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Tag Archives: Robotic

Video: Disinfection Robot

This autonomous disinfection robot utilises a combination of automatic robot programming, autonomous navigation and obstacle avoidance, sensor-based robot control, and novel drives and structure to achieve effective disinfection within a short period.

Its robot arm brings the UVC light close to the object’s surface while maintaining a proper distance to achieve 99.5% disinfection in just a few seconds, which allows fast disinfection of a large area.

The user-friendly graphical user interface enables a user to select disinfection area based on video images and automatically generate robot trajectories to perform the disinfection operation. The invention was developed by Professor Ning Xi from the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Faculty of Engineering of HKU.

Watch video at You Tube (2:28 minutes) . . . .

Video: Robots Take Over Kitchen and Bar Work at Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

The eye-catching setup has a drawn a lot of attention, with plates of food descending from the ceiling to diners below.

A large bank of turning cylinders cook your order, before tipping it onto a plate. That’s then picked up by a pulley and taken to a robot that runs along tracks hanging from the ceiling until it reaches its target table.

And if you need a cocktail after a hard day hiking around the gigantic media centre, a robot arm is ready to shake it for you.

But a waiter is on hand for the final move of placing your drink on the counter.

Watch video at You Tube (1:13 minutes) . . . .

Video: Musicians, Dancers, and Robots Unite for Disruptive Collaboration While Improving Human-robot Trust

Researchers from Georgia Tech and collaborators from Kennesaw State University have found that embedding emotion-driven sounds and gestures in robotic arms help establish trust and likability between humans and their AI counterparts.

With National Science Foundation funding, Georgia Tech music technology researchers have programmed a “FOREST” of improvising robot musicians and dancers who interact with human partners.

The results of their research have been conditionally accepted for publication in the open-access journal, Frontiers in Robotics and AI.

Watch video at You Tube (2:09 minutes) . . . .

Chart: Global Spending on Service Robots Rose in 2020

Source : Bloomberg

Robot Prints Custom Design Inside Drinks

Chris Albrecht wrote . . . . . . . . .

We’ve seen 3D printers create cake decorations, personalized vitamins, and even cultured beef. And now, thanks to Print a Drink’s robot, we’ve seen custom designs printed inside a cocktail. You might think such beverage witchcraft would be impossible. I mean, how could a design be suspended and hold its shape in anything other than a jello shot? Turns out it just takes the right drink, the right droplet and the precision of a robotic arm.

Based in Austria, Print a Drink has actually been around for three years. It was started by Benjamin Greimel as a university research project. Since that time, Print a Drink has created two working robots (one in the U.S. and one in Europe) that up until the pandemic would travel to special events and conferences printing out custom designs inside drinks at parties and such.

So how does it work? Print a Drink uses a robotic arm with a custom-made printer head attached to it. The robot uses a glass needle to inject a food-grade, oil-based liquid inside a drink. The drink itself needs to be less than 40 percent alcohol and can’t be a straight shot of something like vodka or whiskey because the injected beads won’t hold and will float to the surface. Greimel explained to me via video chat this week that the combination of liquid density, temperature and robotic movement allow the designs to last for roughly 10 minutes before dissipating.

Coordinating all those puzzle pieces is complicated to say the least. In addition to setting up the robot at an event and operating it, there are specific requirements around drinks that can be used, and designs need to be uploaded into the robot. Plus, there are safety concerns because the robotic arm does move about pretty quickly. Because of all those reasons, Print a Drink’s business has been around renting the robot ($2,500 – $5,000, depending on the event) and not selling them outright. In addition to all of the complications above, staff would need to be trained properly on how to use the machine, and chances are good that the people operating the devices are not roboticists who can troubleshoot.

To make Print a Drink more accessible, Greimel and his partner (the only two people at the company) have developed a smaller, self-contained version of the robot that is roughly the size of a countertop coffee machine. But don’t expect a consumer version for your next backyard soirée. This smaller version is still complicated, and still requires training, so the company is targeting large corporations like Disney or a hotel chain like Hilton where it could be installed and used for special events or promotions. Greimel said the first prototype of this smaller Print a Drink will be available in the next week.

Though more specialized, Print a Drink is part of a bigger automation movement happening with booze right now. In addition to robot-powered bars like Glacierfire popping up, we’re also seeing automated drink dispensing vending machines from Rotender and Celia start to hit the market. It’s not hard to see all of these types of robots working in tandem, however, with a robo-bartender pumping out standard cocktails, while Print a Drink prints up specialty drinks customized for special occasions. We’ll drink to that.

Source: The Spoon

Video: The Autonomous Weeder – Eliminates Weeds with Lasers

Carbon Robotics is pioneering the next revolution in agriculture through the deployment of autonomous robots.

The Autonomous Weeder leverages robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and laser technology to safely and effectively drive through crop fields to identify, target and eliminate weeds.

Watch video at You Tube (1:56 minutes) . . . .

Video: Introducing AlphaDog – An Affordable Alternative to Boston Dynamics’ Four-legged Spot Robot

Like a real dog, AlphaDog is your loyal friend and it follows your orders and tries to accomplish the commanded tasks autonomously. It plays happily with you, and you can explore a whole lot of possibilities with it.

With proper integration of currently available technologies like AI, IoT, 5G, AR/VR, Autonomous Driving, Swarm Intelligence, etc., it can be assigned to safeguard people and properties, patrol parks and communities, guide a blind person, deliver packages to your front door, inspect factories or dangerous places, do rescue missions, or even do humanitarian demining to save lives.

Watch video at You Tube (1:21 minutes) . . . .

Video: Stretch Warehouse Robot

Meet Stretch, a prototype of a new robot designed to automate box moving tasks in warehouses and distribution centers. Stretch’s mobile base allows it to go to where repetitive box lifting is required – unloading trucks, building pallets of boxes and order building. Stretch makes warehouse operations more efficient and safer for workers.

Stretch’s technology builds upon decades of advancements in robotics to create a flexible, easily integrated solution that can be deployed in any warehouse.

Watch video at You Tube (2:00 minutes) . . . .

Company Sells Sex Robot ‘Clones’ of Dead Partners Using 3D-Modeling Technology

Elias Marat wrote . . . . . . . . .

For many people who have lost their significant others, sex dolls have provided one way to ease the pain of grief and loneliness.

However, sex robot company Lux Botics is taking things one step further – by offering a clone of dead partners using state-of-the-art three-dimensional modeling.

With demand for sex dolls booming amid the ongoing pandemic and lockdowns across the world, Lux Botics is offering “ultra-realistic humanoids” to satisfy the carnal needs of the singles without any other recourse.

The company’s flagship “Adult Companion” model called Stephanie goes for USD $6,000 on the Lux Botics website.

The model includes speech control, facial recognition, a “hyper realistic eyes” option and even the option of implanted real hair, as well as limited AI capabilities.

However, the company also offers the option of creating a facsimile of a lost loved one.

The company can either create a 3D model through detailed modeling prior to it being printed in ultra-fine resolution, or it can rely on photos of the individual.

A mould would then be constructed based on the 3D model, complete with a robot skeleton. The robot is then painted and fitted with the lips, nails, eyebrows and other features the customer chooses.

“We can make robots that talk but we have not made robots that truly walk on their own,” Lux Botics co-founder Bjorn told Daily Star UK. “We hope to develop this in the near future. We can make a large number of body parts that can move in a realistic manner.”

While the company hasn’t yet created body doubles, Lux Botics is offering the choice to customers.

Since the start of the pandemic, people have been desperate to cope with the solitude of self-isolation and lockdown measures. While many have resorted to traditional measures like purchasing a pet or using dating apps, sex doll sales have also skyrocketed as people seek an emotional crutch.

Source : The Mind Unleashed

HKU Engineering Student Team Developed Robotic Fish Sets World Record for the Second Time

A robotic fish with wide-ranging functions from search and rescue to providing entertainment at an aquarium sounds like an unattainable dream, but is the fruit of research by a young engineering team at the University of Hong Kong (HKU).

SNAPP, the robotic fish, currently holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest 50 m swim by a robotic fish in 22.92 s or at 2.18 m/s (meters per second), which is faster than most Olympic swimmers including Michael Phelps, who averages a speed of 2.1 m/s. The robotic fish was invented by a student-staff team led by the Department of Mechanical Engineering and sponsored by the Tam Wing Fan Innovation Wing under HKU’s Faculty of Engineering.

The founder of the robotics team BREED is Timothy Ng, a HKU mechanical engineering graduate, who is happy to see that the team’s joint effort had reached one milestone after another. The team started out trying to invent a fish that could beat top high-school swimmers. After initial success, they furthered their research with the goal of beating Olympic champions, and the result has been astounding. In January 2020, the team first set the Guinness World Record for the fastest 50m swim by a robotic fish with 26.79 s. SNAPP is another breakthrough. “We have surpassed most Olympic swimmers except Cesar Cielo, who swam 50 meters in 20.91 seconds,” said Ng.

SNAPP is the fastest robotic fish to date, breaking the scientific boundaries known to mankind swimming, at a speed of 2.18 m/s. Other noteworthy fish robots such as Harvard’s Tunabot swims at 1m/s. Mr. Ng said: “By using flexible and soft methods in the tail design, we achieved our present record from the original 1.2 m/s. This is the key to underwater propulsion.”

The team is encouraged by the fact that SNAPP is optimal for an array of functions. Professor Dennis Leung, Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and an environmental specialist, said: “I am very pleased with the research output of the robotic fish project. Apart from breaking the Guinness record, the robotic fish can also be applied in our everyday life. It is particularly useful in environmental protection such as monitoring water quality as well as surveillance of rubbish and oil spillage in seawater.”

Although SNAPP cannot yet match the swimming speeds of natural fishes, which have undergone millions of years of optimization in an evolutionary process, through the efforts of the team, it emulates the motions and profile of a real fish, hence it is able to integrate with the ocean environment seamlessly. Its fish-like gait produces low acoustic noise, keeping underwater sound pollution to a minimal.

With its unparalleled underwater mobility, and the ability to provide floating support and towing capability in the absence of lifeguards, the robotic fish is also ideal for rescue and search operations. When integrated with an artificial intelligence-based vision system and using an aerial-drone, it could form a robust system providing unparalleled search and rescue of victims from both air and water.

It brings many new opportunities when integrated with other robotic technologies like drones, according to the supervisor of the project, Dr. Fu Zhang, Assistant Professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, who is a robotics specialist especially in aerial drones. He commented: “The robotic fish project is truly interesting and significant in both research and practice. Its success would benefit applications such as underwater exploration and in saving lives etc. Most of the oceans are yet to be seen by humankind, and new technologies can help protect the shorelines and public beaches from sharks, while policing water boundaries and defining territorial maps.”

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 320,000 deaths are caused by downing each year. “The deaths of the professional divers in the Thai cave rescue operation years ago could have been avoided if SNAPP were available to them.” said Mr. Ng.

With its thin profile, SNAPP is fit for both shallow and deep-sea operations, capable of moving through undersea rock formations and fitting through tight crevices. The current prototype allows it to accelerate to a maximum speed within 0.5 s, make tight turns with its caudal fin, and swim continuously for hours in a mix swimming mode fish on a 48V, 850 mAh battery.

The robotics team is already working on using SNAPP to address ocean pollution and to scout for underwater garbage patches. The fish can relay their location back to a much larger collector, or be deployed to take water samples periodically in river basins, and to monitor the water quality, specifically for microplastics. “It can also be used as “pet” for divers, carrying crucial equipment and oxygen tanks for them,” Mr. Ng added. Snapp can also act as a lifeline for divers that are caught in an underwater current, pulling them away from it.

While being in talks with commercial companies on utilizing the search, rescue, and patrol functions of SNAPP, Mr. Ng is eyeing other wider applications. “Perhaps in the future, we would not need to keep real fishes captive for entertainment; robots can replace them instead.”

Source : HKU

Watch video at Dropbox (1:08 minutes) . . . .