Category Archives: Health

Bharati Robotics shows off autonomous industrial cleaning robot

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The Bharati autonomous guided vehicle for materials transport

Bharati Robotics Systems has been showing off its new autonomous industrial floor cleaning robots. 

The company says the small vehicle saves labour costs and increases productivity by up to 200 per cent, and cleans the floor better than humans, or the “highest quality of cleaning”.

The robot’s battery lasts up to four hours on one charge and it has a smartphone interface through which it can be monitored and controlled. 

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    Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director of EU Automation, discusses milestones in robotics, from ancient mythology to the present day The earliest…
    Tags: robots, industrial, robot, robotics
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    Chinese company HIT Robot Group (HRG) has signed an agreement with Kuka Robotics (Shanghai) to work on a range of projects…
    Tags: robotics, robots, industrial, robot
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    Yamaha Motor Company says the company’s humanoid riding robot – MotoBot – has moved into the second phase of its development,…
    Tags: robot, company, systems, automated, robotics, autonomous

Opinion: Augmented and virtual reality ‘open up whole new world of opportunities’

augmented-reality-glasses atheer

By Douglas Bruey, electrical engineering program lead at Synapse

At first glance, a gamer playing Pokémon Go has little in common with a surgeon saving lives in an operating theatre. But dig a little deeper and you’ll discover that might not be the case for much longer.

Augmented reality and virtual reality technologies are poised to open up a whole new world of opportunities. We’re already seeing the effects of VR when it comes to gaming. But in future could AR add a new dimension to surgery?

AR and VR both have the ability to alter our perception of the world. AR takes our current reality and adds something to it – virtual objects or information. VR, on the other hand, immerses us in a different – virtual – world. 

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Gardening robot raises more than $300,000 on Kickstarter

franklin weed-killing robot 2

A gardening robot has raised more than $312,000 on Kickstarter despite its owners setting a goal of $120,000.

Led by the inventor of the Roomba, the Boston-based Franklin Robotics is currently raising funds for their first release – a solar-powered, robotic weed-killer for home gardens.

Named Tertill, the 2.5-pound, disk-shaped robot patrols the garden and intelligently identifies – and whacks – unwanted plants. 

CaliBurger’s ‘Flippy’ robot gets $3 million to flip burgers

A burger-flipping robot developed by Cali Group and Miso Robotics has received $3.1 million in financing from strategic investors including Acacia Research and Match Robotics. 

Miso was co-founded and funded by Cali Group, which owns the Caliburger chain of fast food restaurants across the US. The company is currently specialising in automation for the catering industry.

The burger-flipping robot has been named “Flippy”, appropriately enough, and was the first robotic product developed by Miso, and the company has since developed numerous automation applications for the robot, including preparation, grilling, frying, and so on. 

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South Korea’s largest airport has hired robots made by LG to assist travellers

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The LG Airport Guide Robot

South Korea’s largest airport – Incheon International Airport, in Seoul – has given jobs to a number of robots made by LG Electronics. 

The mobile machines are designed to enable travellers to scan their tickets to get flight information and they can escort them to the flight gates.

Alternatively it can just provide directions to locations within the airport, complete with walking distances and times, or information about the traveller’s eventual destination, such as weather and other details. 

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Genesis Robotics accelerates development of prototypes based on its ‘revolutionary’ LiveDrive actuator

genesis robotics actuator

Well-funded startup Genesis Robotics has accelerated the development of a range of products based on its “ground-breaking” technology, which the company claims will transform the entire industry. 

All of the new products Genesis has developed are based on something it calls LiveDrive, an actuator system which uses a gear with no teeth, invented by the company itself.

Making a gear work without teeth sounds impossible – how does it move connected parts without teeth? Imagine a gear on a bicycle without teeth and you’ll get the picture. 

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Toyota demonstrates ‘human service robot’ of a type that may take over a lot of homes

Toyota has been demonstrating what it calls its “Human Support Robot”, a type of robot which looks likely to take over millions of homes all over the world in the next few years.

The market for this type of so-called personal assistance robot is forecast to grow very quickly over the next few years because of advances in the technology.

According to analysts at ResearchAndMarkets.com, the personal robotics market will grow by almost 40 per cent within the next five years to a total size of $34 billion. 

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    Kuka, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of industrial robotic arms, is planning to expand into the area of personal…
    Tags: midea, kuka, household, personal, robotics, market, maker, human, robot
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    Chinese company Midea, which makes consumer appliances, has launched a bid to buy all of Kuka, the industrial robot manufacturer from Germany. It…
    Tags: kuka, midea, robotics
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    Kuka says it has generated record levels of business across its units, with almost €900 million worth of orders placed in…
    Tags: kuka, company, midea, robot, robotics

Robots taking over from humans in numerous laboratory tasks

lab automation pic

Robotic lab automation is making progress and removing some of the labor in laboratories, but rarely is it replacing all functions, according to Kalorama Information. 

The healthcare market researcher said the most common use of robots is partial, but that the number of labs using them is on the rise.

Lacking robotics and other types of automation, laboratories may not be able to keep up with the pace of testing, the complexities of new tests, such as those involving molecular diagnostics, and the loss of experienced technicians and technologists. 

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The advantages of automation in medical diagnostics

ats automation medical diagnostics

Technology in the fields of life sciences and medicine is constantly evolving. New manufacturing techniques have made it possible to make more effective therapies, and advances in research have led to more cost-effective solutions to conditions that were once considered too expensive to treat.

One of the most interesting aspects of the evolution of medical technology is the constantly increasing involvement of automation in various medical operations, particularly in diagnostics.

Back then, essential diagnostic procedures relied on manual procedures. While conventional methods were successful to a certain degree, they are hampered by certain limitations.

For instance, manual testing of specimens is slow and prone to mistakes caused by poor human judgment. Automation helps get rid of these limitations to achieve more accurate results in less time. 

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Robots now ‘essential’ to clinical diagnostic labs, says new report

fl smith lab automation

Picture courtesy FL Automation

There is an $8.8 billion market for robotic laboratory automation systems, according to Kalorama Information.

The healthcare research firm just completed a report on lab robots, and notes the imbalance between the high demand for diagnostics and the lack of supply of qualified technicians.

Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama, says: “More than two-thirds of clinical decisions are based on laboratory test results, and new tests are developed constantly.

“But a shrinking field of qualified laboratory personnel, while demand grows requires something to handle the tasks created.” 

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Kinova Robotics explains role of automation in health care to Senate committee

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Charles Deguire, president and co-founder of Kinova Robotics, explained the benefits of robotics in the health sector before the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology.

The Committee invited Deguire to testify as senators study the role of automation in the health care system, particularly robotics, artificial intelligence and 3D printing, in direct and indirect care to patients and home care.

Charles Deguire, CEO of Kinova, said: “It is clear to us that the future of medicine depends on robotics and its great ability to empower humanity. People cannot imagine how many technological advances in medical robotics have been made in recent years.

“The scalpel and the hand have not changed in the past 100 years, it’s time for medicine to evolve. Kinova is actively working with surgeons to develop better tools for them and their patients.” 

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Doctor, I shrunk the robot. Or… Out of their tiny little robotic minds

Chris Wagner, head of advanced surgical systems at Cambridge Consultants, with the Axsis robotic surgery technology

Chris Wagner, head of advanced surgical systems at Cambridge Consultants, with the Axsis robotic surgery technology

By Chris Wagner, head of advanced surgical systems at Cambridge Consultants

Surgical robots today are large and unwieldy. This causes a number of challenges in the operating theatre. 

Setting up and managing the robots, for example, takes up valuable operating time. It’s also difficult to swap a robot in and out of a surgical procedure if traditional tools are more appropriate for some elements of an operation. And there are safety issues when clinical staff work in close proximity to a large piece of moving equipment.

So a surgeon has to weigh the benefits of surgical robotics against these limitations for each procedure where a robot is used.

There is an opportunity here – if we can simply make the robot smaller, many of these limitations disappear. It is much easier to move a small robot into an operating theatre, put it into position for an operation and move it out again afterwards. The safety concerns are also much reduced. 

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Toyota demonstrates robot to make elderly people walk faster

A model demonstrates Toyota’s rehabilitation robot Welwalk WW-1000. Reuters / Toru Hanai

A model demonstrates Toyota’s rehabilitation robot Welwalk WW-1000. Reuters / Toru Hanai

By Naomi Tajitsu, Reuters

Japanese automakers are looking beyond the industry trend to develop self-driving cars and turning their attention to robots to help keep the country’s rapidly graying society on the move.

Toyota said it saw the possibility of becoming a mass producer of robots to help the elderly in a country whose population is ageing faster than the rest of the world as the birthrate decreases.

The country’s changing demographics place its automakers in a unique situation. Along with the issues usually associated with falling populations such as labor shortages and pension squeezes, Japan also faces dwindling domestic demand for cars.

Toyota, the world’s second largest automaker, made its first foray into commercializing rehabilitation robots on Wednesday, launching a rental service for its walk assist system, which helps patients to learn how to walk again after suffering strokes and other conditions. 

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If you enjoy doing the laundry, this could be your nightmare come true

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Startup company ThreadRobe launches “automated wardrobe”, eliminates laundry chores

There are few chores that Americans hate more than laundry, according to ThreadRobe, the Alexandria-based startup which aims to change millions the drudgery of the chore by introducing an automated piece of furniture that eliminates the need to fold, hang, and put away laundry. 

Users place loads of clean clothing from the dryer directly into the automated wardrobe’s bin – no sorting, folding, or hanging required.

The wardrobe separates, identifies and stores them. When you want clothes back, select an outfit in the mobile app, which notifies the wardrobe to retrieve and steam those items to your specifications. 

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Zymo and Hamilton Robotics develop new system for genetic testing

Hamilton robotics zymo

Zymo Research and Hamilton Robotics have agreed an ongoing collaboration that teams Zymo Research’s DNA methylation detection and quantitation products and RNA and DNA extraction products with Hamilton’s high-throughput automation platforms.

Zymo Research has already created optimized methods for microbiomics and RNA isolation for use on Hamilton’s automated liquid handling workstations, including a timesaving and robust automated method for non-biased extraction of DNA and RNA.

Additional integrated workflow methods will be released to the academic, biopharma and diagnostics markets in the future. 

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