ARM Institute gets NIST funding to develop collaborative robots for COVID-19 testing

NIST has awarded a grant to an ARM member for the use of cobots in lab testing. Source: ARM Institute The development and use of robotics are not only relevant to U.S. economic competitiveness, but they are also important to national security and public health. This week, the ARM Institute announced that it and three other Manufacturing USA Institutes have received $3.4 million from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST. The grants were authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security,… 

Video Friday: Robotic Glove Features Telescopic Extra Thumb

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!): RSS 2020 – July 12-16, 2020 – [Virtual Conference] CLAWAR 2020 – August 24-26, 2020 – [Virtual Conference] ICUAS 2020 – September 1-4, 2020 – Athens, Greece ICRES 2020 – September 28-29, 2020 – Taipei, Taiwan IROS 2020 – October 25-29, 2020 – Las Vegas, Nevada ICSR 2020 – November 14-16, 2020 – Golden, Colorado Let… 

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The Uncertain Future of Ham Radio

Photo: John Anderson John Anderson (AJ7M), from Marysville, Washington on the air from home for the 2020 ARRL Field Day event, held June 27-28. Field Day is ham radio’s largest on-air annual event and demonstration. Will the amateur airwaves fall silent? Since the dawn of radio, amateur operators—hams—have transmitted on tenaciously guarded slices of spectrum. Electronic engineering has benefited tremendously from their activity, from the level of the individual engineer to the entire field. But the rise of the Internet in the 1990s, with its… 

Universal Robots launching America’s largest virtual cobot expo

The Cobot Expo, a virtual expo from Universal Robots, will take place July 28-30. Universal Robots is hosting a virtual expo on July 28-30 that teaches American manufacturers about flexible automation for a fast-changing world. “The Cobot Expo” will feature an extensive range of collaborative robotics news and demonstrations, including 30 booths, insightful keynotes, interactive Q&As and live chats with automation experts. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that resilient businesses – those that can emerge with plans for growth—share common traits. These companies can… 

AI Seeks ET: Machine Learning Powers Hunt for Life in the Solar System

Can artificial intelligence help the search for life elsewhere in the solar system? NASA thinks the answer may be “yes”—and not just on Mars either. A pilot AI system is now being tested for use on the ExoMars mission that is currently slated to launch in the summer or fall of 2022. The machine-learning algorithms being developed will help science teams decide how to test Martian soil samples to return only the most meaningful data. For ExoMars, the AI system will only be used back on earth… 

The role of system integrators is radically changing

When my grandfather was a child decades ago, there were jobs in Denmark that few Danish children have ever heard of today—even though many of these jobs are the pillars upon which Denmark was founded. With the passage of time, new technology, new inventions and new processes made many of these jobs superfluous. This is the essence of new technology: new developments replace functions that were once considered irreplaceable.  Listening to my grandfather reminds me that the wheels of history are driven by the acceleration… 

A Virtual Reality Bias Simulator

In the wake of new Black Lives Matter protests, one company hopes to use virtual reality to help people better understand others by putting them in their colleagues’ shoes. The aim is to create better workplaces by helping employees develop and practice more respectful ways of interacting with each other. By immersing people in realistic digital environments, virtual reality (VR) can lead to mind-bending experiences, such as making users feel as if they have swapped bodies with someone else. The effects of VR can persist… 

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Cobots vs. COVID-19, Part II

In the second of our ongoing series of blog posts showing how Universal Robots cobots are being used in the battle against COVID-19, we look at some exceptional face shield and mask production set ups, meet a unique cobot barista and admire a remote controlled mobile cobot performing key medical tests in China. Read More

How Violence and Segregation Destroyed African American Innovation

In 2014, economist Lisa D. Cook reported research that illuminated something fundamental about innovation: No matter how well your IP laws are written, innovation won’t happen without security and the rule of law. To prove that she showed how segregation laws, lynchings, and state-supported violence suppressed African American invention during the 20th Century. By tracking the patent filings of African American inventors from 1870-1940, Cook showed that acts of violence have a measurable impact on innovation. IEEE Spectrum spoke to the Michigan State University professor of economics… 

Noise-Cancelling Smart Window Blocks Street Din

During hot weather, it’s nice to open a window to let in a breeze. Maybe not, though, if the window also lets in a cacophony from cars and trucks roaring past. Street noise is a nuisance, a health hazard, and often cited as a reason to abandon the city for the quieter pastures. Why can’t technology ease the problem? We have noise-cancelling headphones; why not noise-cancelling windows as well? Now, researchers in Singapore have created just such a thing for mockup room, and they are working on adapting their proof of…