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Category Archives: Robotics

Waxahachie FIRST Robotics Team takes 2nd place at tournament – Waxahachie Daily Light

Posted: October 20, 2019 at 9:42 pm

Daily Light report

SaturdayOct19,2019at11:33AM

ROCKWALL Students from the Career & Technical Student Organization, Waxahachie FIRST Robotics Team, represented the Waxahachie Independent School District at the NTX Tournament of Robots on Oct. 12-13 in Rockwall, Tx.

FIRST Robotics (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) serves students enrolled in CTE courses aligned with the engineering and manufacturing STEM careers cluster. Participants enjoy the experience of applying classroom and laboratory lessons in hands-on activities and competitive events.

Waxahachie Robotics is a WISD district team, open to all high school students within the Waxahachie school district.

Students participating this season so far are all from Waxahachie Global High School: Camile Condron, Jacob Mendoza, Steven Cloud, Eddie Almaguer, Cole Shelby, Evan Ford, Brendon Blankenship, Talon Wilderman, Ashauntee Fairley, Conner Teague, Carl Bicada, Katherine Keys and Miles Charpentier.

The NTX Tournament of Robots consisted of 29 teams from three states, and Waxahachie Robotics took second place overall in this years contest.

Students will be traveling again in February and March to Dallas and Greenville to test their skills against competitors from across the nation and around the world. WISD proudly supports these students, teachers and organizations.

For more information about Waxahachie Robotics, contact Waxahachie Global High School at 972.923.4761 or email swarren@wisd.org or dmathiesen@wisd.org.

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Robotics on the range – Golf Course Industry Magazine

Posted: at 9:42 pm

(Editors Note: This year, BASF and GCI are working together to tell the story of how a new active ingredient is coming to life for the golf market. The idea is to help you learn the scope of the R&D, testing, investment and plain hard work that goes on behind the scenes of product development. The formulations reached the golf market earlier this year. This is part 4 of a 4-part series on the remarkable process of bringing new chemistry to your golf course.)

After years of preparation and testing, and no small amount of anticipation, superintendents are now able to make Revysol a part of their fungicide regimens.

Developed by BASF, the active ingredient mefentrifluconazole may now be used in the field, either as a standalone (brand name: Maxtima fungicide) or in a compound with Insignia (brand name: Navicon Intrinsic brand fungicide).

Whether as a standalone or as part of a compound, superintendents are eagerly anticipating having another weapon in their arsenal in their ongoing battle against dollar spot.

Scott Bosetti is the superintendent at White Beeches Golf and Country Club in Haworth, N.J. The 18-hole private facility is located 20 miles northwest of midtown Manhattan.

Bosetti started working on golf courses a quarter century ago. Hes spent 18 years as a superintendent, 13 of them at White Beeches where he has been regularly plagued by dollar spot issues issues that have become more problematic in recent seasons because of wet, humid weather. He seized on the opportunity to try Maxtima when it became available this summer.

The ability to throw a DMI chemistry out in the middle of the summer was very appealing, Bosetti says. Once the heart of the year gets to us, were kind of handcuffed. There is a just a certain amount of different types of products/chemistries that we can use, so being able to throw a new chemistry out there in the middle of the summer was something that really interested me.

Bosetti put down an application of Maxtima in late July at a rate of 0.4 oz./1,000 square feet. When he spoke with Golf Course Industry, he had effectively received 21 days of dollar-spot control from the application.

While making the Maxtima fungicide application, Bosetti simultaneously applied Primo Maxx as a growth regulator. Im mostly Poa annua here, he says, and youre always worried about throwing a growth regulator in with a DMI, no matter what time of year it is.

But Bosetti was assured by BASF representative Paul Ramina that the growth regulator would not cause a problem. He told me, with all the research theyve done, either on other golf courses, or at Rutgers, it had no effect on it. Bosetti recalls, so I went out with an 11-oz.-per-acre rate of Primo and got no yellowing, no nothing.

Tim White is in charge of the turf at Prestwick Country Club in Frankfort, Ill., roughly 35 miles south of Chicago. The 18-hole private club features a Larry Packard-designed golf course that was completed in 1964.

When White arrived at the club in 2005, he found himself facing dollar-spot issues that were exacerbated by resistance issues related to DMI-based chemistries that were used by his predecessor to the point where White was getting no more than 10 days of control per dollar spot application (White is quick to point out that those chemistries were state-of-the-art at the time his predecessor applied them).

White found that Emerald was effective against dollar spot; at one point, he was getting 40-plus days of control. Fifteen years later, he embraced the opportunity to have history repeat itself, this time with Maxtima fungicide. I just thought the product sounded interesting, he says. I saw some of the research numbers online and our sales professional (Andy Morris) got us a trial sample.

On Aug. 6, White applied Maxtima on one of his fairways. We picked a hole that we knew had previous issues with dollar spot, he says. We also picked this hole because it has a fair amount of Poa trivialis in the fairway, especially on some of the fairway edges.

The fairway in question also had summer-patch issues. Within six days, though, the dollar spot on the trial fairway was gone and within a week, the summer patch was all but gone, White says. Twenty-one days later, the summer patch had not returned, he adds.

Two Michigan-based superintendents are hoping to achieve similar results with Maxtima fungicide that Bosetti and White have attained.

Jeff Holmes is the longtime director of agronomy at Egypt Valley Country Club, a private facility in Ada, an eastern suburb of Grand Rapids. Hes been at the club for 25 years and has worked in the turf industry for 34. He spoke with Golf Course Industry the same week he put down an application of Maxtima.

Holmes decided to try the product based on past success with DMI-based chemistries and his ongoing relationship with BASF. They usually deliver good products, he says, and the price point value is very favorable for just fighting against dollar spot and not worrying about other diseases.

Holmes had bigger problems with dollar spot in 2018 than he did this season. He believes the weather was a factor, noting that in recent seasons he has found himself applying fungicide more frequently than in years past. Ideally, hed like to apply a fungicide on a monthly basis, but circumstances dont always allow for that.

I think our durations are shorter, he says, but its really hard (to determine) unless you have a checkplot and are going year to year. Sometimes, a certain product will work one year and the next year it doesnt work quite as well, so I really think a lot of it is weather-driven, but I do feel that the durations are a little shorter than what they were.

Weve had products that have gone 28 days and longer and weve had products that have lasted eight days, and sometimes that same product worked three months earlier or the year before, he adds. Thats why I say sometimes its just the climate and the conditions and not knowing if the pathogen is already in the plant and how were affecting it. There are a lot of variables.

Tom Schall has worked in the turf industry for more than three decades. Today, hes in charge of the turf at the Oakland University Golf and Learning Center in Rochester, Mich. The center features two 18-hole courses plus a state-of-the-art practice area.

When Golf Course Industry spoke with Schall, he was preparing to apply Maxtima for the first time; the application was tentatively scheduled for the end of August. He is hoping that Maxtima will prove an effective remedy for the dollar spot issues that have plagued him in recent seasons Im not getting the length of control that we were used to, he says. Two weeks is almost unheard of anymore.

Schall says early season rains exacerbated the dollar spot issues hes been dealing with this summer. Normally, what we do is put an application down for dollar spot earlier in the spring as a (preventative measure), he says, and we just didnt have that availability to do that this year with the rain. I think thats one of the reasons were having this problem.

Apart from its effectiveness against dollar spot and other diseases, early indications are that Maxtima fungicide offers financial benefits. Bosetti estimates that his 21 days of dollar spot control cost him approximately $100 per acre. And longer intervals between applications allow superintendents to devote labor to other tasks. (Maxtima fungicide) is going to allow us to move people to do other things in the fall, Schall says, and not have to put so much time into making a fungicide application. Weve got a couple of renovation projects going on too. Whenever youre doing a project, things come up and you have to move people around, so its going to help us be able to do that.

White is already thinking about 2020 and how hell integrate Maxtima into his fungicide protocol. He anticipates making an application somewhere around May 1.

Were going to give it a whirl for sure on our tees next year, he says. Were going to do an early season app for dollar spot reduction, summer patch and take all patch. Im assuming on our tees we should get at least a month out of that, maybe longer, for dollar spot. Well probably do a fall clean-up on the tees also for dollar spot.

White is also planning to try Navicon Intrinsic on greens.

Historically, we get a couple applications during the summer months of an Insignia product, he says. Whether its Lexicon, or Honor, or Insignia, there are plant-health based benefits, theres no doubt about it.

White believes that utilizing Insignia has contributed to making his turf more stress resistant.

When you make an application prior to a stretch of (90-degree days) that roll in and sticky nights, we just noticed that the grass responds better than it does when were not using the products, he says. Were using less water, theres less stress, the plant seems to have an ability to just handle the stress much better the plant just seems to be a little bit tougher, a little bit stronger.

I dont have numbers to back that up, but based on previous years when we didnt use any of it versus years when we have, it just seems like the plant can go through those periods of warm, humid days and sticky nights with less decline.

White believes that dollar spot is becoming less of an issue than previous years because of the introduction of new products. But its safe to say that it will always be a concern for turf professionals. With Maxtima fungicide and Navicon Intrinsic brand fungicide now available, they have two new tools at their disposal.

Note: Any sales of the products after registration is obtained shall be solely on the basis of the EPA-approved label, and any claims regarding product safety and efficacy shall be addressed solely by the label.

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Open-Source Arm Puts Robotics Within Reach – Hackaday

Posted: at 9:42 pm

In November 2017, we showed you [Chris Annin]s open-source 6-DOF robot arm. Since then hes been improving the arm and making it more accessible for anyone who doesnt get to play with industrial robots all day at work. The biggest improvement is that AR2 had a closed-loop control system, and AR3 is open-loop. If something bumps the arm or it crashes, the bot will recover its previous position automatically. It also auto-calibrates itself using limit switches.

AR3 is designed to be milled from aluminium or entirely 3D printed. The motors and encoders are controlled with a Teensy 3.5, while an Arduino Mega handles I/O, the grippers, and the servos. In the demo video after the break, [Chris] shows off AR3s impressive control after a brief robotic ballet in which two AR3s move in hypnotizing unison.

[Chris] set up a site with the code, his control software, and all the STL files. He also has tutorial videos for programming and calibrating, and wrote an extremely detailed assembly manual. Between the site and the community already in place from AR2, anyone with enough time, money and determination could probably build one. Check out [Chris] playlist of AR2 builds people are using them for photography, welding, and serving ice cream. Did you build an AR2? The good news is that AR3 is completely backward-compatible.

The AR3s grippers work well, as youll see in the video. If you need a softer touch, try emulating an octopus tentacle.

Thanks for the tip, [Andrew]!

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An Army of Tiny Robots Could Assemble Huge Structures in Space – Universe Today

Posted: at 9:42 pm

We live in a world where multiple technological revolutions are taking place at the same time. While the leaps that are taking place in the fields of computing, robotics, and biotechnology are gaining a great deal of attention, less attention is being given to a field that is just as promising. This would be the field of manufacturing, where technologies like 3D printing and autonomous robots are proving to be a huge game-changer.

For example, there is the work being pursued by MITs Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA). It is here that graduate student Benjamin Jenett and Professor Neil Gershenfeld (as part of Jenetts doctoral thesis work) are working on tiny robots that are capable of assembling entire structures. This work could have implications for everything from aircraft and buildings to settlements in space.

Their work is described in a study that recently appeared in the October issue of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters. The study was authored by Jenett and Gershenfeld, who were joined by fellow graduate student Amira Abdel-Rahman and Kenneth Cheung a graduate of MIT and the CBA, who now works at NASAs Ames Research Center.

As Gerensheld explained in a recent MIT News release, there have historically been two broad categories of robotics. On the one hand, youve got expensive robotics made out custom components that are optimized for particular applications. On the other hand, there are those that are made from inexpensive mass-produced modules with lower performance.

The robots that the CBA team is working on which Jenett has dubbed the Bipedal Isotropic Lattice Locomoting Explorer (BILL-E, like WALL-E) represent an entirely new branch of robotics. On the one hand, they are much simpler than the expensive, custom and optimized variety of robots. On the other, they are far more capable than mass-produced robots and can build a wider variety of structures.

At the heart of the concept is the idea that larger structures can be assembled by integrating smaller 3D pieces which the CBA team calls voxels. These components are made up of simple struts and nodes and can be easily fastened together using simple latching systems. Since they are mostly empty space, they are lightweight but can still be arranged to distribute loads efficiently.

The robots, meanwhile, resemble a small arm with two long segments that are hinged in the middle with a clamping device at each end that they use to grip onto the voxel structures. These appendages allow the robots to move around like inchworms, opening and closing their bodies in order to move from one spot to the next.

However, the main difference between these assemblers and traditional robots is the relationship between the robotic worker and the materials it is working with. According to Gershefeld, it is impossible to distinguish this new type of robot from the structures they build since they work together as a system. This is especially apparent when it comes to the robots navigation system.

Today, most mobile robots require a highly precise navigational system to keep track of their position, such as GPS. The new assembler robots, however, need only know where they are in relation to the voxels (small subunits they are currently working on). When an assembler moves onto the next one, it readjusts its sense of position, using whatever it is working on to orient itself.

Each of the BILL-E robots is capable of counting its steps, which in addition to navigation allows it to correct any errors it makes along the way. Along with control software developed by Abdel-Rahman, this simplified process will enable swarms of BILL-Es to coordinate their efforts and work together, which will speed up the assembly process. As Jenett said:

Were not putting the precision in the robot; the precision comes from the structure [as it gradually takes shape]. Thats different from all other robots. It just needs to know where its next step is.

Jenett and his associates have built several proof-of-concept versions of the assemblers, along with corresponding voxel designs. Their work has now progressed to the point where prototype versions are able to demonstrate the assembly of the voxel blocks into linear, two-dimensional, and three-dimensional structures.

This kind of assembly process has already attracted the interest of NASA (which is collaborating with MIT on this research), and Netherlands-based aerospace company Airbus SE which also sponsored the study. In NASAs case, this technology would be a boon for their Automated Reconfigurable Mission Adaptive Digital Assembly Systems (ARMADAS), which co-author Cheung leads.

The aim of this project is to develop the necessary automation and robotic assembly technologies to develop deep-space infrastructure which includes a lunar base and space habitats. In these environments, robotic assemblers offer the advantage of being able to assemble structures quickly and more cost-effectively. Similarly, they will be able to conduct repairs, maintenance, and modification with ease.

For a space station or a lunar habitat, these robots would live on the structure, continuously maintaining and repairing it, says Jenett. Having these robots around will eliminate the need to launch large preassembled structures from Earth. When paired with additive manufacturing (3D printing), they would also be able to use local resources as building materials (a process known as In-Situ Resource Utilization or ISRU).

Sandor Fekete is the director of the Institute of Operating Systems and Computer Networks at the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany. In the future, he hopes to join the team in order to further develop the control systems. While developing these robots to the point that they will be able to build structures in space is a significant challenge, the applications they could have are enormous. As Fekete said:

Robots dont get tired or bored, and using many miniature robots seems like the only way to get this critical job done. This extremely original and clever work by Ben Jenett and collaborators makes a giant leap towards the construction of dynamically adjustable airplane wings, enormous solar sails or even reconfigurable space habitats.

There is little doubt that if humanity wants to live sustainably on Earth or venture out into space, it is going to need to rely on some pretty advanced technology. Right now, the most promising of these are the ones that offer cost-effective ways of seeing to our needs and extending our presence across the Solar System.

In this respect, robot assemblers like BILL-E would not only be useful in orbit, on the Moon, or beyond, but also here on Earth. When similarly paired with 3D printing technology, large groups of robotic assemblers programmed to work together could provide cheap, modular housing that could help bring an end to the housing crisis.

As always, technological innovations that help advance space exploration can be tapped to make life on Earth easier as well!

Further Reading: MIT, IEEE

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[Feature] Using robotics in dementia prevention, care – The Korea Herald

Posted: at 9:42 pm

An orb with a set of ears, blinky eyes and the voice and speech manners of a chatty child is making advances in dementia therapy at a hospital in Seoul.

Named Bomy, the robot assists cognitive training for patients in the early stages, or at the risk of developing dementia.

The hospitals center entered into a memorandum of understanding with Robocare, a Korean care robot developer company, in February after which they jointly bagged a robotic dementia care project from the Ministry of Science and ICT.

Robocares business development section head Choi Sung-gyu told The Korea Herald the centers Bomy is the first cognitive training robot in the country.

The center targets patients at risk of developing dementia as well as those in early stages of cognitive impairment, Kim said.

A lot of people equate Alzheimers disease with dementia which is a blanket term for regression in cognitive functioning to the extent where it hinders a persons ability to perform daily tasks, she said. Age is also a main risk factor.

While aging is one of the biggest risk factors for developing dementia, that doesnt mean everyone will be affected by it in old age, according to Kim.

Aging is inevitable, but research shows training -- accompanied by healthy life-style habits -- can delay late-life cognitive decline, Kim said.

Bomy, equipped to run some 20 different types of multidomain cognitive training games, is a robot programmed as a patients grandchild, as most who receive care are elderly.

Some of the training activities (Bomy offers) include shopping for groceries, making phone calls and playing musical instruments with it, Kim said.She said Bomys simple, intuitive interface and friendly features allows a patients encounter with the robot to be less daunting.

I think my patients gain courage from the fact that they are able to navigate this new, state-of-the-art technology.

The robots also make the otherwise dreaded experience of coming to the hospital more enjoyable, she added.

When my patients visit the center for the first time, they have a vague fear of this condition of which they have a rather ambiguous understanding, Kim said.

But they find the assistance from robots amusing, and the systemized training empowers and encourages them to think that they are in control.

With robots, patient assessments are automated and training sessions are customized to each patients needs, Kim said.

Park said her husband underwent neurosurgery at the hospital after a bleeding in his brain in March. She said the intracerebral hemorrhage hurt a part of his brain responsible for language, and he enrolled in the centers therapy program in the later stages of the medication treatment.

My husband is 52 years old, and he wasnt familiar with robots, Park said. At first, I remember him telling me he felt awkward doing (the training activities) with the robot.

But I think the he feels confident and motivated by accomplishing the given tasks at each session. Sometimes, he would come out of the room beaming, which means he did well that day.

She said her husband, who was initially assessed to be fit for level 4 training, has now moved onto level 5 and 6.

He will be returning to work next month, she said.

Asked if she had any suggestions, she said she wished the therapy was more affordable.

If the national health insurance covered this therapy, since dementia care is in high demand, more patients would be able to access it.

At the moment, each 60-minute session costs 120,000 won and 40-minute session 80,000 won.

An upcoming addition at the center is a mobile robot designed for care services slated for use at homes by early 2021. Robocare said the robot, shaped like a penguin and about 60 meters tall, is tentatively named Bomy 2.

Bomy 2, which is capable of locomotion, can recognize patients faces, keep them company, and track their location around home to remind them of their daily schedule such as when to take medications, Kim said. It can also inform the patients family or guardians in the event of an accident.

Kim said when care robots become part of everyday life, it would also mean less frequent trips to hospitals for patients.

Robots will act as a medium between homes and clinics. They can do the day-to-day training sessions at home, and the doctor can keep track of their condition between hospital visits.

To facilitate a seamless cognitive training experience, the center has developed an application for smartphones and tablet computers for patients to continue training at home between visits.

The care service robot project is one of governments welfare agenda for the country where, by 2025, population aged 65 and older is projected to account for about one-fifth of the total population.

As the society ages, demand for dementia care and treatment is projected to be on the rise.

There arent enough specialists to keep up with the pace of population aging. Robots will fill in the vacancy created by the gap, said Lee Hae-kyung, an official at the National Information Society Agency under the Science and ICT ministry.

The agency launched in May a project for developing AI services in the welfare sector, including robotic care for individuals with mild dementia.

The ministry has allocated about 900 million won ($76,260) for testing care robots for elderly dementia patients this year, with the rest of the budget -- approximately 800 million won -- covered by private institutes selected for the project.

The state project was initiated with the aim of reducing the burden of caring for dementia patients, which falls primarily on their families, Lee said.

By Kim Arin (arin@heraldcorp.com)

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My View: Reality Hits Home with the Impending Loss of Schilling Robotics – The Peoples Vanguard of Davis

Posted: at 9:42 pm

Schilling Robotics as posted on Davis Wiki

The reality is that Tyler Schilling warned us he warned us back in 2014 that they were going to need more space. He warned the council, Were going to need a sizable parcel to build a new facility and I would dearly love to be able to do it here in Davis.

We got a temporary reprieve as the oil market softened, but five years after he got in front of the council time ran out.

This is about space we dont have it. When we have the space, we can sell this community to prospective companies. When we dont have space as Danielle Casey pointed out this August we dont even get a look.

This wasnt about saving Schilling anymore.We knew they were gone.We knew they were gone in December.We knew they were gone in June when ARC (Aggie Research Campus) announced itself.It was effectively lost when we couldnt get MRIC (Mace Ranch Innovation Center) to the ballot five years ago.Thats when the clock started.The only thing that changed now is that the clock has struck midnight.

This is about saving the next Schilling.And, just as importantly, it is about creating space so that the city can start becoming creative and working to bring high tech companies to Davis, rather than crossing their fingers to keep what we have.

This is not a good week.It doesnt feel good.There is no silver lining except and unless it inspires us to action.

We have run through these numbers before the city simply lacks larger options for companies to move into. We can now put this into perspective. Schilling Robotics is moving into about 21 acres. The city currently has no available land at that size.

Mori Seiki moved into a spot that was just under 15 acres. Right now there is exactly one parcel that is vacant at that size. That is the parcel at Cowell and Chiles. That is the parcel that Jim Gray told us likely is not going to be available in the foreseeable future.

Thats it. The 124.5 acres of commercially zoned land that the city identified in January remains misleading and elusive. The reality is about 30 of those acres are already owned and purposed for expansion of Sutter and Kaiser. Another 25 to 30 of those acres, which actually could become valuable land at some point, remain unavailable as part of the Frontier Fertilizer Superfund size.

That means, instead of 124.5 acres, it is more like 60 acres, and three-quarters of that is in parcels of seven acres or less. Someone from the city told me there might be no parcels on the market at this time larger than two acres.

Thats the reality that we face.

None of this is actually new. This was the reality that we learned of back in 2012 when the Studio 30 report came out.

They wrote, The current isolated and dispersed sites that are available and appropriately zoned are not adequate in terms of size, location, or configuration (and related constraints) to address the emerging market need of an Innovation Center.

The study continues, With available reasonably priced land and effective marketing to innovative high tech companies, Studio 30 estimates Davis could absorb up to 10 percent or around 100,000 square feet of the 1-1.5 million industrial/office square footage absorbed annually in the Sacramento region. Because of this Studio 30 estimates Davis needs at least 200 acres for business development and expansion over a 20 +/- year time horizon.

That is why the Studio 30 report recommended the city in the intermediate term look at Nishi which eventually was defeated as a 300,000 square foot R&D center with housing and approved as rental housing only and one of two peripheral sites, which right now is the form of the Aggie Research Center.

It was a blow six years ago when we lost homegrown company AgraQuest which was bought out by Bayer and moved to West Sacramento. This is even a bigger blow in part because we were warned five years ago it was coming.

Some have said, well, someone else will move into there. Yes, at some point in the future, someone else will likely be able to move into there. But, lets look at what we lose.

First, we lose the certainty of that spot being filled now. Unfortunately we dont have tax figures as to how much revenue per year that is. We are losing the jobs there. We are losing the community support that Schilling has provided over the years.

Will a full-fledged company move in with the all the employees and tax revenue of Schilling? And how long will it be?

But we lose more than that. Because if we had had 20 to 30 acres available for a move up, we get the new company and the move up. We are losing out on 21 acres and 400,000 square feet of projected growth from Schilling. To put that into perspective, Nishi was creating 300,000 square feet of R&D space, Schilling is creating up to 400,000.

But it is not just Schilling we are losing. It is the opportunity to get other companies to move into here. Right now, most larger companies needing space are not even looking in this direction. Heck, it is questionable that, if another Mori Seiki were looking to move here, we could accommodate that.

Aggie Research Center is the most likely solution to this problem. This is really not a huge risk for the city. We are creating entitled land that a company could move into. If they dont come, the land stays as it is now.

But by creating the capacity for 185 acres and 2.6 million square feet of R&D space, we give ourselves a chance in the future a chance to keep the next Schilling Robotics. A chance to attract a new company to replace their loss.

David M. Greenwald reporting

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Robotics company offers $190,000 for the rights to your face – NEWS.com.au

Posted: at 9:42 pm

Heres your chance to be the literal face of a robotics company.

A tech firm is looking for the right person to lend their likeness to a new line of robot assistants for the elderly. And while it might sound like the plot to a bad sci-fi flick, the company will pay the chosen candidate 100,000 (about $A190,000) for the privilege.

The privately funded firm has opted to remain anonymous due to the projects secretive nature, but it has hired robotics recruiter Geomiq to find the right face for the job, reports the Mirror.

RELATED: Sex robots are here, are they therapeutic or gross?

Ideal applicants will possess a kind and friendly face for the prototype, per the head, er, face hunters recruitment ad. Its a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the right person; lets hope we can find them, said a Geomiq spokesperson.

The lucky winner of the face-off will have their likeness reproduced on thousands of virtual friends a la Will Smiths disturbing 2004 movie I, Robot as well as rake in the aforementioned big bucks. The project has been five years in the making.

RELATED: Robots already taking jobs

Designers havent disclosed much beyond that, only that the robotic doppelgangers will hit the assembly line next year and will be readily available to the public upon completion.

On the application page, Geomiq acknowledges that licensing ones visage to an unnamed robotics company for eternity is potentially an extremely big decision.

The face-cloning campaign has drawn flack from social media sceptics, with many of them analogising it to bad dystopian movie tropes. Janelle Mone warned us about this, cautioned one.

Others wondered why a supposedly tech-savvy robotics company needed a human face at all and couldnt just save money by using an online random-face generator. Have these people ever heard of GANs? asked one Twitter techie. There are datasets with 100k realistic (but not real) faces available already.

This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission

Is $190,000 enough for you to sell the rights to your appearance forever? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Remembering Dr. Woodie Flowers, the Father of Educational Robotics – Science Times

Posted: at 9:42 pm

(Photo : MIT)

Dr. Woodie Flowers, theFather of Educational Robotics as proclaimed by VEX Robotics, has passed away last Oct. 12 due to undisclosed medical complications. He was widely known and celebrated as one of the co-founders of the international youth organization called FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), which manages the widely acclaimed FIRST Robotics Competition and its iterations in partnership with LEGO. The robotics competition is the flagship event of the organization that aims to foster interest and inspiration for the youth to immerse themselves in science, engineering, and technology fields.

Dr. Flowers was born in Jena, Louisiana, in 1943. Early in his youth, he was already immersed in the world of mechanical engineering and design as his father was involved in such activities. He initially did not plan to go to college but changed his mind upon receipt of a scholarship where he majored in mechanical engineering.He obtained his Bachelor of Engineering at Louisiana Tech University in 1966, followed by his Master of Science, Master of Engineering, and Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1968, 1970, and 1973, respectively.

After graduating from MIT, he served as a teacher in the Department of Mechanical Engineering with a class called "Introduction to Design and Manufacturing," previously coded as Course 2.70 but now exists as Course 2.007. Students who took the course were required to build devices and robots, effectively making the course more hands-on in the spirit of "experiential learning". Since then, the class has been one of the most iconic and popular courses at MIT.

Dr. Flowers eventually brought over the spirit of Course 2.007 from the classrooms of MIT to the outside world with the introduction of the FIRST Robotics Competition. Dean Kamen founded FIRST in 1989 and was looking for an outreach program to inspire the minds of the youth with science and technology. During that time, Dr. Flowers was the host of a series named "Scientific American Frontiers" which was a show under the PBS Network. He showed a video to Kamen of the competition being done in Course 2.007, and from there came the very first installment of the FIRST Robotics Competition in 1992 in New Hampshire. The competition has since grown to3790 teams from 33 different countriesin its latest installment.

The balance between technology and humanism was something that Dr. Flowers advocated passionately, with a term he coined as "gracious professionalism." He coined this term as a way to describe the balance between the two sides of the brain: the creative and empathetic side with the rational and technological side. The term is about being fierce in the heat of competition yet gracious enough to learn from each other in the long run. He insists that a good balance between the two sides is necessary for the pursuit of a well-lived life.

He was a legend in his craft and truly inspired thousands of youth all over the world to pursue careers in science, technology, and engineering. He may have passed away, but his legacy continues to live on.

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Remembering Dr. Woodie Flowers, the Father of Educational Robotics - Science Times

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Robotics startup wants to pay 100k to use a real human face on its robots – DIGIT.FYI

Posted: at 9:42 pm

A robotics startup is offering 100,000 to use a real persons face on its robots. The unnamed company has contacted manufacturer Geomiq for help finding the ideal kind and friendly human face for its robots, described as virtual friends for elderly people.

The robotics startup said the need for anonymity is due to the secretive nature of the project. But production of the robots is expected to begin in 2020 and will be readily available to the public, it added.

Geomiq said that the company is privately-funded and that the project has been in development for five years. It has since, apparently, taken on investment from a number of independent VCs, as well as a top fund based in Shanghai.

A spokesperson for Geomiq said: At this point, were not allowed to share any more details about the project, but were hoping that someone with the right face will get in touch as a result of this public appeal.

We know that this is an extremely unique request, and signing over the licenses to your face is potentially an extremely big decision. But its a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the right person; lets hope we can find them.

Dr Kate Devlin, an author on the topics of AI and robotics, said: Im cool with the whole friendly robot thing. But I cant work out why a) it needs a realistically human face and, b) why that face needs to be of a real individual.

If you are interested in selling your face, you can apply here. Candidates who make it through the next phase will be given full details on the project, while unsuccessful candidates will not be contacted.

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Robotics startup wants to pay 100k to use a real human face on its robots - DIGIT.FYI

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Free Report: Rise of the Warehouse Robots – Robotics Business Review

Posted: October 7, 2019 at 7:48 pm

Last year, the warehouse automation market grew by more than 13% globally, reaching sales in excess of $12.5 billion. Warehouses continue to experience increased investment, driven by increasing levels of automation within the warehouse, as well as the integration of supply chains.

Compounding this are continued labor shortages in the logistics industry, with continued demand for goods via online purchasing. Robots and other automation systems are helping to address these shortages and to meet these increased demands for goods that arrive faster than ever before.

In this free report by LogisticsIQ, in cooperation with RoboBusiness (and Robotics Business Review), we will detail many of the predictions and statistics driving the need for more autonomous mobile robots in the space. In addition, we will highlight the key players and outline some of the new technologies expected to grow the market.

To receive this FREE report, please fill out the form below.

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Free Report: Rise of the Warehouse Robots - Robotics Business Review

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