Category Archives: Transportation

Bharati Robotics shows off autonomous industrial cleaning robot

bharati agv crop

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
  • 38
    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
  • 38
    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

Autonomous vehicle tech developer Nauto raises $159 million in funding

nauto self-driving system

Autonomous vehicle technology company Nauto, which is developing an artificial intelligence and data platform for self-driving technology, has closed a $159 million Series B financing round, led by a SoftBank subsidiary, and Greylock Partners.

Other participants include previous strategic investors BMW iVentures, General Motors Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures and the venture unit of global financial services and insurance provider Allianz Group, and Series A investors Playground Global and Draper Nexus.

The funds will fuel Nauto’s growth and the deployment of its retrofit safety and networking system into more vehicles around the globe, as well as support the expansion of the Nauto data platform in autonomous vehicle research and development across multiple automakers. 

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Dekra takes over Lausitzring race track to turn it into an autonomous vehicle testing circuit

lausitzring track

The Lausitzring race track has been the venue for many races

A company called Dekra will take over the Lausitzring race track on November 1, 2017, and turn it into an autonomous vehicle testing ground.

Together with the Dekra Technology Center, in immediate proximity to the race track in Klettwitz, Brandenburg, since 2003, the site will be made into the innovation center for the testing of the mobility of the future.

It will become a central component of the international testing network for connected and automated driving, which Dekra is establishing in Europe and Asia, and will bring “new, high-quality jobs to the region”, says the company. 

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China’s electric car market given a jump-start by government and looks set to boost lithium industry

open pit lithium mine

An open pit lithium mine. Picture courtesy of The Future of Energy

The market for electric cars in China is huge already and it’s growing at almost an exponential rate annually. 

Commentators in the country include electric cars in the category called “new energy vehicles”, which also refers to hybrid energy vehicles, and are saying the market will be further accelerated as a result of government backing.

Edward Tse, CEO of Gao Feng management consultancy, says: “With the issuance in April 2017 of the Automotive Industry Mid to Long Term Development Plan, the Ministry for Industry and Information Technology provides guiding principles for the development of China’s auto industry for the next decade. 

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Roborace shows off its driverless electric racing car in the US

roborace new york 2 small

Roborace has been showing off its driverless electric racing car in New York, in the US, after organising similar exhibitions in other countries. 

Roborace organises what is believed to be the world’s first driverless electric car racing series, using vehicles based on Nvidia’s Drive PX2 artificial intelligence platform.

The car incorporates technologies such as lidar, radar, cameras, ultrasonic sensors, optical speed sensors, GNSS positioning, and others, according to Engineering.com

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ST Engineering acquires Aethon, maker of the TUG autonomous mobile vehicles

aethon logistics robot

Singapore Technologies Engineering has acquired Aethon and its autonomous mobile robot, TUG, usually seen performing some logistical task or other. 

ST Engineering is a $5 billion engineering firm with global operations and strong expertise in mobile robotics.

The value of the deal was not made public.

Aethon will become a division of ST Engineering’s US headquarters, VT Systems and will be part of the group’s land systems sector which is led by ST Kinetics, which is focused on robot technology innovation. 

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Electric autonomous vehicle maker Navya to open first US production plant

Autonomous electric vehicle maker Navya is set to open its first US production plant. Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Ann Arbor Spark are to collaborate with Navya on site selection and talent recruitment.

In a joint statement, Navya, MEDC and Ann Arbor Spark said the Michigan plant will be located in the city of Saline, Michigan with a 20,000+ sq ft facility.

Navya plans to build approximately 25 of its Arma fully autonomous and electric shuttle vehicles at the plant before the close of 2017. 

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Continental demonstrates ‘Cruising Chauffeur’, its vision of autonomous driving

continental cruising chauffeur 2

Continental’s Cruising Chauffeur autonomous vehicle

Continental has showcased its “Cruising Chauffeur”, an self-driving car platform which provides an insight into the company’s vision of the future of what it calls “highly automated driving” on highways.

Highly automated driving on highways is no longer just a dream, says the company, but now a reality.

Continental started testing systems for automated driving on public roads back in 2012 in Nevada, and was the first automotive supplier to receive the state’s license to test automated vehicles. 

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Toyota showcases its new advanced autonomous car platform to Boston robotics community

Boston has become one of the main centres for robotics technologies in recent years, with many well-known companies emerging from the area. 

Perhaps with this in mind, the Toyota Research Institute decided to showcase its latest developments in autonomous vehicle technology, something it’s calling “Platform 2.0” – basically, its new driverless car – to attendees at the Robotics: Science and Systems conference at MIT.

“This is the first time that we are showing the car off to the Boston-area robotics community,” said a spokesman for TRI. “This new advanced safety research vehicle is the first autonomous testing platform developed entirely by TRI, and reflects the rapid progress of our autonomous driving program.” 

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Next generation pick-to-light offers dynamic automation scalability

Pick-to-Light

By Thomas Cutler

Until now pick-to-light equipment has represented a significant fixed capital expense with little consideration for variable use, often driven by seasonality, warehouse/distribution variance, and project management flux.

From manufacturers to 3PL (third-party logistics) companies, these swings in low or high usage represented a level of waste as purchased lights went unused and wasted.

Pick-to-light is a fulfilment technology which uses alphanumeric displays and buttons at storage locations to guide the manual picking and recording of items for shipment. 

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DHL and Wärtsilä complete tests of mobile robots from Fetch Robotics for warehouse operations

Industrial technology company Wärtsilä and the world’s largest logistics company, DHL, say they have been utilising mobile robots from Fetch Robotics to streamline warehouse operations. 

The companies say they have completed a “successful pilot”, where they tested autonomous vehicles from Fetch Robotics.

The pilot was carried out in Wärtsilä’s central distribution centre in Kampen, the Netherlands, where the entire logistics chain of Wärtsilä’s spare parts, from order intake to customer delivery, is managed.

As Wärtsilä’s partner, DHL runs the warehouse operations. 

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Baidu opens up its software to accelerate development of self-driving technology with 50 other companies in ‘autonomous driving ecosystem’

Baidu self-driving car

Baidu self-driving car being showcased at a recent company conference

Baidu, which is China’s equivalent of Google, has accelerated the development of its self-driving technology by opening up its software to outside companies. 

The Chinese internet search giant has been building its autonomous vehicle operating system for quite some time, testing it on a variety of vehicles in China.

Now it will give away that software for free, probably in an effort to steal a march on global competitors such as Google, Apple and a growing number of other tech companies which are developing artificial intelligence systems which can drive cars all by themselves. 

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Volkswagen and Kuka research ways to use robots for future electric and autonomous cars

Volkswagen’s new concept autonomous and electric car, Sedric

Volkswagen self-driving concept car, which it calls Sedric

The Volkswagen Group is researching ways in which robots can be used in the future when cars become more electrified and computerised as a result of increasing demand for clean and autonomous vehicles. 

The German automaker, which owns the Audi, Bentley, Seat, Porsche and Lamborghini brands among others, is working one of the world’s largest industrial robotics and automation providers, Kuka, to research and develop a number of ideas.

The current area of interest for the strategic partnership between Kuka and Volkswagen is the area of service concepts for vehicles of the future, and the two companies have agreed a contract to jointly develop robot-based innovation concepts for vehicles of the future. 

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Nvidia partners with Hella and ZF to improve safety of self-driving vehicles

nvidia hella zf self-driving truck

Nvidia has formed a strategic partnership with ZF and Hella to deliver AI technology with the New Car Assessment Program safety certification for the mass deployment of self-driving vehicles. 

ZF, one of the industry’s largest automotive suppliers, and Hella, a leading tier 1 supplier of camera perception software and sensor technologies, will provide customers with a complete self-driving system that integrates front camera units, as well as supporting software functions and radar systems.

Using the Nvidia Drive PX AI platform, the partnership aims to produce the highest NCAP safety ratings for passenger cars, while also addressing commercial vehicle and off-highway applications. 

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Sita Lab launches mobile robotic kiosk for airports

Sita Lab, a provider of air travel technology, has launched Kate, a mobile robot which the company says is an intelligent check-in kiosk that will autonomously move to busy or congested areas in the airport as needed. 

Using various data sources – including flight and passenger flow information – Kate can identify where additional check-in kiosks are required to reduce passenger queue times at check-in.

Kate, which was developed in partnership with BlueBotics, uses existing Sita data systems such as Day of Operations Business Intelligence and FlightInfo API. 

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