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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Autonomous Indoor Vehicle from Adept

Credit: Adept Technology

Adept Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq:ADEP), a leading provider of intelligent robots and autonomous mobile solutions, announces the launch of the Adept Lynx. Lynx is a self-navigating Autonomous Indoor Vehicle (AIV) designed for moving material from point to point in challenging environments that may include confined passageways as well as dynamic and peopled locations. Given the vehicle's intuitive user interface, the system can be customized for various applications and payloads by integrators, distributors, and users alike.


"Unlike traditional autonomously guided vehicles (AGVs), Lynx requires no facility modifications, such as floor magnets or navigational beacons, saving users up to 15% in deployment costs," said Rush LaSelle, vice president and general manager of mobile robots for Adept Technology. "Additionally, the vehicle includes Adept's proprietary software and controls allowing it to intelligently navigate around people and unplanned obstacles, that stop AGVs short."

Manufacturing, warehousing, clean technologies, and healthcare are but a few industries already realizing attractive returns on invested capital through the use of mobile robots from Adept. The Lynx AIV supports payloads up to 60kg, utilizes digital map for localization and manages power and self charging operations.

In 2010 Adept Technology, Inc.acquired MobileRobots inc., provider of industry leading autonomous robot and automated guided vehicle (AGV) technologies for $4.5 million. The acquisition of MobileRobots, Inc. was a strategic step for Adept to expand their robotics capabilities to unstructured environments to meet the needs of industrial, commercial, medical, research and academic clients.

Monday, January 28, 2013

UK funding of novel robotics concepts

Credit: BARA, Statistics
The Technology Strategy Board (UK) is to invest up to £1m in feasibility studies to accelerate the development of novel Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) concepts towards demonstration and exploitation of the technology across multiple sectors. TSB aims to stimulate new partnerships between the RAS communities involved which have focused on different sectors to date but could collaborate to generate new solutions to known problems within a new industrial RAS sector in the UK.
The UK has world leading strengths in the underlying science and engineering contributing to these systems, and access to the markets that could exploit them.
All projects must be collaborative and led by a SME.  Projects will last up to 12 months and we expect total project sizes to be up to £133k although projects outside this range will be considered.

The Technology Strategy Board is an executive non-departmental public body (NDPB), established by the Government in 2007 and sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The UK Government has recently announced an investment of an extra £35 million ($55m) for centres of excellence in Robotics & Autonomous Systems. They will be created in and around universities, innovation centres, science parks and enterprise sites and provide bespoke support for both university and industrial interests. Support from these centres of excellence will provide the missing link between our SMEs and primes in this technology area. They will be hubs of technical expertise and training, providing cutting edge facilities and opportunities for business networking.

For more information about the project, please visit the TSB website.

No robot companions for European citizens

The dream of a new generation of European robots that will be self-adaptive machines helpful to humans throughout their lifetimes, described in the FET Flagship Initiative "Robot Companions for Citizens" is over for now.
The European Commission has chosen instead the Graphene and Human Brain initiatives as winners of the multi-billion euro competition of  Future and Emerging Technologies (FET). Both projects will receive one billion euros each, to deliver 10 years of world-beating science at the crossroads of science and technology. Each initiative involves researchers from at least 15 EU Member States and nearly 200 research institutes.

The European Commission will support "Graphene" and the "Human Brain Project" as FET "flagships" over 10 years through its research and innovation funding programmes. Sustained funding for the full duration of the project will come from the EU's research framework programmes, principally from the Horizon 2020 programme (2014-2020) which is currently negotiated in the European Parliament and Council.

The Graphene project

"Graphene" will investigate and exploit the unique properties of a  revolutionary carbonbased material. Graphene is an extraordinary combination of physical and chemical properties: it is the thinnest material, it conducts electricity much better than copper, it is 100-300 times stronger than steel and it has unique optical properties. The use of graphene was made possible by European scientists in 2004, and the substance is set to become the wonder material of the 21st century, as plastics were to the 20th century, including by replacing silicon in ICT products.

From the start in 2013 the Graphene Flagship will coordinate 126 academic and industrial research groups in 17 European countries with an initial 30-month-budget of 54 million euro. The consortium will be extended with another 20-30 groups through an open call, issued soon after the start of the initiative, which will further strengthen the engineering aspects of the flagship.
The flagship will be coordinated by Chalmers University of Technology based in Gothenburg, Sweden. Director is Professor Jari Kinaret who will lead the research activities together with the leaders of the 15 work packages. The management team is supported by a Strategic Advisory Council that includes the European Nobel Laureates Sir Andre Geim (chairman), Albert Fert, Klaus von Klitzing and Sir Kostya Novoselov, industrial representatives from Nokia and Airbus, and two representatives
of the global graphene research community.
Check out the morph concept video below demonstrating some of the possibilities nanotechnologies might enable in future communication devices.

The Human Brain Project

The "Human Brain Project" will create the  world's largest experimental facility for developing the most detailed model of the brain, for studying how the human brain works and ultimately to develop personalised treatment of neurological and related diseases. This research lays the scientific and technical foundations for medical progress that has the potential to will dramatically improve the quality of life for millions of Europeans. The goal of the Human Brain Project is to pull together all our existing knowledge about the human brain and to reconstruct the brain, piece by piece, in supercomputer-based models and simulations. The models offer the prospect of a new understanding of the human brain and its diseases and of completely new computing and robotic technologies. Federating more than 80 European and international research institutions, the Human Brain Project is planned to last ten years (2013-2023). The cost is estimated at 1.19 billion euros. The project will also associate some important North American and Japanese partners. It will be coordinated at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, by neuroscientist Henry Markram with co-directors Karlheinz Meier of Heidelberg University, Germany, and Richard Frackowiak of Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV) and the University of Lausanne (UNIL).
The Human Brain Project builds on the work of the Blue Brain Project. Led by Henry Markram of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), the Blue Brain Project has already taken an essential first towards simulation of the complete brain. Over the last six years, the project has developed a prototype facility with the tools, know-how and supercomputing technology necessary to build brain models, potentially of any species at any stage in its development. As a proof of concept, the project has successfully built the first ever, detailed model of the neocortical column, one of the brain's basic building blocks. Check out the video below for a project overview by Prof. Markram.



Friday, January 25, 2013

Record order for KUKA Robotics

Credit: KUKA Robotics
Europe’s largest robot and equipment manufacturer German KUKA Roboter has won two record orders from German carmakers in November 2012.
The first order of 6,000 industrial robots came  from Volkswagen and is KUKAs largest order by number. Under the terms of the contract, KUKA Roboter GmbH will supply in total 6,000 of its new KR QUANTEC generation of industrial robots, including KR C4 controllers, to various Volkswagen factories in Germany and Eastern Europe in 2013 and 2014. Of the total, 1,800 robots are destined for Emden and Zwickau, where they will be used on production lines for the VW Passat's successor. Audi AG will receive 2,600 units for the new Audi A4, which will be built at Ingolstadt und Neckarsulm. The remaining 1,600 units will be shipped to the Volkswagen plant in

Bratislava, Slovakia. The orders from this blanket contract will be booked from now until 2014 as they are released by the customer.
The second order for the supply of 2,400 generation KR QUANTEC industrial robots, including KR C4 controllers, was signed with with BMW Group, Munich. The robots will be used mainly to join and handle car body parts. Orders received and sales for this blanket order will be recognized as the customer releases the robots. Deliveries will start in 2013.
KUKA Results 2012
KUKA generated strong results in the first nine months 2012. Orders received were up 22.3 percent year-over-year, rising from EUR 1,215.8 million at the end of nine months in 2011 to EUR 1,486.5. Sales revenues jumped 26.5 percent to EUR 1,306.5 million from 1,032.4 million after nine months in 2011.
Preliminary figures for the 2012 financial year will be presented February 05, 2013

KUKA 's share price nearly doubled in 2012.
Credit: DAX 2013-01-25







Innovative Cooperation between Workers and Robots at Mercedes-Benz

Credit: eu-nited/KUKA
German automotive company Daimler has sign a strategic cooperation agreement with German KUKA AG, a leading systems integrator and robotics manufacturing company. The partnership focuses on human-robot cooperation to achieve optimizations both for production workers and in manufacturing processes. to introduce lightweight robots, originally designed for use in outer space, to an industrial environment. 
Employees of both companies are jointly conducting field tests to explore processes such as assembly and in- vehicle screw application. They are also developing systems concepts to make cooperation between humans and robots safe.
Direct human-robot interaction makes it possible to employ trendsetting manufacturing concepts, where the lightweight robot acts as a worker's "third hand". The lightweight robot was originally developed by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt) for use in outer space. Its sensitive motorized grippers give it a delicate touch, which enables it to handle objects gently and perform difficult tasks precisely. The robot can be positioned and set up to optimally support workers in terms of ergonomics. As an example, the lightweight robot takes over and performs tiring tasks such as steps that involve handling items overhead. Working with and handling the robot is straightforward and intuitive, which reduces programming time and increases the efficiency of manufacturing processes. Due to their precise performance lightweight robots also contribute to enhanced quality.
This partnership is a continuation of the successful and innovation driven collaboration between the two companies. Daimler and KUKA launched their first joint pilot project at the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant in 2009. Since then, more than 500,000 rear axle gearboxes have been assembled with the support of the lightweight robot.

EU-project: Walking like humans


A consortium coordinated by by the Spanish Council for Scientific Research, CSIC, will develop and demonstrate human-like gait and posture in a controlled compliant biped robot as a result of a combination of the most relevant motor control and cognitive mechanisms found in humans.
The three-year project called H2R “Integrative approach for the emergence of human-like robotic locomotion”, starting on Feb 1, 2013, is co-funded by the EU FP7. A central goal of the project is to formalize a benchmarking scheme that can be used worldwide by the scientific community to assess and compare human-like skills of robotic humanoids.

The H2R consortium wants to involve the international community in this process, so that the benchmarking scheme can reach a global consensus and be universally adopted.

For more information about the project, please visit the H2R website.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

First autonomous navigation remote presence robot to receive FDA clearance

Credit: iRobot, RP-VITA
iRobot, a leader in delivering robotic solutions, announced that the RP-VITA Remote Presence Robot has received 510(k) clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in hospitals. RP-VITA is the first autonomous navigation remote presence robot to receive FDA clearance.

RP-VITA is a joint effort between two industry leaders, iRobot and InTouch Health. The robot combines the latest in autonomous navigation and mobility technologies developed by iRobot with state-of-the-art telemedicine and electronic health record integration developed by InTouch Health. RP-VITA allows remote doctor-to-patient consults, ensuring that the physician is in the right place at the right time and has access to the necessary clinical information to take immediate action. The robot has unprecedented ease of use. It maps its own environment and uses an array of sophisticated sensors to autonomously move about a busy space without interfering with people or other objects. Using an intuitive iPad® interface, a doctor can visit a patient, and communicate with hospital staff and patients with a single click, regardless of their location.

The FDA clearance specifies that RP-VITA can be used for active patient monitoring in pre-operative, peri-operative and post-surgical settings, including cardiovascular, neurological, prenatal, psychological and critical care assessments and examinations.
RP-VITA is being sold into the healthcare market by InTouch Health as its new flagship remote presence device. iRobot will continue to explore adjacent market opportunities for robots like RP-VITA and the iRobot Ava™ mobile robotics platform.

Patent Watch: Robotic Fabricator

Credit: iRobot/Raytheon BBN
iRobot Corporation and Rayheon BBN Technologies Corp. have filed a US patent entitled "Robotic Fabricator", a completely autonomous all-in-one product fabrication robot that handles manufacturing (including 3D printing) and all the post printing work from seed component to mature product.
The patent describes a fabrication system which includes a tool-head for manufacturing, a first manipulator and a second manipulator. The first manipulator supports and manipulates an item, and is configured to provide six-axes of movement for positioning of the item relative the tool-head. The second manipulator carries a component and orients the component at a select orientation relative to the item supported on the first manipulator. The tool-head is configured to add material to at least one of the item and the component. The first and second manipulators provide at least six axes of fabrication for the tool-head.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Roadmap for creating Singooglarity?

Credit: Ray Kurzweil/Viking Press
Ray Kurzweil, one of the world's leading inventors, thinkers, and futurists, announced in December 2012 that he will be joining Google as Director of Engineering to work on new projects involving machine learning and language processing.
Creating Singooglarity 
Visorary and transhumanist Kurzweil has published several bestseller books such as The Singularity Is Near and Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever, that may serve as roadmaps for creating new super-intelligent Google services.
In his latest 352-page book, How to Create a Mind, he explores how artificial intelligence can enrich and expand human capabilities. Kurzweil discusses how the brain functions, how the mind emerges from the brain, and the implications of vastly increasing the powers of our intelligence in addressing the world’s problems. He thoughtfully examines emotional and moral intelligence and the origins of consciousness and envisions the radical possibilities of our merging with the intelligent technology we are creating. Drawing on the most recent neuroscience research, his own research and inventions in artificial intelligence, and compelling thought experiments, he describes his new theory of how the neocortex (the thinking part of the brain) works: as a self-organizing hierarchical system of pattern recognizers. Kurzweil describes how these insights will enable us to greatly extend the powers of our own mind and provides a roadmap for the creation of superintelligence—humankind's most exciting next venture. In Kurzweil´s vision we are now at the dawn of an era of radical possibilities in which merging with our technology will enable us to effectively address the world’s grand challenges.

Kurzweil's ideas have been controversial before and generated criticism within the scientific community and in the media, including Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, cognitive scientist Douglas Hofstadter and biologist P. Z. Myers. Also his new book has drawn criticism i.e. from Gary Marcus, a professor of psychology at N.Y.U.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Quadrocopter drones from China

Credit: Walkera 
The market of remote controlled quadrocopter drones is growing fast. The world´s first crash avoiding drone comes from Guangzhou Walkera  Technology Co., Ltd. a Chinese manufacturer of R/C model toys such as helicopters & aeroplanes that are certified to CE, UL and FCC standards. The Walkera Infra X Smart Drone with Crash Avoidance System (CAS) contains a total of 10 sensors, 2 Ultrasonic Altitude Sensors on the belly of the drone, 8 Infra-Red Sensors surrounding the drone body, they keep the distance of the Drone from big objects like a Wall or a pile of Big Boxes.
The 2.4GHz New Generation Radio System is the standard of new generation radio system. It offers longer transmission distance, less interference, more stable radio transmission and less legal issue. For traditional radio frequency, helicopters in same frequency cannot fly together because of interference. With 2.4GHz radio system, many helicopters can fly at the same time without interference.

Mind-controlled quadrotor drone

Mind controlled drones are a hot area for researchers at Zhejiang University in Hangzou, China, who have adapted a Parrot AR Drone 2.0 to be operated by an Emotiv EPOC electroencephalogram (EEG) headset hooked up to a PC running custom software. By thinking "left" strongly, the mind-pilot can make the drone take off; thinking "left," "right," and "push," makes it turn clockwise, move forward, and fly up, respectively. More interestingly, clenching teeth makes the drone descend, while blinking commands it to take a photo. Check out the video below for a demo flight.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Smart robots for passenger transfer

Credit: robonaut, 
Researchers at the Social Robotics Lab, Albert-Ludwigs-Univ. Freiburg expect that next-generation robots will work closely with humans as companions at home, care-takers for the elderly, intelligent cars or as helpers in the service industry. Their tasks require advanced social and cognitive skills to effectively interact and cooperate with humans. We believe that the key to long-term acceptance and utility of robots is their ability to perceive, understand, learn and reproduce human social behavior.

The SPENCER project, co-funded by the EC FP7
Credit: SPECTER, demonstration scenario 
will focus on social situation-aware perception and action for cognitive robots. and break new ground for cognitive systems in populated environments. While there is an increasing focus on making robots more socially aware, related approaches are still limited in their capacity to perceive, model and learn human social behavior and respond with appropriate actions in real-time from mobile platforms. SPENCER will systematically address these problems and advance the fields of perception of individual humans and groups in sensory data, normative human behavior learning and modeling, socially-aware mapping, and socially-aware task, motion and interaction planning under real-world conditions. In particular, by addressing these problems simultaneously in a multidisciplinary project team, we will exploit synergies which will enable us to design safer, more efficient, and more robust cognitive systems in human environments.

The SPENCER consortium includes KLM, a large European airline as end-user that will deploy a robotic demonstrator for smart flow management of transfer passengers at the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. The task of the robot will consist in picking up delayed transfer passengers from their arrival gate and bringing them to the priority lane of the Schenger barrier, thus  addressing a flow problem for which every day passengers miss their flight.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Empowered by UAVs


Credit: CyPhy Works


The U.S. military UAV market is projected to grow at an 12% CAGR reaching $18.7 billion in 2018 according to a new report of Market Research Media Ltd. The report finds that the U.S. military UAV market will generate $86.5 Billion revenues over the period 2013 – 2018.

According to ReportLinker market profile report The Global UAV Market 2011-2021 - Global UAV Market Size and Drivers, published June 2012 the global market for UAVs in 2011 was estimated at US$7.1 billion and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.08% to reach US$10.5 billion by 2021. Cumulatively, during the forecast period, the total market for UAVs is estimated to be US$91.7 billion.


According to a Frost & Sullivan report May 2012, the unmanned aerial systems (UASs) market accounted for $5.25 billion of the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) budget in 2010, with the Air Force emerging as the highest spender among all U.S. military services. Most of the $2.42 billion the Air Force has earmarked for UAS spending in 2012 is for the procurement of the MQ-9 Predator.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan's DoD Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) research finds that fiscal year (FY) 2011 government contracts awarded specifically for the DoD UAS market amounted to $3.78 billion. Programs receiving the most contract dollars included the ER/MP MQ-1 Gray Eagle, MQ-9, and RQ-4 UASs.


Historically, UAVs have been used in various military settings outside of U.S. borders. UAVs have provided reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, search and rescue, and battle damage assessments. In the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, UAVs have been used for surveillance purposes and to attack enemies. The Predator UAV, for example, was armed with anti-tank weapons to attack Taliban and Al Qaeda members.

The Extreme Access System for Entry (EASE) is a small UAS created by CyPhy Works, Inc. This test was conducted at the McKenna MOUT Site at Ft. Benning, GA.
CyPhy Works, Inc. creates robots to empower people. Their first products are a line of UAVs that expand military, law enforcement, and inspection capabilities in remote situational awareness, endurance, and access.
CyPhy Works was founded in 2008 by Helen Greiner, who previously co-founded and served as President and Chairman of iRobot Corporation.




Swedish UAV ready for lift-off

Credit: CybAero AB

In December 2012 Swedish CybAero AB,  a company developing and manufacturing autonomous unmanned helicopters, has signed a strategic partnership agreement with the world's leading UAV company, AeroVironment Inc.
In January 2013 Swedish CybAero signed  a framework agreement contract with manufacturer PartnerTech AB, covering production and assembly of products and systems for CybAero AB.
The cooperation between CybAero and PartnerTech was initiated in 2012 and the now signed agreement covers PartnerTech’s combined expertise within electronics, mechanics and systems integration.  Production and assembly will initially mainly include PartnerTech’s unit in Åtvidaberg and other Swedish units. In the future the agreement may also entail development as well as production in PartnerTech’s other units globally. Revenue and first deliveries from this agreement is expected in the first quarter 2013.

The U.S. military UAV market is projected to grow at an 12% CAGR reaching $18.7 billion in 2018 according to a new report of Market Research Media Ltd. The report finds that the U.S. military UAV market will generate $86.5 Billion revenues over the period 2013 – 2018.

The U.S. military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) market has witnessed a meteoric growth over the past decade. UAS development went through a quantum leap, from lab concept to battle-tested proven technology. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have proven their worth in operations around the world. Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) are considered today a key component of U.S. defense transformation and an integral part of U.S. military doctrine.


Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Multilateral Manipulation by Human-Robot Collaborative Systems

Credit: UCSC Bionics Lab, Raven IV
Robot surgeons promise to save lives in remote communities, war zones, and disaster-stricken areas. A grant from the National Science Foundation will allow researchers to design the optimum workplace of the future.
This 4-year multi-campus research project seeks to emulate the expert-apprentice relationship using human beings and robots. It focuses on developing ways in which robots can learn from human activity in order to help humans by providing extra hands, eyes and brain power as necessary, enabling multilateral manipulation from multiple vantage points. The range of applications includes manufacturing and surgery.
Multilateral manipulation systems have the potential to improve healthcare, improve American competitiveness and product quality in manufacturing, and open the door to new service robot applications in the home
Read more

Friday, January 04, 2013

Swarm robots and deep space gardening


Credit: CU-Bolder, Droplets
University of Colorado Boulder Assistant Professor Nikolaus Correll and his computer science research team, including research associate Dustin Reishus and professional research assistant Nick Farrow, have developed a basic robotic building block, which he hopes to reproduce in large quantities to develop increasingly complex systems.
Recently the team created a swarm of 20 robots, each the size of a pingpong ball, which they call “droplets.”
Correl's vision is to develop large swarms of intelligent robotic devices that could be used for a range of tasks. Swarms of robots could be unleashed to contain an oil spill or to self-assemble into a piece of hardware after being launched separately into space. Correll plans to use the droplets to demonstrate self-assembly and swarm-intelligent behaviors such as pattern recognition, sensor-based motion and adaptive shape change. These behaviors could then be transferred to large swarms for water- or air-based tasks.


Credit: CU-Bolder, X-Hab
Greenhouse Robotic Swarms
Correll and his students have been selected to develop a remotely operable, robotic garden to support future astronauts in deep space.
The project is one of five university proposals selected to participate in the 2013 Exploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge led by NASA and the National Space Grant Foundation. The yearlong project's ultimate goal is to support long-duration human space exploration, such as a mission to Mars.
NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate's Advanced Exploration Systems Program, via the Habitat Systems Project team, is sponsoring the technology challenge. NASA is dedicated to supporting research that enables sustained and affordable human and robotic exploration. This educational challenge contributes to the agency's efforts to train and develop a highly skilled scientific, engineering and technical workforce for the future.

Robotic kit for kids

The Hummingbird robotics kit is a spin-off product of Carnegie Mellon's CREATE lab. Hummingbird is designed to enable engineering and robotics activities for ages 10 and up that involve the making of robots, kinetic sculptures, and animatronics built out of a combination of kit parts and crafting materials. Combined with a cross-platform, very easy-to-use visual programming environment, Hummingbird provides a great way to introduce kids to robotics and engineering with construction materials that they are already familiar with.


The project began in 2006 as Robot Diaries, which aimed to create an after school engineering and robotics activity that could appeal to middle school girls as much as or more than to boys. Initial pilots with groups of girls, followed by an expanded focus that included both boys and girls as well as teachers and in-school curricula led to a renaming of the project to Arts and Bots and a focus on creating curricula and technologies that integrate arts and crafts with engineering education. The Hummingbird as well as the CREATE Lab's Visual Programmer (the environment used by students to program Hummingbird) have co-evolved with the Arts and Bots program, and will continue to do so.

The CREATE Lab is both a technology breeding ground and a community partner. It is this unique combination that enables a new form of local change: one that empowers the citizens to chart their technology future and, most important of all, their community's prospects for quality of life.

CES Robotics 2013

The annual CES - Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, is always a great opportunity for trendspotting and innovation hunting in consumer electronics including consumer robotics. CES 2013 will be held January 8-11 and some of the hot topics discussed this year will be mobility and connectivity, the new mantra of consumer electronics, the state of tech retailing in 2013 including show rooming, battling for online supremacy, OEMs going direct, private label. Other topics are cloud computing and the implications for consumer tech and the future of auto technology.

Consumer robotics is still an emerging technology issue and only a few companies are exhibiting products ready for sale, among them market leader iRobot, announcing the demo of the new Mirra 530 Pool Cleaning Robot and Looj 330 Gutter Cleaning Robot. 

Credit: Suitable Technologies, Beam

Telepresence robots have been identified as a promising consumer application for many years and there is a growing number of start-up companies developing new mobile platforms for video conferencing, tele-traveling and remote control.
Double Robotics will present its iPad-based telepresence robot. The first production run of Double, pre-order price $ 1,999 has sold out in 2012 and new orders will ship in early 2013.
The MantaroBot™ TelePresence Robot from Mantaro is a mobile offsite conferencing platforms, which via a plug-in works with Skype™ or any commercial A/V app, allowing a user to remotely interact with and observe people and their environment. MantaroBots are designed for commercial and consumer environments. Price about $ 3,500.
Suitable Technologies, a spin-of from Willow Garage, produces the Beam Remote Presence System (RPS). Beam enables individuals to travel instantly to remote locations using videoconferencing on a mobile platform. People have a real physical sense of presence, do not have to travel, and are more efficient. Beam Remote Presence Systems start at $16,000.

RoboteX designs robots for safety and ease-of-use, and works directly with end users to include capabilities that are important to them. The Avatar® Home & Office combines an iOS device (iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch*) with a highly-mobile robotic base that you can control remotely through the internet. Standard Model: US$299, with 2-yr $49/month for Premium Support or $29/month contract for Basic Support. Stair Climbing Model: US$499, with 2-yr $49/month for Premium Support or $29/month contract for Basic Support.
Orbotix will present its Sphero™, the first robotic ball gaming system that users control with a tilt, touch, or swing from a smartphone or tablet. Unlike other remote controlled devices, Sphero is a fully developed game platform that lets users download numerous interactive games from the smartphone’s application store. Sales price Apple Store  $129.95, Amazon $149.36

Credit: Modular Robotics, KT06 kit

Modular Robotics the maker of Cubelets, a robot construction kit for kids, will demonstrate some of its 16 different Cubelets. The KT06 starting kit contains 6 Cubelets that can be snapped together to make a variety of robots with no programming and no wires. Sales price $ 160.

Cubelets control, running on Android devices, is a mobile app that connects to a Bluetooth Cubelet. It does two things: it can remote control up to six Cubelets, and it can also read their values. So the user can communicate both ways with Cubelets robot: read and write.