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

TheConstruct launches new training courses for Robot Operating System

construct ros industrial

TheConstruct has launched several new courses for people who want to learn to use the Robot Operating System. 

The online simulation environment provider has two courses, in particular, which may interest readers of this website.

One of them is called ROS Autonomous Vehicles 101, and the other is ROS-Industrial 101. Both are available through the website, TheConstructSim.comContinue reading TheConstruct launches new training courses for Robot Operating System

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

Kuka’s new lightweight collaborative robot for medical applications goes into series production

kuka lbr med collaborative robot

Kuka’s new, lightweight collaborative robot has gone into series production, says the company. 

The Kuka LBR Med – short for medical – is designed to be operated in the “immediate vicinity” of the human operator.

The robot maker sees the new cobot as having applications in the health sector, as “an assistant for tasks rehabilitation or in the operating room”.  Continue reading Kuka’s new lightweight collaborative robot for medical applications goes into series production

The Construct launches Robot Operating System courses

the construct ros course

The Construct has launched its first Robot Operating System Navigation course. 

Beginning on February 13, the one-week training course includes direct, individualised guidance from experienced tutors.

The course can be undertaken online, through the web, or in Barcelona – if you’re lucky enough to live in Barcelona.

The Construct also said it has now opened enrolment to its ROS in a Single Week course, aimed at starters.

The company says the course is “entirely practical ROS training”, which integrates theory and practice. Participants learn by programming different simulated robots and full integrated development environment.

That course, too, can be done online or in person, if you fly over to Barcelona, Spain.

All’s well that ROS well: Robot Operating System taking over the world

PR2 robot, willow garage
The PR2 robot, developed by Willow Garage, practises its alien greeting

lockIf aliens from beyond our solar system or even our galaxy were to land on Earth and wanted to communicate with intelligent machines that can move around and shake hands, chances are that one of the first in line to greet our otherworldly visitors will be a robot with a brain built using the Robot Operating System

The simple reason for this is that ROS is one of the most ubiquitous platforms for robotics in the world today, helped largely by the fact that it is an open-source project, in contrast to the majority of robot operating systems which are proprietary and closed.

Described as a collection of frameworks for robot software development, ROS was originally developed in 2007 at Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. ROS was then extended by Willow Garage, and that’s when it really started taking off.  Continue reading All’s well that ROS well: Robot Operating System taking over the world

New flavour of Robot Operating System launched

h-ros

A new version of the Robot Operating System has been launched, and this is one for the machines. 

Officially called the Hardware Robot Operating System, the new solution is described as “a standardized software and hardware infrastructure to easily create reusable and reconfigurable robot hardware parts”.

Writing on Robohub.org, Victor Vilches, CTO of Erle Robotics and a researcher at the Open Source Robotics Foundation, says H-ROS means “constructing robots will no longer be restricted to a small elite with high technical skills”.

H-ROS was initially funded by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency through the Robotics Fast Track program in 2016 and developed by Erle Robotics.

Your next nurse could be a robot, say scientists who trained one

 

operating room

Robots can successfully imitate human motions in the operating room, claim scientists

The nursing assistant for your next trip to the hospital might be a robot. This is the implication of research recently published by Dr Elena De Momi and colleagues in the open access journal Frontiers in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.

Dr De Momi, of the Politecnico di Milano, in Italy, led an international team that trained a robot to imitate natural human actions. De Momi’s work indicates that humans and robots can effectively coordinate their actions during high-stakes events such as surgeries.

Over time this should lead to improvements in safety during surgeries because unlike their human counterparts robots do not tire and can complete an endless series of precise movements. The goal is not to remove human expertise from the operating room, but to complement it with a robot’s particular skills and benefits.  Continue reading Your next nurse could be a robot, say scientists who trained one

Prescriptive Data chooses MongoDB for Nantum smart building system

rudin management

Prescriptive Data, a subsidiary of leading real estate developer Rudin Management, has opted for Nantum for its smart building solutions.

Nantum is a cloud-based smart building platform and control panel built on MongoDB, the database for giant ideas.

Designed to function as the “brain” of a building, Nantum integrates existing sensor data from disparate building systems to provide a holistic view of how a building is operating.

It can then prescriptively recommend real-time system adjustments, identify operational inefficiencies, target preventative maintenance and provide 24/7, 365 building re-commissioning in real time.  Continue reading Prescriptive Data chooses MongoDB for Nantum smart building system