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Monday, April 26, 2010

50th episode of ROBOTS!

Congratulation! The team of robot podcast ROBOTS has published its 50th episode. They talk with 12 leading robotics scientists about the most remarkable developments in robotics over the last 50 years and their prediction for the next half-century. Topics they discuss include robot toys, androids, UUVs, brain machine interfaces, robotics education, nano robots, AI, flying robots, human robot interactions, robot business, and space robots.

The ROBOTS team is providing free, high quality, educational information for the robotics community and the general public. The Robots podcast is available via Apple iTunes and all other major podcast servers.

Highly recommended!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Robot Park in Switzerland 2011

Crêt-du-Locle in the Neuchatel canton in Switzerland is planning to open the first European robotics amusement park Robosphere in 2011. The project "A platform for the robotics world" is aimed to be an open and permanent forum devoted to developments in the robotics field, whether technological, artistic or ethical. The robotpark will attract 45.000 external and 30.000 local visitors per year. At Robosphere visiters can find fun areas for learning about the world of robotics, anauditorium with 200 seats, robotic amusement rides, workshops for fun learning,libraries and multimedia libraries. There’ll also be a shop of robots, with regional products, robotic stands and areas for the little ones.

Outside there will be an area for remote-controlled robots (cars, helicopters, etc.) as well as green areas created for all the family.

The project is supported by the Swiss Confederation and benefits from a 560 000 euro launching budget (about 800 000 Swiss francs).

European Robotics invisible

An infograph about robotics from Jason Powers at Online School of Technology is spreading on the Internet, showing some facts about robotics in the US, Japan and Korea, but nothing about European robotics. This should be a warning for the European robotics community and increase efforts to position Europe better on the global robotics map.

Japan is positioned since years as the leading robot country and iconed with its humanoids. USA is positioned as leading in space and defense robotics. South Korea has ambitious plans to increase global awareness with its Incheon Robot Land Edutainment Science park. Europe lacks behind and is not recognized as a leader in next generation robotics, despite great public robotics research funding.

European Robotics
Since year 2000 about EUR 600 million have been invested in Europe by the EU, academia and industry in robotics projects with a total av 6000 man-years. There are at least 7000-8000 researchers in Europe thinking about and developing next generation robotics. But why is Europe still missing to be recognized as a leading robotics region?

The European robotics community (EURON/EUROP) may be aware of this fact, but so far no action has been taken to place European robotics and the European vision of a "Robot Companion for Citizens" in the global mind.

Robotreneurs of the Future
But if Europe wants to win the robotics race place 4 is not enough. What is needed is a strategy to attract Europe as a place where young, talented people can develop and realize their robotics dreams.

When US entrepreneurs and venture capitalists at a recent New England Research and Development (NERD) Center meeting told startups looking to get rich with robots "they may have better luck with the military than with consumers", this should be warning but also an opportunity for Europe to rethink its robotics strategy.

When USA is trying to land robots on the moon in 2012, Korea is opening Robotland in 2013 and Japan is launching their partner robots in 2014, Europe should be ready in 2015 to enter the scene with open, green and safe Welfare Robotics innovations that can attract millions of customers in industry and private homes. Europe should now focus its research agenda on real needs and develop robot applications that can increase quality of work and/or quality of life for many.

As discussed at the EURON/EUROP a better coordination between academia and industry is needed and also a new arena for innovation and risk sharing, where talented roboticists and robotreneurs of the future can meet market needs, state-of-the-art robotics and funding to realize robotics dreams.

Cooperation between national robotics clusters in Europe should been promoted better to speed up technology transfer, networking and development cooperation.

A coordination action is needed to promote European robotics in an European and global context.

Global Robotics Brain 2010
A contribution to promote Europe robotics in a global context is the new Global Robotics Brain 2010 developed by Infonaut. It is a unique network database with more than 14.500 robotics research and development organizations including 23.700 links to people, projects and publications. The database also includes more than 5200 web links, 1700+ notes and 120 tags.
A public beta version will be available very soon.

Sign up to become a BETA user.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Robot Land - Total Brand Development

Incheon Robot Land Company Limited has awarded Pico Far East Holdings Limited, based in Hong Kong, a global Total Brand Activation Company, a contract for the development of the world’s first-of-its-kind robot theme park -- ‘Robot Land’.

Pico, incorporated in the Cayman Islands, is specialized in exhibition and event as well as other distinct businesses including museum, theme park, interior, brand signage, conferences and show management, as well as exhibition hall management. The Group employs some 2,400 people with an international production and sales network covering 31 major cities worldwide.

Incheon Robot Land, when completed, will be the world’s first robot theme park with exhibition halls, robot experience halls, learning facilities and entertainment facilities. Pico is appointed as the sole creative director and project manager for the whole schematic design of Robot Land. It is expected that the contract will be completed in the financial year of 2010 while the first phase construction has already commenced. The park is planned to open in 2013.

MoonBots Challenge

ATLANTA, GA – FIRST WORLD Championships (April 15, 2010)- The X PRIZE Foundation, Google Inc., LEGO Systems, National Instruments, and Wired’s GeekDad will announce “MoonBots: A Google Lunar X PRIZE LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Challenge” today at the FIRST WORLD Championships.

The new contest will challenge small teams comprised of children and adults to design, program, and construct robots that perform simulated lunar missions similar to those required to win the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE, a private race to the Moon designed to enable commercial exploration of space while engaging the global public. To further this purpose, the X PRIZE Foundation and Google have now joined forces with three other well known technology companies to offer a competition that will stimulate learning of robotics and team building while exciting students and their families about their potential roles in the new Moon race.

To learn more about the MoonBots competition and to find out upcoming information when to register to compete, please visit