Helsinki Embraces Driverless Buses


Photo from SOHJOA.

In Finland a driver is not legally required in a vehicle.  This fact has helped pave the way for a project in Helsinki called Sohjoa.  The goal of this project is to reduce private cars in Helsinki  and their emissions.

To accomplish part of the goal, Helsinki is testing driverless buses.  The buses are “taught” a particular route by having someone drive them on the route they need to go on.

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Kobi, Your Grass, Leaf and Snow Robot


(Photo/The Kobi Company)

The Kobi Company has introduced Kobi, your all purpose yard care robot. Kobi comes with three attachments for grass, leaves and snow.

Fully autonomous and controlled by your cell phone, Kobi also come with a docking station where it recharges all by itself.

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Soft Robots Mimic Human Muscles

researchers_and_robotsThree researchers at EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Luasanne) are working on soft robots.

Soft robots have a wide range of applications such as gripping, locomotion on uneven terrain, biomedical rehabilitation and more.

Soft pneumatic actuators are a great choice for soft robots because there are easy to make and don’t cost a lot.

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Is Farming Ready for Robots?

Robot TractorStarting in 2009 we started seeing hints of robotic farming equipment.  Arduino forum user Lance posted about his automating a combine harvester.

Lance was able to get the harvester to stay within 3 inches of the desired path which is very good for homemade gear relying on GPS.

Now we are seeing several companies unveiling tractor concepts that don’t involve someone driving them.  Case IH and New Holland have both unveiled robotic concepts.

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Toyota’s Tiny Robot

Kirobi Mini

Kirobi Mini from Toyota

Toyota recently introduced a new robot called Kirobi Mini which you will be able to pre-order later this year in Japan.

The cost will reportedly be about $390.

Kirobi Mini will have a camera, microphone, Bluetooth and connect to a smartphone. It can responds to voices, but cannot recognize you.

General manager of the project Fuminori Kataoka stated

Toyota has been making cars that have a lot of valuable uses. But this time we’re just pushing emotional value.

The general idea for Kirobi Mini is a small companion robot you can take with you while driving.


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