Showing posts with label Robots. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Robots. Show all posts

Aug 17, 2018

Robots Rise

International Federation of Robotics (IFR) President Junji Tsuda previewed the statistics that will appear in the IFR Industrial Robots Annual Report covering 2017 sales data. He reported that 2017 turnover was about $50 billion, that 381,000 robots were sold, a 29% increase over 2016 and a 29 percent increase over the 294,300 units sold in 2016, and China was the main driver of 2017’s growth with a 58% increase over 2016 (the US rose only 6% by comparison). In addition, 2016 was 27% over 2015
China installed around 138,000 industrial robots in 2017, followed by South Korea with 40,000 units, and Japan with 38,000 units. In the Americas, the USA is the largest single market with 33,000 industrial robots sold, and in Europe it is Germany with around 22,000 units sold.
The automotive industry continues to lead global demand for industrial robot sales, according to the IFR. In 2017, around 125,200 units were sold in this segment for 21 percent growth. Other strongest growth sectors in 2017 were the metal industry (54 percent), the electrical/electronics industry (27 percent) and the food industry (19 percent).

Kuka’s CEO said we would see a big move toward mobile manipulators doing multiple tasks. ABB’s Sr. VP said that programming robots would become as easy and intuitive as using today’s iPhones. Fanuc’s ED said that future mobile robots would become more flexible. DHL’s VP forecast that perception would have access to more physics and reality than today.

Apr 8, 2017

Robot Growth

The International Federation of Robotics forecast that unit shipments for the global market for vacuum cleaning robots, lawn-mowing robots and other household cleaning robots will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33% through 2019.
Global medical robotics market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 21.43% during 2016 - 2021.
Agricultural robots forecast to increase from 32,000 units in 2016 to 594,000 units annually in 2024 and that the market is expected to reach $74.1 billion in annual revenue by 2024.

The Internet of Robotic Things market is expected to be $21.44 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 29.7% between 2016 and 2022.

Jan 29, 2016

Robot Progression

According to a research study by Tractica, annual shipments of consumer robots - a category that includes robotic vacuums, lawn mowers, and pool cleaners as well as social robots - will increase from 6.6 million units in 2015 to 31.2 million units worldwide by 2020 with a cumulative total of nearly 100 million consumer robots shipped during that period.

The fastest growth will occur in robotic personal assistants, a category that is nascent today. According to the report, "the next 5 years will set the stage for how these robots could fundamentally transform our homes and daily lives."

China, Japan, and South Korea are responsible for 40% of all new robot installations. China has more than 25% of all annual installations. The world market for robots grew 17% during 2015 and has had steady growth since 2009. Indications are that this growth rate will continue.

It used to be that the largest market for robotics was the United States. By 2014 China took over as the single largest market. During the past two years it had 50% annual growth in terms of new robot installations. China still has much below average installations of robots per capita. The maturity of a market is typically compared by number of robots installed per 10,000 workers in the manufacturing industry. Mature industries, such as automotive, will typically have 1 robot for every 10 workers.

South Korea has the most robots for manufacturing with 478 robots per 10,000 workers. Japan is second with 314 per 10,000 workers. Germany is at 292, USA is at 164. The world average is 87. China is currently at 36. Even with twice as many robots sold, China would still be below average in its use of robots.

Feb 7, 2012

Dental Robot

Robots have come a long way in the past few years and it seems like their usefulness is growing every month. Here is a LINK which shows video of a new lifelike dental robot, used to teach dental students.

Technology is useful in so many ways. Better to let those students make their first mistakes on a robot, before getting into real mouths.

Dec 20, 2011

Flying Building Robots

This is amazing. Flying robots build a 19.7 foot structure.

The FRAC Centre in Orléans, France will for the first time host an exhibition to be built entirely by flying robots. Titled "Flight Assembled Architecture," the six meter-high tower will be made up of 1,500 prefabricated polystyrene foam modules. The exhibition has been developed by Swiss architect Gramazio & Kohler and Italian robot designer Raffaello D'Andrea, to inspire new methods of thinking about architecture as a "physical process of dynamic formation."

The installation involves a fleet of quadrocopters that are programmed to interact, lift, transport and assemble the final tower, all the time receiving commands wirelessly from a local control room. The tower, which will boast a height of 6 meters (19.7 feet) and a diameter of 3.5 meters (11.5 feet), will be constructed within a 10 x 10 x 10 meter (32.8 x 32.8 x 32.8 foot) airspace, in which up to 50 vehicles can be tracked simultaneously at a rate of 370 frames per second with millimeter accuracy. This "Flying Machine Arena" was developed by D'Andrea, and features a state-of-the-art motion capture system.

Each quadrocopter is fitted with custom electronics and on-board sensors to allow for precision vehicle control, whilst also providing the opportunity for pre-programmed flight paths, which could include arcs and spirals. Furthermore, the fleet management technology helps avoid collisions by taking over when the flying robots get too close to each other. The same technology is also used for automating routine take-offs, landings and vehicle calibration and charging.

The Flight Assembled Architecture exhibition will be on display at the FRAC Centre from December 2 through to February 19, 2012.

Nov 22, 2011

Home Robots

Still time to buy a robot for Christmas. While Roomba vacuums your living room, Scooba is scrubbing the bathroom floor, Verro is power washing your pool, and Looj is clearing out your gutters. You can kick back, catch the game, and the house will be spic-and-span just in time for the party. Prices are coming down, too. A few hundred bucks for many and up to a few thousand for the really slick and sophisticated ones.

Millions of home robots have been sold and are busy every day. Ava, an autonomously-guided, mobile robotics platform that has a PC tablet, a smart phone, etc. for its brains. This mobile interface will allow us to become a night watchman, or see things that we currently can not, or anything we can think of, only limited by developers’ imaginations. This and others are all open platform, which means we can do our own programming and teach our bots to do our personal bidding. The home bots are coming and the next generation will be absolutely amazing. We will likely have to wait for a few years, but the trend is up.

Aug 23, 2011

Virtual Boarding Agents

Orly airport in Paris, France is experimenting with "virtual" boarding agents who always smile, don't need breaks, and never go on strike. "Bonjour! I invite you to go to your boarding gate. Paris Airports wishes you a bon voyage," the image appears to say, while the name of the destination flashes in front of it.

The pilot project in July and has so far been met with a mix of amusement and surprise by travelers, who frequently try to touch and speak with the life-like video images that greet them and direct them to their gate. The images materialize seemingly out of thin air when a live boarding agent presses a button to signal the start of boarding.

Images are rear-projected onto a human shaped silhouette made of plexiglass. Three actual airport boarding agents were filmed in a studio to create the illusion, which the airport hopes will be more eye-catching and easier for passengers to understand than current electronic display.

Airport authority AdP came up with the idea when it was brainstorming ways to modernize one of the dozens of boarding gates at Orly. Similar virtual agents have been in airports in London and Manchester since earlier this year.

The gate serves about 30 or 40 flights a day and about 1 million passengers a year pass through it, mainly on their way to destinations in the south of France and Corsica.

The experiment will be evaluated by the end of the year, after which it could be expanded to other gates and other airports.

Feb 5, 2011

Happy Birthday Robots

The word is 90 years old. In 1921, a play about robots premiered at the National Theater in Prague, then capital of Czechoslovakia. The word stems from the Czech word robota meaning forced labor, drudgery, and servitude. The robots in Capek’s play were molded out of a chemical batter, and they looked exactly like humans.

Even before the word was invented, Leonardo da Vinci's 1495 sketch of a mechanical knight, which could sit up and move its arms and legs, is considered to be the first plan for a humanoid robot.

Robots do many things these days, such as clean floors, build and paint cars, harvest crops, play chess, act as prosthetics, and perform operations.

Isaac Asimov developed what have become the three universal rules for robots.

# A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
# A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
# A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Danger, danger Will Robinson, this is beginning to ramble.

Killed by a Robot

In 1979, A 25-year-old Ford Motor assembly line worker is killed on the job in a Flat Rock, Michigan, casting plant. It’s the first recorded human death by robot. Williams died instantly in 1979 when the robot’s arm slammed him as he was gathering parts in a storage facility, where the robot also retrieved parts. His family was awarded a generous sum in compensation.

Mar 5, 2010

Shadow Caddy

For you golfers in the crowd, you may be soon using one of these as spring is quickly approaching.
Shadow Caddy is a robotic caddy that follows you around the course, carrying your bags just like a human caddy. Set your bag on your Shadow Caddy and off you go, free to concentrate on your game without the distraction of dragging your clubs around. It has two settings, follow and park.

It is completely hands free. It follows a small transmitter attached to your belt. It has a sophisticated detection avoidance system which prevents collisions with other carts, people, trees, etc., then picks up the transmission and goes right back to following the game. The Shadow Caddy will also carry drinks, sand buckets, etc. Another good feature, no tips required.

The caddy has been around for a while as a rental on selected golf courses. Here is a LINK to watch it on YouTube

Jan 29, 2010

Robot Maids

South Korean scientists have developed a walking robot maid which can recognize people, turn on microwave ovens, washing machines, and toasters, and also pick up sandwiches, cups, and whatever else it senses as objects.

Mahru-Z has a human-like body including a rotating head, arms, legs and six fingers plus three-dimensional vision to recognize chores that need to be tackled. Below is a picture of the old and new models.

"The most distinctive strength of Mahru-Z is its visual ability to observe objects, recognize the tasks needed to be completed, and execute them," said You Bum-Jae, head of the cognitive robot center at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology.

The institute took two years to develop Mahru-Z, which is 4.3 feet tall and weighs 121 pounds.

It could also work with an earlier maid robot called Marhu-M which moves on wheels, since both can be remotely controlled through a computer server. Don't look for this in the mail order catalogs soon.

Jan 13, 2010


The socialization of robots was an important area of research during 2009. Researchers believe that giving robots social skills will make them better at assisting people in homes, schools, offices, and hospitals. Andrea Thomaz created robots that can learn simple grasping tasks from human instructors who use social cues, such as verbal instructions, gestures, and expressions.

Another robot, made by a group at Carnegie Mellon University, guides conversations by making "eye contact" to suggest that it's time to speak.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, created a machine-learning program that lets a robotic head develop better facial expressions. By looking in a mirror, the robot can analyze the way its motors move different parts of the face, and create new expressions.

Some robots developed a quirky social skill, knowing when humans are angry. Researchers at the University of Calgary used a headband with physiological sensors to program a modified Roomba (that automated vacuum cleaner) to move away from a user when it detected stress in the form of muscle tension.

Researchers created a robot to check for signs of breathing and to deliver oxygen, if needed. The robot, based on a system originally developed for heart surgery, attaches to a stretcher so the patient can be monitored during transport.

Researchers from Harvard and Yale Universities have developed a simple, soft robotic hand that can grab a range of objects delicately, and which automatically adjusts its fingers to get a good grip. The new hand could also potentially be useful as a prosthetic arm.

Scientists at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) made a robotic "skin" out of a thin, flexible carbon that changes its resistance depending on pressure. This allows the robot hand to tell the shapes of an object, the amount of force placed upon it, and the direction of that force.

There is even a mini-robot vacuum picks breadcrumbs and more from your table.

Miniature robots will soon see the inside of our human bodies, and will send back images to everyone else, as the Technion company have created one of the world's smallest robots for use in surgery. Reminds me of an old Raquel Welch movie.

The ViRob robot, measuring 1mm in diameter, has been designed to move its way through spaces within the body as small as 3mm wide. It will be able to travel through veins, which can have a width of 6mm, and other passages with ease. It is powered by external magnetic fields and uses its 'arms' to crawl along the innner linings of the body.

A project was launched in 2005 and aims to make available to the general public at an affordable price, a humanoid robot with mechanical functions, electronic, and cognitive worthy prototype research. Nao should be available to the general public soon. It comes standard with basic behaviors, and is slated to become an autonomous companion for the whole family.

Japanese researchers said they have developed a "hummingbird robot" that can flutter around freely in mid-air with rapid wing movements. The robot, a similar size to a real hummingbird, is equipped with a micro motor and four wings that can flap 30 times per second. It is controlled with an infrared sensor and can turn up, down, right or left.

May 27, 2009

Domestic Robot

Twendy-One is a 3 plus-foot-tall humanoid developed at Waseda University, in Japan, to help disabled people with household tasks.

It has a six-axis force sensor in each fingertip and can grasp soft objects like paper cups as well as manipulate small items like a straws or pencils. Stay tuned folks. These things are closer than you think.

Robot Thinker

This was developed at the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology in Japan, i-1 is a 50-degrees-of-freedom, freestanding, full-body humanoid with stereoscopic cameras as eyes and microphones as ears.

The robot is helping researchers study how humans interact and communicate with machines. Wow, a robot helping us understand robots. Hmmm. Maybe next they will come up with on that will help us understand women.

May 8, 2009

More Robot Stuff

Albert Hubo is 3.3-foot-tall battery-powered walking humanoid with realistic, human like facial expressions. The robotic body was developed by researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, and the head is a creation of Hanson Robotics, a Texas company that makes interactive conversational robots.

May 4, 2009

Dishwasher Robot

Anybots, in Mountain View, Calif., is developing tele-operated mechanical servants like Monty, a two-armed wheeled robot equipped with gyroscopes, force sensors, and actuators powered by ultracapacitors.

Japan had them for a few years and are on to the second generation. Cool stuff and it works for nothing. If you want to see more, check this link to YouTube.

Apr 9, 2009

Brain control

March 31, 2009 - The research wing of Honda Motor Co. has co-developed a brain-machine interface system that allows a person to control a robot through thought alone. The system, builds on previous work announced three years ago toward a future in which devices might be controlled by thought.

In 2006, Honda and ATR researchers managed to get a robotic hand to move by analyzing brain activity using a large MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner like that found in hospitals.

The latest work is a step more advanced and measures the electrical activity in a person's brain using EEG and blood flow within the brain using near-infrared spectroscopy to produce data that is then interpreted into control information. It requires no physical movement.

Both the EEG and NIRS techniques are established, but the analyzing process for the data is new. Honda said the system uses statistical processing of the complex information to distinguish brain activities with high precision without any physical motion. A person visualizes moving a hand yet physically remains completely still, then Honda's Asimo robot, to which the system is hooked-up, raises its right hand. Honda claims a 90% success rate using this method.

Hey, Asimo, get me a beer!


Here is Asimo conducting the Detroit Symphony Orchestra

For those who have not seen this thing, it really is a robot. Although, this time not using brain waves for input. Honda is besting Detroit in Detroit, and with the 'Impossible Dream'. How's that for a sharp stick in the eye. Wonder how many caught the irony?

Speaking of Robots

What’s silver and brown and lies in the grass ? R2 Doo Doo…

In twenty years robots will be doing most of the work humans don’t want to do,
especially illegal robots from Mexico.