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Rethink Robotics

By Chief Robot | Filed in Robot News

BaxterRethink Robotics, formerly Heartland Robotics, was founded by Rodney Brooks, formerly of iRobot.

Rodney sums up his vision for Rethink Robotics like this on their website.

Our robots will be intuitive to use, intelligent and highly flexible. They’ll be easy to buy, train, and deploy and will be unbelievably inexpensive. Rethink Robotics will change the definition of how and where robots can be used, dramatically expanding the robot marketplace.

Rethink Robotics has never really revealed what they have been working on until now. We give you Baxter, the manufacturing robot.

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QBotix Solbot

By Chief Robot | Filed in Robot News

QBotix SolbotQBotix is introducing a track based robot to align solar panels towards the sun called Solbot.  This is a single axis tracking system, as opposed to a dual axis tracker, which also accounts for what time of year it is. Aiming the solar panels towards the sun allows the solar panels to be more efficient and get more energy from the sun.  Wikipedia states:

It is estimated that trackers are used in at least 85% of commercial installations greater than 1MW from 2009 to 2012.

Solbot runs on a track, much like a monorail and can service up to 200 solar panels in 40 minutes.  When connecting with each panel, Solbot adjusts the angle of the panel, but also collects data about the panel. Solbot  also has a certified IP-65 rating, meaning it is impervious to dust and water.

For larger solar panel arrays, more Solbots can be added to the system.  When not servicing the solar panels, Solbot returns home to the charging station.

QBotix expects to have the first commercial customer up and running by the end of September.

Link via (GigaOm) & (Technology Review)

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Robot Noodle Chef

By Chief Robot | Filed in Robot News

Chinese inventor Cui Runquan invented a robot is named Chef Cui .  The robot slices noodles using a back and forth motion, like a windshield wiper.

Last time we heard about the chef turned inventor, his robo noodle slicing chef was only a dream. Well, now Cui Runquan is actually manufacturing the robot and selling them for about $2,000 each. So far he has sold about 3,000 robots.  Check out the noodle slicing robot in the clip below.

See our previous post about Chef Cui, Yet Another Robo Chef.

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Mantabot

By Chief Robot | Filed in Robot News

The Bio-Inspired Engineering Research Laboratory (BIER Lab) is working on building a robotic manta ray.

The lab is part of the University of Virginia and was founded by Hilary Bart-Smith, an Associate Professor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering.

We have previously seen robotic fish, and even robotic jellyfish, but not a manta ray.

Check out the video below.

Link via (Hackaday)

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Shimi, Your Robot DJ

By Chief Robot | Filed in Robot News

Photo of Shimi from Georgia Tech

Shimi, a robot invented by Georgia Tech’s Gil Weinberg, is a robotic DJ.  The robot contains an Android phone dock and uses music and apps on the phone to strut its stuff.

Shimi can even follow you around the room by tracking you with it’s head.  Hopefully other developers will create more apps for the robot.

Weinberg with the help of a company called Tovbot, hopes to make Shimi available to consumers by the holdays in 2013.

Check out the video below.

Link via (CNET)
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