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Thursday, July 26, 2012

iRobot drives into hospitals

iRobot and InTouch Health have unveiling the RP-VITA, an Ava-based telemedicine platform for hospitals. As reported in February iRobot partnered with InTouch Health to develop a new platform for telepresence at hospitals. RP-VITA stands for "Remote Presence Virtual + Independent Telemedicine Assistant."
The RP-VITA is the first remote presence solution for patient care that combines the latest in telemedicine technology from InTouch Health with the latest in autonomous navigation and mobility developed for the iRobot Ava™ mobile robotics platform. For the hospital market, the RP-VITA improves patient care by ensuring the physician is in the right place at the right time and has access to the necessary clinical information to take immediate action.
InTouch Health has received a new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) clearance with expanded indications for use for its range of Remote Presence devices which includes RP-7i®, RP-Lite®, RP-Vantage® and RP-Xpress® as well as VisitOR1® which is sold by and is a registered trademark of Karl Storz. The expanded indications for use clear InTouch Health's Remote Presence devices for active patient monitoring in high acuity environments where immediate clinical action may be required. The clearance specifically allows InTouch Health's Remote Presence devices to be used for pre-, peri-operative and post-surgical, cardiovascular, neurological, pre-natal, psychological and critical care assessments and examinations. Check out the video below for a demonstration of the new telepresence platform.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Danish Robot Butler for the Elderly


Danish Technological Institute (DTI) is a leading European robotics-innovator with a staff of more than 60 robotic experts, well-equipped labs in Denmark and USA with more than 16.000 users every year as well as more than 125 robotic projects in it's portfolio.
Health Care and Welfare robotics is a highly supported application domain and DTI  develops, applies and transfers robot technology for new applications such as James, a robot butler for elderly and disabled who has trouble walking without support and need a walker, wheelchair or other assessive.
James includes an adjustable tray and will find its way to selected locations within the home where it can be loaded or unloaded. Check out the concept animation below.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

ASIMO One Leg Jumping

Honda continues developing proprietary running and balancing systems for its humanoid ASIMO. In the latest Youtube video upploaded by kmoriyama ASIMO is running forward and backward and then jumping on one leg.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

AL-KO Robotic Lawn Mower

Credit: AL-KO GmbH,  Robolinho 3000
The market for robotic lawn mowers is attracting more and more companies. The latest player is German lawn mower manufacturer AL-KO. The company has released a new robotic lawn mower, Robolinho 3000. The robot has a cutting width of 30 cm and the cutting height can be varied easily between 3 to 6 cm. The AL-KO robotic lawn mower can master terrain slopes up to 35%.
The robot is equiped with a Ah/25 2.6 V lithium-ion battery for automatic cutting of up to 1,200-square-foot lawn. The Robolinho 3000 is easy to use, reliable and safe working, with just 65 dB (A). When lifting the unit will shut off the mower automatically.  Robolinho 3000 is also proteced with PIN and PUK codes. Priced € 1.890. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Telegardening project

Lemon tree with Koubachi Plant Sensor 
Infonaut proudly presents it's first ever plant online. The one year lemon tree has been equipped with a Koubachi wifi plant sensor, which gives the plant a voice by measuring soil moisture, lightintensitivity and temperature. Using the built-in WiFi module, the data is sent via Telia 4G mobile Internet to the Koubatchi cloud where the data is analyzed by the Koubatchi plant Care engine based on scientific plant care models developed in cooperation with biologists. The plant owner is provided with detailed care instructions regarding watering, fertilizing, misting, temperature and light through push notifications or email.
In the future every plant might go online, which means a lot of plant Internet traffic. 
The next step might be plant Care robots as envisioned by Ken Goldberg in 1995 at the Ars Electronica Center in Linz with his telegarden installation. 
At MIT’s CSAIL (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab) researchers have already developed robotic plant care systems to experiment with robotic vegetable gardeners who can tend plants teleoperatively and can deliver just the right amount of what a plant needs based on sensors attached to the plant. When the fruit is ripe, the robots can even harvest it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Telepresence Robot of the Future


Telexistence Robot TELESAR V, developed at Tachi Lab., a world leading laboratory in the field of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Telexistence, at Keio University, Japan, is a fundamental concept that enables a user to bind with a dexterous robot and experience what robot can feels from its fingertip when manipulating and touching objects remotely and enable the user to perceive the same haptic sensation.
Conventional teleoperated robots often demonstrate higher degrees of freedom to manipulate specialized tools with precision. But these movements are mediated by the human participant's natural movements, which sometimes generates confusing feedback. These teleoperated robots also need special training to understand the body boundaries when performing tasks. TELESAR V is a dexterous anthropomorphic slave robot that duplicates the same size and movements of an ordinary human and maps the user's spinal, neck, head, and arm movements. With this system, users can perform tasks dexterously and feel the robot's body boundaries through wide-angle high-definition vision, binaural stereo audio, and fingertip haptic sensations.
Check out the latest SIGGRAPH 2012 video below. 

Sunday, July 08, 2012

RoboCup@Work 2012 Winners

Credit: KUKA AG
RoboCup@Work is a new competition in RoboCup that targets the use of robots in work-related scenarios. It aims to foster research and development that enables use of innovative mobile robots equipped with advanced manipulators for current and future industrial applications, where robots cooperate with human workers for complex tasks ranging from manufacturing, automation, and parts handling up to general logistics.
The first official RoboCup@Work competition took place at RoboCup 2012 in Mexiko City June 18-24. Four teams from Germany competed in this new demonstration league that focused on mobile manipulation tasks in work-related scenarios. All four teams used the KUKA youbot, a mobile robot platform with a  2-fingered 5 DOF plug and play robot arm. youBots run the open source robotic operating system ROS. The teams used  different sensor configurations, with one or multiple laser scanners, with Kinects or webcams mounted statically or on the robot arm. While navigating the robots in the RoboCup@Work arenas seemed to work already quite well, grasping objects remains still a challenge for most teams.

The winner of the competition was The LUHbots team of Leibniz Universität Hannover won the first prize, followed by LRT PS/ Locomotec on the 2nd place and b-bit-bots Bonn-Rhine-Sieg University on the 3rd place. WF Wolves of Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences came on the 4th place.