Robotics Education Journal
Welle notes: “ Welle Turns any Surface into a Universal Remote Control Interface for use with: Lights, Windows, TVs, Doors, Thermostats, Coffee Makers, & More -- Controls PowerPoint Presentations & Connects with IFTTT -- For Android & Ios”
Check out Rupprecht’s home page here. The hotlinks you will find there are part of a recent email from Rupprecht to his subscriber list that illustrates his upbeat, helpful everything-drone service.
In this webinar, listeners will be given the opportunity to ask questions. Military Pilots will “consider counter UAS requirements and capabilities,” and thought leaders will address current systems. Inset: speaker Larry Friese, President, Aerial Information Systems, Corp.
As noted by LiveDrive: “LiveDrive delivers industry-changing performance, controllability, precision and power. Its smooth back-drivability provides robots with life-like motion and reaction. With LiveDrive’s low inertia and high force sensitivity, robots equipped with LiveDrive are easy to program and safe to operate in human environments.”
Images courtesy of LiveDrive.
As noted in this report, “Today’s jobs — white collar, blue collar or no collar — require more education and interpersonal skills than those in the past. And many of the people whose jobs have already been automated can’t find new ones. Technology leads to economic growth, but the benefits aren’t being parceled out equally. Policy makers have the challenge of helping workers share the gains… A broad area of agreement: People need to learn new skills to work in the new economy”... “The best response is to increase the skills of the labor force,” said Gregory Mankiw, an economist at Harvard.
Watch this drone fall apart on impact to safely dissipate energy -- and then instantly snap back together. The “reassembly” occurs owing to rubber bands that hold the frame firmly together via tension forces exerted on key structural hard points.
Sources: S. Mintchev, S.D. De Rivas and D. Floreano. Insect-Inspired Mechanical Resilience for Multicopters, In IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 2017.
Hennessy notes that Sunil Johal, policy director at the Mowat Centre think-tank at the University of Toronto, has noted that between 1.5 and 7.5 million human workers could face this challenge in the coming decade, and that nobody’s job is “safe”.
"We are starting to see in fields like medicine, law, investment banking, dramatic increases in the ability of computers to think as well or better than humans. And that's really the game-changer here. Because that's something that we have never seen before."
Illustrations and story courtesy of www.cbc.ca.
David Hambling tells the tale as reported in New Scientist: “A shape-shifting drone takes off like a helicopter and transforms into a plane in mid-air to fly all day on solar power. The drone is designed to provide affordable aerial surveys for farmers, so they can see where to irrigate and use fertilizer… Most drones are not appropriate for this because they have short flight times. Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos and his team at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis have therefore taken a new approach.
“The Solar Unmanned Air Vehicle: Quad (SUAV:Q) takes off vertically before unfolding with the help of lightweight powered hinges into a flat, winged aircraft. Its design makes it easier to launch than a fixed-wing drone, and means it can also hover during flight to get a stable view of the land below. It morphs back into the quadcopter formation to land vertically.”
“The idea is that anybody can buy this and carry it around in their pickup truck,” says Papanikolopoulos.”
Geek.com reports that China is deploying police robots that can detect fires, monitor pedestrian traffic levels and offer guidance to citizens in the course of a work day. These robots also use face recognition to screen the public for criminals on the lamb. Hopefully, false positives are very low, as next steps toward our evolving, sorta Orwellian world continue. Will similar robots be deployed in Western countries?
The BBC reported that the vehicle that did not crash achieved a top speed of 116mph and completed the course.
"One of the cars was trying to perform a manoeuvre, and it went really full-throttle and took the corner quite sharply and caught the edge of the barrier," Roborace's chief marketing officer Justin Cooke told the BBC.
The report continued, "The Devbots are controlled by artificial intelligence software - rather than being remote-controlled by humans - and use a laser-based Lidar (light detection and ranging) system and other sensors to guide themselves. They also communicate to avoid collisions with each other."
As noted by the Academy, thanks to the FAA’s issuance of Part 107 regulations for small unmanned aircraft (UAS/drone) operations last August, all it takes is about two hours at an accredited FAA test center to pass the Part 107 exam and qualify for a commercial “Remote Pilot Airman Certificate.” Exam takers must be prepared to demonstrate that they are ready to operate safely and in full compliance with FAA regulations in the US airspace. Please note that the cost of the Academy’s course preparation and presentation has been designed to meet the client’s budget.
Thanks to CDR David Place (USN/Ret),
and Robin E. Alexander, President ATC
for their assistance with this report
Please contact David Place at the above email address to be added to his highly informative, FREE, ongoing blog on unmanned systems and robotics news, which was the source of this story.
Be sure and take a look at the current update to The Robot Report, at www.therobotreport.com. Founder Frank Tobe does a heck of a fine job providing snapshots of the business of robotics, complete with global drill down maps, news updates, information on robotics programs at universities, and tons more. Today's update at TheRobotReport.com was particularly eye-opening and informative.
As many as 1,000 colorful drones lit up the sky at a recent festival in Guangzhou, southern China. The BBC reported that each drone had a designated route to fly, and there was no mention of collisions. This wondrous aerial light show may have set a new Guinness world record.
Researchers have developed tiny 1.7-inch diameter quadcopters that can transfer pollen to flower stigmata, thereby insuring the pollination of crops that feed the world.
As noted in an online post by The Economist magazine, the team developing the drone is led by Eijiro Miyako, of the National Institute of Advanced Indusrial Science and Technology, in Tsukuba, Japan. The prototype is just 1.6 inches wide, just over double the length of a honey bee worker, and carries paintbrush hairs that are just sticky enough to gather pollen but not too sticky to make the transfer to the stigmata.
The Verge reported on the new Cargo robot from Piaggio. With a top speed of 22mph, Gita can follow its owner or navigate autonomously as an independent, mobile robot. Notably, it will not only make deliveries but is expected to augment construction jobs, infrastructure repair and maintenance and other tasks requiring ongoing equipment transfers and updates.
Computers have now beat professional human poker players. Bluffing was part of the robotic strategy, and this points to another demonstration of uncanny robotic intelligence pushing into the realm of human-like capability.
Robots are not self-aware at this stage, but each little bit of progress in the cognitive capabilities of machines points to this longer term possibility, one predicted by some of our leading scientists and, notably, by Ray Kurzweil in his books and many presentations on the "singularity." For the details on the poker bot, check the Reuters news story here. Image courtesy of clipart.com.
As noted at www.c-linksystems.com, the Forager-W (for wheeled) is an Omni-chassis in a family of autonomous robotic vehicles (ARV) from c-Link Systems, Inc. The Omni-chassis creates the ability to build upon a unified drive chassis enhancing the creation of different end-usage systems. The Forager-W Omni-chassis contains a locomotion system, a power plant and all the control electronics. The chassis itself is constructed of aluminum with all-welded seams thus the finished chassis is IP64 rated.
Locomotion is achieved through a 6-wheeled system that is electrically driven. Tires are aggressive or the turf saving type; tires are dependent on intended usage. Steering is accomplished through the use of the industry standard “skid-steer.”
The main power plant is a 160Ah / 640Ah battery system. The 80Ah system currently is shipping and is comprised of SLA batteries. The 640Ah is an optional system due to the cost of LiPo batteries. Both systems are comprised in banks, allowing change-out, and contain monitoring/charging circuits. The monitoring/charging modules communicate with the core processor to relay information to the operator.
Electronics system comprises a multiprocessor core block, locomotion system controller, inertial navigation system, payload control system/interface and communications. The system resides in a water-tight case (IP68) that can be removed in the field. Power distribution/charging/monitoring are contained in a second case similar to that of the main electronics. The systems are based on Freescale Semiconductor’s Tower System.
And don’t miss c-Link’s diminutive Volebot, for search & rescue at disaster sites.
According to Cubetto founder, Filippo Yacob, Cubetto is a gender-neutral coding toy for children ages 3 to 6. Children are able to program a robot using hands on blocks that require neither language, screens nor additional devices. Cubetto is a learning toy for anyone anywhere in the world, and suitable for the youngest audience in the history of computer programming. At the moment there is a Cubetto in more than 90 countries.
Yacob indicates the easiest way to get hold of a Cubetto is through www.primotoys.com, where the company sells almost worldwide. It is in a few select retail stores in the U.S. like B8TA in Palo Alto, CA. “We’re focused on getting into more retail stores across the US”, Cubetto notes.
According to Yacob, the world of Cubetto is vast, with the programs children can write with Cubetto literally numbering in the trillions. The company offers new maps and story books called Adventure Paks released throughout the year.
The founder believes Cubetto’s real value is in the content provided. “We want to know that children, parents and educators get a lot of engagement and play out of Cubetto, which is why we’re focusing on extensions, only. Our R&D lab is hard at work on new toys, but nothing we can divulge just yet.” Photo of Filippo Yacob courtesy of Cubetto.
By JoAnn Laing, The NREF Robotics Toy Editor
The new 2017 event calendar from TheRobotReport.com is a must-have for your desktop.
Information is provided as follows:
• A3 Business Forum (RIA, AIA & MCMA), January 18-20, Orlando, FL
• RoboDEX Conf & Expo and Smart Factory Expo, January 18-20, Tokyo, Japan
• IoT Tech Expo Global, January 23-24, London, UK
See Travel Planning: 2017 Robotics Events Calendar, here.
Nikola Danaylov, aka “Socrates”, has just published a brand new book, his first, and we cannot wait to get our hands on it. Nikola's video interviews and podcasts are compelling, produced with a hint of impish humor but they are always trenchant—he knows the questions to ask in the vast arena of AI and the Singularity.
For an intro to Socrates' interview style as seen in his very popular video series, we recommend this compilation of past programming highlights. You can also enjoy his interviews as podcasts at Singularity.FM.
Now, he has taken some of the best of these insightful exchanges and rendered them into a book, "Conversations with the Future: 21 Visions for the 21st Century."
The ebook version is available here for just $9.99
A paperback version can be found for $29.99 on Amazon CreateSpace
NREF has no connection to this book and we recommend it solely based upon Danaylov's past work, from which the book derives.
The most pivotal four years in the efflorescence of robotics that the world has yet seen is beginning to unfold. This unprecedented period of technology proliferation is projected to span 2017 – 2020, notes Tom Green, industry expert and founder, publisher and editor-in-chief of Asian Robotics Review (ARR). As one section, implores, “Don’t Forget India” and the important questions of how India’s brilliant technological expertise will converge with the work of the East Asian tech giants. You will find coverage of robotics in Australia and New Zealand, as well.
A year in planning, this new site is highly recommended and offers many articles written in a lively and highly informative tone. Asian Robotics Review is a breath of fresh air in robotics reporting and essential reading for AI specialists, technology journalists, robotics professionals and all serious tech hounds.
Don’t miss ARR’s projections for what to look for in robotics and IT in 2017.
Also, please note: Tom, formerly editor-in-chief of Robotics Business Review at EH Publishing, presented an industry overview at RoboBusiness 2016 in Silicon Valley, right before debuting ARR. Tom noted that China, Japan and Korea are at the forefront of the new robotics-based “4th industrial revolution.” Tom recounted how Fanuc and Cisco created feedback loops that enabled “zero downtime” production, generating $80million in savings this year, alone. He observed that other feedback loops in data collection revealed why parts fail and how to manufacture better products as the factory floor evolved into a research laboratory. View Tom Green’s fascinating talk, here.
Learn more about Tom’s remarkable background here.
Job Automation may be arriving later than expected, reports Vanessa Bates Ramirez, who is associate editor of Singularity Hub. For example, a teacher’s job, involves creating lesson plans, answering questions, grading assignments and conveying information to students, and though a computer can do the latter easily, the subjective, inter-active tasks in teaching are still well beyond today’s robots. The approach to this study was summarized in a new study by the McKinsey Global Institute:
“The report is the result of two years of research on automation technologies and their possible effects on the economy. Instead of focusing on sectors of the economy or whole jobs, researchers broke down 800 different occupations into the tasks and activities they’re made up of, then analyzed the automation potential of each activity.” Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
GLXP is offering $20 million to the first privately funded team to (1) land a spacecraft on the moon, (2) drive a vehicle 500 meters and (3) send back a high-resolution image of the moon as seen by the robot. For additional views of the Moon Express vehicle, click here.
The second team to accomplish these three tasks will receive $5 million in prize money. An additional $5 million is slated for those who accomplish a number of additional tasks, bringing the total funding to over $45 million. Prizes expire if not claimed by December 31, 2017. Other teams participating include SpaceIL from Israel, Team Indus from India, Japan’s Hakuto, and an international partnership named Synergy Moon.
When you consider that it takes a radio wave almost 1.3 seconds to travel from the earth to the moon, the great distance the X-Prize robots will need to fly before undertaking the three required tasks can be put into perspective.
Swarm demos were shown at the 11th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition. The November 2016 event was held at the Zhuhai international exhibition center. Popular Mechanics revealed dozens of Chinese fixed wing drones in an aerial display, ostensibly flying autonomously.
Said to be an experiment in both FPV (first person view) and swarm technology, the event was filmed by the China Electronics Technology Group Corporation, Poisson and Tsinghua University. A swarm of sixty-seven (67) X-6 Skywalker hobby flying wings were shown flying at relatively low altitudes near large, inactive wind turbines. The drones can be seen flying impressive distances, in formation, without collisions. The video claims that eventually, one pilot will be able to control “hundreds or thousands of drones.”
The Pentagon has been testing small handheld drones as well.
Maritime swarm bots are also under active development. Wired.com recently reported on maritime swarm bots being tested by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and partners
The video linked here is a short demonstration of a grasping hand that moves via wrist action. See MatterHackers extensive online showroom tour, here. But don't go! Here is some great news -- two Brits are making free prosthetic hands and arms for uncounted kids, using this very technology with a custom spin. Great news to kick off 2017! See them here!
5D Robotics offers revolutionary solutions for positioning and localizing your vehicle or robot. 5D's technology is based on ultra-wide band radio that provides 2cm positioning, with 5cm localization for navigation in GPS-denied environments, in any mobile air or ground vehicle. 5D software can be used by ground or aerial vehicles of any size category, from large trucks to tiny drones. Like many technologies that have expanded into a variety of commercial applications, versions of 5D’s systems are already deployed by the military, and proven. Watch NREF's exclusive interview with 5D Chief Marketing Officer Phil Mann for the exciting details.
This video, produced by Incredibles, offers good perspective on home robot technology. Although at times a little corny, the videos are illustrative, and include the following robots that were available in 2016: Tapia, Chip, Ninebot Segway, Aido and Zenbo. Buddy, released earlier, also gets honorable mention. Click here to see the robots!
Movie producer and director, Vlogger, inventor, media wizard and online tech advisor Casey Neistat published a video of himself in a Santa suit, suspended from a large drone, flying over wintry, snowy scenes, over the Christmas weekend that went viral.
What not nearly as many people may have viewed, however, is the fascinating Vlog in which Casey explains the engineering behind the drone design and the standards and redundancy built into that amazing machine. It has a robust power system that would rival that of a large motorcycle. Click here to see the rest of the story.
As reported by BBC.com in a collection of top photos of the year, Kelly Grovier looked at the relationships between humans and machine, and felt that a painting, Umberto Boccioni’s Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, 1913, reflected this close relationship between humans and machines.
The contest, in the Swiss city of Zurich, included “competitors whose physical shapes are a fusion of athleticism and cutting-edge engineering”. Grovier found echoes in Umberto Boccioni’s Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (1913), “which seems to liquify flesh and machine into a newly discovered amalgam.” Photo courtesy of EPA/Alexandra Wey.
SAMSUNG's new patent application for a next generation drone looks like a UFO, a commentator at Slashgear.com notes. According to Slashgear's report, the patent reveals a circular design with supporting legs and an open area on the top for air intake. Will this design result in more alleged UFO sightings and social media flooded with video of "flying saucers"?
With millions of drones coming to market over the next few years, there is growing demand for professional repair services. Unmanned Systems and Solutions (USAS) announced the opening of a 120,000 square foot facility that will be able to quickly repair drones sold by all major manufacturers, Benzinga.com reported. USAS's team of American-based technicians will quickly repair and trouble-shoot your drone to maximize your service availability.
USAS will evaluate your drone for repair upon receipt of the vehicle and information on its make and model. $23 of the evaluation fee will be applied to the repair cost, and completion of necessary repairs will be typically done in 2-3 business days.
Jose Antunes reported in Commercial UAV NEWS that by manipulating aerial observations recorded by Insitu ScanEagle drones with Inexa Control Software, 3D images of forest fires can be displayed in miniature electronic dioramas that, in turn, can be viewed using the Microsoft Hololens. This technology permits the remote direction of firefighting operations and the control of wildfires in new ways.
Insitu President and CEO, Ryan Hartman, was optimistic and enthused about the benefits of this technology. Antunes quoted Hartman: “Through our work in sectors such as energy, firefighting and railway monitoring, we have learned that these industries are looking to us as a trusted advisor,” said Insitu President and CEO Ryan M. Hartman. “Insitu brings both the technology to assist companies with their information collection and processing needs and the experience gained through more than 20 years as a professional aviation company. Unmanned systems offer tremendous promise for industry, and Insitu’s mission is to ensure that these technologies are employed in the most professional and safe manner possible to minimize risk and maximize our customers’ return on investment.”
AS reported by Sandra Helsel of the UK’s Mirror, at www.mirror.co.uk/news, the Russians are developing a life-size humanoid robot, named Fedor, for use on the International Space Station (ISS) and for exploring the moon. Russia has also announced ambitions to send humans to the moon by 2031, and plans to have Fedor’s successor, there, helping establish a moon colony.
The report continued:
Fedor stands 6ft tall, weighs between 106-160 kg depending on extra equipment, and can lift up to 20 kg of cargo.
Sergei Khurs, head of the project and director of the National Centre for Technology Development and Basic Robotics, said: “During space walking missions and on other planets, astronauts will rely on robots.
Alexander Grebenshchikov, director of the TSNIImash laboratory of space robotics, said: "Every hour of work of cosmonauts on space walks costs from $2 million to $4 million (USD).
"The use of robots for routine operations in the future will also spare additional time of the crew for leisure or for the fulfillment of other important tasks."
Fedor is the equivalent in Russian for Theodore, although in this case it is an acronym standing for Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research.
Photos 1. And 2. Courtesy of YouTube/RokossovskiyKonstantin; Photo 3 courtesy of ESA/Foster&Partners
Objectives: To foster ocean engineering and ocean instrumentation research; to enhance both the theoretical and practical knowledge and applications of ocean engineering and ocean instrumentation research; and to disseminate the results of that research through lectures, seminars and publications.
The Awards: On the basis of an application to the Foundation in the form of a research proposal, awards will be made to doctoral candidates enrolled in academic institutions located in the United States and Canada. Each award will consist of a grant of $28,500. There are no citizenship restrictions.
An independent panel of experts in the fields of ocean engineering and ocean instrumentation will review the applications. The main evaluation criteria include the degree of innovation, technical merit and relevance to ocean engineering/instrumentation of the proposed research. Additionally, each candidate should demonstrate intellectual ability and achievement, evidence of creativity and initiative and the potential for a career that will impact ocean engineering and ocean instrumentation.
Application Forms and Guidelines: Available online at www.linkoe.org, or write to/email:
Dr. Javad Hashemi, Administrator
Link Foundation Ocean Engineering and Instrumentation Ph.D. Fellowship Program
Florida Atlantic University, Department of Ocean & Mechanical Engineering
101 N. Beach Rd., Dania Beach, FL 33004-3023 USA
Deadline: Proposals must be received on or before February 15, 2017
RoboBusiness 2016 Highlights
Presented by The National Robotics Education Foundation
The 12th Annual RoboBusiness conference and trade show – a highly anticipated exhibition of state-of-the-art robotics – was held in Silicon Valley at the San Jose Convention Center on September 28 – 29, 2016. These conference highlights are provided courtesy of The National Robotics Education Foundation (NREF), www.the-nref.org. One of the largest robotics conferences in the nation, this prestigious gathering featured the latest in bleeding edge automation.
Tom Green, formerly editor-in-chief of Robotics Business Review, presented an industry overview. Tom noted that China, Japan and Korea are at the forefront of the new robotics-based “4th industrial revolution.” Green recounted how Fanuc and Cisco created feedback loops that enabled “zero downtime” production, generating $80million in savings this year, alone. He observed that other feedback loops in data collection revealed why parts fail and how to manufacture better products as the factory floor evolved into a research laboratory. View Green’s fascinating talk, here.
[Editor’s note: Today, Tom Green is Editor-in-Chief of Asian Robotics Review, which we highly recommend for an Asian and global perspective on the next several years in the development of robotics applications, hardware and software.]
RoboBusiness 2016 Presentation: The Robots in Our Future
HP Fellow, VP, and innovative inventor Will Allen holds 70 U.S. patents. He is experienced in the founding of new technologies and in their commercialization. In this lively talk at RoboBusiness 2016, he brings a fresh perspective to predicting the robots in our future and the timing of their deployment. View Presentation
SRI MotoBot, Micro Robots, Control Feedback Systems & Abacus Robot Drive
SRI International is a pioneering robotics company that you want to watch! Robotics division mechanical engineer Mike Stevens addressed the amazing tech in development at SRI. A current SRI focus is a life-size humanoid robot that rides a motorcycle, called MotoBot. It is a collaborative effort between Yamaha and SRI, and is a fully integrated technology system that drives a YXF-R1M motorcycle. It includes robotic transmissions and high efficiency motor controllers as well as standard bike handlebar and foot controls. That's just one of several robotics arenas, from micro-robots to new, near-frictionless drives, addressed by Stevens in this must-see exclusive interview.
The KOBI Company wins Pitchfire Competition
RoboBusiness 2016 was brimming with technological advances and entrepreneurial spirit, and the Pitchfire program was one more exciting element in the mix. In this competition, judges vote for the most promising entrepreneurial launch based on 2-minute presentations delivered in a fast-paced competition open to the public. At the end of the first day, The Kobi Company won the competition based on its autonomous robot that can maintain your lawn, clean up leaves and remove snow from your grounds. Read Full Story
RETHINK ROBOTICS Collaborative Robots Herald a New Era
Jim Lawton, Chief Product and Marketing Officer, Rethink Robotics, explains that their new generation of collaborative robots are safe, inexpensive, and designed to work side-by-side with humans. There is no need for a protective cage. Moreover, one of their latest collaborative robots, Sawyer (shown), can be “trained” through interaction with a human collaborator. View interview and demo, here.
Humanoids for Disabled Children, Companionship and Mentoring
Next year, AvatarMIND will be moving from Nanjing, China to the U.S. where these remarkable humanoids will be used in healthcare to develop therapies for autistic children, and in other markets as companion robots. The Price point will be relatively low compared to earlier humanoid robots, CEO John S. Ostrem notes, which will allow far greater access to these helpful avatars. John offers details, here.
Motion Capture for Anything Robotic Real or Virtual
Based in San Leandro, CA, PhaseSpace offers motion control solutions for research, industrial arts and graphics arts communities. Anything “motion” so consider this a must view for both real world and animated robots of any type that crawl, burrow, slither, walk, swim or fly! McSheery explains, here.
SIEMENS Champions a Technological Future with Global "NEXT47" Initiative
This is the first of four exciting interviews with SIEMENS from RoboBusiness 2016.
SIEMENS AG is a global organization that focuses on power management, automation, digitalization, medical technologies, robotics, and far more. Several of SIEMENS robotics divisions exhibited at RoboBusiness 2016. These included a new initiative, “Next 47,” that fosters the development of entrepreneurial start-ups, worldwide. Dr. Rudolf Freytag, CEO of Innovative Ventures at Siemens, described Next 47’s global reach and how it assists robotics business start-ups in meeting regulatory, financial and marketing challenges. Please click here for Dr. Freytag’s fascinating introduction to Next 47: https://vimeo.com/185380370
Launching Robotics Entrepreneurs from Siemens in Berkley
Carolin Funk, Venture Director of Technology, Siemens, works out of the Siemens’ Berkley, CA, office. On the leading edge in the Next 47 project, Carolin helps companies like Modbot (please see our earlier Modbot news release) get established. Click herefor her informative comments on launching an impressive range of technology start-ups.
MODBOT Robotics Launch Boosted by Siemens Next47
Modbot was founded by Daniel Pizzata and is one of the start-ups offered business support by Siemens. Modbots are modular robots and robotic components that can be used to augment mechanical processes on a production line and in other automation contexts. Modbot was founded to make these modular systems widely available to industry. Daniel offers key details, here. For more on Modbot, click here.
SIEMENS Software Takes the Microsoft Hololens into New Applications
At RoboBusiness 2016, Moshe Schwimmer, Innovation Catalyst at Siemens, described software Siemens has created for the Hololens (a Microsoft product that enables visualization of virtual robots and robot parts). Using a pair of Hololens goggles, one can see virtual parts superimposed on your office table, or suspended in the air, in what is described as “augmented reality.” Click herefor Schwimmer’s thoughts on the benefits of designing machines using virtual reality tools—a technology of the future that is here, today.
Interviews in this series were produced by NREF videographer Gene Beley
https://vimeo.com/user2237027, and hosted by NREF executive director, Tom Atwood, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. Presentations were recorded by Gene Beley. NREF is a 501c3 nonprofit that indexes and points to robotics-based STEM curricula and provides selected product reviews and news reports on an ongoing basis.
If you are running an event or launching a product or initiative that you would like to see covered on our website, or if you would like to contribute to our coverage with an article or multimedia video, please email your proposal(s) to Tom Atwood at the above link—thank you!
© 2016 The National Robotics Education Foundation
For immediate release
November 23, 2016
UK Officials Embark on West Coast Tour to Highlight Advanced Drone Regulations
Last week a delegation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle experts from the United Kingdom met with industry leaders in California to highlight the United Kingdom’s regulatory leadership.
The United Kingdom has sophisticated regulations governing the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) for commercial use. Currently many leading companies use the UK for their drones testing, such as Amazon.
Mr. Tim Johnson (Policy Director, UK Civil Aviation Authority) and Dr. Michael Clark (Deputy Director, International Aviation, Safety and Environment, UK Department for Transport) spoke with companies, policy makers, and media to highlight the UK’s global leadership in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (drones) testing and regulations.
Dr. Clark remarked: “This was a fantastic visit to see where the US and UK can further collaborate and learn from one another about UAV testing and delivery. I’m returning to London and already have ideas for a few policy changes to ensure we get the most of the drone economy.”
Mr. Johnson agreed. “It was also good to discuss with our American counterparts how we can jointly tackle issues such as safety, security and privacy, or using drones for public projects like inspecting power lines or helping with search-and-rescue missions.”
The UK partnered with Ms. Monica England, Marketing Director, 5D Robotics, Inc. to host a private reception in San Jose the first night of Drone World Expo. Other events that took place included a panel discussion at the Drone World Expo in San Jose, speaking at Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation’s SoCal Aerospace Council, and meetings with industry leaders such as Tesla Foundation and Qualcomm to discuss the future of the drone industry.
“It’s a good feeling to know that the UK is proactively looking to collaborate with San Diego companies in different areas of unmanned technology and autonomous innovation,” said Monica England.
The San Diego Lindbergh Chapter of AUVSI hosted the group of experts later in the week at their bi-monthly networking reception to discuss their perspective on the growing unmanned systems market in the United Kingdom.
There is still work to do regarding drones and their usage, but for now it seems the UK is remaining ahead of the curve and endeavouring to remain a leader in this new technology.
# # #
For more info, contact:
Mr. Matt Reents
Head of Politics, Press, & Public Affairs
British Consulate-General, Los Angeles
AUVSI San Diego
The San Diego Lindbergh Chapter is dedicated to the advancement of Unmanned Systems and Technology in the greater Southwest region. The Chapter enthusiastically engages in initiatives with the public and private sectors for the advancement and advocacy of Unmanned Systems, and is a value-added resource for the integration and interoperability of space, air, ground, sea and undersea systems. For more information, please visit www.auvsisandiego.com
Science & Innovation Network:
The Science & Innovation Network, a UK Government initiative, works internationally to influence and leverage opportunities in the science and innovation policies of governments, businesses and academia, informing UK policy, and promoting ‘best with best’ collaboration between the UK and other nations. For more information on our work, please see our blog at http://blogs.fco.gov.uk/global-science-and-innovation-network/
UK Department for International Trade:
The Department for International Trade (DIT) helps businesses export and grow into global markets. We also help overseas companies locate and grow in the UK.
www.GREAT.gov.uk brings together information about investing in the UK. It promotes our country as the natural choice for overseas investment. It includes:
• reasons why an overseas business should invest in the UK
• sector-specific information about the UK economy, starting with automotive, creative
industries, energy, financial and professional services, life sciences and technology
• a way for overseas businesses to contact DIT staff in their country
Contact your local DIT office on 1-310-843-2965.
UK Civil Aviation Authority:
The CAA’s primary aim is to enable the full and safe integration of all UAS operations into the UK’s total aviation system. As the UK's specialist aviation regulator CAA ensures that:
• the aviation industry meets the highest safety standards
• consumers have choice, value for money, are protected and treated fairly when they fly
• CAA drives improvements in airlines and airports’ environmental performance
• the aviation industry manages security risks effectively.
CAA are a public corporation, established by Parliament in 1972 as an independent specialist aviation regulator.
UK Department for Transport:
DFT works with agencies and partners to support the transport network that helps the UK’s businesses and gets people and goods travelling around the country. They plan and invest in transport infrastructure to keep the UK on the move. DFT is supported by 19 agencies and public bodies.
In the Government Defense department at Designnews.com, Charles Murray reports that it's still possible to earn an engineering degree for an annual tuition of less than $20,000! He reviews some of the best schools for those seeking an engineering degree. Capsule summaries of various schools are provided, for example: "The University of Wisconsin-Platteville features a stellar engineering program at a tuition cost of just $15,339 for out-of-staters. Its curriculum includes accredited degrees in civil, electrical, environmental, industrial, mechanical and software engineering. And its award-winning Women in Engineering program has boosted the school’s female presence by an amazing 70% since 2010. (Source: By James Steakley - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6628195) " Photo is of San Jose State, in the middle of Silicon Valley.
Under a NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award granted to Near Earth Autonomy (NEA), NEA will develop systems enabling safe unmanned operation during unexpected contingencies such as GPS-denied conditions.
The announcement noted that these UAS systems will survey crops, inspect large structures, deliver cargo, and take on fire-fighting and search and rescue. They will offer solutions for “wind disturbances, loss of power, and engine and sensor failures. The ACS will be a fully autonomous system that can discover and adapt to changes in unpredictable environments, while accomplishing the mission goals, with minimal or no human involvement.”
SRI International is a robotics company to watch. A current SRI focus is a life-size humanoid robot called MotoBot that rides a motorcycle. The bike has been driven on a Daytona size track at 200mph. In our exclusive interview, Mike Stevens also discusses other robotics technologies SRI is pioneering, including micro robots, end effectors used on off-the-shelf arms, tactile and haptic feedback, vision systems built into robot hands, the new Abacus transmission drive (toothless, low backlash for efficiency) and more. Learn about amazing SRI robotics developments here: https://vimeo.com/188890352
HP Fellow, VP, and innovative inventor Will Allen holds 70 U.S. patents. He is experienced in the founding of new technologies and in their commercialization. Please click here to view his fascinating presentation at RoboBusiness 2016: https://vimeo.com/189429761
This video was recorded and produced by NREF videographer Gene Beley, https://vimeo.com/
At the end of the first day, The Kobi Company won the Pitchfire competition based on its autonomous robot that can maintain your lawn, clean up leaves and remove snow from your grounds. Photo credit:The Kobi Company/Steven Waelbers.
Fifteen hopeful entrants had given their best elevator pitch before a packed hall filled with attendees and a panel of respected venture capital judges. The Kobi Company, taking first place, won instant celebrity status, a business coaching program and $5,000 in cash! They plan to sell 10 Kobi beta versions by the end of 2016 and integrate customer feedback into the product as production ramps up in 2017.
Jim Lawton, Chief Product and Marketing Officer, Rethink Robotics, explains that their new generation of collaborative robots are safe, inexpensive, and designed to work side-by-side with humans. There is no need for a protective cage. Moreover, Sawyer can be “trained” through interaction with a human collaborator. See a demo here: https://vimeo.com/185750812
Next year, AvatarMIND will be moving from Nanjing, China to the U.S. where these remarkable humanoids will be used in healthcare, to develop therapies for autistic children, and other markets.
The price point will be relatively low compared to earlier humanoid robots, CEO John S. Ostrem notes, which will allow far greater access to these helpful avatars. John offers details, here: https://vimeo.com/186111184
Based in San Leandro, CA, PhaseSpace offers motion control solutions for research, industrial arts and graphics arts communities. Anything “motion” so consider this a must view for both real world and animated robots of any type that crawl, burrow, slither, walk, swim or fly! McSheery explains recent advances here: https://vimeo.com/185588670
Carolin Funk, Venture Director of Technology, Siemens, works out of the Siemens’ Berkley, CA, office. On the leading edge in the Next 47 project, Carolin helps companies like Modbot (please see our earlier Modbot news release) get established. Click here for her informative comments on launching an impressive range of technology start-ups: https://vimeo.com/186041158
Modbot was founded by Daniel Pizzata and is one of the start-ups offered business support by Siemens. Modbots are modular robots and robotic components that can be used to augment mechanical processes on a production line and in other automation contexts. Modbot was founded to make these modular systems widely available to industry. Daniel offers key details: https://vimeo.com/186108530
For more information, click here: www.modbot.com
At RoboBusiness 2016, Moshe Schwimmer, Innovation Catalyst at Siemens, describes software Siemens has created for the Hololens (a Microsoft product that enables visualization of virtual robots and robot parts). Using a pair of Hololens goggles, one can see virtual parts superimposed on your office table, or suspended in the air, in what is described as “augmented reality.”
Schwimmer speaks to the benefits of designing machines using virtual reality tools—a technology of the future that is here, today: https://vimeo.com/185559920
SIEMENS AG is a global organization that focuses on power management, automation, digitalization, medical technologies, robotics, and far more. Several of SIEMENS robotics divisions exhibited at RoboBusiness 2016. These included a new initiative, “Next 47,” that fosters the development of entrepreneurial start-ups, worldwide. Dr. Rudolf Freytag, CEO of Innovative Ventures at Siemens, described Next 47’s global reach and how it assists robotics business start-ups in meeting regulatory, financial and marketing challenges.
This is the first of several exciting interviews with SIEMENS we will be sharing from RoboBusiness 2016. Please click here for Dr. Freytag’s fascinating introduction to Next 47: https://vimeo.com/185380370
Videography by Gene Beley.
The 12th Annual RoboBusiness conference and trade show – a highly anticipated exhibition of state-of-the-art robotics – was held in Silicon Valley at the San Jose Convention Center on September 28 – 29, 2016. One of the largest robotics conferences in the nation, this prestigious gathering featured the latest in bleeding edge automation.
Among the presentations we recorded was an industry state-of-the-nation overview by Tom Green, editor-in-chief of Robotics Business Review. Tom noted that China, Japan and Korea are at the forefront of the new robotics-based “4th industrial revolution.”
Green recounted how Fanuc and Cisco created feedback loops that enabled “zero downtime” production, generating $80million in savings this year, alone. Other feedback loops in data collection revealed why parts fail and how to manufacture better products as the factory floor evolved into a research laboratory. View Green’s fascinating talk at: https://vimeo.com/188238455
Challenge.gov is a listing of challenge and prize competitions, all of which are run by more than 80 agencies across federal government. These include technical, scientific, ideation, and creative competitions where the U.S. government seeks innovative solutions from the public, bringing the best ideas and talent together to solve mission-centric problems. More than $220 million in prize money has been offered since 2010, along with valuable and unique incentive prizes.
· Find hundreds of competitions that cover a wide range of interests and require varying levels of skills and abilities in order to participate.
· Discover something of interest to you, sorting by type of challenge and by the agency hosting the competition.
· Competitions are listed in chronological order, from most recent launched to older, closed competitions going back to 2010.
Some competitions are hosted on third-party, non-government sites. Clicking the link to the challenge competition will take you directly to the host website.
Thanks to CDR David Place (USN/Ret), email@example.com, Robin E. Alexander, President ATC, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Leonard Ligon, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration / Operations Management, for their assistance with this report.
Intel has aggressively entered the commercial drone market in recent months with a few products that suggest growing momentum. The latest is the Falcon 8+, a company-branded product to be introduced in North America. Previously Intel had announced its consumer drone, the Yuneec Typhoon H with Intel RealSense technology for intelligent obstacle navigation, as well as the Intel Aero Platform for developers. The Falcon 8+ adds to its offerings and represents its commitment to innovative technologies in the commercial space. Intel states that the Falcon 8 offers the best weight to payload ratio and best in class stability in harsh conditions, including “magnetic disturbances.” The Falcon 8+ includes a high precision GPS and is supported by a large reseller and support network.
Building on the AscTec Falcon 8 system Intel has announced the release of the Intel Falcon 8+ for North American markets. This advanced system includes the Intel Falcon 8+ UAV, Intel Cockpit for ground control, as well as the Intel Powerpack to power the UAV. The Intel Falcon 8+ is Intel’s first Intel-branded commercial drone. It is also powered with the triple-redundant AscTec Trinity autopilot. The system provides detailed images down to millimeter accuracy and gives valuable structural analysis that helps users detect and prevent further damage to infrastructure.
Aaron Mehta of Defensenews.com reported that the Obama administration has coordinated an agreement by 40+ countries that will help manage the import and export of armed unmanned systems in a bid to facilitate creating global norms for trade in unmanned, robotic weapons systems. Absent from the list are China, Russia, India and Israel. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images.
In addition to the US, signatories include Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Montenegro, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Paraguay, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and Uruguay.
Techcrunch.com reported that Clearpath Robotics has raised $30million in funding to further build its business carrying payloads and lifting and placing palettes in warehouses and factories. With clients like John Deere and GE, and an exceptional safety record, Clearpath Robotics has seen growing equity funding now approaching about $41.5 million. Warehouse and factory floor markets are ideal for robotic automation and represent a quickly expanding industry.
Clearpath CEO and co-founder Matt Rendall offered, “Boxes and pallets moving around the world in the global supply chain are the circulatory system for global commerce. We believe if we can move them more efficiently we can do profound things for the economy.” Images courtesy of Otto Motors.
C41SRNET reported that Norway’s Maritime Robotics is partnering with Liquid Robotics, the American manufacturer of the Wave Glider underwater drone, to sell products and integration services to Nordic countries. Relevant markets include maritime security, meteorology and oceanography, flight tracking, wind farming and more. Photo courtesy of Liquid Robotics. Thanks to CDR David Place (USN/Ret), via David’s Unmanned PLACE, email@example.com, and Robin E. Alexander, President ATC, firstname.lastname@example.org, for their assistance with this report.
The report noted:
"Maritime Robotics is now an authorized partner to sell Liquid Robotics' Wave Gliders and associated mission and integration services to customers throughout the Nordic countries of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland," a Liquid Robotics announcement said.
"The Maritime Robotics partnership brings valuable expertise in creating and delivering high value, sustainable maritime solutions for today's applications of maritime security, fish tracking & monitoring and meteorology and oceanography," Liquid Robotics said. "Additionally, this partnership will address the emerging commercial applications of wind farming, aquaculture and commercial flight tracking."
Aviation Week reports that Japan’s defense planners foresee automated, robotic wingmen in the 2030s that will not only carry sensors as forward scouts, but which will eventually be robotic weapons systems that will fire on command when ordered to do so by human pilots. This was reported in a technology roadmap published by the Japan’s Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency (ATLA). The AvWeek summary did not suggest any autonomous decision making by wingmen scout robots.
The AvWeek story continues:
"The plan divides unmanned aircraft into five types, including the two simplest—small, portable ones and those that operate with line-of-sight communications—which Japan already has in service. A third category, which the country is still working on, are those that need relay communications by satellite, such as types the U.S. has relied on for years, like the and and the Q-4 in various versions. Then there are pilotless combat aircraft and, lastly, aerostats and solar-powered airplanes, both for extremely long endurance."
NREF was at the recent RoboBusiness conference in San Jose, CA, in full force, and will present a series of interviews with attending robot vendors, here, at www.the-nref.org, within several days, stay tuned! Shown is a high resolution collaborative robot arm from Rethink Robotics.
"The manufacturing factory of the future is up and running today – in local job shops and global manufacturing giants, and everywhere in between. Our smart,collaborative robots are leading to a more productive tomorrow. Now’s your chance to be a part of it."
The “world’s first printable open-source humanoid robot” is being presented, tonight, as we go to press, at Pivotal Labs, in NYC. Check out this company dedicated to Japanese – U.S. start-up initiatives.
This is our 15th event, and we're thrilled to introduce a robotics startup from Japan. PLEN2 is the world's first printable open-source humanoid robot. The team behind PLEN will share us stories from behind the scenes and demo the bot. We will have a chance to play and test PLEN2 after. See you all there!
If you want to learn about cross-cultural business between US-Japanese markets, discover new technology, and meet other enthusiastic technologists, please come and join us at Pivotal Labs! (and hang out afterwards at a bar nearby)
DARPA's new Dragnet program is designed to monitor all drones in the skies over any city. Initially conceived for military purposes, it’s ultimate use was never doubted as government agencies plot a path forward in the management of low altitude aircraft flying above municipalities. How to identify and then manage unwanted surveillance drones is being addressed by DARPA at a Proposers Day Aerial Dragnet conference on September 26 in Arlington, Virginia. Registration nominally closed September 19.
DARPA hosts Proposers Days to promote teaming arrangements between researchers and provide information on how they can best respond to the Government’s R&D solicitations. Attendance is restricted to registered proposers.
A variety of companies are developing efficient, safe solutions for those charged with taking down drones. In this image Openworks Engineering, a DJI Phantom is about to be netted and captured. The net was fired from a bazooka-like shoulder-mounted gun that uses computerized optics for highly accurate sighting and tracking of targets.
A new Russian military vehicle can search, detect, track, and eliminate targets entirely on its own, and therefore is a practical example of an autonomous warfighting robot. In a conversation with Jane’s, a world authority on weapons systems, Russia’s Military Industrial Company (VPK), noted that “Tigr-M” has a remote control weapons system armed with a 30 mm Shipunov 2A72 cannon and a 7.62 mm Kalashnikov PKTM coaxial machinegun. “The new vehicle is fully unmanned, as it can search, detect, track, and eliminate targets in automatic mode.”
Tigr-M weighs 8,200 kg, and carries 200 30X165mm rounds and 1,000 7.62X54R mm cartridges. It can be driven remotely at a 3km distance. Tigr-M can destroy land targets at a 5,000meter distance by day and at 1,000 meters by night. It features an electro-optical fire control system with an automatic target tracking device. This weapons system edges toward what many ethicists consider to be a dangerous area, one in which lethal decisions can arguably be made by machines. However, international norms support a fire control system in which humans must be in the decision process when lethal force is used.
Alan Levin reports in Bloomberg Technology that the Virginia Tech campus will soon see a harbinger of drone deliveries to come, as an experimental project ensues for a few weeks. Google’s “Alphabet Inc. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.” will launch under the name Project Wing. In summary, Virginia Tech and Google are undertaking the most extensive test, yet, of the drone-delivery business paradigm of the future.
The challenges are many, including that the test cargo is food. It has to be transported without damage and kept at an appropriate serving temperature. This is part of the newly emerging business paradigms emerging under the recently established FAA Part 107 regulatory framework. Even has computerization of many practice areas begins reducing the jobs of various types of workers, the drone business represents huge opportunities for new jobs for uncounted thousands of budding drone pilots. Photos courtesy of Alphabet Inc.
Matt Waite and Ben Kreimer of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Drone Journalism Lab have offered a brief but comprehensive guide to safe drone operations involving professional journalism. The guide is generously funded by the Knight Foundation, and is available to any under a Creative Commons license. Three roles are defined: Pilot in Command (PIC), Observer, and Journalist. It is noted that just one or two individuals can fulfill all three roles, but that the PIC, who holds the FAA-issued Part 107 certificate, is the final authority on whether it is safe and feasible to fly. The Observer, the sole person who can speak to the PIC during operations, is responsible to alert the PIC if aircraft, vehicles or peope come into the area during operations. The journalist is responsible for defining the goals of the flight and verifying the outcome after the drone lands.
The guide discusses questions of ethics and points to the Society of Professioal Journalists SPJ Code of ethics. It states that the manual “is a mixture of hard-earned experience in the field, requirements under the FAA’s Part 107 regulations, best practices for drone use, and methods that manned aircraft pilots use to fly airplanes. It stresses that news managers must understand that the PIC is the final authority, as this person is the license holder who will incur liability if something goes wrong.
The manual is an “open document” so that users can contribute their insights and experiences back to it. It is hosted on Github, a social code sharing website, and the authors openly invite comments and recommendations. PDF copies of the manual are available for free download online. We thank David Place, CDR, USN/Ret., and Robin Alexander, President, ATC, for sourcing this story, recently published in David’s Unmanned Systems News (USN) listserve distribution, which we highly recommend and that you can subscribe to by emailing David at email@example.com.
Commentators are suddenly buzzing about artificial intelligence, aka “AI”, which is emerging all around us at a meteoric pace. Some push deeper into the related but spooky domain of “strong artificial intelligence,” a term that means when machine intelligence will rival that of human beings. Will there come a point in time when the risk of runaway machine sentience might actually emerge, perhaps embodied in a sci-fi personage like the “Terminator”?
This discussion evokes the concept of the Singularity, popularized by American inventor and respected intellectual, Ray Kurzweil. It also vigorously calls to mind his critics, who notably include another American intellect of stratospheric achievement, MIT’s Noam Chomsky.
The NYTimes reports that researchers from Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Amazon, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft have recently been meeting to discuss issues like how AI will impact and possibly replace many jobs, as well as change how we travel to our jobs or to the mall, and even how we equip our militaries.
A new report that will be updated on an ongoing basis, from the Stanford group, “One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence (AI100), funded by Eric Horowitz, notes that its overarching purpose is “to provide a collected and connected set of reflections about AI and its influences as the field advances.” Today’s tech giants are discussing the possibilities. It appears that this is just the tip of the iceberg and that the storm of debate will grow. Photograph by Alamy, www.theguardian.com.
As you check into your hotel room this holiday weekend, you may be welcomed by a robot.
Hotel companies around the world have been racing to incorporate new innovations into their properties. Here, a look at some futuristic technology that may greet you during your next hotel stay.
1. Voice-activated rooms
You’ll never have to get out of bed again, promises Aloft Hotels. Thanks to its Project: Jetson, guests at two of the company’s properties can control their thermostats, lights, even music preferences, with the sound of their voice, Starwood Hotels & Resorts said in a statement:
Wake up hot at 2 am..? Simply ask Siri to adjust the temperature on the thermostat by saying “Hey Siri, cool the room” to your desired setting.
Singing in the shower but want a new track? Say “Hey Siri, put on my morning playlist.”
The voice-activated rooms in Boston and Santa Clara, Calif., will come equipped with iPads that guests can use to browse the Internet and check the weather forecast.
Part 107 of the Small UAS Rule goes into effect today. This is a milestone in the development of the commercial UAS industry in the United States. Part 107 is part of Chapter 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and allows commercial drone use without a Section 333 Exemption. With Part 107 now in full force and effect, it is widely foreseen that new drone markets and UAS applications designed to exploit them will proliferate. The FAA sees its role as a facilitator as U.S.-based industry embraces the challenges of a rapidly growing worldwide drone market.
A Section 333 Exemption was the earlier framework for FAA authorization of commercial drone flying prior to the change in the law brought about by Part 107. Under Part 107, commercial flying of drones is allowed under certain limited conditions. The drone pilot must pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved testing center, and does not need to hold a pilot’s license. Flights must be conducted in daylight and within visual line of sight (VLOS), cannot exceed 100 mph, and a number of additional restrictions apply. The hexcopter shown is one of several drone designs sold in stock and custom configurations by Innov8tive Designs, www.innov8tivedesigns.com, (760) 468-8838.
A primer on Part 107 and the new legal framework can found here. The new framework is designed to spur the growth of the industry in a permissive, open regulatory environment. It can be said that today marks a new dawn in the era of the drone.
As global demand for red meat rises, “SwagBot”, an omnni-directional, 4-wheeled robot shows promise to assist with herding and managing cattle on the open range. Salah Sukkarieh teaches robotics at the University of Sydney’s School of Aerospace Mechanical & Mechatronic Engineering. Sukkarieh is leading the development of SwagBot to aid Australia’s farmers in a time of labor shortage. The 3rd largest cattle exporter in the world, Australia has long employed many cowhands in its livestock industry.
SwagBot can navigate over obstacles and even water, notes Sukkarieh. However, SwagBot is still a work in progress. Expected upgrades will enable the robot to evaluate an animal’s health and whether it is in stress. The prototype SwagBot may be in production in as soon as three years, Sukkarieh notes, and the robot will be priced to match industry needs, where margins are low.
This will be of keen interest to farmers, who must deal with tight margins. However, it looks like this is one more industry where robots will soon displace human workers in a trend that is beginning to show itself across many industries and not just in tiers of professional jobs and specialty practice areas.
For the first time, it was reported that NOAA’s National Weather Service National Hurricane Center used real-time weather from the NASA Global Hawk unmanned aircraft to upgrade a tropical storm to a hurricane. This transpired in the early morning hours Thursday, Aug. 25. While the Hurricane Center recently downgraded Gaston back to a tropical storm, the most recent forecast also notes it could intensify again on Saturday.
“The NASA Global Hawk can fly over a tropical cyclone at 60,000 feet and provide a full three-dimensional picture of storm structure,” said Gary Wick, Ph.D., NOAA project scientist for the Global Hawk experiment. “We are glad that our research mission can provide direct support to forecasters at the National Hurricane Center.”
The key data is collected by a dropsonde, a small instrument dropped from an aircraft that measures tropical storm conditions as it descends to the surface of the ocean. The dropsonde then transmits the data to a satellite which relays it in real time to the National Hurricane Center.
The Global Hawk took this important data from the 75th dropsonde out of 84 dropped from the plane during a 24-hour flight. The National Hurricane Center evaluated the data to upgrade Gaston to be the third hurricane of the season at12:15 AM ET on Thursday. The data indicated that Gaston had strengthened to a hurricane with wind speeds estimated to be 75 miles per hour. In its latest report Thursday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center downgraded Gaston to a tropical storm, but noted the storm in the Central Atlantic 1160 miles east-northeast of the Leeward Islands could intensify on Saturday
The FAA Remote Pilot – Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Study Guide is now available for those who will be taking the FAA knowledge test in order to earn an sUAS pilot rating. The following is excerpted from the Guide’s introduction:
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has published the Remote Pilot – Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) Study Guide to communicate the knowledge areas you need to study to prepare to take the Remote Pilot Certificate with an sUAS rating airman knowledge test. This Remote Pilot – Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Study Guide is available for download from faa.gov.
The information in this study guide was arranged according to the knowledge areas that are covered on the airman knowledge test for a Remote Pilot Certificate with a Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Rating as required by Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 107, section 107.73(a). The knowledge areas are as follows:
1. Applicable regulations relating to small unmanned aircraft system rating privileges, limitations, and flight operation;
2. Airspace classification, operating requirements, and flight restrictions affecting small unmanned aircraft operation;
3. Aviation weather sources and effects of weather on small unmanned aircraft performance;
4. Small unmanned aircraft loading;
5. Emergency procedures;
6. Crew resource management;
7. Radio communication procedures;
8. Determining the performance of small unmanned aircraft;
9. Physiological effects of drugs and alcohol;
10. Aeronautical decision-making and judgment;
11. Airport operations; and
12. Maintenance and preflight inspection procedures.
Our thanks to David Place, NPS Research Associate / C3F UAS Advisor, and Robin Alexander, President, ATC, for providing NREF this update.
Pierre Bouchard continues to methodically develop his full scale JARRVIS humanoid in Quebec, Canada. The latest development includes full remote control of the head, right arm and articulated hand. As Pierre moves within his home-built exoskeleton, the JARRVIS robot mirrors Pierre’s movements in a YouTube video.
The JARRVIS robot’s body parts are actuated by electric motors. Pierre is developing the mechanics of this humanoid first, and envisions the development of semi-autonomous capability for this humanoid in a future developmental stage. We will continue to bring you Pierre's incremental progress!
Tech Crunch reported on Intel’s new drone offering, which is designed to attract developers and runs on Intel’s Aero Compute board with a Linux O.S. At the Intel Developoer Forum, Intel introduced a ready-to-fly quadcopter that is intended to attract developers rather than hobbyist consumers or commercial operators, at this time. The drone is assembled and uses Intel's aero Compute Board with a Linux operating system, RealSense for vision and comes with a preloaded AirMap software development kit. AirMap helps drone pilots find appropriate locations where it is legal and safe to fly. The report continues:
“Intel is also an equity investor in drone tech startups, including: Yuneec, which makes drones that automatically avoid obstacles even in tight spaces; Airware, developers of an operating system for commercial drones; and PrecisionHawk, makers of a fixed-wing drone and software for agricultural and other commercial drones.Intel also acquired Ascending Technologies, a German autopilot tech company, in January of this year.
The inclusion of AirMap’s software development kit in Intel’s Aero Ready-to-Fly quadcopters is a boon for the startup, which only launched this week at a closed conference for developers in Santa Monica, California.”
The Daily Mail reported that a micro robotic dragonfly equipped with a mike and camera is just one of many projects to be funded in the UK, in a massive 800,000,000 pound intelligence initiative. The nearly $1 billion investment in advanced military tech will include laser weapons. The report described an innovation unit that will develop technology in a 10-year initiative.
The program will be a transformation inthe way the UK's military and intelligence agencies will deal with future security threats. It is also seen as a bulwark supporting the UK economy, and is said to be run by Britain's best and brightest. "Backed by a defence budget that will rise every year until the end of the decade, it will ensure that the UK maintains its military advantage in an increasingly dangerous world."
UPCOMING ROBOTICS EVENTS & COMPETITIONS
This calendar lists many of the most important upcoming robotics competitions but is not all inclusive as this arena is rapidly expanding. Many schools offer events and competitions at various times of the year, and site visitors are advised to check local schedules to flesh out this list. This list offers a baker’s dozen you probably want to know about! – Tom Atwood, Exec. Dir.
Tuesday, August 30, 2016 – Wednesday, August 31, UAS WEST Symposium, 1355 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101.
Wednesday, September 7, 2016, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Testing and Operating Automated Vehicles at Babcock Ranch, Florida, (AUVSI) Webinar on Babcock Ranch's plan to introduce automated vehicles for use by its first phase residents and businesses in 2017.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016 – Thursday, September 29, RoboBusiness, San Jose Convention Center, 410 Almaden Blvd, San Jose, California 95110.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016 – Thursday, November 17, Humanoids 2016 IEEE-RAS International Conference, Weston Resort & Spa, Boulevard Kukulcan KM 20, Cancun, QROO, 77500, Mexico.
Tuesday, November 29 – Wednesday, November 30, 2016, 4th Annual Florida Automated Vehicles (FAV) Summit, Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel, 700 S Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33602. Background: The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is planning for the deployment of autonomous and connected vehicle technologies on public roadways with the establishment of the Florida Automated Vehicles (FAV) initiative.
Sunday, December 11, 2016 – Sunday, December 18, 2016, Maritime ROBOTX Challenge, (AUVSI) Sand Island, Oahu, Hawaii 96701. High School, Undergraduate, Graduate.
Wednesday, December 14 – Thursday, December 15, 2016, RoboUniverse, 111 W. Harbor Drive, San Diego, California 92101
Frday, April 6, 2017 – Saturday, April 8, NATIONAL ROBOTICS CHALLENGE, Marion County Fairgrounds, Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 220 E. Fairground St., Marion, Ohio 43302.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 – Saturday, April 22, 2017 VEX World Championships, High School Division, Kentucky Exposition Center, 937 Phillips Lane, Louisville, Kentucky 40209.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 – Saturday, April 22, 2017 FIRST TX Championships, Houston, Texas.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017 – Saturday, April 29, 2017 FIRST MO Championships, St. Louis, Missouri.
Monday, May 8, 2017 – Thursday, May 11, Xponential 2017, Kay Bailey Hutchinson Dallas Convention Center, Dallas, Texas 75201.
ROBOBOAT will be held in Daytona Beach, Florida, summer 2017. This prestigious event and competition promises new challenges, more excitement and a larger lake, to boot.
Friday, June 2, 2017 – Monday, June 5, 2017, 25th Annual intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition, (AUVSI) Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Undergraduate, Graduate.
The report notes the criteria selected by the surveyed countries and by the EU for implementing a number of operational requirements. Such criteria often include the weight and/or type of use of drones. It also addresses specific topics such as registration and labeling of drones, flight authorization information, and requirements for drone operator qualifications.
The Library of Congress invites you to review this report along with the many other multinational and single country reports available on the Law Library’s website<http://www.loc.gov/