Tag Archives: robot

The first of its kind – open robot building system

 

A great idea from a teacher, two engineers, and a robotics specialist. Developed to use in the classroom but developing a following outside of it. The Multiplo robotics system.

It’s easy to assemble, difficult to break and simple to customize:

The concept is that you get a box that has a kit inside. We took care of all the technical details in order for each single part to be compatible. Everything you need to build a robot is inside of the box. But you can also add your own parts…

“Right out of the Box” are the words we like to use about how you should start using your Multiplo Kit. There is no need to program, study a wiring diagram or buy tools. No soldering or protoboard needed. You can build a simple robot in about 45 minutes.

 

I particularly like the selling point: “robotics should be for everybody”. There are more videos of the prototype robots and three-wheelers.

Continue reading

NASA releases a full 360-degree panorama of Mars surface – feels like you’re there

NASA has released an amazing panorama shot of Mars:

 

This full-circle scene combines 817 images taken by the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. It shows the terrain that surrounded the rover while it was stationary for four months of work during its most recent Martian winter.

Its release this week coincides with two milestones: Opportunity completing its 3,000th Martian day on July 2, and NASA continuing past 15 years of robotic presence at Mars.

 

And, Panoramas.dk has turned it into a it’s-like-you’re-there 360-degree view. Make sure to visit Panorama.dk, the shot will make you feel like you are on the surface of Mars.

 

A screenshot of 90-degrees of the panorama:

 

Continue reading

The best video NASA has ever produced – ’7 minutes of terror’ – landing a robot on Mars

 

On Aug. 5 or Aug. 6, depending on which part of the country you’re in, the Curiosity spacecraft careening toward Mars will hit the Red Planet’s atmosphere, deploy a supersonic parachute and either land safely on the planet’s surface or perish. It’s dramatic stuff, and NASA has produced this Hollywood-style YouTube video, complete with animation and suspenseful music, to preview the landing, evoke that drama and put viewers on the edge of their seats.

As engineers explain, it will take seven minutes for Curiosity to travel from the edge of Mars’ atmosphere to the surface, going from a speed of 13,000 mph to zero. “If any one thing doesn’t work just right, it’s game over,” engineer Tom Rivellini says.

Because Mars is so far away, it actually takes 14 minutes for the spacecraft’s signal to reach Earth. So by the time we learn the spacecraft has hit the top of Mars’ atmosphere, Curiosity will have either have survived the landing or perished for a full seven minutes.

 

Source: Skye - 7 Minutes of Terror: NASA’s Dramatic Mars-Landing Preview

Meet the ‘bots’ of Wikipedia

ClueBot NG, as the bot is known, resides on a computer from which it sallies forth into the vast encyclopaedia to detect and clean up vandalism almost as soon as it occurs.

It is one of several hundred bots patrolling Wikipedia at any given time. Its role in repairing the Supreme Court article illustrates how bots have quietly become an indispensable – if virtually invisible – part of the Wikipedia project.

“Wikipedia would be a shambles without bots,” a Wikipedia administrator known on the site as Hersfold writes in an email.

English Wikipedia alone surpassed four million articles this month. It contains an estimated 2.5 billion words, equivalent to millions of pages, and it is 50 times larger than the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

But the project is so vast, and its maintenance so labour-intensive that it defies the capability of its human administrators and editors to keep it in order.

That is where the bots come in.

 

Keep reading: BBC News Magazine - Meet the ‘bots’ that edit Wikipedia

 

 

 

Continue reading

Enroll in free online in courses from top institutions – Princeton, Stanford, Michigan

Online educational marketplaces are on the rise, with tools like Udemy and Khan Academy allowing people of all ages to become an expert in any topic.

New company Coursera is targeting higher education by offering university-level courses from top institutions to students all over the world, all for free.

The company launched with $16 million in Series A funding and is announcing partnerships with four schools:

  • Princeton University
  • Stanford University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Michigan.

Coursera will offer over 30 courses from its partner schools across a variety of disciplines, including computer science, sociology, medicine, and math.

 

A selection of the classes:

 

Classes typically last for five to ten weeks, and during that time students commit to watching the lectures, and completing interactive quizzes and assignments, which are auto-graded or graded by peers. Upon completion, the student receives a statement of accomplishment, a letter from the professor, and a score, but the course doesn’t count for any actual credit with that specific institution. The site also features a Q&A forum where students can ask questions about the course material and get answers from fellow students.

via Betakit

 

Screenshot of Coursera offerings

Congress orders FAA to integrate drones into the U.S. aviation system

As the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration prepares to let civilian unmanned aircraft operate in domestic airspace, universities including Embry-Riddle have created majors in flying and building drones. Enrollment is accelerating as students look for new opportunities in an aviation job market pummeled by airline bankruptcies.

The drone industry, estimated worldwide at $5.9 billion annually, will expand to $11.3 billion by 2021.

During the past 10 years, drones have become a vital military tool in Iraq and Afghanistan, creating a platform to attack terrorists without risking pilots’ lives and giving ground troops a chance to see their opponents from the air.

Congress passed bills in December and February that ordered the FAA to create six test sites for flying unmanned aircraft alongside regular planes. The agency must also complete a plan for integrating unmanned flights into the aviation system by Sept. 30, 2015.

Unmanned aircraft could be used for photography, police surveillance and monitoring pipelines and power lines. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has special permission to use drones.

more at - Bloomberg

 

Here are a selection of drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), used by the military. I suspect the first to be employed privately will be the helicopters for police surveillance.

A BQM-74E aerial drone is launched from the guided-missile frigate USS Thach (FFG 43) during a live-fire exercise.
Global Hawk Drone.
First flown in 2002, the Boeing X-45A was the first modern UAV designed specifically for combat strike missions. The stealthy, swept-wing jet has fully retractable landing gear and a composite, fiber-reinforced epoxy skin. Its fuselage houses two internal weapons bays.
The U.S. Navy's Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV) launches into its flight test program.
A Shadow Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is being attended to by three soldiers at Forward Operating Base Fenty, Jalalabad Airfield, Afghanistan.
A Northrop Grumman RQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Take-Off and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV) System.

 

// Photos – An Honorable German, Rennett Stowe, Cliff1066, Marion Doss, US Army Africa, & Marion Doss

// Thx to Kosso K

One million robots in three years – Foxconn’s Robot Kingdom

The largest private employer in China, Foxconn with over 1 million employees, is finally facing stiff labor costs. This is great news for the U.S. manufacturing sector who may be able to lure some work back to the United States.

It will be interesting to see how this affects the global market, but for now the advantage is all for the robots:

Taiwanese technology giant Foxconn will replace some of its workers with 1 million robots in three years to cut rising labor expenses and improve efficiency, said Terry Gou, founder and chairman of the company, late Friday.

The robots will be used to do simple and routine work such as spraying, welding and assembling which are now mainly conducted by workers, said Gou at a workers’ dance party Friday night.

Foxconn, the world’s largest maker of computer components which assembles products for Apple, Sony and Nokia.

via Xinhua News Agency

A quote from Foxconn reveals that the issue of rising labor costs for the company are just going to get worse:

…talked about moving its human workers “higher up the value chain” and into sexy fields such as research.

via The Economist