Zebro is a six legged robot conceptualised in TUDelft. It’s a brother of the RHex robot by Boston Dynamics. The aim of the research group is to study and develop control methods for platforms like the RHex. Various learning techniques are being used in the robot and studies are being done to improve the design of the legs and various components on the robot.
The RHex was able to perform locomotion in various undulating terrain. It’s a very promising form of a robot but is it scalable? It would be useful to see this platform scale up to perform task.
WIRED has a recent article about the factory production of the Tesla Model S. The factory is producing around 400 cars a week and the production line is really impressive with the number of robots being used at every stage of production. This is really impressive for a company that started producing cars around 10 years ago. I am really impressed with the amount of automation.
This is the first time in history that the Sydney Harbour Bridge is being cleaned, not by human but by a robot. Sabre Autonomous Solutions, a Sydney robotics start-up, has received a major investment from Burwell Technologies to commercialize the world’s first grit-blasting robot. Grit-blasting is a tedious process and can be highly hazardous for humans. On top of that, the robot is able to perform it’s task in areas that are difficult for human. There are many steel structures around the world and this robot will be useful for different structures. The funding obtained by Sabre Autonomous Solutions will be used to better the technology and improve the usability of the system.
Sabre Autonomous Solutions has it’s beginnings at University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). The technology developed allows the robot the ability to sense the steel structure and maps a path for the grit-blasting tool. Professor Dikai Liu of the Centre for Autonomous systems at UTS is the lead of the team that developed this technology.
Raripo is the creation of Shota Ishiwatari. This is yet another low cost robot like the 3D printed robot – MAKI. It’s a pretty cute robot (rather small) with 12 motors and LED for effects. It runs off a Raspberry Pi and has a camera and PSD distance sensor to add to the ability to the robot. This is one of the first Raspberry Pi projects for robotics. Pledge £199 and you get yourself a robot with all the parts you need by the end of the year. He has already reached his goal with his kickstarter robot.
One interesting aspect of this project is that he will provide the STL 3D files that you can use for printing another set of the robot. The 3D printable robots are coming and it’s a very good idea given the microprocessors and computers are readily available almost everywhere in the world. There is no need to look for a manufacturer to get your parts made (high risk) and this is made to order which reduces the logistical problems.
Baxter is new kind of robot that is trying to redefine manufacturing robotics. It’s the first robot built for industry with intelligence and safety of humans in mind. A person is able to work closely with the robot and be able to teach baxter what to do just as he/she would with a human. This is interesting as we have to face the fact that Baxter is still far from human capabilities.
OSRF (Open Source Robotics Foundation), formed to engage the world to push the use of open source robotics software in any form of robotics. It would be great to see how they can make Baxter smarter and more capable in manipulation ,and understanding of both humans and environment.
Check out the excitement in the video!!