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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Cyberdyne Inc. launched HAL® for Task Support

Credit: Cyberdyne
Japanese CYBERDYNE Inc. has launched a new product, HAL® for Task Support–Back Load Reduction Type which aims at work assistance to labors with reduced burden on an user’s back and mitigated risk of backache. By this, the Company will advance to the field of heavy task assistance devices, in addition to its existing field of medical devices.
The new product, controlled by Cybernic Voluntary Control*1 as well as the existing HAL® for Medical Use and HAL® for Wellbeing, is able to assist a user’s motion as he/she wishes with a certain assistance ratio*2. Therefore, it enables the user to perform works safely and naturally with the recognition of a weight of a lifted item. The device assists works by analyzing stress loading on the lumber spine and reducing burden on the low back. As the device is light and compact ( 2.9kg), the user can work for a long time without taking it off, when light work is also involved.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Amazon Picking Challenge 2015

Credit: Amazon.com
E-commerce giant Amazon has announced the first Amazon Picking Challenge to be held at ICRA in May 2015 in Seattle, WA, USA.
The competition will challenge entrants to build their own robot hardware and software that can attempt simplified versions of the general task of picking items from shelves. The robots will be presented with a stationary lightly populated inventory shelf and be asked to pick a subset of the products and put them on a table. The challenge combines object recognition, pose recognition, grasp planning, compliant manipulation, motion planning, task planning, task execution, and error detection and recovery. The robots will be scored by how many items are picked in a fixed amount of time, with $26,000 in prizes being awarded. Participants will be encouraged to share and disseminate their approach to improve future challenge results and industrial implementations.
Amazon´s goal is to strengthen the ties between the industrial and academic robotic communities and promote shared and open solutions to some of the big problems in unstructured automation. To this end the contest will be awarding travel grants to ICRA 2015, practice equipment, and a large prize pool for the competition winners.