NREF Robotics Article Digest

The Robots of Xponential 2023 The National Robotics Education Foundation (NREF) is proud to bring you nearly 400 carefully selected images taken at the 2023 AUVSI Xponential by our team of photojournalists. Held in Denver, CO, May 8 – 11, the 50th-anniversary Xponential was hosted by The Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) in conjunction with Messe Düsseldorf North America (MDNA).  Xponential 2023’s theme was “Blueprint for Autonomy.”  NREF photojournalists covering the event included Lucien Miller, Brian Nave... Read Full Article
C-UAS: Latest Drone Mitigation Technologies The latest counter unmanned aerial systems (C-UAS) are mature technologies that have been developed to oppose drone attacks ranging from those by individual machines to massive assaults by drone swarms.  Mitigation technologies range from kinetic weapons (projectiles) and various jamming measures to lasers. This overview summarizes C-UAS systems that are being deployed, today, to protect municipal buildings, stadiums, airports, universities and commercial businesses.Recent news... Read Full Article
Largest Gathering of Robots and AI in History! Xponential 2019 The Xponential 2019 national conference was held April 29 to May 2nd by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) at McCormick Place, Chicago, IL.  8,500 technologists, regulators and users across commercial and defense sectors attended!  Xponential 2019 offered a large variety of educational programming, seminars and workshops.  Hundreds of companies from dozens of countries showed off the latest in robots,... Read Full Article
World's Largest Gathering of Robots! Xponential 2018 The Xponential 2018 national conference was held April 30 to May 3rd by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.  Xponential 2018 offered a large variety of educational programming, seminars and workshops.  Hundreds of companies from dozens of countries showed off the latest in robots, machine intelligence and AI-driven platforms across commercial and military domains.  In this... Read Full Article
RoboBoat 2017 Photo Gallery The AUVSI Foundation's RoboNation and the Office of Naval Research held the 2017 International RoboBoat Competition from June 20-25 at Reed Canal Park in South Daytona, FL.  Nine university and high school student teams designed autonomous, robotic boats that navigated an obstacle course in a race against the clock. The boats replicated scaled-down tasks similar to those being developed for coastal surveillance, port security and other types of oceanographic operations. The following student teams... Read Full Article
World’s Largest Gathering of Robots: Xponential 2017 The Xponential 2017 national conference was held May 8-11 by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. The event took place in the largest exhibit hall ever dedicated to unmanned systems and robotics, with over 370,000 square feet. It featured over 650 robotics organizations – companies, research institutions, universities, consultants, nonprofits and more – from the U.S. and... Read Full Article
Robotics Past, Present and Future; Dealing with the Challenges of AI: A Journalist’s Perspective By Thomas Atwood, Exec. Dir., The National Robotics Education Foundation,  The lecture exists online, here:Youtube  (highest res is on AUVSI server) Read Full Article
XPONENTIAL 2016! - International Robotics Conference Xponential 2016, the international robotics conference sponsored by the AUVSI, was held May 2 – 5, 2016 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, in New Orleans.  At this massive event over 600 companies from around the world exhibited robots, software, data capture, ISR, communications and mapping systems of all types, as well as support and maintenance infrastructure for ground, aerial and maritime unmanned systems.  Global companies, the military and... Read Full Article
AMA to FAA on Model Registration: Hold Your Horses! February, 2016 update. The FAA recently announced that all pilots of radio control vehicles (“models”) that fly in the National Air Space (NAS) must be registered.The Academy of Model Aeronautics then filed suit against the FAA in a dispute over the proposed registration requirement, and originally asked its members to not register until the last day of the proposed FAA registration period, February 19, 2016, pending further advice from the AMA, and/or the outcome of the suit... Read Full Article
2015 Robotics – Year in Review 2015 Robotics – The Year in Review 2015 was a meteoric year of change and rapidly expanding horizons in robotics. We report here on the most important developments of the year in these categories: drones, DARPA humanoids, artificial intelligence (AI), collaborative and social robots, robot vacs, and space exploration. Moreover, with insight and commentary from Frank Tobe of, we look at the business side of robotics.--Tom Atwood, Executive Director DRONESFirst and foremost,... Read Full Article
A Simplest Paradigm for Understanding Artificial Intelligence A Suggested Simplest Paradigm for Understanding Artificial IntelligenceBy Salvador GarciaIntroductionThe term Artificial Intelligence (AI) is thrown about a lot these days. It can bring to mind computers that converse with us as though they were human, or memorable characters from science fiction movies such as HAL9000 or C3PO. Even the term sounds odd. How can there be an intelligence that is artificial? Isn’t the concept of intelligence directly... Read Full Article
The Hobbico Dromida Ominus! High end performance at an affordable priceBy Scott R. Dedic, with Connor Dedic, videographer FeaturesWeight: 120 gramsRange: 100 meteres unobstructed viewRequired to Fly: Android or Apple SmartphoneKit Includes:- WiFi enabled First Person View (FPV) Camefa- Micro Memory Card and Card Reader- Smartphone Holder with Sun Shade- 2.4GHz Radio System- Rechargeable 1S LiPo Battery & USB Charger- Extra Blade Set- 4 AA Batteries Pros:·         Cool, aggressive styling... Read Full Article
Building a Robotic Bird  by Nathan ChronisterYou’ve probably seen some of the mechanical birds, called ornithopters, that have been devised recently. It’s amazing to watch a mechanical device power its way through the air with flapping wings. But most of these ornithopters are not what we could call a true “robotic bird”. They fly around with simple radio control, just like any radio-controlled airplane. They don’t have the on-board intelligence that we incorporate into our ground-based robots. That’s all... Read Full Article
Hitec MD10 Robot Action Camera -- miniature, capable, and for roboticists of all skill levels! Record all your movements while having fun! by Carol Lynn HazlettSEE THE VIDEOS!HitecRCD MD10 Aerial Video Minds-i team flew the HitecRCD MD10 micro-size robot action camera on a Minds-i multirotor drone, and check out the spectacular footage they captured! This video shows the high definition capability of the MD10 video camera.Minds-i 6X6 Robot Rover in Action Minds-i 6x6... Read Full Article
In Memory of Gary Kolesar November 12, 1965 – September 15, 2015We are sad to report that our Operations Manager and Webmaster, Gary Kolesar, passed away on Tuesday, September 15, 2015.  Gary was a brilliant media professional, and his professional experience spanned publishing, health care, insurance and hobby markets.In the early 1990’s, after earning a Master’s in Mass Communications, he was a Communications Coordinator at Chevron, and later held a similar position, through 1997, at The National Shooting Sports Foundation.... Read Full Article
Mission The National Robotics Education Foundation (NREF), founded in 2009, is a 501c3 dedicated to robotics-based education efforts.  NREF is an informational clearinghouse that identifies the most accessible and affordable curricula, products and learning resources.  It has also adopted a goal to provide original and sponsored research that fosters the adoption of robotics within educational curriculum in grades 1-12 to encourage careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
News Style Guide We invite new writers to contribute and are accepting pro-bono contributions.  If you would like to contribute a robotics-related news report, a general article or product review for publication on the NREF website,, we would be pleased to consider your contribution.  Please coordinate with executive director Tom Atwood.GuidelinesContact executive director Tom Atwood at permission granted, please email news text files and multimedia images and /or video to Atwood at Read Full Article