougar Bot designed by sixth graders Tyler Rosolen (Norwalk) and Sam Cherry (Westport) scored second place in Collect the Evidence, and the fifth grade team consisting of Waverly Walters (New Canaan), Katey Charnin (Darien) and Annie Nichols (New Canaan), placed third. Sixth grader Parakram Karnik (New Canaan) scored second place in Bowling for Burglars.

Fifth grader Peter Metcalf (Darien) won a special trophy for being the only person in the competition to fully complete the Police Academy challenge. He was also cited for successfully navigating his robot around the outline of a human body.

Sixth grader Rebecca McKee (Stamford) earned praise for designing a robot which successfully navigated almost all of the line challenges, in addition to getting out of a box.

All team members took home certificates for successfully completing challenges.

It was a great combination of STEM challenge, creative problem-solving and teamwork, said sixth grade teacher Fraser Randolph. Once again, the students worked hard and showed their resiliency in the face of challenges. Many of the robots had to be completely reprogrammed on the spot and the students did so successfully with great results.

New Canaan Country Schools Middle School (fifth and sixth grades) Robotics Team members recently demonstrated their skills in ROBOnanza!, a competition for Westchester and Fairfield county independent schools. In front, from left, are Charlotte Calderwood (Darien), Annie Nichols (New Canaan) Waverly Walters (New Canaan), Cyrus Pearson (New Canaan), and Katey Charnin (Darien). In back are sixth grade teacher Fraser Randolph, Sam Cherry (Westport), Tyler Rosolen (Norwalk), Sofie Petricone (Rowayton), Decatur Boland (Rowayton), Malcom Stewart (Darien), Rebecca McGee (Stamford), Parakram Karnik (New Canaan), Peter Metcalf (Darien) and technology teacher Bruce Lemoine. Torrance York photo. New Canaan Country School middle school students recently competed in robotics.

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Country School competes in robotics – New Canaan Advertiser

Tough competition during FIRST Robotics final – Kingman Daily Miner – Kdminer

Photo by Aaron Ricca.

A Lego robot moves stones across a table. Two robots faced off while moving and lifting different objects across the space-table for points. The robots also had avoid small obstacles in order to not lose points.

KINGMAN The competition was fierce, but fun.

After a week of learning to program and build Lego robots, as well as conducting research and building friendships, 40 third- through eighth-grade students put their skills to the test during the final trials of the 2017 FIRST Lego League Lego Camp at Kingman High School Friday.

Kingman FIRST Robotics Team 60 coaches and high school science teachers Celeste Lucier and Jody Schanaman, along with Team 60 student mentors, watched, learned, advised and cheered the various teams on as they and their Lego robots scrambled to lift, shift and move random Lego parts across a space-table during coordinated exercises for points.

Theyll also conducted research to identify real world problems, learning how to create innovative solutions and create a presentation to share their findings.

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Tough competition during FIRST Robotics final – Kingman Daily Miner – Kdminer

Robotics and Artificial Intelligence … – Conference Series

Sessions/Tracks ConferenceSeries Ltdinvites all the members of ecological family, from all over the world to join and share research at the4th world Congress on Robotics and Artificial Intelligenceduring 23th& 24thOctober, 2017 at Osaka, Japan, which includes prompt keynote presentations, plenary talks, oral talks, poster presentations and exhibitions.

Theme: smart living machines for sustainable future

Smart Robotic CongressArtificial Intelligence 2017aims in proclaim knowledge and share new ideas amongst the professionals, industrialists and students from research area of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence to share their research experiences and indulge in interactive discussions at the event. This scientific gathering guarantees that offering the thoughts and ideas will enable and secure you the theme Smart living machines for sustainable future. Artificial Intelligence is the latest trending technology in many fields especially in industries like manufacturing, control systems, Data mining, etc. The current era fully rolled out with many new Artificial Intelligence technologies. In such case more Software companies and industries were newly introduced within market which obviously shows the market growth of Artificial Intelligence. While analyzing the revenue growth of Artificial Intelligence, it highly developed from $150 billion USD to $250 billion USD since from 2010-2015. And the annual growth percentage increases from 20-55 percentages, which clearly shows that Software technology contains huge scope in coming years.

Hear, Explore and learn the latest research. Present before distinguished global audience. Collaborate, build partnerships and experience Japan. Join the global academic community.

ConferenceSeries Ltd invites all the participants across the globe to attend the 4th world congress on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence during October 23-24, 2017 atOsaka, Japan.Robotics and Artificial Intelligence 2017 includes prompt keynote presentations, Oral talks, Poster presentations and Exhibitions.

Smart Robotic Congress 2017aims in proclaim knowledge and share new ideas amongst the professionals, industrialists and students from research area of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence to share their research experiences and indulge in interactive discussions at the event. This scientific gathering guarantees that offering the thoughts and ideas will enable and secure you the theme Smart Living Machines for Sustainable Future. Artificial Intelligence is the latest trending technology in many fields especially in industries like manufacturing, control systems, mining, etc. The current era fully rolled out with many new automation technologies. In such case more automation companies and industries were newly introduced within market which obviously shows the market growth of Automation. While analysing the revenue growth of artificial intelligence functions, it highly developed from $150 billion USD to $250 billion USD since from 2010-2015. And the annual growth percentage increases from 20-55 percentages, which clearly shows that artificial intelligence technology contains huge scope in coming years.

Importance and Scope:

Due to incredibletechnology development, the industries are trying to reduce man power where they trying to increase Artificial intelligence and function in various sectors. Now robotics is used in each and every company where machines are involved and some or other process is involved. Many fields like robotics, mechatronics, control systems, electronics, wireless, laser technology, automotive motors are depended only on this Artificial Intelligence and Automation functions. The conference organizers aim is to gather the researchers academicians and scientists from the field of Industrial Robotics community and to create an approach towards global exchange of information on technological advances, new scientific innovations, and the effectiveness of various regulatory programs towards industrial robotics.

Why to attend?

With members from around the world focused on learning about robotics and artificial intelligence technologies, this is your single best opportunity to reach the largest assemblage of participants from the Robotics and Artificial Intelligence community. Conduct demonstrations, distribute information, acquire knowledge about current and trending robotic and artificial intelligence technologies, make a splash with a new research, and receive name recognition at this 3-day event. World-renowned speakers, the most recent techniques, tactics, and the newest updates in Industrial Robotics fields are hallmarks of this conference.

Target Audience:

Automation and Robotics Lab Directors/Associates

Head of the Departments from the field of Artificial intelligence, Robotics, Mechatronics, Control systems

Artificial intelligence researchers and academicians

Robotics doctorates

Control systems and Mechatronics expertise

Professors and Students from Academia in the study of Industrial robotics and artificial intelligence field.

Artificial Intelligence Lab Directors/Associates

Control systems and Mechatronics expertise

Conference Highlights

Robotics

Robotics and Screw Theory

Human-Robot Interaction

Industrial Applications of Robots

Bioengineering and Biomechanics

Robotics and Mechatronics

Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) and Micro Robots

Robot Manipulators

Artificial Intelligence

Medical Robotics

Multi-Robot System

Remote and Telerobotics

Robot Localization and Map Building

Mobile Robot

Humanoid Robots

Neural Networks

Marine Robotics

Aerial robotics and UAV

Bio-Robotics

Special Issues:

All accepted abstracts will be published in respective OMICS International Journals.

Abstracts will be provided with Digital Object Identifier by Cross Ref.

ConferenceSeries Ltdwelcomes attendees, presenters, and exhibitors from all over the world to Osaka, Japan. We are delighted to invite you all to attend and register for the4thworld Congress on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence which is going to be held during October 23-24, 2017 in Osaka, Japan.

Robotics and Artificial Intelligence 2017 brings together Scientific Researchers and technologists from the fields of artificial intelligence, robotics, control systems on artificial intelligence, Network-based systems, test automation, robotic vision tracking, etc. and give knowledge on advance research and emerging technologies in industrial robotics and their applications. The organizing committee is gearing up for an exciting and informative conference program including plenary lectures, symposia, workshops on a variety of topics, poster presentations and various programs for participants from all over the world. We invite you to join us at theRobotics and Artificial Intelligence 2017,where you will be sure to have a meaningful experience with scholars from around the world. All members of the Robotics and Artificial Intelligence 2017 organizing committee look forward to meeting you in Osaka, Japan.

Importance and Scope:

Due to incredibletechnology development, the industries are trying to reduce man power where they trying to increase Artificial intelligence and function in various sectors. Now robotics is used in each and every company where machines are involved and some or other process is involved. Many fields like robotics, mechatronics, control systems, electronics, wireless, laser technology, automotive motors are depended only on this Artificial Intelligence and Automation functions. The conference organizers aim is to gather the researchers academicians and scientists from the field of Industrial Robotics community and to create an approach towards global exchange of information on technological advances, new scientific innovations, and the effectiveness of various regulatory programs towards industrial robotics.

Why Osaka?

Osaka is a designated city in the Kansai region of Japan. It is the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and the largest component of the Keihanshin Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Japan and among the largest in the world with over 19 million inhabitants. Situated at the starting of the Yodo River on Osaka Bay, Osaka is the second largest city in Japan, serving as a major economic hub for the country.

Osaka has a large number of wholesalers and retail shops, the stores along the arcade include commodities, clothing, and catering outlets. Osaka is known for its food, in Japan and abroad. Osaka is known for its fine sake, which is made with fresh water from the prefecture’s mountains. Osaka’s culinary prevalence is the result of a location that has provided access to high quality ingredients, a high population of merchants, and proximity to the ocean and waterway trade.

In recent years, Osaka has started to garner more attention from foreigners with the increased popularity of cooking and dining in popular culture. The National Museum of Art is a subterranean Japanese and international art museum, housing mainly collections from the post-war era and regularly welcoming temporary exhibitions. It is the backdrop for modern movies and pop music that enjoy worldwide recognition.

Conference Highlights

Robotics

Robotics and Screw Theory

Human-Robot Interaction

Industrial Applications of Robots

Bioengineering and Biomechanics

Robotics and Mechatronics

Read more from the original source:

Robotics and Artificial Intelligence … – Conference Series

Robotics | MIT News

New book by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson surveys techs challenges for business.

CSAIL teams system of quadcopters that fly and drive suggest another approach to developing flying cars.

New design could provide communication support in disaster zones.

GelSight technology lets robots gauge objects hardness and manipulate small tools.

Muscle grafts could help amputees sense and control artificial limbs.

New algorithm quickly makes sense of incoming visual data.

System directs camera-equipped drones to maintain framing of an aerial shot.

Professor David Mindell, who researches the interaction between automation and human behavior, discusses the interdependence of people, robots, and infrastructure.

MechE class ends semester with ingeniously designed robots battling on a Star Wars-themed playing field.

CSAIL approach allows robots to learn a wider range of tasks using some basic knowledge and a single demo.

Startups cloud-based system allows for project queuing by multiple users and automated part removal.

Technology developed at MIT could enable faster, cheaper, more adaptable building construction.

A simple statistical trick could help make a ubiquitous model of decision processes more accurate.

Microfluidic device generates passive hydraulic power, may be used to make small robots move.

A bio-inspired gel material developed at MIT could help engineers control movements of soft robots.

New technique could protect robot teams communication networks from malicious hackers.

CSAIL system enables people to correct robot mistakes using brain signals.

Made from hydrogel, robots may one day assist in surgical operations, evade underwater detection.

Adib is directing a new research group at the Media Lab, aiming to uncover, analyze, and engineer natural and human-made networks.

MIT Professor Daniela Rus combines automation and mobility to create a smarter world.

Go here to read the rest:

Robotics | MIT News

Robotics Online – News

June 2017

Macomb-OU Incubator Introduces a New Client Company

POSTED: 06/30/2017

The Macomb-OU Incubator is pleased to introduce new client company CoPilot Vision Systems (CPVS). CPVS has developed a proprietary, commercial

MCRI Recognized for Safety Achievement

POSTED: 06/29/2017

Motion Controls Robotics was presented with a certificate of safety achievement through the Sandusky County Safety Council

Welding With OCTOPUZ Software

POSTED: 06/27/2017

Welding with OCTOPUZ is Unique A unique quality of OCTOPUZs software is that it is ONE software solution to program all

Robot Automation Making a Positive Difference

POSTED: 06/27/2017

Roger Varin, CEO of Staubli Corporation speaks about automation making a positive difference in the workplace.

OCTOPUZ Officially Certified by Universal Robots

POSTED: 06/27/2017

OCTOPUZ Inc. is proud to announce that is has officially become a certified software by Universal Robots. This means that

KC Robotics’ Jack Justice Speaks at RIA Webinar – Robotic Welding Tools, Tricks, Accessories and End of Arm Tools

POSTED: 06/26/2017

KC Robotics Jack Justice wasa panelist in theRIA Welding Webinar, Robotic Welding Tools, Tricks, Accessories and End of Arm Tools.

FPC Series Suction Cup, Portrait of a Specialist!

POSTED: 06/22/2017

The universal suction cup for all types of FlowPack packaging. FPC stands for FlowPack Cup: COVAL’s new suction cup is

Intelligrated Solution named to Supply & Demand Chain Executives 100 Top Supply Chain Projects for 2017

POSTED: 06/22/2017

Automated palletizing solution handles 95 percent of Bee Sweets fruit varieties with flexibility to run 27 different stacking patterns

A3 Fall Conferences Spur Manufacturing Growth and the Creation of Entirely New Categories of Jobs

POSTED: 06/22/2017

Conferences Provide In-Depth Training in Robot Safety, Motion Control, Vision Systems, and Collaborative Robots

Automated Painting Solution for General Industry

POSTED: 06/20/2017

Drr and Kuka, leading manufacturers in the fields of production and automation technology, have joined forces: together they have developed

The Miniature Servo Controller for Extreme Conditions

POSTED: 06/19/2017

A rugged, compact powerhouse: The new ESCON Module 50/8 HE servo controller from maxon motor controls DC motors up to

Schneider Packaging Equipment to Introduce its Newly Redesigned Bottom-Loading Vertical Case Packer

POSTED: 06/16/2017

Schneider Packaging Equipment Co., a leading manufacturer of end-of-line solutions for case packing, sealing and palletizing, is introducing its newly

Schneider Packaging Equipment Case Sealers With Water-Activated Tape

POSTED: 06/16/2017

Schneider Packaging Equipment Co., a leading manufacturer of end-of-line solutions for case packing, sealing and palletizing, is reducing downtime for

Schneider Packaging to Feature Cutting-Edge Pallet Generation Software

POSTED: 06/16/2017

Schneiders proprietary HMI software that powers their industry-leading palletizing solutions wasfirst unveiled at the PACK Expo International last fall, the

Schneider Packaging Brightens Productivity with Intelligent Illumination Technology

POSTED: 06/16/2017

The toast of computer gamers and lighting manufacturers now has a potentially critical role in the packaging industry with the

Read the rest here:

Robotics Online – News

ISU Robotics program builds functioning R2-D2 robots – Idaho State Journal

POCATELLO What started as a senior project for a student enrolled in Idaho State Universitys College of Technology Robotics program has evolved into something that many Star Wars fans have dreamed of for decades designing and building a fully-functional R2-D2 robot.

The Robotics program has one fully constructed R2-D2 robot and another thats under construction that program director Shane Slack said is hopeful will be done in time for Septembers Snake River Comic Con in Pocatello.

Originally, one of the students came up and said they wanted to build an R2-D2 robot for a final project, you know, and its movies and characters like this that get most kids excited to join this type of program, Slack said. We didnt really have 3-D printing at the time so trying to find the materials to make it and coming up with the mechanical aspects of it was difficult. Honestly, at the end of the two-month period it didnt look anything like R2-D2.

It took eight weeks to construct the first R2-D2 robots basic framework, which included two aluminum plates manufactured by the machine shop that serve as R2-D2s shoulders. The original model featured a plexiglass outer shell.

Over the next two semesters, students continued to shape the exterior skin, hardware and programming aspects until they had a functioning R2-D2 robot.

The red R2-D2 was started in 2010 and now we actually have some of the upperclassmen recruit some of the first- and second-semester students to serve as team members on these projects, Slack said. So the final semester students will have younger students come in and work on code, circuitry and other components to help them create these massive machines.

A few years later the implementation of advanced CAD, or computer-aided design software, laser cutting and 3-D printers allowed R2-D2 to get a makeover.

We had six or seven teams of students improving software, sensors and drive systems over the next few years, Slack said. The initial drive system only allowed him to travel about 2 mph and now hell go 28 mph.

R2-D2 robot is a fun pop-culture project students can relate to. But its also a teaching tool that lets students use what theyve learned through the construction process on other robotic systems, Slack said.

Inside the red R2-D2 several electronic and mechanical systems make the robot tick.

Inside we have a main board that communicates with the operator, so that main board receives commands from our remote and basically anything our operator does with the remote the robot interoperates those commands and executes a series of other commands, Slack said. We can open the doors, move the arms, it can run a vocal processor to communicate and the main board is capable of running 128 other circuit boards.

The process of designing and developing all the internal circuitry is completed by robotics students.

This process involves designing the board with CAD software. Students determine how each electronic component physically connects to another. The board itself is then machined out of copper and fiberglass.

The secondary board that mounts to the main board is a Wi-Fi radio, which is another student-built board that allows us to communicate directly with R2-D2, Slack said. With this student-built board weve tested the range out and it works just fine 3 miles out, and the board is about the size of an SD card.

After the first R2-D2 robot, Slack said the team really understood what worked well with the original model and what improvements could be made.

Theyre now in the process of building R2-D2 version 2.0. Slack said their goal is to document each step of the process into video and text files so that any person can download the materials and make their own R2-D2.

The students have to make the website, the manuals and technical documentation and the assembly videos just like they were working in industry, Slack said.

For the past several year, the Robotics program has showcased the R2-D2 robot at the Salt Lake Comic Con, all thanks to a bet made, and lost, by one of the events producers.

We were attending a Robotics competition in Salt Lake and on the last day one of the producers of the Salt Lake Comic Con came in and were doing an R2-D2 demonstration, Slack said. As he was walking around he saw our R2-D2 robot. When he noticed that it was 3-D printed he was actually floored that we were able to do it because he had stated a few weeks ago that he made a bet with a friend that nobody could 3-D print a R2-D2. But we did.

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ISU Robotics program builds functioning R2-D2 robots – Idaho State Journal

US denies visas to Afghanistan’s all-girl robotics team – The Verge – The Verge

Six teenage girls from Afghanistan planned to come to the US to compete in the First Global Challenge robotics competition this month, but those plans were canceled after they were denied visas to enter the country. Forbes reports that the girls traveled 500 miles to Kabul for their visa interviews, and that their robots supplies were held in customs for months.

This kit, which the competition organizers issued to every participating team, included different components, like brackets, extrusions, fastening hardware, hardware adaptors, bearings, wheels of different sizes, gears, pulleys, motors, servos, and sprockets. The State Department feared ISIS might try to use these parts on the battlefield, which is why they delayed sending them to the girls.

Still, the team built a ball-sorting robot on a shortened timeline; their kit only arrived three weeks ago. More than 100 other teams have entered the competition, including participants from Iraq, Iran, and Sudan. The girls robot will still compete, but the team will only be able to watch over a video call from their homes in Herat, Afghanistan.

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US denies visas to Afghanistan’s all-girl robotics team – The Verge – The Verge

Ford Accelerates Robotics and Artificial-Intelligence Development – Car and Driver (blog)

When Ford hired Jim Hackett as its new chief executive officer last month, he delivered a mandate: In a rapidly changing industry, the automaker no longer could afford to take a plodding approach to making decisions. Ford needed to move faster.

The company took a step in that direction Thursday, consolidating its artificial-intelligence and robotics researchers into a single new team that will explore using those technologies on a broad range of transportation projects.

The team will report to Randy Visintainer, Fords director of autonomous-vehicle development and controls. While self-driving vehicles will be a significant focus, they wont be the lone one. Ford expects the researchers will evaluate artificial-intelligence applications for drones, mobility projects, and the technical requirements for entry into global markets

I can tell you theres so much going on in the world of advanced engineering, its imperative that we maintain a crystal-clear focus on the most important elements to help us achieve our vision of changing the way the world moves, wrote Ken Washington, Fords chief technology officer, in a Medium blog post.

This means youll likely see at least two separate fleets of self-driving vehicles on the road, one led by the Ford team conducting advanced research and another by Argo AI.

Ken Washington, Ford

Some of those visions are well documented, with the companys recent investments in artificial-intelligence and high-definition mapping companies. Others, Washington noted, havent yet been revealed.

Perhaps he hints at some of the more secretive projects, saying the team will also explore aerial robotics to enhance first- and last-mile travel. Whether Ford will follow with plans for a contraption similar to the likes of Ubers flying taxi or the Airbus self-flying Vahana concept, well, thats an intriguing thought. For the time being, Ford is focused on the process of discovering and refining its next innovations.

The new research team will work with Argo AI, the Pittsburgh-based artificial-intelligence company that Ford made a $1 billion investment in last year. Argo will continue to do the bulk of the work developing the virtual driver system for Fords first generation of autonomous vehicles, a company spokesperson said, while the new team concentrates its efforts on more fledgling technologies.

This means youll likely see at least two separate fleets of self-driving vehicles on the roadone led by the Ford team conducting advanced research, and another by Argo AI, developing and testing our virtual driver system for production, Washington wrote.

In his introductory remarks, Hackett stressed that the company needs to match the speed of the ever-changing industry. But in terms of autonomous vehicles, the companys approach hasnt necessarily been lacking. An independent report issued earlier this year by Navigant Research found that Fords autonomous strategy and execution ranked as the most effective out of the 18 companies examined.

Ford has previously stated its intent to put Level 4 autonomous vehiclesthose that never require input from drivers when the system is active but might have limitations on the conditions in which they operateinto production by 2021. Combining the AI and robotics teams may show that Hackett and others are starting to make plans for what happens beyond that first autonomous launch.

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Ford Accelerates Robotics and Artificial-Intelligence Development – Car and Driver (blog)

Ford realizes it should have an AI and robotics team – Engadget – Engadget

It’s no secret that Ford has been lagging when it comes to the ‘futuristic’ tech that its rivals are already on top of. It’s still three years away from releasing a long-range electric car (GM already has the Bolt on the market) and only launched its self-driving focused ‘mobility’ subsidiary little over a year ago.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen has recently announced its cars will be ‘talking’ to each other within as little as two years, while Tesla, a company focused on tech innovation, last year delivered less than 80,000 cars compared to Ford’s 6.7 million, and has still managed to overtake Ford in terms of market value.

The creation of this new team is unsurprising given the leadership reshuffle seen in May, when self-driving car chief Jim Hackett was brought in to replace CEO Mark Fields. This renewed focus is certainly attributable to his vision — and Ford is better-positioned to realize this now it’s working in partnership with self-driving tech company Argo AI.

Of course, car manufacturers are already focusing their efforts on innovating their technology so the announcement doesn’t give Ford any lead. But it does put it back in the race. As Washington says in his blog post, this is “a team tasked with not just watching the future, but helping to create it.”

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Ford realizes it should have an AI and robotics team – Engadget – Engadget

HERO’s talk robotics – The Hillsdale Daily News

HILLSDALE The Hillsdale Engineer and Robotic Organization of Engaging Students (HEROs) provided a demonstration for the Kiwanis membership of the robot they constructed for 2017 robotics competition.

The Hillsdale Kiwanis provided funds for the construction of the team’s robot.

Hillsdale High School science teacher Nick Tucker, Jake Hammel (adult mechanical adviser) and three of the team members (Adrian Potok, Emma Hammel and Jacob McGowan) attended the recent Kiwanis meeting for the demonstration.

The Hillsdale Robotics team from the Hillsdale High School has been existence for the past three years, currently has 15 members and was the 5,676th team to join the world wide competition.

In January, the team attended a kick-off session at the University of Michigan to obtain the task, rules and timeline for this years competition. At the conclusion of the meeting they began six weeks of brainstorming, programming and construction activities in order to have their entry completed for the national competition. Throughout the activities, the team members obtained hands on experience in mechanical engineering, electronics, construction and computer coding/programming.

The team spent many days and hours readying their robot for the competition.

The Kiwanis members were shown a video of the actual competition and also provided a demonstration of the three activities required of the robot (placing a gear on a shaft, accurately shooting balls and having the robot pull itself up a cable).

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HERO’s talk robotics – The Hillsdale Daily News

Harker Heights robotics camp helps children build new skills – The Killeen Daily Herald

For kids, Lego blocks are an integral part of childhood. For parents, that often means stepping on them at odd moments in the house.

As part of this summers childrens programs at the Stewart C. Meyer Harker Heights Public Library, Lego blocks are an integral part of the annual Robotics Camp, which took place from June 19-22 and again this week.

While many Lego kits allow youngsters to create cars, dinosaurs or bridges, the kits used at the camp included pulleys, gears, and electronic components which allowed those in attendance to build their own robots.

The early afternoon session each day brought together ages 7-9, working in teams. The later session paired off those aged 10-12.

Amanda Hairston, childrens librarian, led the groups in team building exercises. Sitting back to back, the pairs were given what Hairston jokingly called, Baggies of doom. They contained random sets of Legos.

The partners took turns building something from the blocks, then described what they had built so their teammate could recreate it, without seeing the original.

From there, they moved to tables where laptop computers and Lego kits awaited them. Using instruction books, the teams worked together to find the needed parts.

They created a variety of projects, from airplanes with tilt sensors to alligators with motion sensors programmed with chomping sounds to highlight how the jaws snapped together.

Jordan Hamilton, 9, and Mia Dombroski, 7, worked together on Wednesday afternoon last week.

I like to create stuff, Mia said. Its fun to use my imagination.

Jordan agreed. We get to use computers and use batteries to make the robots come to life.

Im proud of what we made, Mia said as they tested their alligator.

A huge part of the class involved explaining the theory behind the robots, which Hairston handled well.

While preparing the youngsters to program their sensors, she reminded them of the theory of energy.

As it moves from computer to battery to motor, how does it change? she asked. The answer? From electrical to mechanical.

As with many robots, though, some needed a bit of troubleshooting, when they didnt function correctly the first time.

Hairston helped each team diagnose the issue and fix the program so that, when the parents arrived, they were treated to a demonstration of their childrens work.

Aidan Collins, 11, was taking the robotics class for the second time, with plans to enroll in the advanced robotics camp, to learn more.

He and his partner, Tatum Nails, 10, agreed, Its really fun building with Legos.

When fun is combined with learning, it brings smiles to young faces, too.

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Harker Heights robotics camp helps children build new skills – The Killeen Daily Herald


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