Riverwatch

By Chief Robot | Filed in Water

Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 6.10.50 PMA team from Portugal have created a catamaran like boat that is used for monitoring rivers. Using ROS as the operating system. The boat also uses 3D mapping, sonar and tilting laser scanner amongst other technologies.

Waypoints can be set and the robot will navigate autonomously to the waypoint, while avoiding obstacles above and below the surface of the water.

The boat also has a landing pad for a 6 rotor UAV that provides and aerial point of view.
See the video below for a more detailed explanation.

Nice job everyone!

Riverwatch

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KIWI Robots

By Chief Robot | Filed in Education

kiwiKiwi Robots are part of the Ready for Robotics project by Professor Marina Umaschi Bers from Tufts University.

The simple robots are easily programmed with blocks or on a computer using the same symbols as on the blocks.  This method allows for very young children to learn basic programming and become interested in engineering and robotics.

To see this in action, watch the video below where children from East Boston create dances from around the world with robots.

Link

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Black Hornet, Microcopter

By Chief Robot | Filed in Military

Black HornetThe tiny Black Hornet is a microcopter UAV designed by Prox Dynamics, a Norwegian company.  This microcopter is deployed by hand and controlled with a joystick, while viewing the action on a tablet.  The Black Hornet can fly for up to 25 minutes and is almost completely silent.

Black Hornet is currently being deployed with the British troops in Afghanistan where it is said to make a big difference. It streams live video and can capture snapshots.  Weighing only 16 grams  this seems like a great addition to a troops arsenal without adding much extra weight.

Click through for a video from a couple of years ago of an earlier test model.

Link via (IEEE Spectrum)

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CyPhy Works Unveiled

By Chief Robot | Filed in Military

CyPhy Works EASE & PARCCyPhy Works, headed by Helen Greiner formerly of iRobot, has unveiled what it has been working on.

The first robot is named EASE for Extreme Access System for Entry.   The second is called PARC for Persistent Aerial Reconnaissance and Communications.

The common thread between both robots is a microfilament cable.  This thread is unspooled from the robot and provides power as well as communications.  The idea here is not to worry about battery life and to provide unajmmable communications as no radio is used.

The robots provide high definition video as well as having an optional thermal imaging camera.

The composite image on the right is made up of 2 images from CyPhy works with PARC on top and EASE on the bottom.

PARC could search the grounds outside a building and on the rooftop while EASE seems ideal for searching inside the building for suspects.  Most robots aiming for investigating buildings are wheeled and may run into obstacles, unlike PARC and EASE as they can fly through windows and up stairwells.

Click through for a video of EASE.

Link via (AUVSI.org)
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Toyota’s Helpful Robot

By Chief Robot | Filed in Humanoid

Human Support RobotToyota has unveiled a new helper type robot called the Human Support Robot (HSR) to help with Japan’s aging population.

It is designed to help people around their home and improve their quality of life.

With a height of between 32 and 52 inches and a weight of about 70 lbs, HSR is not very big or heavy.  Due to a telescopic body , the robot can change its height, depending on the task at hand.

HSR also has an arm and a gripper hand for doing simple tasks, like picking items up off the floor or opening curtains.

HSR can be controlled by a tablet computer.

No word on price or availability yet.

Link via (Gizmag)

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