From the biggest to the smallest: Hitachi takes first nimble steps in robotics market

 

Exclusive interview with Dong Li, research engineer at Hitachi R&D Europe, about the company’s new humanoid robot, Emiew

At street level, the Barbican area of London, England has the strange quality of looking like a small underground city. But it’s actually not.

True, it has an Underground railway station, but the rest of the commercial and cultural district – with its museums and office blocks – is mostly above ground.

It may be because the buildings are so imposing that they overshadow the often narrow streets and block out the sun in some places. The bridges overhead connecting one set of buildings to another, or one side of the road to the other, and the tunnels that go underneath the building complexes themselves, exacerbate the feeling of being underground.  Continue reading From the biggest to the smallest: Hitachi takes first nimble steps in robotics market

iRobot buys Robopolis to expand in Europe

 

iRobot, the US company which makes consumer robots such as the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner range, has closed the previously announced acquisition of Robopolis, a French company.

The preliminary purchase price of $141 million is subject to normal purchase price adjustments and is expected to be finalized no later than the first quarter of 2018.

Europe is a key strategic region for iRobot and provides “an excellent opportunity for further growth”, says the company.  Continue reading iRobot buys Robopolis to expand in Europe

Samsung releases limited edition robotic vacuum cleaner that looks like Darth Vader

 

Would you want Darth Vader to vacuum your house? 

Samsung has released a limited edition of its robotic vacuum cleaner which looks like the dark lord from the Star Wars movies.

So if you want the evil one to terrify you while cleaning your home, you can buy one now from Samsung’s website for $799.  Continue reading Samsung releases limited edition robotic vacuum cleaner that looks like Darth Vader

Yujin Robot awarded patent for system of recognising locations and positions for robotic vacuum cleaner

 

South Korean robotics and automation company Yujin Robot has been awarded a patent relating to technology that enables mobile robots to pinpoint the locations and positions. 

Awareness of its own precise location within an environment and the location of other objects close by is obviously a crucial requirement of a mobile robot.

Yujin says the new technology in the patent “has the effect of reducing the position error caused by tilting or sliding of mobile robots, and enables stable position recognition”.  Continue reading Yujin Robot awarded patent for system of recognising locations and positions for robotic vacuum cleaner

Telit and Husqvarna collaborate on robots for urban park sustainability program

 

Telit, a provider of internet of things technologies, is supplying appliance maker Husqvarna with a wireless sensor device for its city robotic mower pilot program. 

The sensor was co-developed by Telit and Wireless System Integration, a Sweden-based design house developing wireless products and systems.

The sensor will be used by Husqvarna mowers to collect data about the environment, the quality of air, water, and levels of light and sound, while maintaining the cities’ green spaces.  Continue reading Telit and Husqvarna collaborate on robots for urban park sustainability program

Sony returns to robotics market after 12 years away

 

Japanese electronics giant Sony is returning to the robotics market after more than a decade away, according to a report on Nikkei

The company is reportedly planning to bring back together the team which produced Aibo (pictured below), the robotic pet dog for the home, which proved popular many years ago.

Sony was at one time the most talked-about electronics company in the world, the Apple of its day.  Continue reading Sony returns to robotics market after 12 years away

Surgeons in robotic surgery ‘world first’

 

Eureka Alert says it is “the world’s first super-microsurgical intervention with robot hands”. 

A team of plastic surgeons at Maastricht University Medical Center have used a robot to surgically treat a patient with lymphedema.

Lymphedema is a chronic condition in which fluid builds up and causes swelling in parts of the body.  Continue reading Surgeons in robotic surgery ‘world first’

Cyberdyne launches new version of its exoskeleton

 

Cyberdyne has launched the latest version of its HAL exoskeleton.

HAL, short for hybrid assistive limb, has been mostly marketed to the health sector.

The new version, HAL Lumbar, is similar to previous versions in that it reads bio-electrical signals of the wearer.  Continue reading Cyberdyne launches new version of its exoskeleton

Comau and Össur invest in Iuvo to build exoskeletons for industry

 

Comau and Össur are investing a company called Iuvo, which is building an exoskeleton. 

Iuvo is a spin-off company of the BioRobotics Institute, at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Italy, which is researching and developing products in the field of wearable technologies.

The objective of Iuvo is to create wearable, intelligent and active tools for a better quality of life, says the company.  Continue reading Comau and Össur invest in Iuvo to build exoskeletons for industry

Cambridge Medical Robotics raises another $26 million in funding

Cambridge Medical Robotics, a company which is developing a robotic system for minimal access surgery, has closed its Series A funding round, raising a further $26m.

The investment came from existing investors Cambridge Innovation Capital, LGT Global Invest, Escala Capital and ABB Technology Ventures, and new investor Watrium.

Together with the first tranche in July 2016, the Series A round has raised $46m in total.  Continue reading Cambridge Medical Robotics raises another $26 million in funding

Paris city hall gives jobs to Pepper and Nao robots

Pepper and Nao now busy working at the city hall of the fifteenth district of Paris

Paris has become the first city in France, and one of the few cities in the world, to have employed humanoid robots in its city hall. 

The city hall of the fifteenth district of Paris has just received two robots created by SoftBank Robotics, namely the Pepper and Nao robots.

The two small robots also integrate applications powered by the Hoomano company.  Continue reading Paris city hall gives jobs to Pepper and Nao robots

Cyberdyne reports 30 per cent more sales for its cyber-physical HAL exoskeleton

The company which claims to have developed “the world’s first cyborg-type robot” when it built the HAL exoskeleton says it sold 30 per cent more units in its most recent year compared with the previous year. 

In its annual report, Cyberdyne says it sold $15 million worth of HAL exoskeletons in the year to March 2017.

In the previous year to March 2016, the company sold just under $12 million worth of the HAL exoskeletons.  Continue reading Cyberdyne reports 30 per cent more sales for its cyber-physical HAL exoskeleton

Ekso Bionics raises $34 million in funding for exoskeleton plans

Ekso Bionics, a developer of exoskeleton technology for medical and industrial use, has raised $34 million in its latest share issue.

Many of the new shares were purchased by Puissance Capital.

Exoskeletons are predicted to find markets in the health sector as well as industries such as construction, or anywhere where there may be physical work involved.

Continue reading Ekso Bionics raises $34 million in funding for exoskeleton plans

Tiny nanobots swim through blood stream to deliver medicine

Tiny nano robots less than 5 millionths of a metre long can swim through human veins to deliver medicine to a targeted area. 

The nanobots have two arms and is said to swim in a “freestyle” stroke, or front crawl, when guided with magnets. They have three main parts, and are said to be approximately the size of a single blood cell.

The super-small machine was built by Joseph Wang and his colleagues at the University of California at San Diego. Co-workers at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and the Israel Institute of Technology were also involved.  Continue reading Tiny nanobots swim through blood stream to deliver medicine

Telecommunications company Sprint to employ Pepper robot for customer relations

US telecommunications company Sprint is employing Pepper, the humanoid robot from SoftBank Robotics, for customer relations.

SoftBank Robotics America and Sprint to will initially place Pepper in locations where it will interact with Sprint business clients and retail customers.

Pepper is said to be the first humanoid marketing platform that could help businesses and consumers embrace the power of robotics and artificial intelligence.  Continue reading Telecommunications company Sprint to employ Pepper robot for customer relations