Carnegie Mellon demonstrates autonomous helicopter and ground vehicle technology to US military

Carnegie Mellon demonstrated how autonomous aerial and ground vehicles can work together
Carnegie Mellon demonstrated how autonomous aerial and ground vehicles can work together
Robotics and automation experts at one of the world’s leading universities have demonstrated autonomous ground vehicles and aircraft with “new collaborative capabilities for keeping warfighters safe”.

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Sikorsky, A Lockheed Martin Company, using a UH-60MU Black Hawk helicopter enabled with Sikorsky’s Matrix Technology and CMU’s Land Tamer autonomous Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV), recently participated in a joint autonomy demonstration that they say proved the capability of new, ground-air cooperative missions.

Such missions could prevent warfighters’ exposure to hazardous conditions, such as chemically or radiologically contaminated areas, say the experts. Continue reading Carnegie Mellon demonstrates autonomous helicopter and ground vehicle technology to US military

Robot vision: Mine eyes have seen the glory of three dimensions

Euro NCAP has been conducting tests to see how well autonomous cars can see pedestrians
Euro NCAP has been conducting tests to see how well autonomous cars can see pedestrians

Exclusive interview with Claude Florin, CEO of Fastree3D, on helping robots finally see the light just that little bit better than they did before

How do robots see the world? Until now, most of them have had to make do with conventional digital cameras for eyes. In technological terms, these cameras are much like those available to consumers in the shops and, increasingly these days, in their smartphones. As clever as they are, and as high quality as the images turn out to be, these cameras only capture the image as a two-dimensional arrangement of pixels.

This means that a robot using such cameras would not able to perceive the three-dimensional space its “eyes” are looking at. This problem of perception – of perceiving 3D space as 2D space – is solved, or at least tackled, at the coding stage.

To program the robot to translate the flat image into a three-dimensional space, and infer such things as depth, distance and geospatial location, is really quite difficult if approached from a purely computer programming – as in, coding – standpoint.  Continue reading Robot vision: Mine eyes have seen the glory of three dimensions

Chicago Auto Show: Robots rev up their engines in preparation for final victory over human drivers

Chicago Auto Show
Chicago Auto Show

Autonomous cars have already taken over the world and are on the verge of making their final, decisive manoeuvre to eject humanity out of the driving seat. The machines have achieved their domination by using the humble and unsuspecting traditional car as their primary instrument of deception.

That’s according to David Sloan, Chicago Auto Show general manager, although he may not have put it in those exact words. Speaking to Chicago Sun-Times, Sloan says: “People might be surprised to know that most of the technology that will be used to make car autonomous in the future is already in cars today on our show floor.”

Surprised? Try shocked and terrified.

Sloan goes on to say: “All the safety technology that allows cars to automatically brake or park, even adaptive cruise control, is there. Vehicles are now safer, cleaner and more efficient than they have ever been and automakers are still able to make them perform really well. The technology is rapidly advancing, and we’re ready for it.”  Continue reading Chicago Auto Show: Robots rev up their engines in preparation for final victory over human drivers

The Floow of traffic is about to change forever

Exclusive interview with Dr Sam Chapman, of The Floow, about autonomous cars and intelligent transport systems of the future   

Dr Sam Chapman, chief innovation officer, The Floow
Dr Sam Chapman, chief innovation officer, The Floow

You might think driverless cars are a long way off, and anyway you wouldn’t even dream of even getting into one let alone allow one to drive you somewhere. Perhaps you’re a control freak. It’s a widely known fact that people who have phobias such as a fear of flying suffer these maladies mainly because they get stressed out when they’re not in control, especially at times when their life is at stake.

Most people probably reacted with some incredulity to pictures on the news media about five years ago of Google’s first driverless cars. They looked like your everyday family cars, except they looked as if they’d been pimped up by Frank Spencer, with what looked like glorified car radios stuck to the roof and on the dashboard, probably with sticky tape.  Continue reading The Floow of traffic is about to change forever

DataRobot raises $33 million in new funding

 DataRobot Inc. co-founders Jeremy Achin, left, and Tom DeGodoy. Picture: Anastasia Seifetdinova, via Wall Street Journal

DataRobot Inc. co-founders Jeremy Achin, left, and Tom DeGodoy. Picture: Anastasia Seifetdinova, via Wall Street Journal

Machine learning automation pioneer DataRobot has closed $33 million in Series B financing, bringing the total investment in the company to more than $57 million.

New Enterprise Associates (NEA) led the round, which also included Accomplice, Intel Capital, IA Ventures, Recruit Strategic Partners, and New York Life.

With customers and offices already established in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, and the United States, DataRobot is funded for aggressive expansion in global sales, marketing, business development, engineering, R&D, and strategic initiatives at all locations. Continue reading DataRobot raises $33 million in new funding

North American robotics market sets new records in 2015

Robots at Tesla auto factory
Robots at Tesla auto factory
Robot orders and shipments in North America set new records in 2015, according to Robotic Industries Association (RIA), the industry’s trade group.

A total of 31,464 robots valued at $1.8 billion were ordered from North American companies during 2015, an increase of 14% in units and 11% in dollars over 2014.

Robot shipments also set new records, with 28,049 robots valued at $1.6 billion shipped to North American customers in 2015. Shipments grew 10% in units and nine percent in dollars over the previous records set in 2014. Continue reading North American robotics market sets new records in 2015

Tiny swarm robots could become first responders after earthquakes

The 1,000 swarm robots of the Kilobot Project at Harvard University
The 1,000 swarm robots of the Kilobot Project at Harvard University

It seems obvious now that in the event of an earthquake, tiny, swarm robots would be the most effective way of locating survivors in huge piles of rubble through which human emergency workers and first responders cannot make their way or even see.

So obvious that you wonder why they haven’t been developed and even deployed for that purpose already. Certainly the technology seems to be advanced enough – research into the area has been going at an accelerated pace for some time.

Looking at pictures of the collapsed building in Taiwan after the earthquake there on Saturday, there looks to be no way to go in for the emergency workers trying to rescue the survivors. The magnitude-7.6 quake is reported to have killed at least 41 people and more than 100 are said to be trapped in the rubble in that building alone. Continue reading Tiny swarm robots could become first responders after earthquakes

Yamaha’s motorbike-riding robot steps up a gear

MotoBot, Yamaha’s motorbike-riding robot
MotoBot, Yamaha’s motorbike-riding robot

Yamaha Motor Company says the company’s humanoid riding robot – MotoBot – has moved into the second phase of its development, and that the current partnership in joint development with SRI International is set to continue.

Presentations on the MotoBot headed by Yamaha Motor and SRI representatives took place at the last month’s CES, the global consumer electronics and technology trade show being held in Las Vegas, where in recent years, fields such as autonomous driving and robotics have been featured.

Being an automated humanoid robot able to ride a non-modified motorcycle, the MotoBot became a hot topic of conversation when it was exhibited at the 44th Tokyo Motor Show in 2015. Continue reading Yamaha’s motorbike-riding robot steps up a gear

euRobotics appoints new secretary general

Reinhard Lafrenz, new secretary general of euRobotics
Reinhard Lafrenz, new secretary general of euRobotics

The European robotics association – euRobotics – has appointed a new secretary general.

Reinhard Lafrenz was previously vice-president industry and takes over from current acting secretary general Uwe Haass.

Lafrenz signed his contract at the euRobotics board meeting after the board decided to select him based on a suggestion by the search committee. Continue reading euRobotics appoints new secretary general

US government backs new training to fuel the autonomous revolution

Autonomous vehicles networking
Autonomous vehicles networking infrastructure will require new skills and training

In the less than distant future, your car may drive itself, but the infrastructure that communicates with your vehicle will require a staff of highly trained technicians.

The supply of talented technicians able to maintain and support the technology required for the autonomous transportation network will be critical for society to take advantage of the numerous safety, social, and economic benefits of this incredible technology.

Expert technicians in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and Connected Vehicle (CV) technology are in short supply and with the autonomous revolution advancing closer each day the demand is continually increasing. Continue reading US government backs new training to fuel the autonomous revolution

Costa Group to test Pepper humanoid robots on cruise liners

Pepper robot is being given employment on Costa Cruise liners
Pepper robot is being given employment on Costa Cruise liners

Cruise liner company Costa Group has signed an exclusive agreement with the French company Aldebaran for a pilot project with Pepper robots.

Aldebaran, which is a subsidiary of the SoftBank Group through SoftBank Robotics Corp, said the contract was worth more than a million euros.

Pepper is the world’s first robot that reads main human emotions, says the company, adding that it is ideally suited to help and delight guests on board of cruise ships. Aldebaran adds that Pepper will improve guest experience and provide help and entertainment on board the ships of the Costa Group’s cruise brands: AIDA and Costa.  Continue reading Costa Group to test Pepper humanoid robots on cruise liners

US Navy orders five ship inspection robots from Bluefin

Bluefin Robotics’ EOD HULS MK19 System
Bluefin Robotics’ ship inspection system

The US Navy has awarded five delivery orders to Bluefin Robotics for vehicles that will increase the Navy’s capability to remotely inspect ship hulls.

The robots can also search and investigate harbor sea floors, and other underwater infrastructure for limpet mines, Improvised Explosive Devices and other objects of interest.

The delivery orders, valued at $5 million, are to be used in the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Hull Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Localization System (EOD HULS) Program of Record.  Continue reading US Navy orders five ship inspection robots from Bluefin

Jaguar Land Rover to road test future technology on UK’s first ‘connected corridor’

Jaguar Land Rover is investing in a 40-mile ‘living laboratory’ to test autonomous and connected vehicle technology
Jaguar Land Rover is investing in a 40-mile ‘living laboratory’ to test autonomous and connected vehicle technology
  • A new 41 mile ‘living laboratory’ of UK roads will be used to test and develop next-generation connected and autonomous vehicle technologies
  • A fleet of 100 ‘smart’ connected and autonomous technology research vehicles, including Jaguar and Land Rover models, will test new systems that enable cars to talk with each other
  • Car-to-car communication and ‘Over the Horizon’ warnings will make driving safer, improve journey times and prevent traffic jams
  • Car-to-car communication will allow cars to warn others vehicles. Ambulances, Fire and Police vehicles can alert drivers that they are approaching

Jaguar and Land Rover is investing in a 41 mile ‘living laboratory’ project on UK roads to develop new Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) technologies. The new CAV test corridor, which includes 41 miles of roads around Coventry and Solihull, will be used to evaluate new systems in real-world driving conditions.

The £5.5m ‘UK-CITE’ (UK Connected Intelligent Transport Environment) project will create the first test route capable of testing both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure systems on public roads in the UK. New roadside communications equipment will be installed along the route during the three year project to enable the testing of a fleet of up to 100 connected and highly automated cars, including five Jaguar Land Rover research vehicles. Continue reading Jaguar Land Rover to road test future technology on UK’s first ‘connected corridor’

Jaguar Land Rover invests in ‘ground-breaking research’ into future autonomous cars

Jaguar Land Rover

  • Ground-breaking research will help programme future autonomous cars to have driver-like reactions
  • Drivers more likely to trust autonomous cars if they don’t drive like robots
  • The project will help develop future insurance policies for automated vehicles

Jaguar Land Rover is investing in a multi-million-pound research project that will help future autonomous vehicles drive naturally like human drivers, rather than like robots.

A fleet of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles will be driven daily by employees of the London Borough of Greenwich, to establish how a range of different drivers react to real-world driving situations, including heavy traffic, busy junctions, road works and bad weather.

Data from sensors in these cars will reveal the natural driving behaviours and decision-making that drivers make whilst driving, including complex and stressful scenarios. These include giving way at roundabouts and intersections, how drivers ease forward at junctions to enter a flow of traffic, or how they react to an emergency vehicle coming up behind their car whilst in a traffic jam. Continue reading Jaguar Land Rover invests in ‘ground-breaking research’ into future autonomous cars

Consortium of automotive companies wins £5.5m fund to trial driverless cars on UK roads

intelligent transport systems uk

The Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) is part of a consortium of companies called MOVE_UK that says it will “help position the UK as a world leader in automated and self-driving cars”.

Led by Bosch, the MOVE_UK project benefits from a £5.5 million grant awarded by InnovateUK – the government initiative which has allocated £100 million to help jump-start the driverless car industry – and will see driverless technology trialled in real world conditions on roads in Greenwich, London.

Alongside TRL, UK project partners include Bosch, Jaguar Land Rover, Direct Line Group, The Floow and the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Together, the partners will see MOVE_UK accelerate the entry of automated, driverless car technologies to the UK market. The project will increase the rate of development and testing of these technologies at a lower cost to vehicle manufacturers.
Continue reading Consortium of automotive companies wins £5.5m fund to trial driverless cars on UK roads