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Saturday, August 21, 2010

ABB Robotics in China

Swiss-Swedish ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, recently inaugurated its Robotic Paint Lab at ABB Engineering (Shanghai) Ltd. in the Kangqiao District of Pudong, Shanghai. The advanced paint lab comprises paint workshops for both car bodies and general industry. This lab is the first and unique facility in China to paint a full car body in production conditions. It enables customers to use ABB advanced technology for complete testing and simulation of their automotive paint process.

China is at the center of ABB’s robotics business, and Shanghai is home to the group’s global Robotics Business headquarters. The company supports the fast development of China’s automotive industry through the delivery of its advanced robotics solutions to leading automotive manufacturers such as Shanghai GM, Shanghai Volkswagen, Guangzhou Honda, Dongfeng Peugeot, Geely Auto and Great Wall Automobile.

The newly announced robotic paint lab provides an ideal location for manufacturers in every industry to test their paint applications. The new lab will allow ABBs customers to use ABB robotic technology at every step of their testing programs, while incorporating ABB’s environmentally friendly paint concepts. These efforts will support them to further improve environment performance in their paint operation.

ABB is a market leader in robotics with more than 120,000 robots installed worldwide. China is home to ABB's third robot production unit, after Norway and Sweden.
Source: ABB China

UMD Team wins IGVC 2010

For the third consecutive year, University of Detroit Mercy (UMD) took home the top prize at the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition 2010, IGVC held June 4-7 in Rochester, Michigan. Hosei University from Japan placed second.

Fifty-Eight teams representing 47 schools from twenty-two states and six countries entered the competition which required building and testing autonomous robots. UDM competed against universities from around the world including the University of Wisconsin Madison, the U.S. Naval Academy, Princeton, Cornell, University of Illinois Urbana, Penn State, Georgia Tech, Hosei (Japan), Ecole de Technologie Superieure (Canada), Waterloo (Canada), and the University of Texas Austin.

The IGVC is an annual international competition created to offer cutting-edge design experience to engineering students. The competition consisted of four challenge events: Autonomous Challenge, Navigation Challenge, JAUS Challenge and the Design Competition. The scores from each of these events are combined to determine the overall First Place Grand Award winner.

A design report (pdf) of the winning UMD-Team can be found here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

US $4,5 for robotic greens mower

Precise Path Robotics, a leader in mobile robotic outdoor equipment, has closed a $4.5 million round of funding for its RG3 robotic greens mower and targeting the world’s 32,000 golf courses.
According to board member Charlie Staples, a 30-year veteran of the golf course industry, Precise Path has developed a commercial-ready system that improves the quality of golf course greens while dramatically reducing the costs to maintain them.

The RG3 is different from residential-oriented robotic mowers on the market today, which travel in semirandom patterns. In contrast, the RG3 travels in straight lines and with minimal overlap for fast and efficient mowing times and pleasing aesthetic results, including the visible striping that is the hallmark of carefully manicured greens.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

US $7 Million for Robotics Education

Carnegie Mellon University, CMU, has launched a four-year robotics education project called Fostering Innovation through Robotics Exploration (FIRE), sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and designed to reverse a significant national decline in the number of college students majoring in computer science, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (CS-STEM).

FIRE will develop new tools that enable middle and high school students to expand upon their interest in robots, leading them from one CS-STEM activity to the next. Examples are programming tools that create game-like virtual worlds where robot programs can be tested, as well as computerized tutors that teach mathematics and computer science in the context of robotics.

The initiative will target robotic competitions such as FIRST, VEX and Robofest that already are popular among secondary school students, but also will create new competitions for autonomous, multi-robot teams and for computer animations that will attract a broader array of students and offer new challenges.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Danish Centre for Robot Technology expands

Danish Technological Institute's Centre for Robot Technology, one of Europe's leading innovators of robotics, is expanding with larger robot laboratories built in the science park Forskerparken in Odense. The new building takes part in strengthening the Centre’s ties to University of Southern Denmark, which is close by together with other of the Centre’s partner companies.

Centre for Robot Technology has expanded rapidly the last year and now has 40 employees with more to come. The new building triples the Centre’s working area for a robot laboratory, offices and much more.

The Centre’s partners among companies, research institutions and other interest groups in Denmark and foreign countries will be encouraged to use the facilities in the robot for a unique collaboration between research, development and innovation.
The building supports the Danish Science Ministry's desire to link research institutions and GTS institutes - among them Danish Technological Institute - closer together to provide more research-based GTS service to Danish companies.

The graph below shows some links to Danish robotics stakeholders and some robotics projects supported by the DTI.