igus makes robot control and simulation software freely available

Cologne, Germany-based igus GmbH announced that it has made the control and simulation software for its Low-Cost Automation systems available for free. The  energy chain systems and polymer plain bearings maker said its robot control offering can provide an easy-to-use introduction to automation. “As a mechanical engineering company, we are very familiar with the different kinematics, so the next logical step for us was to develop a correspondingly simple and intuitive robot control system,” said Alexander Mühlens, head of automation technology at igus, at a… 

Mitsubishi launches MELFA ASSISTA cobot arm

Mitsubishi MELFA ASSISTA cobot. | Credit: Mitsubishi Electric Mitsubishi Electric launched its first MELFA ASSISTA collaborative robot today. The 6-axis RV-5AS-D offers positioning accuracies as low as ±0.02mm (0.007 in), a reach of 900mm (35.43 in) and a payload of 5kg (11.02 lbs). The cobot will cost about $33,600, and other Mitsubishi cobots could be coming down the line. The RV-5AS-D, which complies with the international safety and robotic standards ISO 10218-1 and ISO/TS15066, features a Windows-based environment, called RT Visual, for programming its actions.… 

Robotics investments recap: April 2020

Promobot is among the service robotics companies that pivoted in response to the pandemic in April 2020. Source: Promobot If March 2020 was when the novel coronavirus began slowing the global economy beyond manufacturing in China, April was the month of massive shutdowns and “social distancing” in efforts to limit the spread of infection. The economic fallout has taken the form of layoffs, especially in the service industry, but how did robotics investments fare? Investors continued to be interested in healthcare, hygiene, logistics and autonomous… 

A Better, Faster, Cheaper Test for COVID-19

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, national and local governments have come to realize that although sheltering in place helps to “flatten the curve” of new cases, economic and other considerations mean we can’t stay home indefinitely. But if we are to regain some sense of normalcy, early detection of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, will be essential to containing it—at least during the period between the easing of restrictions on gatherings and commercial activity and the development of a vaccine. At this moment, the best… 

Video Friday: This Robot Wants to Talk to You

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months; here’s what we have so far (send us your events!): ICRA 2020 – June 01, 2020 – [Virtual Conference] RSS 2020 – July 12-16, 2020 – [Virtual Conference] CLAWAR 2020 – August 24-26, 2020 – Moscow, Russia ICUAS 2020 – September 1-4, 2020 – Athens, Greece ICRES 2020 – September 28-29, 2020 – Taipei, Taiwan ICSR 2020 – November 14-16, 2020 – Golden, Colorado Let us… 

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This Classic Calculator Was Literally Reverse Engineered From the Bare Metal


Illustration: James Provost Was the Sinclair Scientific calculator elegant? It certainly was a hit, gracing the cover of publications like Popular Mechanics after its release in 1974. Cleverly written firmware dragooned its limited processor, intended only for basic arithmetic, into performing way beyond specifications. This allowed Sinclair to sell a scientific calculator to countless folks who otherwise could not have afforded one. But it was also slow and sometimes inaccurate, provided barely enough mathematical functions to qualify as a scientific calculator, and was difficult for… 

Cable Assemblies: Determining a Reliable & Cost-Effective Approach

Cable assemblies fulfill an important role in high-density electronic systems. Often overlooked as ‘a couple of connectors and some cable’, these are in fact an essential element of modern engineering design and should not be underestimated. In this paper, we outline the process of creating cable assemblies for application sectors requiring the highest levels of reliability, such as aerospace, defense, space and motorsport. Read More

Robotics transactions continue to slow in April 2020, but bright spots remain

Despite strong economic headwinds from global shutdowns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, some funding and merger activity continued in April 2020, particularly in healthcare, transportation, and manufacturing. The post Robotics transactions continue to slow in April 2020, but bright spots remain appeared first on Robotics Business Review. Read More

Takuo Aoyagi, Inventor of the Pulse Oximeter, Dies at Age 84

THE INSTITUTE Takuo Aoyagi, the inventor of the pulse oximeter, died on 18 April at the age of 84. His invention—a medical device that can measure a person’s blood oxygen levels—is part of the standard of care for illnesses such as asthma, pneumonia, and lung cancer. It is also a key tool in monitoring the progression of COVID-19. A low oxygen level—or hypoxemia—is a symptom of the virus. For his contributions to pulse oximetry, he was awarded the 2015 IEEE Medal for Innovations in Healthcare Technology.… 

Renewables Dethrone King Coal

For the first time ever, renewable energy supplied more power to the U.S. electricity grid than coal-fired plants for 47 days straight. The run is impressive because it trounces the previous record of nine continuous days last June and exceeds the total number of days renewables beat coal in all of 2019 (38 days). In a recent report, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) details how the streak was first observed on 25 March and continued through to 10 May, the day the…