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Robots and humans collaborate to revolutionize architecture

robots and humans collaborate to revolutionize architecture

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Two Princeton researchers, architect Stefana Parascho and engineer Sigrid Adriaenssens, dreamed of using robots to simplify construction, even when building complex forms. “We want to use robots to build beautiful architecture more sustainably,” said Adriaenssens, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and the director of the Form Finding Lab.

So the professors partnered with architecture and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) to create a striking and unique installation for the SOM exhibition “Anatomy of Structure” in London last March. They used two industrial robots provided by U.K.-based Global Robots to build a breathtaking vault, 7 feet tall, 12 feet across and 21 feet long, constructed of 338 transparent glass bricks from Poesia Glass Studio.

The nearly finished central arch awaits its last brick. Like the entire LightVault structure, the central arch is constructed without any scaffolding or other external supports. The two industrial robots take turns placing a brick and supporting the structure, working from one side to the other.Photo by CREATE Laboratory, Isla Xi Han & Edvard BruunCritically, the LightVault reduced resource use in two ways: eliminating the need for forms or scaffolding during construction, and improving the vault’s structural efficiency by making it doubly curved, …

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Maine company makes history building nation’s first firefighting robot

maine company makes history building nation’s first firefighting robot

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Howe and Howe Technologies in Waterboro designs and builds robot that helps fight massive fire in downtown Los Angeles

WATERBORO, Maine — At Howe & Howe Technologies they build things. 

They build extreme vehicles for Hollywood movies—fast and powerful ones for the U.S. military, and helpful ones for first responders and people with disabilities.

Powerful technology that is making a difference and making history.

“It was all over the news last week, national news, LA fire department uses robot for the first time in fire. Guess where that was? Right here in Maine,” Geoff Howe, CEO of Howe & Howe Technologies, said.

Howe and Howe Technologies in Waterboro is where brothers Mike and Geoff Howe have built robotic vehicles for decades. Twelve years ago, they designed one that could help fight fires.

“Let’s take this unmanned technology and let’s give firefighters a tool that can help save lives,” Michael said.

Howe and Howe’s two remote-controlled firefighting robots, RS1 and RS3, can unleash a lot of power. 

“The RS3 can deliver 2500 gallons a minute of water so that’s [equivalent] to about 8 firefighters,” Howe & Howe’s product manager of small robotics Paul Ford said. 

“There’s also cameras mounted on the nozzle itself [which] move. …

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Oregon-based robotics startup acquires millions in investment – Vanguard

oregon-based robotics startup acquires millions in investment – vanguard

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Agility Robotics acquired $20 million from investors in their latest investment round co-led by California investment collective DCVC and venture fund Playground Global, according to their latest press release. This new investment pool will allow the Albany, Oregon-based robotics startup to increase production numbers of their highly-celebrated bipedal robots designed to work alongside humans in logistics, retailer and manufacturing environments.

Agility was founded in 2015 on the backs of 11 years of robotic development at Oregon State University’s Dynamic Robotics Laboratory by Carnegie Mellon graduates Dr. Jonathan Hurst and Dr. Damion Shelton. One of their earliest models was the ATRIAS robot, a bipedal robot that made headlines in 2015 for being the first bipedal robot to accurately reproduce human gait. ATRIAS was able to withstand physical force, such as kicks and impacts, without falling over. 

Their next model was the Cassie robot, also developed in the Dynamic Robotics Laboratory. Cassie was a massive leap forward in bipedal locomotion in comparison to ATRIAS. It was around this time Agility was formed from the team that worked on Cassie at OSU, existing as a subsidiary of the university, which still owns a part of the company to this day. Agility sold and distributed Cassie models …

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READY Academy all geared up to upskill any worker in robotics

ready academy all geared up to upskill any worker in robotics

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READY Academy all geared up to upskill any worker in robotics

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The benefits of using universal collaborative robots

the benefits of using universal collaborative robots

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The benefits of using universal collaborative robots

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Robotic kitchen startup YPC raises a $1.8M seed round

robotic kitchen startup ypc raises a $1.8m seed round

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Montreal-based YPC Technologies today announced that it has raised a $1.8 million seed round. Led by Hike Ventures and Real Ventures, the funding includes participation from Toyota AI Ventures and Uphill Capital, among others, designed to help the company pilot its kitchen robotics technology.
Toyota’s funding came as part of the company’s “Call of Innovation,” which finds it investing in early state AI, robotics and other cutting edge technologies. “At TRI, we’re always searching for ways to amplify human ability and help improve quality of life,” TRI’s Gil Pratt said in a statement. “Through the call for innovation, we got a first-hand look at how startups like YPC Technologies are addressing the needs of people in urban communities, and we’re encouraged and excited by their efforts.”

Robotics and automation generation has been a fairly hot category for VC investment, amid the on-going COVID-19 shut down. Food robotics, in particular, have been a focus. And it makes sense, certainly. After all, providing people with sustenance is about as essential as services get. The startup’s solution is built around a robotic arm that can prepare recipes with a variety of different ingredients — similar to other models we’ …

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Reese’s sending out robotic Halloween door that dispenses hands-free treats

reese’s sending out robotic halloween door that dispenses hands-free treats

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While some towns are all but nixing Halloween, Reese’s is hoping to bring safe trick-or-treating to neighborhood doorsteps.

The company is sending out a remote-controlled robotic door to roll through neighborhoods and dispense king-size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

When it shows up, kids only have to say “trick or treat” to get their candy.

“This Halloween is unlike any other, so we’ve upped the ante on creativity as a result,” Allen Dark, Reese’s senior brand manager, said in a statement. “A robotic Reese’s dispensing door is just what the world needs right now!”

The door works using a remote control from 5,000 feet away. A built-in Bluetooth speaker activates once “trick or treat” is said, prompting a king-size Reese’s candy bar to appear in the mail slot.

And it’s tricked out to make its arrival known by the “smoke, lights and epic Halloween soundtrack,” the company said.

“What can we say? We like to make an entrance,” Reese’s said.

The Centers for Disease Control has warned against door-to-door trick-or-treating this Halloween, saying it poses a high risk of spreading the coronavirus.

Those interested in having the robotic trick-or-treat door in their neighborhood can …

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A gecko-adhesive gripper for the Astrobee free-flying robot

a gecko-adhesive gripper for the astrobee free-flying robot

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Three of the researchers involved in the study (From the left: Abhishek Cauligi, Toni G. Chen and Srinivasan A. Suresh). Credit: Stanford University.

Robots that can fly autonomously in space, also known as free-flying robots, could soon assist humans in a variety of settings. However, most existing free-flying robots are limited in their ability to grasp and manipulate objects in their surroundings, which may prevent them from being applied on a large-scale.

Two labs at Stanford University, namely the Biomimetics & Dexterous Manipulation Lab (BDML) and the Autonomous Systems Lab (ASL), have been trying to develop gecko-inspired technologies that could enhance the manipulation capabilities of free-flying robots. The BDML group at Stanford has expertise in the manufacturing and use of gecko-inspired adhesives for robotics applications, while the ASL team focuses on the development of algorithms that equip free-flyers with autonomous capabilities.
The new gripper created by these two labs, set to be presented at the i-SAIRAS conference and introduced in a paper pre-published on arXiv, was applied to the Astrobee, a free-flying robotic system developed at NASA. The project was funded by a NASA Early Stage Innovations grant, which is designed to support teams who are developing gecko-inspired technologies that can …

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The new ML framework that could make robots safer in crowds – TechHQ

the new ml framework that could make robots safer in crowds – techhq

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Safety remains the biggest barrier to ‘real world’ robots, but researchers have developed a framework that ‘outperforms’ current systems.

20 October 2020

Boston Dynamics’ ‘Spot’ robot. Source: AFP

Safety remains the biggest barrier to moving robots into the ‘real world’ around us
Researchers from Stanford and Toyota Research Institute have developed a framework that ‘outperforms’ current systems 

Robots will soon be moving around us in the ‘real world’. They won’t be confined behind the closed doors of warehouses or factories, they will operate in and interact with the world around us, taxiing us around town or delivering our mail. 

As new advances in technology are rapidly being made by organizations like Boston Dynamics and Amazon Robotics, 61% of executives expect their organizations to use robotics in uncontrolled environments within the next two years, according to Accenture. 
While these machines will be capable of performing the functions of roles traditionally previously carried out by people with ease, question marks still loom over their innate lack of instinct — the lack of a comparative mass of situational data generated and stored by humans throughout our lives, that subconsciously enables us to sense a risky maneuver in the road or somebody about to step in front …

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