Robotics

Robotics News

iRobot Remembers That Robots Are Expensive, Gives Us a Break With More Affordable Roomba i3

iRobot has released several new robots over the last few years, including the i7 and s9 vacuums. Both of these models are very fancy and very capable, packed with innovative and useful features that we’ve been impressed by. They’re both also quite expensive—with dirt docks included, you’re looking at US $800 for the i7+, and a whopping $1,100 for the s9+. You can knock a couple hundred bucks off of those prices if you don’t want the docks, but still, these vacuums are absolutely luxury… 

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Should You Trust Apple’s New Blood Oxygen Sensor?

In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, it wasn’t just face masks and hand sanitizer that flew off drugstore shelves. Pulse oximeters were also in short supply, as news came out that a drop in blood oxygen could be a sign that a case of the coronavirus has taken a bad turn. These inexpensive and noninvasive electronic devices use LED lights and photodiodes to determine the way red blood cells are absorbing light—oxygenated cells absorb more infrared light than red light, cells that aren’t carrying… 

The Intense Sound of 1,000 Analog Oscillators

Photo: Sam Battle Dial-A-Song: Sam Battle, aka Look Mum No Computer, with his KiloDrone, a musical instrument with 1,000 individually adjustable oscillators. When the COVID-19 lockdown came to the United Kingdom, Sam Battle became a man on a mission. Battle has created many unusual electronic musical instruments under the sobriquet of Look Mum No Computer, including an organ made out of singing Furbys and a synthesizer-bicycle hybrid. As people isolated themselves, he embarked on his most ambitious project yet: the KiloDrone. Many of Battle’s projects… 

How Estonia’s Management of Legacy IT Has Helped It Weather the Pandemic

In “The Hidden World of IT Legacy Systems,” I describe how the Covid-19 pandemic spotlighted the problems legacy IT systems pose for companies, and how they especially affect governments. A recent Bloomberg News story that discussed how government legacy IT systems in Japan are holding back that country’s economic recovery further illustrates the magnitude of the problem. Japanese economist Yukio Noguchi is quoted in the story as warning that the country is “behind the world by at least 20 years” in administrative technology. The poor shape… 

A New Way For Autonomous Racing Cars to Control Sideslip

When race car drivers take tight turns at high speeds, they rely on their experience and gut feeling to hit the gas pedal without spinning out. But how does an autonomous race car make the same decision? Currently, many autonomous cars rely on expensive external sensors to calculate a vehicle’s velocity and chance of sideslipping on the racetrack. In a different approach, one research team in Switzerland has recently developed a novel a machine learning algorithm that harnesses measurements from more simple sensors. They describe… 

Robots gear up to march to the fields and harvest cauliflowers

Prototype technology could help alleviate growing shortage of human crop pickers The job of harvesting cauliflowers could one day be in the mechanical hands of robots thanks to a collaboration between scientists and the French canned vegetable producer Bonduelle. Fieldwork Robotics, the team behind the world’s first raspberry-picking robot, is designing a machine in a three-year collaboration launched on Monday. Continue reading… Read More

How Realtime Robotics is helping robots avoid collisions

Realtime Robotics is helping robots solve the motion planning problem by giving them collision avoidance capabilities. Here, a robot avoids a researcher’s waving hand. | Credit: Realtime Robotics George Konidaris still remembers his disheartening introduction to robotics. “When you’re a young student and you want to program a robot, the first thing that hits you is this immense disappointment at how much you can’t do with that robot,” he says. Most new roboticists want to program their robots to solve interesting, complex tasks – but… 

Build an Animatronic Raven Kit

  Animatronic Raven DIY Kit $255–$375, Mr. Chicken’s Prop Shop, chickenprops.com Pololu Mini Maestro Servo Controllers $30–$50, Pololu Robotics and Electronics, pololu.com Here’s an awesome small-batch kit that’s got all the hardware and feathers you need to assemble a well-articulated animatronic raven that would fit into any imagineer’s menagerie. Includes […] Read more on MAKE The post Build an Animatronic Raven Kit appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers. Read More

Titan Medical obtains robotic surgery patents for camera and gesture control

Titan Medical Inc., which has been developing the Sport surgical robot, this week announced that it has received two U.S. patents. One is for methods for positioning a camera during a surgical procedure, and the other covers a gesture-control system. The Toronto-based company said its global intellectual property portfolio now includes 58 issued patents and 84 patent applications. It said it expects to be issued 17 other patents in the coming months. Sport is a single-port robotic system for minimally invasive surgery. It consists of… 

Video Friday: Bittle Is a Palm-Sized Robot Dog Now on Kickstarter

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!): ICRES 2020 – September 28-29, 2020 – Taipei, Taiwan AUVSI EXPONENTIAL 2020 – October 5-8, 2020 – [Online] IROS 2020 – October 25-29, 2020 – [Online] CYBATHLON 2020 – November 13-14, 2020 – [Online] ICSR 2020 – November 14-16, 2020 – Golden, Colo., USA Let us know if you have suggestions for next week,…