General Dynamics Mission Systems acquires Bluefin Robotics

bluefin robotics
Bluefin Robotics manufactures unmanned undersea vehicles

General Dynamics Mission Systems has acquired Bluefin Robotics, a manufacturer of unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs) that perform a wide range of missions for the US military and commercial customers.

“Bluefin’s advanced underwater technologies and products are perfectly aligned with our expertise in undersea system integration,” said Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics Mission Systems.

“We have long specialized in many of the technologies that are making UUVs increasingly effective, and have strong credentials integrating UUVs into naval platforms. With the added capability to design and manufacture UUVs, combined with our commitment to speeding innovation to our customers, this acquisition positions us well to further support our US Navy customers.”

Bluefin Robotics will become part of General Dynamics Mission Systems’ Maritime and Strategic Systems line of business. The value of the transaction has not been disclosed.

Bosch introduces 3D landscapes to its vehicle navigation software

bosch, 3d map, mavigation
Bosch claims its 3D map software can work in cars when online or offline

Bosch has enhanced the map display on its built-in navigation systems so they now show a three-dimensional world, which the company says makes them “even more engaging and relevant”.

The company claims its system supports the Navigation Data Standard (NDS), which is an industry map standard for automotive technology.

On the new Bosch maps, buildings extend skyward, enabling you to get your bearings more easily, and visible changes in terrain height combined with integrated satellite imagery produce an almost photorealistic look. Continue reading Bosch introduces 3D landscapes to its vehicle navigation software

Vecna takes robots to Middle East through distribution deal with iCobots

vgo robot
Vecna recently expanded its portfolio by acquiring VGo

Vecna has signed a partnership deal with iCobots, a collaborative robotics distributor in Israel. With this agreement, Vecna will further extend the availability of its patented VGo platform to Israeli businesses, medical facilities and educational institutions.

“We are pleased to work with iCobots to introduce this telepresence solution to the Israeli market,” said David Clear, Vecna’s manager of global partnerships.

“The VGo is improving the lives of thousands of people around the world by allowing clinicians to access patients remotely, enabling homebound students to take part in their schooling, and giving business executives the ability to grow their businesses and manage their teams from afar.”  Continue reading Vecna takes robots to Middle East through distribution deal with iCobots

Xerox launches robotic process automation reseller program

xerox automation solutions reseller

Xerox has launched a global reseller agreement with Top Image Systems that the companies say will give customers end-to-end robotic process automation solutions for industry-specific, content-driven procedures.

Content processing solutions from TIS will be integrated into Xerox’s workflow automation suite, which helps simplify end-to-end processes for a range of industries including financial services, healthcare and government.

The solutions will help Xerox customers in large enterprises improve their day-to-day effectiveness and streamline content-driven tasks, such as customer onboarding, manual data entry, claims administration and invoice processing.  Continue reading Xerox launches robotic process automation reseller program

Locus Robotics prepares to transform logistics industry with new automation system

locus-robot

Automation in logistics is not new, having first emerged some 30 years ago, but back then it wasn’t as widely utilised as one might imagine, probably because of the large investment required.

But even if you could afford it back then, nowadays with the new robotics and automation technologies available, what can be done with a logistics centre is way beyond what was possible in the past.

Estimates vary on how much more efficient an intelligent warehouse can be, but it’s generally accepted that the savings in costs and time which can be achieved by using robots and automated systems are significant. Continue reading Locus Robotics prepares to transform logistics industry with new automation system

Mercedes replaces robots with humans

Mercedes-Benz_SLR_McLaren_2_croppedWith all the current talk of robots taking over the world, and replacing millions of workers everywhere, laying waste to economies and societies everywhere, it is surprising that a company known for its advanced technology is replacing robot workers with human workers. 

Prestige auto brand Mercedes has been employing more humans and fewer robots at its car factories because apparently its customers want vehicles with a high degree of customisation which is beyond the capabilities of robots, no matter clever they are.

In an interview with Bloomberg Business, Markus Schaefer, the German automaker’s head of production, says: “Robots can’t deal with the degree of individualization and the many variants that we have today. We’re saving money and safeguarding our future by employing more people.”

Full story at Bloomberg Business.

Peach Fuzzer launches testing system for autonomous cars

peach fuzzerDriverless cars are on the horizon and accelerating towards us faster than we expected, or maybe want. So it stands to reason that there should be a way of testing them and making sure they’re safe. So Peach Fuzzer has added enhancements to its fuzz-testing platform to enable autonomous vehicles to be tested.

This latest release extends the out-of-the-box fuzzing capabilities of Peach Fuzzer to allow interfacing with, and scrutinizing of, protocols built upon the pervasive automotive communications protocol, CAN bus.

Auto manufacturers and firms can now uncover previously undetected flaws that could otherwise have led to potentially deadly zero-day attacks.  Continue reading Peach Fuzzer launches testing system for autonomous cars

Asteroids hurtling towards Earth. Nasa readies SSL robots

nasa robot asteroids
This concept images shows ARM robotic capture Option B, in which the robotic vehicle ascends from the surface of a large asteroid, on its way to a lunar distant retrograde orbit with a smaller asteroid mass in its clutches.

Earth is under constant attack from alien rocks, apparently. Now, NASA has decided to do something about it 

Space Systems Loral (SSL), a provider of commercial satellites, has received a contract from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to conduct first phase design studies for a spacecraft that can travel to an asteroid, remove a boulder, and redirect it into a lunar orbit to prepare it for a visit by astronauts in the 2020’s.

In keeping with NASA’s strategy to leverage commercially available capabilities, SSL’s spacecraft design for the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM) will be based on its popular commercial geostationary (GEO) satellite, which combines power, propulsion and value. There are currently 80 SSL GEO spacecraft in orbit.

“SSL is pleased to have this opportunity to work with JPL on the Asteroid Redirect Mission,” said John Celli, president of SSL. “We look forward to applying our proven technologies, including our very successful experience delivering high power satellites with electric propulsion systems for our commercial GEO customers, to help JPL reduce risks and meet the cost target for this exciting mission.” Continue reading Asteroids hurtling towards Earth. Nasa readies SSL robots

Siemens provides close-up view of its electronics manufacturing plant, where the lines between human and robot workers are blurred

siemens robotic electronics factory
Picture: At Siemens’ Electronics Manufacturing Plant in Erlangen, Germany, the company has devised new concepts for highly flexible manufacturing systems using lightweight robots and 3D printers.

Simulation, 3D printing, lightweight robots – these are some of the innovative technologies driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution – or Industry 4.0. And they are already a reality at Siemens’ Electronics Manufacturing Plant in Erlangen, Germany. A key reason for the success of this plant is that people and machines work hand in hand.

siemens robotic electronics factory
Employees at Siemens’ Electronics Manufacturing Plant in Erlangen have the freedom to try out innovative ideas and turn them into successful projects.

Schorsch assembles small converters. Hannes does the big ones; he inserts a fan and a heat sink in the housing and fastens them with four screws – several hundred times a day. When Hannes takes a break, Schorsch keeps on working unwaveringly.

When Hannes goes home, Schorsch goes on working. Hannes is a temporary factory worker. Schorsch is a lightweight robot. Continue reading Siemens provides close-up view of its electronics manufacturing plant, where the lines between human and robot workers are blurred

Siemens gets green light for gigantic intelligent transport projects

siemens intelligent transport systems
Picture: A fully automated subway line at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. Key parts of the system, including rolling stock, track-based and on-board automated systems, as well as upgrades for the operations control center, were delivered by Siemens Rail Systems.

German industrial conglomerate Siemens has won contracts to construct some of the world’s largest intelligent transport projects which will feature autonomous vehicles and connected infrastructure

intelligent transport systems
In the context of the Car2X project, roadside units along a test area communicate with test vehicles.

A 1,300-kilometer corridor between Rotterdam and Vienna in which vehicles and infrastructures communicate with one another; driverless subway trains in Paris, Budapest, and Riyadh; an autonomously-operating public transportation systems in Ulm, Germany – these are examples of how mobility will be networked and increasingly characterized by autonomous systems – developments that Siemens is deeply involved in.

With six lines and a total route length of 175 kilometers, Riyadh is planning the world’s largest subway project. Siemens is to supply the entire turnkey system for two driverless metro lines in the capital of Saudi Arabia.

The five-million city is looking for sustainable solutions for its local traffic problems. Because Riyadh is growing rapidly: since 1990, the population has doubled to more than five million inhabitants. Siemens equips Lines 1 and 2 of the six lines with Inspiro metro trains, the electrification and the signaling and communication systems for driverless operation.  Continue reading Siemens gets green light for gigantic intelligent transport projects

Industrial Networks prepares to launch rail automation drone

inet drone
The INet drone

Industrial Networks (INet) is launching a drone that it says is “capable of fully autonomous scanning of the railyard for inventory and inspection of a railcar”. The company has been developing the drone since 2005, and last year applied to the authorities for a drone flying licence.

INet says the drone has transformed the rail industry for shippers and provided tools to automate the complete process of rail and truck shipping.

INet’s stationary and mobile Automated Equipment Identification (AEI) readers provide pivotal rail and truck shipment management for control over in-plant operations. This automation reduces the occurrence of errors and improves overall productivity for shippers across North America.  Continue reading Industrial Networks prepares to launch rail automation drone

DecisionPoint Systems automates warehouse operations of Modell’s sporting goods

modell's sporting goods
Image courtesy DeMartino Construction Company

Billion-dollar sporting goods retailer upgrades systems at distribution center with new automation technology 

DecisionPoint Systems, a provider and integrator of enterprise mobility, wireless applications and IoT solutions, has been selected by Modell’s Sporting Goods to lead its distribution technology refresh initiative.

Modell’s will be implementing the latest Zebra Technologies’ mobile handheld, mobile printer devices, and wireless infrastructure in their distribution center, and selected DecisionPoint to oversee both deployment and maintenance services of this critical initiative. Continue reading DecisionPoint Systems automates warehouse operations of Modell’s sporting goods

Aido home robot launches on Indiegogo

aido home robot
The Aido home robot

Aido, which its maker modestly describes as “the world’s most advanced interactive home robot”, has launched on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.

InGen Dynamics is a Palo Alto based privately held company with strategic partnerships with vision, sound, technology, artificial intelligence and optics companies.

Ingen Dynamic’s human-centered approach to design and engineering has led to the award-winning Aido home robot platform, which utilizes a ground breaking ballbot based mobility design, linking advanced vision recognition to an intelligent network of cameras, sensors, and microprocessors. Continue reading Aido home robot launches on Indiegogo

ZTE signs ‘major agreement’ with Mojio to launch connected car solution for mobile operators

connected carZTE has reached a strategic cooperation agreement with Mojio to capitalise on the rapidly growing global connected car market.

ZTE is an international provider of telecommunications, enterprise and consumer technology solutions for the mobile internet. The company made the deal through its subsidiary, ZTEWelink. Moijo is an open connected-car cloud platform provider. The contract was signed at the Mobile World Congress 2016.

Lv Qianhao, VP of strategy and marketing, ZTE terminal business, Kenny Hawk, CEO of Mojio and Wang Zhijun, VP of ZTEWelink attended the signing ceremony. Continue reading ZTE signs ‘major agreement’ with Mojio to launch connected car solution for mobile operators

Investment industry embraces and fears robo-advisors – but bionic advisor may be the better answer

robo advisor

High net worth investors need and want human advice backed by technology for better recommendations, reporting and access, says InvestEdge

The future of investment advice isn’t a battle of man versus machine, according to a commentary from InvestEdge.

The investment industry is excited – and fearful – about the rise of “robo-advisors”, systems that give automated investment advice. Robo-advisors offer investors lower costs and minimums, and some worry they will wipe out traditional “human” investment guidance. Continue reading Investment industry embraces and fears robo-advisors – but bionic advisor may be the better answer