iRobot expands connected product line with Roomba 960

irobot

iRobot has launched the Roomba 960 Vacuuming Robot starting at $699.

The second 900 Series Roomba to be introduced by iRobot, Roomba 960 extends mapping, adaptive navigation with visual localization and cloud connected app control to a wider range of consumers, says the company.

Further extending the company’s connected product line, iRobot also announced iRobot Home App availability for both existing and new Braava jet Mopping Robot customers.  Continue reading iRobot expands connected product line with Roomba 960

Innovation launches RxCollect robotic prescription collation system

rxcollect fanuc

Automated collation system streamlines high volume workflow and increases prescription throughput

Innovation, makers of PharmAssist pharmacy automation solutions, has launched RxCollect, a robotic prescription collation technology that automates the collection of patient-specific group and multi-vial orders in central fill and mail order pharmacies employing single piece flow processing.

Tom Boyer, COO, Innovation, says: “When it comes to increasing efficiency and reducing waste in high-volume prescription environments, lean manufacturing’s single piece flow typically wins out over filling prescriptions in batch mode.

“With that in mind, we invented RxCollect as a downstream automated collation solution for high-volume pharmacies filling patient orders in a continuous, single piece flow mode of operation.  Continue reading Innovation launches RxCollect robotic prescription collation system

Pepper lands a job on luxury cruise liner

costa cruises pepper robot

Costa Cruises is bringing five of the latest generation of Pepper robots on board the flagship of the fleet, to entertain guests during their vacations

Costa Diadema, flagship of the Costa Cruises fleet, has introduced Pepper, the first robot in the world able to recognize main human emotions and proactively interact with the surrounding environment.

Five Pepper robots will be operative on all seven-day cruises of the Costa’s flagship in the Western Mediterranean: their task will be to entertain cruise passengers, making their on board experience even more unique and unforgettable.

This innovation, unique in the cruise industry, is the result of an agreement signed between the Italian cruise company and SoftBank Robotics (formerly Aldebaran), part of SoftBank Group, announced late last year.  Continue reading Pepper lands a job on luxury cruise liner

Orthopedic surgical robots to carry out joint replacement with precision

robotic surgery

Various advanced tools and techniques have been implemented by orthopedic surgeons over the past decade to improve patient outcomes.

These tools and techniques help them in improving patient outcomes and offer comfort to patients during treatment. The orthopedic surgery robots use the 3D imaging technology and computer navigation techniques to improve ability of surgeons to place implants with precise alignment.

Many studies have shown that these techniques are safer and more effective as compared to traditional surgical techniques. Continue reading Orthopedic surgical robots to carry out joint replacement with precision

Robots not yet ready to enter smart homes, says expert

relaince smart client for smart homes

TechTalk – Smart Homes: Interview with Matt Davis, of SCM World, about smart homes and intelligent buildings of the future. Courtesy of Currys PC World

The phrase “bricks and mortar” is till used to conjure up images of buildings, residential or commercial. Usually, the phrase differentiates between something virtual or exists only in computers, say a website for a shop, and something that is physical, like an actual, real-world shop on the high street, for example. 

But, along with everything else in the known world, bricks-and-mortar building are being computerised. Those that have already integrated some degree of computer technology are often called “smart homes”, if they are residential, and “intelligent buildings”, if they are commercial.

A lot of experts say that over the next decade or so, the vast majority of buildings – commercial and residential – will become computerised, or become “smarter”.

In the first of two interviews about the subject, we publish a Q&A with Matt Davis, senior vice president, SCM World, a cross-industry learning community backed by some of the world’s most influential supply chain practitioners.  Continue reading Robots not yet ready to enter smart homes, says expert

The size of things to come: An exciting time for medical robotics

In this exclusive article for Robotics and Automation News, Chris Wagnerhead of advanced surgical systems at Cambridge Consultants, takes a microscopic look at the developments in medical robotics

This is an exciting time for medical robotics, as there is a proliferation of systems on the market or in development.

Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci, the long-time market leader for robotic laparoscopic procedures, now has potential competition from Medtronic, Verb Surgical (backed by Google and J&J), Auris Surgical, Transenterix’s ALF-X, and Titan Medical’s Sport system.

Similarly, the orthopaedics robot market is active with Stryker’s Mako platform, Think Surgical’s TCAT system, Mazor Robotics Renaissance system for spine surgery, and Blue Belt Technologies (now owned by Smith & Nephew) Navio system.

One interesting observation is of the physical size of the various systems as compared to the active operating volume of the robot.  Continue reading The size of things to come: An exciting time for medical robotics

FDA approves Auris robotic endoscopy system

Though Auris has not unveiled its much awaited endoscopy system, the recent approval from the Food and Drug Association has got many industry experts and principal investigator sharing their opinion

How many of us would actually trust a robotic surgeon operating on us? Not many. But the new precise and dexterous medical robot approved by the FDA shows they could soon take over the operation theater.

Within the next 10 years, scientists believe computer-assisted surgery will be a popular and a standard feature in many operation rooms and critical extension of modern medical professionals, say research analysts at Allied Market Research.

Researchers analysing the growth, demand, size, and share of the Medical Robotics and Computer-Assisted Surgery Market say that areas such as Silicon Valley rank among the most active regions in the United States for medical robotics and Auris Surgical Robotics has managed to gain much recognition.  Continue reading FDA approves Auris robotic endoscopy system

HIT Robot Group actively looking for partners for China market opportunities

HRG displaying its catering robot, Xiao Zhi, at its booth at Automatica 2016 (Foto/HIT Robot Group)
HRG displaying its catering robot, Xiao Zhi, at its booth at Automatica 2016 (PRNewsFoto/HIT Robot Group)

HIT Robot Group (HRG), which claims to be one of China’s top robot producers, says it’s “going global” as it seeks foreign partners to work with in the Chinese market.

The attended Automatica 2016, an international exhibition for automation and robotics in Munich, Germany, in the search for partners.

During the four-day fair, HRG displayed its latest technologies and products, hoping to strike a chord with foreign companies keen on exploring the Chinese market.  Continue reading HIT Robot Group actively looking for partners for China market opportunities

Robots being employed as receptionists and office managers

betty robot strands project
Some robot to watch over the workers

Japanese people may have become somewhat accustomed to the sight of a robot greeting them when they enter a store or some such place since robots have been employed as receptionists in Japan for some time now. 

However, Europe is catching up, with new reports of two separate instances of robots being employed as receptionists.

In one report, the Guardian highlights the employment of Pepper, the SoftBank robot, now greeting visitors and patients at hospitals in Liege and Ostend, in Belgium.

In another report, the Telegraph showcases Betty the robot, who is employed managing an office in Milton Keynes, UK. Developed by the Strands Project, Betty may not be as aesthetically pleasing as Pepper, but she has more responsibilities, such as checking to see if staff are working late and if doors are closed and so on.

SoftBank absorbs Aldebaran and adds robotics to its name

softbank robotics

Japanese communications giant SoftBank is looking to build on its increasing brand awareness outside Asia with a change of name for Europe. 

SoftBank is the company behind the Pepper robot and the Aldebaran Robotics company, which developed Pepper and a number of other robotic systems and technologies including Nao (picture).

Now, SoftBank Group has decided to rename Aldebaran as SoftBank Robotics Europe and has changed the website accordingly.

In a statement, SoftBank said the change of the Aldebaran brand name to SoftBank Robotics was “in view of increased global brand awareness and business scale in the future”.  Continue reading SoftBank absorbs Aldebaran and adds robotics to its name

Tokyo airport employs Cyberdyne cleaning robots

cyberdyne robots tokyo airport

Tokyo International Airport’s International Passenger Terminal is employing a cleaning robot made by Cyberdyne. 

Following its implementation in the Domestic Terminal, the Cleaning Robot will expand its operation into the International Terminal, which is also open 24 hours a day.

This is a joint-project of Cyberdyne and Japan Airport Terminal Company, and with the cooperation of Tokyo International Airport (also known as Haneda Airport).

Verification tests for the Cleaning Robot are being conducted at the International Passenger Terminal for 2 weeks, a time frame which is due to end soon.  Continue reading Tokyo airport employs Cyberdyne cleaning robots

Accenture and SoftBank Robotics combine to offer insight into future of customer relations

Accenture’s Peter Lacy with Pepper the robot
Accenture’s Peter Lacy with Pepper the robot

In the future, all customer relations could be managed by robots. That’s what science fiction films have been telling us for decades. And now, perhaps more than ever, that vision is becoming more real than ever. 

As part of a newly announced collaboration with SoftBank Robotics to reimagine the future of digital customer interactions, Accenture Interactive demonstrated a new prototype based on the Pepper robot in Paris at Pepper Partners Europe event during InnoRobo (May 24-26), one of the world’s largest robotics events.

Pepper is the ground-breaking humanoid robot with the ability to read emotions that was developed by Softbank Robotics (previously Aldebaran Robotics) and first introduced in Japan in 2014.

The enhanced Pepper-based platform blends human and artificial intelligence, provided by Accenture Interactive, to deliver omni-channel customer service and commerce capabilities – including social media, mobile and in-store applications.  Continue reading Accenture and SoftBank Robotics combine to offer insight into future of customer relations

University spin-out company with Sebastian Conran to develop next generation of robots

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A new company has been formed to bring next generation assistive and companion robots to market by combining University-developed robotics research with the best of British design.

Consequential Robotics has been co-founded by the award-winning designer Sebastian Conran, together with Professor Tony Prescott and Dr Ben Mitchinson from the University of Sheffield.

The company’s main focus will be to develop companion and assistive robotic systems that will enhance quality of life as people age.

From the University-side the company will build on 20 years of research developing robots that behave in a life-like way and that use control systems modelled on the brain.  Continue reading University spin-out company with Sebastian Conran to develop next generation of robots

Innomech and FCS partner to offer medical automation solutions

innomech medical

Innomech, an advanced automation solution provider, has partnered with FCS Automation to provide an integrated approach of robotics and automation to medical device manufacturers.

Innomech is an automation solution provider company based in England, UK that renders fully validated solutions for manufacturing and inspection problems.

FCS Automation is specialises in product lifecycle control systems, helping clients across the globe with safety critical applications.  Continue reading Innomech and FCS partner to offer medical automation solutions

UnityPoint Health awards Omnicell 10-year medical automation contract

UnityPoint Health has awarded Omnicell a 10-year sole source contract as its provider of medication automation, central pharmacy automation and analytics software across 15 of its facilities.

UnityPoint Health says it expects Omnicell’s solutions to advance the highest standards of patient safety and security while optimizing pharmacist, nurse and anesthesiologist workflows.

Two features offered by Omnicell are the Omnicell Unity enterprise platform, which gives health systems visibility across multiple Omnicell systems, and interoperability with the Epic electronic health record system, which is used by UnityPoint Health. Installation is expected to be completed by the end of the year.  Continue reading UnityPoint Health awards Omnicell 10-year medical automation contract