Yuto Kuroki, a mechanical engineer at Meiji University in Tokyo, Japan, and a team of researchers managed to modify a 3D printer head system to transform it into a 3-axis robotic manipulator. This gives the machine the ability to assemble various items, like toy cars and sandwiches, but unfortunately, there isn’t yet an extruder for condiments, so you’ll have to still add those manually. They first customized a low-cost fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printer that can attach/detach printed end-effectors capable of changing the function of the 3D printer head (e.g. grab, break, and rotate printed objects). Read more for a video and additional information.
At just 55-pounds, Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot dog is capable of much more than just being a house pet. That’s right, it’s most suited for unstructured environments and is fully capable of climbing stairs, traversing rough terrain, helping the French Army, as well as dispensing beer, but not in a particularly useful way. Michael Reeves has taught this robot to actually pee bear, which required quite a few lines of code to help it identify cups on the floor, position itself properly over them, and then release a stream of liquid using plastic tubing. Read more for the video and additional information.
Robosen Robotics teamed up with Hasbro Pulse to bring a voice-controlled Optimus Prime robot to life. The team at Robosen spent 11-years of R&D to create a robot capable of transforming on its own, bipedal walking abilities, a race function in vehicle form, programmable/code development, and robot control/commands by either voice or via mobile app. Does it look familiar? That’s because it’s based on the Robosen T9 an advanced programmable robot that has many similar functions. Read more for a hands-on video and additional information.
Photo credit: Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan
École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr, the French army’s military school, tested Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot in a few exercises: an offensive maneuver taking place at a crossroads, a defensive mission during both day / night, and an urban-combat scenario. These exercise were performed twice by four students, once without the robots and another with them. They were testing to see if the robots offered some benefits in reconnaissance, with a student saying it saved them at least once. Read more for a video.
Piestro’s automated pizza vending machine has just gone contactless with PopID, a facial recognition payment company that offers consumers a faster, easier and safer way to pay. That’s right, simply open up the Piestro app to place pre-orders for pickup and then look at the camera to pay. The machines consist of advanced robotics, precise dispensing, and temperature sensors, including a complex temperature isolation system that keeps the toppings and dough at proper temperatures from the heat of the oven below. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Photo credit: Amin Akhshi
Designer Amin Akhshi’s SN-3 Nova is basically a futuristic robotic dog designed to perform intricate surgery procedures aboard space stations, whether it be on humans or machines. To accomplish this, it has been equipped with a 48V lithium-ion battery to keep it powered up, while 3D laser scanner and HDR camera give it advanced vision in any lighting condition for extreme precision. The build does seem reminescent of Boston Dynamics’ BigDog, so it may be able to handle some lifting duties if necessary. Read more for additional pictures.
Switzerland-based startup UVEya partnered with Dubai airport services company Dnata to develop a new robot that can disinfect an entire single-aisled plane in just 13-minutes. UVeya co-founder Jodoc Elmiger said the company has built three prototypes so far, with one having already being demonstrated inside a Helvetic jet at the Zurich Airport. Elmiger says the robots will cost around $15,900 USD each and could save airlines a considerable amount. Read more for a video and additional information.
Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2021 visitors probably came across OrionStar’s 5G Robotic Coffee Master as it served up piping hot beverages at Qualcomm Technologies’ booth. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System, this master barista can make up to 1,000 cups of coffee every day, or three times faster than a human can. To reach this level of expertise, it underwent 3,000 hours of AI learning, 30,000 hours of robotic arm testing and machine vision training. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Photo credit: IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Université de Sherbrooke researchers collaborated with a group at Exonetik Inc. to develop a wearable supernumerary robotic arm that provides superhuman functionality for common human tasks, and could possibly even be Doctor Octopus-inspired. Simply put, a supernumerary robotic device is something that adds functionality to an existing system, and for this prototype, they added a third arm, complete with a three-fingered hand, to a human subject. Read more for a video and additional information.
Boston Dynamics has just unveiled their latest mobile robot, called Stretch. It was designed specially to support the growing demand for flexible automation solutions in the logistics industry, while also marking the company’s official entrance into warehouse automation. Stretch can perform a variety of warehouse tasks including unloading trucks and later order building. Its omni-directional mobile base enables it to navigate loading docks, maneuver in tight spaces and adapt to changing facility layouts. Read more for a video and additional information.