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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Walking Assist Device for Elderly

Honda Motor Co has developed a prototype of a walking assist device (WAD) for supporting the elderly and others with weakened leg muscles. The device is designed to be worn with a belt around the hips and thighs. It is equipped with sensors for measuring the hip angle so that optimal assistance will be provided from the motors around the thighs. The device helps lengthen the user’s stride and facilitates walking. WAD is based on the company’s ASIMO humanoid robot technology and available in three sizes. WAD uses brushless DC motors powered by lithium ion batteries that allow up to two hours of walking assistance per charge.

WAD was presented at Barrier Free 2008, International Trade Fair on Barrier Free Equipments & Rehabilitation for the Elderly & the Disabled, in Osaka in April 2008.

Japan Robotics JV for mass market robots

The robotics fight between Japan and South Korea accellerates. In Japan the four robotics companies ZMP Inc, Business Design Laboratory Co, Vstone Co and Tmsuk have formed the “Association for market creation of the future generation robots” to cooperate in research, development and marketing. After a decade of working in isolation, Japanese robot startups now need a broader, more-agressive front to push products to mass market, said Yoichi Takamoto, Tmsuk CEO and chair of the newly formed group.

The Japanese firms are concerned about South Korea ambitious robotics plans to put a robot in every household by 2020. The South Korean government has mobilized companies and scientists to help integrate robots into Korean society. The country plans to build two robot theme parks by 2013 and even drafted a “Robot Ethics Code” last year to prevent robot-human abuse. In February, the National Assembly passed a bill to spur development and marketing of intelligent robots. The law also established investment firms to provide financial support for robotics manufacturers.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

New Robotics Research Center in Alabama, USA

A state-of-the-art robotics training and education center will be housed at Calhoun Community College in Decatur, Alabama. The Center will be a collaboration between the state of Alabama, the two-year college system, AIDT, and robotics industry leaders. Initial plans call for three buildings to be built on a 53 acre site directly across Hwy 31 from Calhoun’s Decatur campus. Phase 1: The Robotic Maintenance Training Center will house an industry training program. Companies like Omoron, Mitsubishi, ABB Robotics, Rockwell, and Fanuc, have already agreed to contribute $40M in equipment for the training center.
Phase 2: The Advanced Technology Research and Development Center will feature a test facility for companies currently in the robotics manufacturing industry.
Phase 3: The Integration and Entrepreneurial Center is expected to be a collaborative consolidation of technology involving higher education and industry.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Robotics Boost for Europe

The European Commission has announced a policy to boost European robotics. The European Union will double its investments between 2007 and 2010 with almost € 400 million to support European robotics research. This ambitious programme aims to forge stronger links between academia and industry, and plans to fund a widespread experimentation by academic researchers and industry.

"There is a clear window of opportunity for automation industries in Europe – in particular robotics – not just to maintain leadership, but to grow further and to move higher up the value chain", said Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media at Automatica in Munich this week. "To achieve this, the industry has to intensify its efforts in several areas".

The European Union has today a strong position in industrial robots for automation: about one third of all industrial robots are produced in Europe. The robotics market's growth rate will form an important part of the world economy within the next two decades: the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) estimates the current world market for industrial robots at about € 4 billion and forecasts a 4.2% increase per year until 2010.

Service robots that operate outside the manufacturing domain offer opportunities for new applications and market expansion: according to the IFR, growth in this market is expected to reach between 10% and 15% per year between now and 2010 and the number of professional service robots will grow from 40,000 in 2006 to 75,000 in 2010. Service robots are used in many sectors, e.g. for the distribution of goods, for cleaning vehicles, in agriculture and in medical applications.

Robotics is strategic for Europe's future competitiveness. Manufacturing will only be maintained in higher wage regions such as Europe through automation. Automation also plays a key role in ensuring a sustainable production and minimizing wasteful use of resources.Finally it will contribute to help Europe's ageing society by compensating for a declining labour force.

Robot car-washer,"Robosen21"

Japanese export organization Jetro announced a new robot truck and bus washer called "Robosen21". The robot washer saves cost, space and time of big car-washing by using only 120 liter water in 7 minutes, 0.2 liter gasoline for a 12 meter body truck or bus. The purchase by Japanese leading bus companies and logisticscompanies is rapidly increasing. The price and maintenance costs are almost 1/4~1/5 of gatetypeauto-washer. The price of a high pressure water car washer is lower but must spend more time (1.5 ~2 hours) with 600 liters water and must be done by hands. Only 7x17 meter paved ground, electric-power, water facilities, rail etc is needed. installations are not necessary.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Robot Vision 1999 - Make Love Not War!

All is Full of Love is an elegant, moving description of two Björk robots in love. As they are pieced and wired into existence, they sing to each other and fall in love. The video reaches its harmonious climax as the robots join in embrace while still being detailed by the industrial machines beside them. Each robot was designed by videoartist Chris Cunningham, who first made a name for himself in the early 90's in the art departments of major motion pictures, designing robots and creatures for Clive Barker and David Fincher.

Robotics Conferences around the World 2008


  • ICIA'08 The IEEE International Conference on Information and Automation, ZhangJiaJie, Hunan, China, June 20-23, 2008
  • AIM 2008, IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics. Xi'an, China, July 2-5, 2008
  • ROMANSY'08 The 17th CISM-IFToMM Symposium on Robot Design, Dynamics, and Control, Tokyo, Japan, July 5-9, 2008
  • Animals to Animats: 10th International Conference on the Simulation of Adaptive Behavior. Osaka 7-9 July
  • ROBOCUP'08 The 12th annual RoboCup International Symposium, Suzhou, China July 15-18, 2008.
  • ICMA 2008, IEEE International Conference on Mechatronics and Automation, Takamatsu, Japan, Aug 5-8, 2008
  • MFI 2008, IEEE International Conference on Multisensor Fusion and Integration. Seoul, Republic Of Korea, Aug 20-22, 2008
  • SICE 2008, SICE (Society for Instrumentation and Control Engineering) Annual Conference, Chofu, Japan, Aug 20-22, 2008
  • ARSO '08, IEEE International Conference on Advanced Robotics and Its Social Impacts. Taipei, Taiwan, Aug 23-25
  • ICAL 2008, IEEE International Conference on Automation and Logistics. Qingdao, China, Sep 1-3
  • IEEE-CYBER, IEEE International Conference on Cyber Technology in Automation, Control, and intelligent Systems, Shengyang, China, Sep 16-17
  • DARS 2008, 9th International Symposium on Distributed Autonomous Robotics Systems. Tsukuba, Japan, Nov 17-19
  • ICRT Japan 2008, International Next-Generation Robot Fair, INTEX Osaka, Japan, Nov 26-28
  • SI International 2008, IEEE/SICE International Symposium on System Integration. Nagoya, Japan, Dec 4
  • ROBIO'08, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics, Bankok, Thailand, Dec 14-17
  • ICARCV'08 10th International Conference on Control, Automation, Robotics and Vision, 17- 20 December 2008, Hanoi, Vietnam.


  • EUROBOT'08 The EUROBOT Conference 2008 is dedicated to research and education in robotics, and will take place in Heidelberg between 21-25 May 2008.
  • Dynamic Walking The 4th Dynamic Walking conference will take place in Delft from May 26-29, 2008.
  • RSS'08 The Robotics: Science and Systems Conference in Zurich, Switzerland from June 25-28 2008.
  • IAS-10 The 10th International Conference on Intelligent Autonomous Systems that will be held on July 23-25, 2008, in the Baden-Baden, Germany.
  • RO-MAN 2008, IEEE International Symposium on Robot an Human Interactive Communication, Muenchen, Germany, Aug 1-3, 2008
  • RAAD'08 The Workshop on Robotics in the Alpe-Adria-Danube Region in Ancona on September 15-17, 2008.
  • REM'08 The 9th International Workshop on Research and Education in Mechatronics 2008 at the University of Bergamo, Dalmine, Italy on September 18-19, 2008.
  • EUCOMES'08 The 2nd European Conference on Mechanism Science, 17- 20 September 2008: Cassino, Italy.
  • PARALLEL'08 The second workshop on Fundamental Issues and Future Research Directions for Parallel Mechanisms and Manipulators, Montpellier, France September 21-22, 2008.
  • IROS'08 The 2008 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent RObots and Systems (IROS 2008) will be held at the Acropolis Convention Center, Nice, France, from September 22 to 26, 2008.
  • Nordic Conference on Robotics 2008. Stockholm, Sweden, from October 22-23, 2008.
  • ICRA'08 The IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, in Pasadena, California, on May 19-23, 2008
  • RoboGames 2008, 5th Annual internatioinal RoboGames, San Francisco, USA, June 12-15, 2008
  • ARCS'08 The International Conference on Automation, Robotics and Control Systems (ARCS-08) Orlando, FL, USA, on July 7-10, 2008.
  • PERMIS'08 The Performance Metrics for Intelligent Systems (PerMIS'08) Workshop, in Washington DC, U.S.A., August 19-21, 2008.
  • IEEE-CASE 2008, 4th IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering. Washington, DC, USA, Aug 23-26, 2008
  • BioRob 2008, International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, FireSky Resort, Scottsdale, Scottsdale, AZ, USA, Oct 19-22
  • TePRA 2008, IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Practical Robot Applications.Woburn, MA, USA, Nov 10-12
  • ROBODEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE AND EXPOSITION 2008, Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, November 18-19, 2008

Roadmapping for Robotics