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Aquatic Robotics

Pars Rescue Robot Prototype Tested

Posted 11 Nov 2013 at 22:44 UTC by steve

You may recall our story in March of this year that described the Pars rescue robot concept developed by RTS Lab in Tehran, Iran. They presented a design for a flying robot that could quickly locate drowning victims in the ocean and launch life preserver floats to them. In less than a year, RTS Lab has gone from conceptual artwork to a working prototype of their robot. From their test report:

The robot’s tests have been taken from 11th to 15th August 2013 at the Caspian Sea. Thirteen tests were taken in a 4 day period and the following aspects were analyzed: Life vest releasing system performance, flight stability, search and rescue performance at day and night, Simplicity of robot’s control, comparing performance with traditional rescue methods, analyzing the deficiencies of robots design. Pars can fly ten minutes in this design and its maximum speed is 10 m/s, thus it can be used in missions with a 4.5 kilometer radius range. Tests were completely successful and all of the expected goals were achieved. Based on the test results and considering the general rescue methods new ideas for developing Pars were achieved that will be revealed after careful scrutiny.

RTS Labs hopes to create further, improved prototypes and eventually commercialize the life-saving robot. And, of course we have lots of cool photos of the robot in action during it's test flight over the Caspian Sea!

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Robots

Jinn: A Smartphone Controlled Biped

Posted 6 Nov 2013 at 21:23 UTC by steve

Two roboticists in Switzerland have designed and built a new bipedal robot called Jinn. It includes 3D printed parts and can be controlled using open source software running on an Android based mobile phone. Roger Seeberger writes:

"My partner, Michael Roggli, and me developed an biped smartphone controlled (without extra controller like Arduino) robot. The robot, we call it Jinn, is 1m tall and has 24 servos. We will an open source API, Android development, and diffrent Apps. The idea is, customers could order assembled robots but also plans, parts etc."

Jinn-Bot Robotics is the name of their company and they're also developing a small quadraped. Read on for video of both robots in action.

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Robots

Random Robot Roundup

Posted 5 Nov 2013 at 20:53 UTC by steve

Howdy, robot fans, I'm back and have a ton of robot news waiting to roll out! So what better way to start than with a quick news roundup? Here we go...

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.

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Interviews

Robots Podcast #142: Blue River Technology

Posted 4 Nov 2013 at 01:43 UTC by John_RobotsPodcast

photo of Blue River's tractor-mounted lettuce thinning robot

“In this episode Sabine Hauert speaks with Jorge Heraud, CEO of California-based startup Blue River Technology which brings together computer vision and robotics to automate agriculture. Their first robot LettuceBot targets the state’s #1 vegetable crop. Its task is to thin rows of lettuce in fields. This involves selectively removing some of the plants by spraying excess fertilizer on them, thereby avoiding overcrowding while fertilizing nearby plants. The tractor-mounted robot is already being rented out to farms across the state.” (This podcast episode is part of Robohub's focus series on agricultural robotics.)

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Interviews

Robots Podcast #141: Kendra Kerrisk on automatic milking

Posted 20 Oct 2013 at 00:36 UTC (updated 20 Oct 2013 at 00:59 UTC) by John_RobotsPodcast


Kendra Kerrisk with robot

Kendra Kerrisk, a member of the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the The University of Sydney, developed a strong interest in the dairy industry while a student at Massey University in New Zealand, an interest which she continued to pursue during her doctoral studies at the University of Melbourne. Following that, she worked for Dexcel (formerly Dairying Research Corporation and now merged with Dairy InSight as DairyNZ), in New Zealand, on the world’s first pasture-based automatic milking system (AMS) research farm. She has contributed significantly to the body of knowledge regarding automatic milking systems in a pasture-fed diary context. As AMS Research Leader within the FutureDairy program, she has also contributed to the development of the world's first robotic rotary (Automatic Milking Rotary).

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Interviews

Robots Podcast #140: Getting started with RobotGrrl

Posted 5 Oct 2013 at 19:27 UTC by John_RobotsPodcast

In Robots Podcast #140, interviewer Sabine talks with Erin Kennedy at the Open Hardware Summit at MIT. Kennedy is famously know as RobotGrrl, the self-made roboticist and proud maker of the RobotBrrd, Buddy 4000 and BotBait. Starting at age 13, she taught herself programming, electronics, pcb design and mechanical engineering. She’s been sharing her passion for robotics through her blog and weekly G+ Hangout Robot Party that brings together robot enthusiasts to share their latest contraptions. She’s now bringing her work to the next level with robot kits commercialized through Indiegogo last year and funded at 151%.

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Interviews

Robots Podcast #139: Dash Robotics

Posted 23 Sep 2013 at 01:52 UTC by John_RobotsPodcast

photo of Nick Kohut at work

In Robots Podcast #139, interviewer Matthew Schroyer speaks with Nick Kohut, CEO of Dash Robotics, about their foldable hexapod robot and the ongoing crowdfunding campaign to get them into the hands of budding engineers, kids and hobbyists. The fours cofounders of Dash Robotics are all alumni of Ron Fearing’s Biomimietic Millisystems Lab at UC Berkeley.

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Interviews

Robots Podcast #138: Construction with amorphous materials

Posted 9 Sep 2013 at 14:48 UTC by John_RobotsPodcast

photo of Nils Napp

In this episode interviewer Sabine talks with Nils Napp from the Self-organizing Systems Research Group at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University. Napp tells us about his project to create robots that can reliably build structures in uncertain, unstructured terrain. Just as termites can build complex structures using shapeless materials like mud, his robots build structures out of foam, toothpicks or bags of sand. As a first example, he’s been working on ramp building in chaotic environments remnant of disaster scenarios.

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Interviews

Robots Podcast #137: Venture Capital

Posted 26 Aug 2013 at 01:12 UTC by John_RobotsPodcast

photo of Diana Saracini

Diana Saraceni is a venture capitalist at 360 Capital Partners. In this interview she talks with Per about her first robotics investment, 3 years ago in Invendo Medical, and her views on how the market has changed since then. Hardware is now perceived as less risky, even though it is more challenging to scale than software. Recent success stories have further helped promote VC funding in robotics. Saraceni discusses the importance of the founding team, as well as their advisors, for the success of a company. Finally, she shares her view on open source vs. proprietary technology from a venture capitalist’s perspective.

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Interviews

Robots Podcast #136: Drone Journalism

Posted 10 Aug 2013 at 21:39 UTC (updated 10 Aug 2013 at 21:40 UTC) by John_RobotsPodcast


photo of Matthew Schroyer with fixed-wing drone

In episode #136, Sabine speaks with Matthew Schroyer, founder of the Professional Society of Drone Journalists (PSDJ) and co-founder of Drones for Good. Matthew has a Master’s in journalism from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he works on the National Science Foundation grant called EnLiST, which offers entrepreneurial leadership training and professional development for K-12 STEM teachers. For EnLiST he has initiated the “Drones for Schools” program, which teaches core science and engineering concepts behind unmanned aerial systems.

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