Ekso™ is a bionic suit, or exoskeleton, which enables individuals with lower extremity paralysis to stand up and walk over ground with a weight bearing, four...
Ekso featured in this post, is one of a number of lower extremity paralysis exoskeleton support systems now emerging - others include ReWalk (USA), MIndWalker (Italy) -that take advantage of new motor and control systems to build a new generation of mobility products. Video is worth watching.
In a general sense, a Markov Network Brain (MNB) implements a probabilistic finite state machine, and as such is a Hidden Markov Model (HMM). MNBs act as controllers and decision makers for agents ...
If like me, you are old enough to remember the animals to animats proceedings from the early 1990's which detailed early researchon agent based modeling, reinforcement learning algorithms and autonomous robots using neural networks, genetic algorithms and other probabilistic finite state machines as control architectures this will be of interest. If you are not -try and find a copy and read up - since a lot of current research is based on early ideas presented in those proceedings. The Adamilab have produced a stable implementation and platform for hidden markov model based controllers for agent based models and robotics. Code is available on Github and the Markov Network Brains article gives a good overview of why its of interest and underlying reasoning behind the implementation for anyone working on agent based simulation and autonomous robot and sensor platforms.
“The Machine Age,” an essay written for The New York Times by Norbert Wiener, a visionary mathematician, languished for six decades in the M.I.T. archives, and now excerpts are being published.
When I was a young teenager I came across Cybernetics by Norbert Weiner at my local lending library. I would borrow it several times over the years to read and re-read, though much was certainly beyond my understanding then. For those familiar with Weiner's work this essay from 1949 will come as no surprise. For those not - it will give an insight into why we owe so much to his insight that helped found the field of computer science and informatics and why his work and ideas are often worth revisting and re-examining. Great essay - worth the read. Click on the image or title to learn more.
In this video, Nigel Ackland demonstrates how his new robotic hand allows him to do ordinary things with extraordinary technology.
Having once worked on a project for very early stage robotic prosthetics this is incredibly impressive and useful. Great find by 4DPipeline. Nigel Ackland lost his arm in a car accident. He shows what he is learning to do with it and the improvement in quality of life by making a myriad of small things that we do with two hands and often take for granted every day achievable again. The arm is manufactured by RSL STeeper and is the bebionic 3 model .For more info see http://bebionic.com/
NASA Television will broadcast the annual FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Kickoff event on Saturday, Jan. 5, starting at 10:30 a.m. EST from Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester.
Having built commercial research robots and looked at commercialization paths into consumer this paper is massively worth reading. “The 2 Year Itch”, is a paper advising hardware and robotics consumer technology companies on the finer points of surviving in the retail market. Lots of good info. Click on the image or title to learn more.
21 years ago I started work in a small robotics company in the North of England. They built experimental autonomous and semi autonomous robot platforms for researchers and industry. I saw my first concept robot vaccum cleaner 20 years ago. I remember well the discussions one of the engineers about the challenges of building everyday robots in terms of functionality, compute requirements, safety and cost. The time line from concept research to mainstream manufacturing is always a sobering one as is understanding market requirments to drive product adoption and growth. I was reminded of all these when reading a BBC article on lawnmowing robots entering into the market. If you are interested in robotics (or have a large garden) worth a read. Click on the image or the title to learn more.
A prosthetic knee that’s waterproof and controlled with a microprocessor is a far cry from “a door hinge with a screw to give it some friction,” says a Vietnam veteran.
One of the first jobs I had after Uni was working for a small robotics research company (TAG) doing market analysis for an EU funded research into sensor based hand prosthetics (TIDE project No.150 MARCUS). Emerging robotics and sensor based prosthetics can radically impact the quality of life for those that need them. This is a good article which helps understand some of the current advances from companies like Ottobock and how they are using microprocessor enabled prosthetics to help to meet end user needs. Worth reading
Researchers in the University of Minnesota's College of Science and Engineering have developed a new noninvasive system that allows people to control a flying robot using only their mind.
The study goes far beyond fun and games (though how much fun could you have with this? :-) ) and has the long term potential to help people who are paralyzed or have neurodegenerative diseases.The study was published today in IOP Publishing's Journal of Neural Engineering. A University of Minnesota video of the robot in action can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpHy-fUyXYk. Click on the link or the image to learn more.
Intelligent Behavior in Animals and Robots (Complex Adaptive Systems) [David Mcfarland, Tom Bösser] on Amazon.com. *FREE* super saver shipping on qualifying offers. Intelligence takes many forms.
I am a big fan of David Mcfarland's research work - through him and Owen Holland (via Martin Snaith and Simon Smith) I got introduced to comparitive ethology and its role in robotics many years ago. So when this popped up - it immiediately got stuck on the reading list. Worth a look (as are his other books and papers).
The massive blimp-like aircraft flies but just barely, hovering only a dozen feet off a military hangar floor during flight testing south of Los Angeles.
Having had a long love affair with blimp like aircraft there are a number of intersting developments in using robotic blimp like vehicles for automated delivery. Worldwide Aeros has demonstrated a new aircraft concept with funding from US govt. the company is now looking to secure follow on funding for the next round of flight testing. The company says the cargo airship's potential to carry more cargo more efficiently than ever before would provide the U.S. military with an advantage on the battlefield and greater capacity to save more lives during natural disasters. The lighter-than-air vehicle is not a blimp or a zeppelin because it has a rigid structure made out of ultra-light carbon fiber and aluminum underneath its high-tech Mylar skin. Inside, balloons hold the helium that give the vehicle lift. The airship functions like a submarine, releasing air to rise and taking in air to descend and can take off vertically, like a helicopter, then change its buoyancy to become heavier than air for landing and unloading. Worldwide Aeros are following a similar path to the UK based
Hybrid Air Vehicles Limited who are developing similar solutions for European markets. It will be a matter of time for someone to get the business model and system economics in place to make these viable but as costs of components, robotics control systems combined with navigation technologies its increasingly a matter of when not if. Click on the image or title to learn more.
Sarjoun Skaff, brought Mobi to fruition after working on earlier prototypes at the Field Robotics Lab at Carnegie Mellon University. He and his team have built a prototype and research platform so academics can use Mobi as a base for their projects. The technology itself came from the famed Ralph Hollis, a researcher at CMU who invented MObi's motion control platform concept.
Good video overview of Mobi and interesting demo of the ball drive control system.
Roboticists have to come up with all sorts of creative ways to stress test their robots. iRobot went straight to a baseball bat to demonstrate the resilience of a prototype robotic hand it’s been experimenting with. Unlike most robotic body parts, which are made of rigid materials, this hand is made of flexible and soft rubber-like polymers. This means that instead of requiring extraordinarily precise, calculated movements to manipulate object, the robot’s fingers can press against things until they bend and grip. The individual fingers house electronics like tactile sensors and fishing line connected to motors that control movement. VIdeo is worth watching for how impressive a seemingly simple design and control architecture can be. Click on the image or the title to learn more.
They’re soft, biocompatible, about 7 millimeters long – and, incredibly, able to walk by themselves. Miniature “bio-bots” developed at the University of Illinois are making tracks in synthetic biology.
20+ years back - I got my first job in a robotics research lab -as a glorified tea boy playing with subsumption architectures in automonous robots, software agents and early VR equipment. Rod Brook's was kind enough to respond to a blind email and send me some papers on his work at MIT AI Lab. Since then I've followed his work with interest both at MIT AI lab and iRobot. His new start up company Rethink Robotics recently unveiled some of the technologies its been working on. Click on the image or title to learn more.
20 years back when I was working in a robot lab - we used to talk about autonomous water based robots for apps such as pollution detection and marine ecological mapping. 20 years later intelligent robotic fish that are capable of working together to detect and identify pollution in ports and other aquatic areas have been developed adn are being tested. Awesome article from the institution of Engineering and Technology. Learn more...