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Raven II, The Open Source Surgical Robot

Team members & Raven II components (Photo: UC Santa Cruz)

The Raven II surgical robot has been developed at the University of Santa Cruz and the University of Washington.  Five of these robots will be shipped to other universities like Johns Hopkins for further research.

Jacob Rosen and Blake Hannaford are leading the research.  Rosen stated:

We decided to follow an open-source model, because if all of these labs have a common research platform for doing robotic surgery, the whole field will be able to advance more quickly

The researchers aim to ship the robots to the other universities by the end of January and start collaborative experiments together and operating the robot over the internet.  The Raven II is expected to cost around $250,000, a lot less than other surgical robots like the da Vinci Surgical System.

The Raven II is based on the Raven I, a robot designed for battlefield surgery and has been funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Click through for a video.

Link via (CNET)

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PR2 and ROS Grow

pr2PR2 from Willow Garage uses ROS (Robot Operating System) and is one amazing robot.
First PR2 learned to play pool and fetch beer for the staff at Willow Garage.
PR2 is currently listed at $400,000, out of the range of most regular guys like me, but some universities have gotten one and boy, have they taught PR2 some neat tricks.

First PR2 learned how to fold clothes and now it is learning how to solve the entire laundry problem , including washing, drying, folding and putting clothes away!

Some other folks have taught PR2 to read.

For it’s latest trick, PR2 has paid a visit to MIT and the robot has learned how to bake cookies!
Click through to see PR2 do his amazing stuff.
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QBO By TheCorpora

QboTheCorpora, also known as Francisco Paz,  has unveiled more details on the robot called QBO.  Franciso hopes QBO will one day be your own personal open source robotic platform and we definitely want one.

So far, QBO has been five years in the making. QBO weighs 9-11 kg and automatically recharges through a docking station.  His eyes are 2 high definition web cameras and his ears are 2 omnidirectional microphones and 1 unidirectional microphone.

His body also contains 4 ultrasonic sensors, 1 sharp sensor and 3 infrared sensors.  These sensors allow QBO to navigate and move around without bumping into obstacles.

This cute little guy also currently has the following attributes.

  • Stereoscopic vision
  • Speech Recognition System
  • Speech Synthesis System
  • Qbo’s API & Web control panel
  • Wifi & Bluetooth connections
  • Qbo avoids crashes and falls thanks to ultrasound sensors

Link via (Slash Gear)