Book preview: New academic study on the subject of robots with legs

Bioinspired Legged Locomotion: Models, Concepts, Control and Applications
By Maziar Sharbafi and André Seyfarth

Elsevier has released a book which may be of interest to roboticists. Here’s a preview.

The book explores the universe of legged robots, bringing in perspectives from engineering, biology, motion science, and medicine to provide a comprehensive overview of the field.

With comprehensive coverage, each chapter brings outlines, and an abstract, introduction, new developments, and a summary.  Continue reading Book preview: New academic study on the subject of robots with legs

Rewired appoints Gleb Chuvpilo as managing partner as it opens new Switzerland office

Rewired, the $100 million robotics-focused venture studio and fund, has appointed Silicon Valley technology investment veteran Gleb Chuvpilo as managing partner. 

Chuvpilo had previously served as a venture partner with Rewired, helping identify, validate, and collaborate with the firm’s growing list of portfolio companies working with applied science technologies to develop what Rewired calls “the next generation of robotics”.

Chuvpilo brings both venture experience and deep technical expertise, with a master’s degree from the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab and an MBA in Finance and Strategic Management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  Continue reading Rewired appoints Gleb Chuvpilo as managing partner as it opens new Switzerland office

Commercial and industrial robotics market to see ‘rapid growth’ over the next eight years, says report

The commercial and industrial robotics market is expected to see rapid growth over the next eight years, according to the latest forecasts from ABI Research.

Different research companies segment the robotics and automation industry in different ways, so it’s up to readers to decide how to piece together the various reports to build up a complete picture.

But according to ABI Research, what it calls the “commercial and industrial robotics market” will see revenues increase from $15 million in 2017 to over $48 million in 2025.  Continue reading Commercial and industrial robotics market to see ‘rapid growth’ over the next eight years, says report

Humanoid robot market to grow to $4 billion in five years

The market for humanoid robots is forecast to grow to $4 billion in about five years, according to a new report by ReportsnReports

The researcher values the current market at approximately $320 million in 2017. So that would mean annual growth of more than 50 per cent.

Humanoids include such robots as Pepper and Nao, which are owned by SoftBank Robotics, as well as Emiew, produced by Hitachi, and Honda’s famous Asimo, although that one is more of an exhibition robot.

The others, like Nao and Pepper, for example, are already finding many buyers. SoftBank says it has sold 10,000 units of Nao, and it releases batches of 1,000 at a time of the Pepper robot, and it sells out online within minutes.  Continue reading Humanoid robot market to grow to $4 billion in five years

Yaskawa breaks ground to build Slovenia factory

Yaskawa has broken ground to mark the start of the construction of a new factory in Slovenia, in Europe. 

The company will spend almost $30 million in building the new facility in Kocevje.

The foundation stone was laid a few days ago.  Continue reading Yaskawa breaks ground to build Slovenia factory

Yaskawa Electric reports stunning 150 per cent more profits with robotics and automation leading the way

Yaskawa Electric says it has achieved a staggering 150 per cent growth in net profit for the period from April to September, compared with the same period last year, according to a report on Nikkei

Nikkei says Yaskawa’s profits for the period were $184 million, beating its own previous records.

Yaskawa, which also owns the Motoman brand of industrial robot, says most of the growth was due to increased orders for automation equipment from China, Japan and the US.  Continue reading Yaskawa Electric reports stunning 150 per cent more profits with robotics and automation leading the way

Japanese companies prepare to bring forward new generation of humanoid collaborative robots capable of a variety of industrial work

 

There was a time when Japanese electronics companies were the Apples and Googles of the world, with everyone buying their products and talking about them in the media.

Many of those same formerly pre-eminent names today play second fiddle to the Silicon Valley tech giants.

But while they may not be discussed as much as they were in the past – and their products not as ubiquitous in the consumer market – Japanese companies still loom large in the industrial sector.  Continue reading Japanese companies prepare to bring forward new generation of humanoid collaborative robots capable of a variety of industrial work

Kinova Robotics raises $25 million for expansion plans

 

Kinova Robotics, a designer and manufacturer of robotic solutions, has raised additional funds of $25 million for further expansion.

The money came from four major contributors, including lead investor Fonds Manufacturier Québécois; co-investors KTB Network, and Foxconn; and BDC Capital, the investment arm of BDC.

Kinova says 90 per cent of its business is exports, so establishing an office outside its native Canada is a priority.

Kinova CEO Charles Deguire says: “We want our users to achieve the extraordinary with our robots – creating more value for themselves and our society.  Continue reading Kinova Robotics raises $25 million for expansion plans

Yaskawa partners with CommScope on advanced manufacturing technology centre in Belgium

 

CommScope, a provider of infrastructure solutions for communications networks, has opened a new advanced manufacturing technology centre at its Kessel Lo, Belgium site.

The centre will showcase a newly formed partnership with Yaskawa, one of the world’s largest industrial robot suppliers, to determine the feasibility of adding robot technology and greater automation to manufacturing processes.

The new Advanced Manufacturing Technology centre enables CommScope to develop automated manufacturing competencies and technology in a laboratory setting through cross-functional collaboration and partnerships with universities, knowledge partners and suppliers.  Continue reading Yaskawa partners with CommScope on advanced manufacturing technology centre in Belgium

World Economic Forum warns of widespread disruption caused by robots

 

The World Economic Forum has warned of widespread disruption caused by robots, in its latest report about global competitiveness. 

In its Global Competitiveness Index 2017, WEF says the most competitive countries are:

  1. Switzerland
  2. United States
  3. Singapore
  4. Netherlands
  5. Germany

The organisation says sustained economic recovery remains at risk due to lack of increases in productivity.  Continue reading World Economic Forum warns of widespread disruption caused by robots

Toyota shows off its progress in robotics, autonomous cars and artificial intelligence

 

Toyota Research Institute has been demonstrating its progress in the development of automated driving technology and other project work to the investor community this week.

Dr Gill Pratt, CEO of TRI, says: “In the last few months, we have rapidly accelerated our pace in advancing Toyota’s automated driving capabilities with a vision of saving lives, expanding access to mobility, and making driving more fun and convenient.

“Our research teams have also been evolving machine intelligence that can support further development of robots for in-home support of people.” Continue reading Toyota shows off its progress in robotics, autonomous cars and artificial intelligence

Columbia University develops soft actuator three times stronger than human muscle to make robots more lifelike

 

Columbia University says it has developed a self-contained soft actuator that is three times stronger than natural muscle, without the need of externals.

The researchers say the development means robotic motion will be more lifelike, and that it signals a breakthrough in soft robotics.

The creation of untethered soft robots whose actions and movements can help mimic natural biological systems have been a long-standing issue, and the scientists at Columbia Engineering say they have solved it.  Continue reading Columbia University develops soft actuator three times stronger than human muscle to make robots more lifelike

Interview with Ubuntu boss: A rich ecosystem for robotics and automation systems

Exclusive interview with Mike Bell from Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu

There’s a lot of talk about the Robot Operating System. Understandably so. But the most widely used operating system in robotics and automation systems development is actually Ubuntu. 

In fact, ROS is not actually an operating system at all – it’s a set of software frameworks, or a software development kit, to be installed into an operating system like Ubuntu.

As Mike Bell, executive vice president of internet of things and devices at Canonical, explains in an exclusive interview: “It’s a bit confusing because it’s called Robot Operating System, but the reason is because if you’re developing robot applications, you don’t need to worry about the fact that it’s running on Ubuntu.

“You just write your application to interface into a ROS SDK and then deploy on Ubuntu.”  Continue reading Interview with Ubuntu boss: A rich ecosystem for robotics and automation systems

Siemens to establish global robotics research and development centre in China

Engineering giant Siemens is establishing a robotics research and development centre in China. 

The company says the facility will be a global research centre in autonomous robotics, and is part of its innovation strategy to “master technology fields that are critical for future success”.

Worldwide, Siemens is planning to spend $6 billion this year on R&D, and China is likely to represent a significant portion of that budget.

Siemens says the global research community in its China R&D centre will comprise experienced experts from around the world will focus on:

  • the research and development of new mechatronics systems,
  • human-robot collaboration; and
  • the application of artificial intelligence in robotic controllers.

Continue reading Siemens to establish global robotics research and development centre in China

Siasun becomes first Chinese company to join leading US robotics association

Siasun Robot & Automation has become the first Chinese company to join the US Robotic Industries Association

Siasun is said to be China’s largest robot supplier and integrator. By joining RIA, the company will gain greater access to the association’s members, partners and personnel.

It may also learn about new technologies and more support for any plans expansion in America.  Continue reading Siasun becomes first Chinese company to join leading US robotics association