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Global Spending on Robots Projected to Hit $87 Billion by 2025 – GlobeNewswire (press release)

June 21, 2017 00:01 ET | Source: BCG

photo-release

BOSTON, June 21, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The global market for robotics is growing far faster than expected and is projected to reach $87 billion by 2025, according to new research by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

An infographic accompanying this announcement is available athttp://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/c45dc00e-2f62-4c33-b41a-1bc1caa3ceae

Updating its previous estimate of $67 billion from three years ago, the management consulting firm recently revised its forecast sharply higher, mostly because of soaring consumer demand. In a new paper released today, Gaining Robotics Advantage, BCG projects an additional $14 billion of growth in the consumer sector to $23 billion, an increase of 156% over its earlier estimate. (See exhibit.)

Much of the accelerated growth will come from the consumer market because of applications such as self-driving cars and devices for the home, explains Vlad Lukic, a BCG partner and coauthor of the paper. Projected growth in the commercial sector accounts for the rest of the adjustmenta 34% increase to 22.8 billion.

Many factors contributed to the need to revamp the estimates. First, in the space of just one year, from 2014 to 2015, private investment in the robotics space tripled, according to BCG. Fueling the surge in interest are falling prices, rapidly advancing capabilities, and components usable in a far wider range of industries and applications than many observers had originally envisioned.

In 2016, the robotics field experienced a dramatic shift toward consumer-focused applications and a sharp increase in robotics companies in the consumer space. Today, robots can vacuum and mop floors, clean gutters, tutor children, provide home surveillance and security, and act as companions and home health aides for loved ones.

Since 2012, 40% of new robotics companies have emerged in the consumer sector, outpacing growth in the military, commercial, and industrial sectors. The military sector has accounted for 26% of new robotics companies, the commercial sector 24%, and the industrial sector just 10%, according to BCGs proprietary analysis.

Alison Sander, head of BCGs Center for Sensing & Mining the Future and a coauthor of the article, says that all sectors will feel the effects once consumers begin to buy robots. As people become more accepting of robots in their everyday livesembracing everything from robot vacuum cleaners to telepresence workers in the officethey will begin to demand more such products. This will attract more investment capital and drive further advances in robotics capabilities.

Mel Wolfgang, a BCG senior partner and article coauthor, notes that adding robotics to a business is a strategic decision, not just a capital investment. It requires rethinking and fundamentally altering staffing levels, product mix, manufacturing footprint, and other aspects of the business model.

The challenge for forward-looking companies is to figure out how to use robotics to gain a competitive advantage. This may mean identifying the sweet spot where a hybrid mix of human worker and machine delivers the biggest payback, or it may involve creating an entirely new business model, Wolfgang says. Management needs to act now to develop a point of view, test and pilot robotic applications, and invest in infrastructureincluding laying the foundation for a digital supply chain on the factory floor.

The paper offers a framework to help companies approach robotics in a strategic, disciplined, and pragmatic wayand improve their odds of achieving a long-term, sustainable edge.

A copy of the paper can be downloaded at http://on.bcg.com/2rsBQoy.

To arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact Eric Gregoire at +1 617 850 3783 or gregoire.eric@bcg.com.

About The Boston Consulting Group The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the worlds leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 85 offices in 48 countries. For more information, please visit bcg.com.

About bcgperspectives.com Bcgperspectives.com features the latest thinking from BCG experts as well as from CEOs, academics, and other leaders. It covers issues at the top of senior managements agenda. It also provides unprecedented access to BCGs extensive archive of thought leadership stretching back 50 years to the days of Bruce Henderson, the firms founder and one of the architects of modern management consulting. All of our contentincluding videos, podcasts, commentaries, and reportscan be accessed by PC, mobile, iPad, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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Global Spending on Robots Projected to Hit $87 Billion by 2025 - GlobeNewswire (press release)

Sphero spinoff Misty Robotics gets $11.5 million to create a mainstream robot for the home – TechCrunch

Hardware startup Misty Robotics has a daunting task ahead of it. The Boulder-based company is working on a robot aimed at mainstream consumers for employment in the home and office. But Misty certainly has a solid foundation, as a spinoff of robotic toy maker Sphero, coupled with an $11.5 million Series A led by Venrock and Foundry Group.

The new company employs about half a dozen former Sphero ex-pats, including co-founder Ian Bernstein, who will be Mistys Head of Product. Bernstein and team have been working on the seeds of Mistys first product under the Sphero banner for roughly a year and a half, ultimately opting to spin it off into a new company, given its vastly different and decidedly more ambitious goals.

At some point it just made sense for Sphero to focus on connected play, Bernstein tells TechCrunch. And it would make sense to spin off a company so we can raise more money and go bigger and faster on this idea of an autonomous robotic being in the home and office.

Founded as Orbotix in 2010, Sphero has seen rapid growth in the past several years as its transformed itself from a niche maker of a smartphone-controlled robotic ball into a full-fledged Disney co-conspirator. The company rocketed to success when its first product became the basis of the remote-controlled BB-8, a wildly successful Star Wars tie-in. Since then, the partnership has produced newCars and Spider-Man toys.

But Mistys offering is something else entirely. The company isnt ready to reveal much in the way of details at this early stage, except to say that its planting the seeds for more mainstream devices. Its understandable, of course, that its fairly modest in its projections. Countless companies have tried to bring consumer robotics to the home, but have largely failed through some combination of half-baked technologies and impossible-to-meet consumer expectations.

For a robot to succeed in the home, it has to be affordable, capable and serve some task that people either cant or simply dont want to perform. Only iRobots Roomba has come close. The product has found success, but even so, its one-note functionality feels underwhelming compared to the expectations science-fiction has been feeding us for decades. But products like it and Amazons Echo are slowly opening the door to more technology in the home. Though Misty tells me it believes a truly mainstream consumer robot is still several years away.

We dont believe its time for a mainstream robot, says CEO Tim Enwall, who also founded Google-owned home automation company Revolv. We dont believe there [is currently] a market for it. What we do believe is that there will be a robot in everyones home and office and there is a progression to that process. And that progression, like every other technology weve ever adopted as humans, doesnt start with a mainstream market. It starts with an innovator market.

Mistys first several products will be targeted at the hobbyist/maker market something more akin to where desktop 3D printing and drones have been for the past decade. From there, however, it hopes to build toward something more substantial, both through acceptance among early adopters and a fine-tuning of the multi-purpose robots functionality. But, adds Enwall, even the first-generation of product will embody the principles required for putting a robot in everyones home and office. Its just that this first version will be targeted at innovators.

The company has released the above promotional image, which highlights an early prototype. At the very least, it appears to point to something more biologically influenced that the Roombas hockey puck shape. Whether it takes the form of a humanoid robot, an animal or something else entirely, remains to be seen.

Though Mistys Sphero experience does point to a company that understands the value of imbuing a product with personality. Weve learned a lot, says Bernstein. From the progression of starting to add personality in Sphero 2.0, to the Disney deal, [weve learned] the power of creating a robot thatsmore of a character.

Mistys first product is set to hit the market next year.

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Sphero spinoff Misty Robotics gets $11.5 million to create a mainstream robot for the home - TechCrunch

TC Sessions: Robotics to feature talks from Rod Brooks, DARPA and … – TechCrunch

The agenda for TC Sessions: Robotics just keeps getting more irresistible. We are happy to announce that Rod Brooks, co-founder of Rethink Robotics and iRobot, will join us on stage at TechCrunchs first ever robotics show, July 17 at MITs Kresge auditorium.

Brooks is a former director of MITs CSAIL program as well as an author and prognosticator on the future of robots. At TechCrunch Disrupt NY in May, Brooks expressed contrarian views about the imminence of driverless cars, the capabilities of artificial intelligence, and rules of engagement for robots at war. We are looking forward to taking that conversation further and learning more about Rethink Robotics progress delivering their collaborative robots, Baxter and Sawyer, to work alongside humans in factory settings.

Were also excited to announce two additional workshops for the event. Both will present attendees opportunities to get the inside track from leaders in the robotics field. The DARPA workshop will focus on the agencies aim and how to work with DARPA. It will be led by Dr. William Regli, Acting Director of the Defense Sciences Office. In the MIT CSAIL workshop attendees will get a look at some of the best projects inside MITs robotics lab.

These workshops join the agenda that also includes a workshop on educating future roboticists featuring educators from Olin College, Kettering University and Udacity.

General admission tickets are currently available, but seating in MITs Kresge Auditorium is limited. We hope to see you there.

DARPA The mission of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is to prevent and create strategic surprise by developing breakthrough technologies for national security. The agencys project-oriented approach to science and engineering, however, is different both in approach and execution from other U.S. governmental funding agencies. In this workshop, DARPA leadership will discuss the Agencys vision and goals, provide overviews of each of the organizations technical offices, in addition to an explanation of the mechanics of working with DARPA. The objective of the workshop is to elicit help in fomenting institutional evolution in Americas broader science and technology ecosystem that is needed to better and more rapidly respond to future challenges.

MIT CSAIL MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory is tasked with researching activities around the bleeding edge of technology. Attendees of this workshop will get an insiders look at some of the hottest projects being developed in CSAILs labs and engineering bays. Robert Katzschmann will present Soft Robotics and the teams creative approach to allowing robots to manipulate objects. Claudia Perez DArpinos presentation will demonstrate how robots can learn from a single demo and Andrew Spielberg will explain a novel process to create and fabricate robots.

Building Roboticists David Barrett, a professor of mechanical engineering at Olin College, Ryan Keenan, curriculum lead for Udacity, and Dr. Robert McMahan, President of Kettering University will lead a workshop discussing their views on the best way to train the next generation of roboticists. Each of these educators leads vastly different programs, but the aim is universal: to train the next generation of globally competitive engineers. Its important that these students learn through hands-on experience how to not only write code, but deploy code in a viable manner that results in a sustainable product.

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TC Sessions: Robotics to feature talks from Rod Brooks, DARPA and ... - TechCrunch

Sony soft-launches an educational robotics coding kit on Indiegogo – TechCrunch

Every tech and toy company, from Apple to Hasbro, has an educational coding offering these days. Sonys Koov kit has been kicking around Japan for a while now, and should be pretty familiar to anyone whos spent time with Legos educational initiatives its a set of blocks, sensors, motors and actuators that pair with a mobile app. Now Sony is ready to bring the kit to the U.S. albeit in a pretty measured way.

The company is the latest tech giant to use a crowdfunding platform to test the waters. In this case, Sony will essentially be using Indiegogo to gauge customer interest and hopefully gain some insight into the U.S. market as it works to shape the product for a new region. On the face of it, its a bit of an odd move from a company with global reach that has never been afraid to launch into a new category with guns blazing.

Sony certainly has the resources to do so here, but for one thing, the market is still a little shaky. There are plenty of different kits aimed at teaching kids to code and build robots. Apple recently partnered with a handful of hardware makersto help teach its Swift programming language to youngsters, and Legos new Boost line joins a number of others already produced by the company. And then there are the dozens of startups fighting for a piece of the pie. How much of that pie there actually is to go around is still a pretty open question.

Koov is also the first hardware product out of Sonys Global Education wing, a department a company rep told me is almost like a startup within Sony, which implies a certain sense of autonomy and probably goes a ways toward explaining the cautious approach. It really wants to get its first product right, and its certainly put a lot of thought into the hardware and software side of things.

The kits currency is little, brightly colored translucent blocks. The company likens them to three-dimensional pixels, which is an attempt to make the transition between the mobile app and the real world product easier to understand. Kids can use the app to build 23 different pre-determined designs or Robot Recipes with the 302 block Advanced Kit. Of course, the sky is the limit if they think outside the box.

To appease those who blaze their own paths, theres Robot Recipe Sharing, an online database of custom robots built by users. Uploads are vetted by the company for obvious reasons, given the products targeted 8 to 14 year old age range. Sony was super-psyched to show me one of the user-built robots created by a Japanese customer that was essentially a version of the companys hippo that plays custom MIDIs of J-Pop songs. At the moment, its really just show and tell, and Sony doesnt really have a good method for letting users create their own sharable robot building plans. Thats apparently in the works. All part of the aforementioned feedback process, I guess.

There are a few other roadblocks, as well. Price is the biggest red flag. Legos new Boost set starts at $160, while Koovs suggested retail price is $359 for the Starter Kit and $499 for Advanced. Thats a lot of money for a brand thats entirely untested in this space. Maybe the price will come down as the company scales up, though again, this is Sony were talking about here its not exactly a startup with limited supply chain access.

Then theres the matter of the name. I was actually sorry I asked about that one. Apparently an executive came up with the bright idea to name the system Koov, for reasons that arent worth paraphrasing, so Im going to paste the explanation here in its entirety, because its really something:

The logo imagery for KOOV calls to mind the 1s and 0s of binary code, or alternatively, I/O, the computer terminology for digital input/output. The logo is also inspired by the < and > symbols used in mathematics. In addition, the K and V that bookend the kits name stand for key and value, important concepts in the realm of computer science. But whereas key and value ordinarily form a unique, unambiguous pair as applied in computer science, they are connected by OO -representing the infinity symbol () -in the logo for KOOV. This is meant to suggest the infinite combinations possible with KOOV, limited only by the imagination. In a multitude of ways, KOOVs logo is symbolic of its blocks that are a product of the digital age, and that are therefore infinite in potential.

The other issue is one thats pretty prevalent among these devices. The coding and robotics skills that Koov teaches are pretty abstract. Unlike Apple, whose programs use the coding language used by iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, Sony developed its own language for the toy. Its built around the Scratch educational programming language, but the end goal here seems to more of building up that initial interest in coding, rather than developing concrete coding skills. Sonys kit mostly teaches kids to code for Sonys kit.

The same goes for the hardware, which is powered by a micro-controller based on Arduino. The potential for open-source learning is there, but in its current state, Sony seems to have the system pretty locked down. Perhaps thats the kind of thing the company will work toward, with the proper feedback through its Indiegogo campaign. At the moment, however, there doesnt seem to be a heck of a lot distinguishing Koov from a million other coding toys.

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Sony soft-launches an educational robotics coding kit on Indiegogo - TechCrunch

Lily Robotics Auctions Off Assets, But Many Customers Are Still Waiting For Refunds – Forbes


Forbes
Lily Robotics Auctions Off Assets, But Many Customers Are Still Waiting For Refunds
Forbes
Lily Robotics, a much-hyped San Francisco drone startup that crashed and burned last January, this week successfully auctioned off the remaining bits and pieces of the company for $750,000. The assets were split between two parties: an entity called LR ...

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Lily Robotics Auctions Off Assets, But Many Customers Are Still Waiting For Refunds - Forbes

Worcester Polytechnic Institute Robotics Team Guides Unmanned Sailboat to Victory in SailBot ’17 – WPI News


WPI News
Worcester Polytechnic Institute Robotics Team Guides Unmanned Sailboat to Victory in SailBot '17
WPI News
A Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) student team has won the 11th annual International Robotic Sailing Competition in a hard-fought contest that featured unmanned sailboats navigating a variety of challenges on Chesapeake Bay in Annapolis, Md.

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Worcester Polytechnic Institute Robotics Team Guides Unmanned Sailboat to Victory in SailBot '17 - WPI News

Grand Strand Tech Council seeking robotics mentors for students – WBTW – Myrtle Beach and Florence SC

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) The Grand Strand Tech Council is reaching out to find mentors for students looking to pursue careers in robotics and engineering.

In March, Horry County students competed against kids across the nation in a regional robotics competition. The Grand Strand Tech Council said having a mentor in robotics and engineering is essential to making sure students can progress in their field of choice.

We can do a lot to teach the younger generation coming forward, but we have to get involved to do that, said Grand Strand Tech Council robotics chair Joe Boggs.

Give the kids confidence that it can be solved and that you can figure out a way.

The tech council said they also need companies to help sponsor students when building robots for competitions like the FIRST Robotics competition that was held in Myrtle Beach.

You need people to guide you and you need to see what theyve done before, said Carolina Forest High student Zachary Matt.

Having a mentor gives you the tools and the ability to expand upon what you already know and learn from the experience of people who have done it for years.

For information on how to get involved as a mentor, contact Joe Boggs with the Grand Strand Tech Council at robotics@gstechcouncil.org.

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Grand Strand Tech Council seeking robotics mentors for students - WBTW - Myrtle Beach and Florence SC

The company that builds the robots that make Teslas wants to build home robots – Recode

Industrial machines that build cars and the machines that work in your home are worlds apart.

But the CEO of Kuka, one of the biggest industrial robot makers, said in an interview in the Financial Times on Sunday that the company is planning to make a personal consumer robot.

Germany-based Kuka was bought by Chinese home appliance maker Midea last year in a $5 billion deal. Industrial robots from Kuka are used to build cars for Tesla and airplanes for Boeing.

Midea is not doing any robotics or automation, so Kuka is automation for Midea, said CEO Till Reuter And they are very well connected to the consumer industry. So together we want to do consumer robotics.

Right now, most digital assistants for the home dont leave the tabletop, and are essentially internet-connected speakers with adroit voice-enabled artificial intelligence software, like Amazons Echo and Googles Home.

But Kukas expertise in building machines that move on their own, combined with Mideas deep understanding of home appliances, could be the right combination for making a consumer home robot thats actually useful.

Home robots that move generally only do one chore, like vacuum or mop, but they continue to sell. Last year, the market value of domestic robots grew nearly 26 percent from the year before, according to research from Loup Ventures and the International Federation of Robotics. By 2025, the market for home robots is expected to grow to $4.4 billion. To put that growth in perspective, the market value of domestic robots in 2016 was $1.4 billion.

Midea isnt the only company poised to enter the home robot market. Earlier this month, the Japanese company SoftBank announced that it is buying Boston Dynamics, as well as Japanese legged-robot maker Schaft, from Google parent company Alphabet for an undisclosed amount. Boston Dynamics is considered one of the best robotics firms in the world for its versatile, legged robots that can maneuver over diverse terrain, as well as environments made for humans. But those robots have been primarily built for military research, not for the home.

Since it acquired a majority share of robot maker Aldebaran in 2012, SoftBank has been working to bring its humanoid Pepper robot to more retail settings, and even to some homes in Japan. Pepper has a wheeled base so it cant climb stairs and only uses its hands to gesticulate. The robot is mostly at work in stores, helping shoppers find things and answering basic questions. Combining Boston Dynamics ability to build agile machinery with the team behind the friendly-looking Pepper could position SoftBank to build a robot thats much more useful.

Japanese carmakers Honda and Toyota have also been working on robotic assistants for the home. Their inventions, so far, have primarily focused on addressing the needs of Japans growing elderly population.

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The company that builds the robots that make Teslas wants to build home robots - Recode

Summer Camps teach kids about robotics, coding, and programming in Minecraft – KTNV Las Vegas


KTNV Las Vegas
Summer Camps teach kids about robotics, coding, and programming in Minecraft
KTNV Las Vegas
To help kids develop an interest in STEM fields, Code Central is offering summer camps centered around robotics, coding, and programming in Minecraft. Students as young as 7 years old and as old as 17 are eligible to enroll in the weeklong camps, which ...

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Summer Camps teach kids about robotics, coding, and programming in Minecraft - KTNV Las Vegas

Nuclear decommissioning: sending the robots in – Power Technology

The Surrey Technology for Autonomous Systems and Robotics (STAR) Lab is currently conducting a four-year research project into the potential uses of robotics within the nuclear sector, funded by the UK Nuclear Industry and Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)s Impact Acceleration Account. The team is working in collaboration with Sellafield and the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) to examine how robotics could be used within nuclear decommissioning specifically.

The project, known as Automated Robot Waste Processing, began last year and is making fast progress. As the worlds nuclear fleet ages an increasing number of reactors will need to be decommissioned, a traditionally expensive and hazardous process. The STAR Lab is hoping to help by using robust robotics running autonomously to dismantle and clear nuclear sites.

Their robots combine a number of technological advancements to suit nuclear decommissioning, taking inspiration from space robotics. They include high-performing visual imagining systems, along with robotic arms, combinations of which are entering the testing stage of the project.

STAR Labs main focus since its inception in 2007 has been space robotics, and the new research reflects this. But according to Professor Yang Gao, who leads the Surrey team, nuclear sites and space actually have a lot in common. Space is remote and hostile, and overcoming these problems has provided many clues for working within nuclear sites.

One area [of comparison] is autonomous software, as you can imagine space missions tend to deal with locations that are very, very far from earth so remote operation in many scenarios is not feasible, says Gao. So were developing software that can potentially do the models which involve the mission goals and then make decisions. Essentially autonomous software.

"Space is remote and hostile, and overcoming these problems has provided many clues for working within nuclear sites."

Because of the very high requirements of space missions, software has to be very reliable and robust, so we have techniques while designing autonomous software to take into consideration robustness and reliability.

The nuclear decommissioning process, which can cost anything from $13m to $19m, currently takes years and necessitates humans working to dismantle the site and decontaminate the waste. This is often made more challenging by the remote location that nuclear plants are often purposefully situated in, and the hazardous residual radiation.

Another aspect of comparison is probably more in line with what is happening with the hardware of the robotics systems, says Gao. It needs to be radiation proof, so the mechanisms we develop, the different actuators, the different censors, they all need to be able to cope with that sort of environment. These challenges are very much shared with the space environment, there's a great synergy in that respect.

The obvious and most important benefit of robotics in nuclear decommissioning is removing humans from harms way. The environment is classified as an extreme environment as there are many hazards, so using humans to perform those tasks is risky, says Gao. Using machines, using autonomous systems to replace humans from that sort of environment is definitely more desirable.

This is particularly relevant for nuclear sites which have deferred dismantling, and have instead enclosed the site for anything from 40 to 60 years. When such a site is eventually dismantled, surveys must be undertaken to ensure that the radiation level has dropped as much as expected and is below 25 millirem per year, the level required for the site to be redeveloped for other uses. When entering a site, however, it is difficult determine the amount of residual radiation, and whether it will affect the humans undertaking the survey. Using robotics would remove this danger.

There are other benefits to increased use of robotics, too, such as accuracy and productivity. Sometimes there are some anomalies in sites that, although they are visible the human eye, could [be] quite hard to see, because either they are quite small or because some of the facilities are actually very homogeneous, says Gao. For the human eye to react to that sort of homogeneity is not easy. The machine would do a better job.

The robots are equipped especially for this, with 3D light scans and cameras. We can also introduce measuring techniques such as deep-learning to allow us to very reliably map the site and detect what has changed, says Gao. Even though this change could be very, very small and probably quite difficult for human eyes to detect, with our learned-visual model we can achieve this anomaly detection reliably.

Decommissioning nuclear sites requires a lot of monotonous dismantling, tasks well suited to robots whose productivity is not deterred by fatigue or boredom. For the decommissioning task we envision using robotic arms, which could definitely improve productivity because it's actually just repetitive work, says Gao. A machine cannot be annoyed by that because there is no emotion, they will actually be able to keep to the same rate of productively.

The project has already overcome challenges, but Gao is expecting more as integrated trials begin at the NNLs testing facility. We'll never stop facing challenges I'm afraid that's just reality. In the research phase, and currently in the development phase, there have been a lot of challenges in terms of getting the actual hardware working at the actual conditions that we anticipated.

These challenges were created not just by the environment but also by the integration of technologies. Once you start putting different hard components together, integrating different software packages, you start to find some real problems, says Gao. Some of them are due to communication issues, and some of them due to signal issues within some of the components.

"We envisage that challenge might come from the culture of such a traditional sector."

Whilst this research collaboration only began last year, it relies on theoretical elements Sellafield and STAR have been working on for years; it is often in fitting these aspects together that things do not run smoothly.

A further challenge may be the nature of the nuclear industry, as change can take a long time to be accepted. I think we envisage that challenge might come from the culture of such a traditional sector. Of course people need to get used to things, even if they know, they agree and they appreciate that this is coming in to help, says Gao. But you can imagine when you introduce new machines into a sector people are not used to, there will always be some cultural impact.

Professor Gao and her team are working on nuclear decommissioning but there are several projects running parallel to each other tackling different elements of the nuclear industry. The current project is to try and solve decommissioning problems, so waste management, but I also want to mention that at the same time we're running projects looking into other areas, for example atomic fusion, says Gao.

As such she believes that robotics is set to play a much bigger role in the nuclear industry in the future. Gaos team is currently running subsection trials, with full integrated system trials coming up in the next couple of months, and hopefully a full test within an actual nuclear site by the end of the year. If successful this technology could soon become commonplace in the nuclear industry.

Looking ahead, the success of robotics also relies on training a new generation of engineers. At the moment we work closely with engineers and scientists at NNL, but what we want to do next, probably towards the end of this year or early next year, is to help also train the site engineers and operators, says Gao. This will eventually allow STAR to step back, and allow others to use the robots for decommissioning, site maintenance and other areas.

The STAR Labs research is progressing at an impressive rate thanks to collaboration. At this rate, it seems that robots are likely to become a key tool in nuclear decommissioning.

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Nuclear decommissioning: sending the robots in - Power Technology

Group names northern Colorado hospital first, only Center of Excellence in Robotics Surgery in state – Greeley Tribune

Surgical Review Corp. named the McKee Medical Center in Loveland the first and only Center of Excellence in Robotic Surgery in Colorado.

The designation is based on volume, outcomes and the different types of procedures offered within a program, according to a news release.

Robotic surgery offers a minimally-invasive surgical option to patients facing an open procedure. It offers the surgeon magnified and high-definition vision. It also allows the surgeon to control surgical instruments to see and access anatomy. This allows surgeons to operate as if they were doing open surgery, but through much smaller incisions, according to the release.

The Surgical Review Corp. certified surgeons John Crane, Jennifer Rubatt, Thomas Blomquist and Kurt Strom as Robotic Surgeons of Excellence.

At McKee, those four surgeons offer robotic-assisted surgery for hysterectomies, uterine prolapse, fibroids, gynecological cancer staging, prostate and kidney conditions, hernia, colon and other general surgeries.

Surgical Review Corp. is a nationwide organization that provides accreditation, consulting, education, and data for surgeons and medical facilities, according to its website.

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Group names northern Colorado hospital first, only Center of Excellence in Robotics Surgery in state - Greeley Tribune

Google backing off robotics, but Japanese firm banks on robots with … – News & Observer (blog)


News & Observer (blog)
Google backing off robotics, but Japanese firm banks on robots with ...
News & Observer (blog)
Meet Pepper, Handle and SpotMini. These new robots are cute, frightening and useful but may require an attitude adjustment.
SoftBank buys robotics leader Boston Dynamics from AlphabetNewburgh Gazette
SoftBank acquiring Boston Dynamics as Alphabet finally sells off ...Leicester Post

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Google backing off robotics, but Japanese firm banks on robots with ... - News & Observer (blog)

Snake on a Plane! Don’t Panic: It’s Probably Just a (Soft) Robot – Fortune

Robots are getting softer.

Borrowing from nature, some machines now have arms that curl and grip like an octopus, others wriggle their way inside an airplane engine or forage underwater to create their own energy.

This is technology that challenges how we think of, and interact with, the robots of the not-too-distant future.

Robots are big business: by 2020, the industry will have more than doubled to $188 billion, predicts IDC, a consultancy. But there's still a lot that today's models can't do, partly because they are mostly made of rigid metal or plastic.

Softer, lighter and less reliant on external power, future robots could interact more safely and predictably with humans, go where humans can't, and do some of the robotic jobs that other robots still can't manage.

A recent academic conference in Singapore showcased the latest advances in soft robotics, highlighting how far they are moving away from what we see as traditional robots.

"The theme here," says Nikolaus Correll of Colorado University, "is a departure from gears, joints, and links."

One robot on display was made of origami paper; another resembled a rolling colostomy bag. They are more likely to move via muscles that expand and contract through heat or hydraulics than by electricity. Some combine sensing and movement into the same componentjust as our fingertips react to touch without needing our brain to make a decision.

These ideas are already escaping from the lab.

Rolls-Royce, for example, is testing a snake-like robot that can worm its way inside an aircraft engine mounted on the wing, saving the days it can take to remove the engine, inspect it and put it back.

Of all the technologies Rolls-Royce is exploring to solve this bottleneck, "this is the killer one," says Oliver Walker-Jones, head of communications.

The snake, says its creator, Arnau Garriga Casanovas, is made largely of pressurized silicone chambers, allowing the controller to propel and bend it through the engine with bursts of air. Using soft materials, he says, means it can be small and agile.

For now, much of the commercial action for softer robots is in logistics, replacing production-line jobs that can't yet be handled by hard robots.

Food preparation companies and growers like Blue Apron, Plated, and HelloFresh already use soft robotics for handling produce, says Mike Rocky, of recruiter PrincetonOne.

The challenge, says Cambridge Consultants' Nathan Wrench, is to overcome the uncertainty when handling somethingwhich humans deal with unconsciously: figuring out its shape and location and how hard to grip it, and distinguishing one object from another.

"This is an area robots traditionally can't do, but where (soft robots) are on the cusp of being able to," said Wrench.

Investors are excited, says Leif Jentoft, co-founder of RightHand Robotics, because it addresses a major pain point in the logistics industry. "E-commerce is growing rapidly and warehouses are struggling to find enough labor, especially in remote areas where warehouses tend to be located."

Some hope to ditch the idea that robots need hands. German automation company Festo and China's Beihang University have built a prototype OctopusGripper, which has a pneumatic tentacle made of silicone that gently wraps itself around an object, while air is pumped in or out of suction cups to grasp it.

The ocean has inspired other robots, too.

A soft robot fish from China's Zhejiang University swims by ditching the usual rigid motors and propellers for an artificial muscle which flexes. It's lifelike enough, says creator Tiefeng Li, to fool other fish into embracing it as one of their own, and is being tested to explore or monitor water salinity.

And Bristol University in the UK is working on underwater robots that generate electrical energy by foraging for biomatter to feed a chain of microbial fuel-cell stomachs. Hemma Philamore says her team is talking to companies and environmental organizations about using its soft robots to decontaminate polluted waterways and monitor industrial infrastructure.

This doesn't mean the end of hard-shelled robots.

Part of the problem, says Mark Freudenberg, executive technology director at frog, a design company, is that soft materials break easily, noting that most animatronic dolls like Teddy Ruxpin and Furby have rigid motors and plastic casings beneath their fur exteriors.

To be sure, the nascent soft robot industry lacks an ecosystem of software, hardware components, and standardsand some companies have already failed. Empire Robotics, one of the first soft robot gripper companies, closed last year.

RightHand's Jentoft says the problem is that customers don't just want a robot, but the whole package, including computer vision and machine learning. "It's hard to be a standalone gripper company," he says.

And even if soft robots find a niche, chances are they still won't replace all the jobs done by human or hard-shelled robots.

Wrench, whose Cambridge Consultants has built its own fruit picking robot, says he expects to see soft robots working with humans to harvest fruit like apples and pears which are harder to damage.

Once the robot has passed through, human pickers would follow to grab fruit hidden behind leaves and in hard-to-reach spots.

"It's a constant race to the bottom, so there's a pressing business need," Wrench said.

Follow this link:

Snake on a Plane! Don't Panic: It's Probably Just a (Soft) Robot - Fortune

Narooma High School Robo Rebels robotics team keeping busy – Narooma News

20 Jun 2017, 11:38 a.m.

Narooma High Schools Robo Rebels junior and senior teams have been busy and have a demonstration at the Plaza this Saturday.

Narooma High Schools junior and senior Robo Rebels robotics teams have been busy with training running twice a week at lunchtime and after school.

The Robo Rebels are planning a display by junior and senior teams conductingrobotdriving demonstrations from 10am until 12 noon this Saturdayunder the Dome at Narooma Plaza.

The Narooma junior robotics teamentered the Robocup at Moruya high last week in the Rescue division with two teams, NED and the Gas Monkeys.

Students had to program their Lego EV3 robot to follow a line maze, move around obstacles and enter a chemical spill to save a civilian after an earthquake.

We competed against other schools in the region and team NED managed to come first in this division, teacher Gayle Allison said. Congratulations to both teams on their commitment and steady improvement throughout the day.

Both junior teams have now qualified for State Robocup at University of NSW, Sydney in August. The high school congratulatedNarooma Public School and Miss Symons who entered their first robot competition and had great success on the day.

Senior Robo Rebels meanwhile competed in the March South Pacific Regionals in Sydney where the competition was all about Steamworks. The aim of the game was to deliver cogs to the airship, shoot balls of fuel into the boiler and finally climb on board the airship for take-off.

We were selected to the playoffs, making it to the quarter finals for the first time. In preparation for the final rounds we were cheesecaked by the Marsden Ramjets and Komplete Kaos teams, Mrs Allison said.

Thats when a more experienced team quickly makes modificationsto help a robot perform better. In this case they helped add a climbing device so we could climb.

We combatted through a best of three competition. First round our robot couldnt move due to the new program and complications with conflicting code.

Second round, more coding problems and our robot shot forward in the autonomous mode and crashed into the opposition, wiping them out. Victory, although not quite deliberate. Third round was a great competition which went down to the last 30 seconds and we lost narrowly after an attempt to climb.

The Narooma High School robotics teamswould like to thank our sponsors FIRST, Macquarie University, Wollongong University, Ford, Agrosy, Google, Narooma Quota and Narooma IGA.

Your help is invaluable in supporting this very expensive but exciting adventure, Mrs Alison said Special thanks to an anonymous local business who has kindly donated 10 iPads , which will be used to run our workshops, junior robotics and publicity of all events.

Seniors are currently working on Bunsen, their robot for the next FRC competition in the July school holiday. The Duel Down Under will be on at Macquarie University from July 3-5, good luck Robo Rebels.

To assist with funding students to these upcoming Sydney regionals we will be once again be holding its EV3 Robotics workshops at Narooma High School. The following dates are now open for bookings online: Eventbrite.com, search for RoboCamps. Camps cost $15 per person, payable on the day.

All workshops are suitable for beginners to more experienced students in primary school, Years 4-6 with 20 places available in each workshop, cost is $15 with all funds raised goingto the robotics program at Narooma High School.

Please contact Gayle Allison at Narooma High School for further information on4476 4377 ex 121.

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Narooma High School Robo Rebels robotics team keeping busy - Narooma News

Robohub | news, views and everything robotic

1

ICRA 2017

Location: Sands Expo and Convention Centre, 1 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018971

May 29, 2017 - June 3, 2017

http://www.icra2017.org/

ICRA is the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society's flagship conference and is a premier international forum for robotics researchers to present their work. The 2017 conference will be held from May 29 to June 3, 2017 at Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

The conference will include plenary sessions, contributed paper sessions, workshops and tutorial sessions, an industrial forum, a government forum, an ASEAN & emerging country forum, exhibitions, and robot challenges.

AUVSI Intelligent Ground Vehicles Comp

Location: Rochester, MI, USA

June 2, 2017 - June 5, 2017

http://www.igvc.org/objective.htm

The IGVC offers a design experience that is at the very cutting edge of engineering education. It is multidisciplinary, theory-based, hands-on, team implemented, outcome assessed, and based on product realization. It encompasses the very latest technologies impacting industrial development and taps subjects of high interest to students. Design and construction of an Intelligent Vehicle fits well in a two semester senior year design capstone course, or an extracurricular activity earning design credit. The deadline of an end-of-term competition is a real-world constraint that includes the excitement of potential winning recognition and financial gain. Students at all levels of undergraduate and graduate education can contribute to the team effort, and those at the lower levels benefit greatly from the experience and mentoring of those at higher levels. Team organization and leadership are practiced, and there are even roles for team members from business and engineering management, language and graphic arts, and public relations. Students solicit and interact with industrial sponsors who provide component hardware and advice, and in that way get an inside view of industrial design and opportunities for employment.

ICRA 2017

Location: Sands Expo and Convention Centre, 1 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018971

May 29, 2017 - June 3, 2017

http://www.icra2017.org/

ICRA is the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society's flagship conference and is a premier international forum for robotics researchers to present their work. The 2017 conference will be held from May 29 to June 3, 2017 at Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

The conference will include plenary sessions, contributed paper sessions, workshops and tutorial sessions, an industrial forum, a government forum, an ASEAN & emerging country forum, exhibitions, and robot challenges.

AUVSI Intelligent Ground Vehicles Comp

Location: Rochester, MI, USA

June 2, 2017 - June 5, 2017

http://www.igvc.org/objective.htm

The IGVC offers a design experience that is at the very cutting edge of engineering education. It is multidisciplinary, theory-based, hands-on, team implemented, outcome assessed, and based on product realization. It encompasses the very latest technologies impacting industrial development and taps subjects of high interest to students. Design and construction of an Intelligent Vehicle fits well in a two semester senior year design capstone course, or an extracurricular activity earning design credit. The deadline of an end-of-term competition is a real-world constraint that includes the excitement of potential winning recognition and financial gain. Students at all levels of undergraduate and graduate education can contribute to the team effort, and those at the lower levels benefit greatly from the experience and mentoring of those at higher levels. Team organization and leadership are practiced, and there are even roles for team members from business and engineering management, language and graphic arts, and public relations. Students solicit and interact with industrial sponsors who provide component hardware and advice, and in that way get an inside view of industrial design and opportunities for employment.

ICRA 2017

Location: Sands Expo and Convention Centre, 1 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018971

May 29, 2017 - June 3, 2017

http://www.icra2017.org/

ICRA is the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society's flagship conference and is a premier international forum for robotics researchers to present their work. The 2017 conference will be held from May 29 to June 3, 2017 at Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

The conference will include plenary sessions, contributed paper sessions, workshops and tutorial sessions, an industrial forum, a government forum, an ASEAN & emerging country forum, exhibitions, and robot challenges.

AUVSI Intelligent Ground Vehicles Comp

Location: Rochester, MI, USA

June 2, 2017 - June 5, 2017

http://www.igvc.org/objective.htm

The IGVC offers a design experience that is at the very cutting edge of engineering education. It is multidisciplinary, theory-based, hands-on, team implemented, outcome assessed, and based on product realization. It encompasses the very latest technologies impacting industrial development and taps subjects of high interest to students. Design and construction of an Intelligent Vehicle fits well in a two semester senior year design capstone course, or an extracurricular activity earning design credit. The deadline of an end-of-term competition is a real-world constraint that includes the excitement of potential winning recognition and financial gain. Students at all levels of undergraduate and graduate education can contribute to the team effort, and those at the lower levels benefit greatly from the experience and mentoring of those at higher levels. Team organization and leadership are practiced, and there are even roles for team members from business and engineering management, language and graphic arts, and public relations. Students solicit and interact with industrial sponsors who provide component hardware and advice, and in that way get an inside view of industrial design and opportunities for employment.

AUVSI Intelligent Ground Vehicles Comp

Location: Rochester, MI, USA

June 2, 2017 - June 5, 2017

http://www.igvc.org/objective.htm

The IGVC offers a design experience that is at the very cutting edge of engineering education. It is multidisciplinary, theory-based, hands-on, team implemented, outcome assessed, and based on product realization. It encompasses the very latest technologies impacting industrial development and taps subjects of high interest to students. Design and construction of an Intelligent Vehicle fits well in a two semester senior year design capstone course, or an extracurricular activity earning design credit. The deadline of an end-of-term competition is a real-world constraint that includes the excitement of potential winning recognition and financial gain. Students at all levels of undergraduate and graduate education can contribute to the team effort, and those at the lower levels benefit greatly from the experience and mentoring of those at higher levels. Team organization and leadership are practiced, and there are even roles for team members from business and engineering management, language and graphic arts, and public relations. Students solicit and interact with industrial sponsors who provide component hardware and advice, and in that way get an inside view of industrial design and opportunities for employment.

6

CES Asia

Location: Shanghai, China

June 7, 2017 - June 9, 2017

Home

Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and co-produced by Shanghai Intex, CES Asia is the premier event for the consumer technology industry, showcasing the full breadth and depth of the innovation value-chain in the Asian marketplace. Key global businesses come to this new event to grow and reinforce their brand by showcasing the latest products and technologies to consumer tech industry executives, foreign buyers, international media and a limited number of consumers from China. Attendees have exclusive access to some of the largest brands from China and around the world, while celebrating the innovation that defines the consumer technology sector. CES Asia 2017 will return to Shanghai June 7-9, 2017 as the only industry event focused on the Asia-Pacific market. Learn more with CES Asia 2016 Attendee Audit Summary and CES Asia 2017 Fact Sheet . CES Asia Granted Official Trade Fair Certification CES Asia 2016 was granted an Official Trade Fair Certification by the U.S. Department of Commerce (USDOC). This partnership opens the door for U.S. companies, exhibiting at CES Asia, to gain access to export assistance, trade counseling and opportunities to help expand into and/or grow their

CES Asia

Location: Shanghai, China

June 7, 2017 - June 9, 2017

Home

Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and co-produced by Shanghai Intex, CES Asia is the premier event for the consumer technology industry, showcasing the full breadth and depth of the innovation value-chain in the Asian marketplace. Key global businesses come to this new event to grow and reinforce their brand by showcasing the latest products and technologies to consumer tech industry executives, foreign buyers, international media and a limited number of consumers from China. Attendees have exclusive access to some of the largest brands from China and around the world, while celebrating the innovation that defines the consumer technology sector. CES Asia 2017 will return to Shanghai June 7-9, 2017 as the only industry event focused on the Asia-Pacific market. Learn more with CES Asia 2016 Attendee Audit Summary and CES Asia 2017 Fact Sheet . CES Asia Granted Official Trade Fair Certification CES Asia 2016 was granted an Official Trade Fair Certification by the U.S. Department of Commerce (USDOC). This partnership opens the door for U.S. companies, exhibiting at CES Asia, to gain access to export assistance, trade counseling and opportunities to help expand into and/or grow their

CES Asia

Location: Shanghai, China

June 7, 2017 - June 9, 2017

Home

Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and co-produced by Shanghai Intex, CES Asia is the premier event for the consumer technology industry, showcasing the full breadth and depth of the innovation value-chain in the Asian marketplace. Key global businesses come to this new event to grow and reinforce their brand by showcasing the latest products and technologies to consumer tech industry executives, foreign buyers, international media and a limited number of consumers from China. Attendees have exclusive access to some of the largest brands from China and around the world, while celebrating the innovation that defines the consumer technology sector. CES Asia 2017 will return to Shanghai June 7-9, 2017 as the only industry event focused on the Asia-Pacific market. Learn more with CES Asia 2016 Attendee Audit Summary and CES Asia 2017 Fact Sheet . CES Asia Granted Official Trade Fair Certification CES Asia 2016 was granted an Official Trade Fair Certification by the U.S. Department of Commerce (USDOC). This partnership opens the door for U.S. companies, exhibiting at CES Asia, to gain access to export assistance, trade counseling and opportunities to help expand into and/or grow their

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Unmanned Cargo Innovation Ground Vehicle Conf

Location: Maaspoort, 6001 Weert, Netherlands

June 13, 2017 - June 14, 2017

The unmanned ground vehicle disruption – What is at stake?

The Unmanned Cargo Ground Vehicle Conference is part of the first global multimodal unmanned cargo systems event a two-day event (June 13-14, 2017) that includes 4 dedicated conferences and an exhibition:

Cargo Innovation Conference Unmanned Cargo Ship Conference Unmanned Cargo Ground Vehicle Conference Unmanned Cargo Aircraft Conference Smart Logistics Expo

During the conference we host our Smart Logistics Expo, a dedicated and focused business and research platform. This exhibition brings together leading global companies from the unmanned cargo supply chain. It is a unique opportunity to exchange ideas and network with this pioneering community of unmanned cargo researchers, engineers, business developers and end-users.

Scope: Automated driving and unmanned transport systems are about to bring massive disruptions the road transport sector. Organisations active in this industry have to adapt their organisation accordingly in order to optimize operations and revenues. Unmanned Cargo Vehicles will offer solutions for many of the challenges the transport industry is facing: improved traffic flow and road safety, fuel consumption reduction and reduced CO2 emissions. The conference also addresses the benefits of unmanned vehicles for military purpose such as unmanned transport of goods in

Unmanned Cargo Innovation Ground Vehicle Conf

Location: Maaspoort, 6001 Weert, Netherlands

June 13, 2017 - June 14, 2017

The unmanned ground vehicle disruption – What is at stake?

The Unmanned Cargo Ground Vehicle Conference is part of the first global multimodal unmanned cargo systems event a two-day event (June 13-14, 2017) that includes 4 dedicated conferences and an exhibition:

Cargo Innovation Conference Unmanned Cargo Ship Conference Unmanned Cargo Ground Vehicle Conference Unmanned Cargo Aircraft Conference Smart Logistics Expo

During the conference we host our Smart Logistics Expo, a dedicated and focused business and research platform. This exhibition brings together leading global companies from the unmanned cargo supply chain. It is a unique opportunity to exchange ideas and network with this pioneering community of unmanned cargo researchers, engineers, business developers and end-users.

Scope: Automated driving and unmanned transport systems are about to bring massive disruptions the road transport sector. Organisations active in this industry have to adapt their organisation accordingly in order to optimize operations and revenues. Unmanned Cargo Vehicles will offer solutions for many of the challenges the transport industry is facing: improved traffic flow and road safety, fuel consumption reduction and reduced CO2 emissions. The conference also addresses the benefits of unmanned vehicles for military purpose such as unmanned transport of goods in

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ICAPS Robotic Track

Location: Pittsburgh, PA, USA

June 18, 2017 - June 23, 2017

http://icaps17.icaps-conference.org/robotics-track

ICAPS will run a Robotics track as part of the main conference, following the successes of the 2014, 2015 and 2016 edition. The Robotics track will emphasize the opportunities that emerge from integrating the fields of AI planning and autonomous robotics. The ICAPS-2017 Robotics track provides an opportunity for the AI planning and scheduling community to respond to the challenges that robotics applications pose, and to contribute to the advancement of intelligent robotics. This is also an opportunity for the robotics community to propose integrated solutions, discuss challenges related to planning for autonomous robots (deliberative, reactive, continuous planning and execution, etc.), and to showcase the use of planning and scheduling technology in robotics applications.

The robotics track welcomes work on task, motion, and manipulation planning, plan execution, execution monitoring and failure recovery, task-level coordination of robots, and planning for perception. Submission of work that has been demonstrated on actual robot systems is specifically encouraged.

ICAPS Robotic Track

Location: Pittsburgh, PA, USA

June 18, 2017 - June 23, 2017

http://icaps17.icaps-conference.org/robotics-track

ICAPS will run a Robotics track as part of the main conference, following the successes of the 2014, 2015 and 2016 edition. The Robotics track will emphasize the opportunities that emerge from integrating the fields of AI planning and autonomous robotics. The ICAPS-2017 Robotics track provides an opportunity for the AI planning and scheduling community to respond to the challenges that robotics applications pose, and to contribute to the advancement of intelligent robotics. This is also an opportunity for the robotics community to propose integrated solutions, discuss challenges related to planning for autonomous robots (deliberative, reactive, continuous planning and execution, etc.), and to showcase the use of planning and scheduling technology in robotics applications.

The robotics track welcomes work on task, motion, and manipulation planning, plan execution, execution monitoring and failure recovery, task-level coordination of robots, and planning for perception. Submission of work that has been demonstrated on actual robot systems is specifically encouraged.

ICAPS Robotic Track

Location: Pittsburgh, PA, USA

June 18, 2017 - June 23, 2017

http://icaps17.icaps-conference.org/robotics-track

ICAPS will run a Robotics track as part of the main conference, following the successes of the 2014, 2015 and 2016 edition. The Robotics track will emphasize the opportunities that emerge from integrating the fields of AI planning and autonomous robotics. The ICAPS-2017 Robotics track provides an opportunity for the AI planning and scheduling community to respond to the challenges that robotics applications pose, and to contribute to the advancement of intelligent robotics. This is also an opportunity for the robotics community to propose integrated solutions, discuss challenges related to planning for autonomous robots (deliberative, reactive, continuous planning and execution, etc.), and to showcase the use of planning and scheduling technology in robotics applications.

The robotics track welcomes work on task, motion, and manipulation planning, plan execution, execution monitoring and failure recovery, task-level coordination of robots, and planning for perception. Submission of work that has been demonstrated on actual robot systems is specifically encouraged.

ICAPS Robotic Track

Location: Pittsburgh, PA, USA

June 18, 2017 - June 23, 2017

http://icaps17.icaps-conference.org/robotics-track

ICAPS will run a Robotics track as part of the main conference, following the successes of the 2014, 2015 and 2016 edition. The Robotics track will emphasize the opportunities that emerge from integrating the fields of AI planning and autonomous robotics. The ICAPS-2017 Robotics track provides an opportunity for the AI planning and scheduling community to respond to the challenges that robotics applications pose, and to contribute to the advancement of intelligent robotics. This is also an opportunity for the robotics community to propose integrated solutions, discuss challenges related to planning for autonomous robots (deliberative, reactive, continuous planning and execution, etc.), and to showcase the use of planning and scheduling technology in robotics applications.

See the original post here:

Robohub | news, views and everything robotic

Robotics program taps young innovators in Medway – Wicked Local Medway

By Christian Yapor Daily News Staff

MEDWAY - Tapping away at laptop keyboards, about 20 participants in the 4-H youth science workshop learned basic coding skills to bring robots to life Saturday in the Medway Public Library.

Youth learn early Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) skills in 4-H, which is a youth development program.

"Two of the things we are trying to teach these kids are engineering and computational thinking," said Kim Pond, extension director for 4-H."There is science in everything we use every day, and through programs like this, we are encouraging kids to think about how things work, as well as prepare them for the work force."

The robots, which were made using Lego Mindstorms, were equipped with infrared sensors, color detection sensors, touch sensors, gyroscopes and ultrasonic sensors. Programming the functions of these sensors, the children worked together in teams to tell their robots how to navigate certain obstacles such as weaving through poles, and going up and down a ramp.

We are making robot commands so that it can act like a pet, said Jackson Alessandri, 12, of Medway. It's a lot of fun because I like building things.

"I am looking forward to controlling the robot and making it do special commands," said Jason Huff, 11, of Franklin.

"These robots are designed for younger kids that want to get their feet wet," said Nathan Shepherd, 18, of Franklin, who volunteered to help at the workshop. "The programming consists of simple drag-and-drop functions."

Shepherd said he started working withrobotics in Middle School when he himself was a participant in the 4-H program. In high school he entered competitions and worked with robots that were a lot more advanced. This fall he will attend Boston University to study mechanical engineering and continue working with robotics.

I think it's the process of getting something to work, and the end goal will be having something that works that appeals to these kids, said Shepherd.

"Building a robot and programming a robot are both equally hard, but keeping it stable so that it is not falling apart is important," said Hunter Ross, 9, of Medway.

"Actually, putting the robot together, coding it and bringing it to life is a lot of fun, and each robot is very unique," said James O'Connell, 10, of Holliston.

Shepherd said a lot of trial and error takes place when you're building and programming a robot.

You might not get it at first and it might frustrate some people, but you need to keep working at it."

"The hardest part is knowing what wires go in what holes," said Jeffrey Cadorette, 9, of Fitchburg as he worked on building his team's robot.

"It's such a great accomplishment when it's done," send Joshua Brennan, 9, of Franklin.

Most of the children who participated in the workshop have high hopes of working with technology in the future.

"It's a lot of fun and I want to build a robotic cat, or build a robot so small it can kill a disease," said Wyatt Uhe, 8, of Medway.

Christian Yapor can be reached at 508-634-7521, or at cyapor@wickedlocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @ChristianYapor.

Read more:

Robotics program taps young innovators in Medway - Wicked Local Medway

The Collaborative Robots & Advanced Vision Conference welcomes: – Robotics Online (press release)

Agenda

Conference sessions will be listed here soon! Please check back.

Robot Tracks

Stuart Singer

Schneider Optics, Inc.

Advanced Optics for Vision - CVP-Advanced Certification

Designed for the engineering professional, this course concentrates on real world techniques for putting together optic systems that work. Youll learn how to select proper lens components, optomechanical layout, including system bends, and mounting techniques. Prior attendance at a Basic Optics course is encouraged, but not required.

Vision Tracks

Stuart Singer

Schneider Optics, Inc.

Advanced Optics for Vision - CVP-Advanced Certification

Designed for the engineering professional, this course concentrates on real world techniques for putting together optic systems that work. Youll learn how to select proper lens components, optomechanical layout, including system bends, and mounting techniques. Prior attendance at a Basic Optics course is encouraged, but not required.

Read more:

The Collaborative Robots & Advanced Vision Conference welcomes: - Robotics Online (press release)

Students put robots through the metal paces – Warren Tribune Chronicle

WARREN Local residents interested in robots got to see some up close Saturday.

The sixth annual FIRST Robotics Day was noon to 4 p.m. at the Packard Museum, featuring robotics teams from Warren, Champion and Austintown middle and high schools. Students demonstrated how their robots shoot balls, climb ropes and hang gears.

Travis Hoffman, adviser and lead engineer for the Warren G. Harding Delphi ELITE Team 48, said it was important for students to get involved in the robotics teams because the activities use many of the skills potential employers seek.

If you get that information hands-on before college, it really gives you a step up, Hoffman said.

Andy Yantes, lead technical mentor for the Austintown Fitch Falco Tech 3193 team, said schools have decreased technology classes in recent years, relegating such training to career centers.

We can teach the kids how to do programming, electrical wiring, public speaking, writing scripts, essays. Theres so many different aspects, Yantes said.

Jacob Scheidegger, 18, of Warren, serves as the captain of the project and management team, which includes behind-the-scenes tasks such as writing awards, helping with general management and fundraising. Initially beginning with an interest in STEM science, technology, engineering and mathematics Scheidegger learned after four years on the team he liked business and management, which gave him an idea of what he wanted to do after school.

Scheideggers fellow teammate Alex Richards, 14, of Warren, in his first year, is more direct as the human player on the drive team, which involves operating their robot, Xtremachen20, as well as other duties including assembly and fixing the robot.

I plan to be on the team until I graduate, Richards said.

Although they are technically robotics teams, Barb Hummel, a mentor with the Champion High School Lightning Bots, said the groups draw in students for much more than robotics or technology. She compared the team to a business requiring the students to be able to manage many facets such as public relations and financing aside from the obvious technological aspect of the team.

Kids build the robot, but we also have graphic design, photography and finance, Hummel said. We utilize all skills.

Lightning Bots team member Cole Engle, 17, of Champion, corroborated Hummels statement, saying he participated in a lot of sports before joining the team four years ago. Now he works on the electronics for their robot, the Ironclad.

The best moment is when were building the robot and you see the new kids get involved, Engle said. You can see them getting excited.

Elise Yantes, 15, of Austintown, was operating Falco Tech 3193s robot the Talon Hydra. Elise, who spent three years on the middle school team and three years on the high school team, said her role is co-captain of the support team. This includes working on awards, presenting the awards, outreach and helping on the robots.

The team environment is the best thing, Elise said. I met my best friend in my first year on the team, theres a lot of camaraderie.

For anyone interested in seeing more of what the robotics teams can do, Hoffman recommends attending the Mahoning Valley Robotics Challenge, which will feature at least 24 local robotics teams, Sept. 23 at Warren G. Harding High School in Warren.

ddye@tribtoday.com

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Students put robots through the metal paces - Warren Tribune Chronicle

Robotic Assistance Devices in ‘ASTORS’ Awards (Multi-Video) – 107.180.56.147 (press release) (registration) (blog)

Robotic Assistance Devices (RAD), an innovator in artificial intelligence and robotics, and exclusive North American assembly partner for SMP Robotics, is pleased to announce their SMP/RAD S5 Robotic Guard has been nominated to competein the2017 ASTORS Homeland Security Awards program.

The SMP/RAD Robotics S5 Robotic Guard is a fully autonomous unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) that utilizes advanced artificial intelligence systems to augment traditional patrolling services by detecting unauthorized human and vehicle outdoor activity in restricted areas.

The security robot can patrol on a scheduled set route or routes and can report on anomalies that are found on its patrol route.

(Learn More about the SMP/RAD S5 Robotic Guard, fromSteve Reinharz, Founder and President of Robotic Assistance Devices.Courtesy ofSMP Roboticsand YouTube)

The robot uses machine vision learning inertial navigation and other proprietary navigation systems to know exactly where it is and where it is going.

The S5 Robotic Guard can operate up to 12 hours without recharging and continuously monitors in any weather environment, including rain, snow, gusty wind and temperatures ranging from -7 degrees F to 110 degrees F.

It incorporates automatic obstacle avoidance sensors, two-way audio, panic button and onboard panoramic video surveillance to increase situational awareness.

Additionally, it integrates with leading video management solutions and supports other business systems for special equipment, sensor integration, and advanced software development.

(Seethe SMP/RAD S5 Robotic Guardin Action! Courtesy ofSMP Roboticsand YouTube)

The S5 Robotic Guard is ideal for critical infrastructure and perimeter security to lower risk boost productivity and ensure safety.

It is also essential for remote location monitoring, providing security where otherwise none would be reasonable to implement, including oil and gas production facilities, utility locations and other enterprise sites.

Modern Robotic Guards can be used by organizations to make their security departments move beyond guns, guards and gates to streamline departments. By utilizing our RADBot, they can enhance their ability to effectively patrol large sites.

The 2017 ASTORS Homeland Security Awards Program,organized to recognize the most distinguished vendors of Physical, IT, Port Security, Law Enforcement, First Responders, (Fire, EMT, Military, Support Services Vets, SBA, Medical Tech) as well as the Federal, State, County and Municipal Government Agencies to acknowledge their outstanding efforts to Keep our Nation Secure, One City at a Time.

To learn more about the SMP/RAD S5 Robotic Guard go tohttp://roboticassistancedevices.com/smp-robotics-s5-robot/or visit the companys website athttp://roboticassistancedevices.com/.

Robotic Assistance Devices (RAD) is an innovator of artificial intelligence and robotic solutions for operational, security and monitoring needs.

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Robotic Assistance Devices in 'ASTORS' Awards (Multi-Video) - 107.180.56.147 (press release) (registration) (blog)

DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC)

The Department of Defenses strategic plan calls for the Joint Force to conduct humanitarian, disaster relief, and related operations. Some disasters, due to grave risks to the health and wellbeing of rescue and aid workers, prove too great in scale or scope for timely and effective human response. The DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) seeks to address this problem by promoting innovation in human-supervised robotic technology for disaster-response operations.

The primary technical goal of the DRC is to develop human-supervised ground robots capable of executing complex tasks in dangerous, degraded, human-engineered environments. Competitors in the DRC are developing robots that can utilize standard tools and equipment commonly available in human environments, ranging from hand tools to vehicles.

To achieve its goal, the DRC is advancing the state of the art of supervised autonomy, mounted and dismounted mobility, and platform dexterity, strength, and endurance. Improvements in supervised autonomy, in particular, aim to enable better control of robots by non-expert supervisors and allow effective operation despite degraded communications (low bandwidth, high latency, intermittent connection).

The DRC program website (http://archive.darpa.mil/roboticschallenge/) provides program highlights, including the DRC Trials held in December 2013 and the DRC Finals in June 2015.

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DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC)


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