Older Articles


DARPA Virtual Robotics Challenge Winners

Posted 1 Jul 2013 at 19:26 UTC (updated 1 Jul 2013 at 21:59 UTC) by steve

Remember that big DARPA Robotics Challenge for humanoid robots that we posted about in October 2012? The first phase, known as the Virtual Robotics Challenge, is now complete. Tim Smith over at the Open Source Robotics Foundation has got a new post up about the results. The quick version is that 26 teams from 8 countries qualified for the VRC and based on the result, DARPA has selected a total of 9 teams to move on to the the next phase which will involve physical robots. From the DARPA press release:

  1. Team IHMC, Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, Pensacola, Fla. (52 points)

  2. WPI Robotics Engineering C Squad (WRECS), Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Mass. (39 points)

  3. MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. (34 points)

  4. Team TRACLabs, TRACLabs, Inc., Webster, Texas (30 points)

  5. JPL / UCSB / Caltech, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. (29 points)

  6. TORC, TORC / TU Darmstadt / Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va. (27 points)

  7. Team K, Japan (25 points)

  8. TROOPER, Lockheed Martin / University of Pennsylvania / Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Cherry Hill, N.J. (24 points)

  9. Case Western University, Cleveland, Ohio (23 points)

the Open Source Robotics Foundation received funding from DARPA to develop a cloud based simulator for the Virtual Robotics Challenge, based on the free software 3D robot simulator Gazebo. For more see the OSRF post, or take a look at DARPA's news release and the official DARPA Robotics Challenge website. And, of course, we've got video too. Read on to see an overview and video of these virtual robots in action

Read more... (0 replies)

Robots Podcast #133: Robotics Business Review

Posted 30 Jun 2013 at 23:05 UTC by John_RobotsPodcast

photo of Tom Green of Robotics Business Review

In Robots Podcast #133, Per speaks with Tom Green, editor in chief of the Robotics Business Review, a global robotics news and information resource headquartered near Boston, MA (USA). Green shares his view on how the focus within the robotics community differs around the world, and the roles public and venture funding play in this. According to him, it is not primarily technology but attitudes holding back the development of robotics at the moment, particularly in the United States. He also shares some success stories, providing examples of robotics making a difference in people’s lives.

Read On | Tune In

Read more... (0 replies)

Robohub focus on frontier robotics

Posted 28 Jun 2013 at 17:25 UTC by John_RobotsPodcast

photo of tiny robot with dice

Robohub has opened another focus topic, the risks and rewards of robotics on the frontier, the leading edge of technology and/or application. A tentative lineup of articles is available now, with links to be added as the articles are posted over the next couple of weeks.

Read more... (0 replies)

Random Robot Roundup

Posted 27 Jun 2013 at 20:19 UTC by steve

The editor's in box is overflowing, so it's time for another dump of random robot news!

Know any other robot news, gossip, or amazing facts we should report? Send 'em our way please. Don't forget to follow us on twitter and Facebook. And now you can add us to your Google+ circles too.

Read more... (0 replies)

Best Robot Photos of the Week

Posted 22 Jun 2013 at 20:55 UTC by steve

This edition of best robot photos of the week includes a medieval robot, a very large robot inside a library for no apparent reason, an R2D2 costume designed by kiddos, a lunar robot from the USSR and other robot treats. Every week we post a collection of the best robot photos submitted by our readers to our robots.net flickr group. Why? Because everyone likes to see cool new robots! Want to see your robot here? Post it to flickr and add it to the robots.net flickr group. It's easy! If you're not already a flickr member, it's free and easy to sign up. Read on to see the best robot photos of the week!

Read more... (0 replies)

Robots Podcast #132: The OpenROV Project

Posted 17 Jun 2013 at 00:40 UTC by John_RobotsPodcast

Eric Stackpole & David Lang of OpenROV

In Robots Podcast #132, reporter Ron Vanderkley speaks with Eric Stackpole and David Lang from the OpenROV project. OpenROV (OPEN-source Remotely Operated Vehicle) is a telerobotic submarine built to make underwater exploration and education affordable. Initially funded out-of-pocket, OpenROV has become a wildly successful Kickstarter project. Eric currently works part-time for NASA at the Ames Research Center. David also writes the Zero to Maker column for the MAKE Blog, where he chronicles his crash-course into the maker world.

Read On | Tune In

Read more... (0 replies)
Commercial Robotics

Has Your Robot Driven a Ford Lately?

Posted 16 Jun 2013 at 19:24 UTC by steve

While other companies are working to develop fully autonomous vehicles, Ford has been working on a slightly different problem. According to a news release, they want robots to drive their traditional human-piloted vehicles on the test track. Robot test drivers could stay on the road 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Ford is launching a pilot program with a robot test driver for their 2014 full-size commercial Transit van. A single human can monitor up to eight simultaneous robot test drives. From the Ford news release:

“Some of the tests we do on our commercial trucks for North America are so strenuous that we limit the exposure time for human drivers,” says Dave Payne, manager, vehicle development operations. “The challenge is completing testing to meet vehicle development time lines while keeping our drivers comfortable. Robotic testing allows us to do both. We accelerate durability testing while simultaneously increasing the productivity of our other programs by redeploying drivers to those areas, such as noise level and vehicle dynamics testing.”

The robotic technology used to drive the Ford vehicles comes from Autonomous Solutions, Inc.. The Ford test track is designed to compress 10 years of driving abuse into a small course. The robots must repeatedly drive trucks over broken concrete, cobblestones, metal grates, gravel, mud pits, curbs, and speed bumps. the course is so rough that human drivers were limited to one drive per day. Read on to see video and more photos of the robot test drives.

Read more... (0 replies)
Commercial Robotics

Flying Robots to Tend your Vineyard

Posted 11 Jun 2013 at 23:17 UTC by steve

A recent UC Davis news release describes a remotely piloted helicopter (aka "drone") that is being field tested in a Napa Valley vineyard. The researchers are using the Yamaha RMAX unmanned helicopter on the Oakville Experimental Vineyard. UC Davis worked with the FAA for five months in order to obtain a permit for the application of herbicide and pesticide sprays from a remotely piloted vehicle. The FAA requires 48 hour advance notice of each flight and the vehicle is limited to an altitude of 20 feet. From the news release:

“We have more than two decades of data on the performance of the RMAX in Japan, but we don’t yet have that kind of information on its use in the United States,” said Steve Markofski, a Yamaha business planner and trained RMAX operator. He noted that in Japan more than 2,500 RMAX helicopters are being used to spray 40 percent of the fields planted to rice — that country’s number one crop. “What Ken and Ryan bring to the table is their spray application expertise and knowledge of the current application methods that are in use in the United States,” Markofski said. “As we collaborate with them on tests of spray deposition and efficiency, we’re gaining insight into to how the RMAX performance compares to spray application methods that are being commercially used for this crop and this terrain.”

The Napa Valley's hilly terrain offers challenges similar to those of Japan's rice fields for conventional manned aircraft. Robotic spraying is hoped to be less expensive and safer than conventional aircraft or tractor-drawn spraying rigs. More photos and video can be found on the UC Davis press kit website. Read on to see some video of the robot in action.

Read more... (0 replies)

Dynamic Walking 2013

Posted 7 Jun 2013 at 00:25 UTC by steve

Take your robot for a walk. The 2013 conference on Dynamic Walking is coming up at CMU next week, 10 June - 13 June. According to a CMU news release, this year's conference includes a lecture by Scott L. Delp, professor of bioengineering, mechanical engineering, and orthopaedic surgery at Stanford titled, "Insights from simulating gait dynamics and disorders". There will also be talks on biped walking using the Hubo II robot, and even esoteric subjects like that covered by the talk titled "Seven reasons to brake the swing leg just before heel strike". The conference covers both simulation and realization of various dynamic walking technologies. There will also be live demonstrations of dynamically walking robots. Oh and don't miss the "undergrad style" Pizza and beer event Monday evening. Most importantly, takes photos, shoot video so we can share some of the fun.
CC BY NA SA 2.0 licensed photo of Jonathan Borofsky's Walking to the Sky sculpture at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, TX by flickr user phigits

Read more... (0 replies)

3594 older articles...

Suggest a story

Robot of the Day


Built by
Christian Vlaskowits

Recent blogs

30 Sep 2017 evilrobots (Observer)
10 Jun 2017 wedesoft (Master)
9 Jun 2017 mwaibel (Master)
25 May 2017 AI4U (Observer)
25 Feb 2017 steve (Master)
16 Aug 2016 Flanneltron (Journeyer)
27 Jun 2016 Petar.Kormushev (Master)
2 May 2016 motters (Master)
10 Sep 2015 svo (Master)
14 Nov 2014 Sergey Popov (Apprentice)
3 Jul 2014 jmhenry (Journeyer)
10 Jun 2014 robotvibes (Master)
13 Nov 2013 jlin (Master)
23 Jun 2013 Mubot (Master)
13 May 2013 JLaplace (Observer)
21 Apr 2013 Pi Robot (Master)
12 Apr 2013 Pontifier (Apprentice)
16 Mar 2013 gidesa (Journeyer)

Newest Robots

7 Aug 2009 Titan EOD
13 May 2009 Spacechair
6 Feb 2009 K-bot
9 Jan 2009 3 in 1 Bot
15 Dec 2008 UMEEBOT
10 Nov 2008 Robot
10 Nov 2008 SAMM
24 Oct 2008 Romulus
30 Sep 2008 CD-Bot
26 Sep 2008 Little Johnny

User Cert Key

Share this page