Archive 31.03.2021

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Even without a brain, these metal-eating robots can search for food

When it comes to powering mobile robots, batteries present a problematic paradox: the more energy they contain, the more they weigh, and thus the more energy the robot needs to move. Energy harvesters, like solar panels, might work for some applications, but they don't deliver power quickly or consistently enough for sustained travel.

Scientists create the next generation of living robots

Last year, a team of biologists and computer scientists from Tufts University and the University of Vermont (UVM) created novel, tiny self-healing biological machines from frog cells called "Xenobots" that could move around, push a payload, and even exhibit collective behavior in the presence of a swarm of other Xenobots.

Case Study: Grippers from Zimmer Group Automate a Cleaning Machine for Sterile Glass Vials

The introduction of modern automation technology into the sensitive production areas of pharmaceutical and medical technology was rapid. However, the conditions for the entry of systems, components and robots into this sector are anything but easy to meet.

Ready for duty: Healthcare robots get good prognosis for next pandemic

Not long after the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, Czech writer Karel Čapek first introduced the term "robot" to describe artificial people in his 1921 sci-fi play R.U.R. While we have not yet created the highly intelligent humanoid robots imagined by Čapek, the robots most commonly used today are complex systems that work alongside humans, assisting with an ever-expanding set of tasks.

#331: Multi-Robot Learning, with Amanda Prorok

Image credit: J. Blumenkamp, Q. Li, H. Zhong

In this episode, Lilly interviews Amanda Prorok, Professor of Computer Science and Technology at the University of Cambridge. Prorok discusses her research on multi-robot and multi-agent systems and learning coordination policies via Graph Neural Networks. They dig into her recent work on self-interested robots and finding explainability in emergent behavior.

Amanda Prorok

Amanda Prorok is an Assistant Professor (University Lecturer) in the Department of Computer Science and Technology, at Cambridge University, and a Fellow of Pembroke College. She serves as Associate Editor for IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (R-AL) and Associate Editor for Autonomous Robots (AURO). Prior to joining Cambridge, Prorok was a postdoctoral researcher at the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, USA, where she worked with Prof. Vijay Kumar. She completed her PhD at EPFL, Switzerland, with Prof. Alcherio Martinoli.

Links

Elmo Motion Control – Gold Solo Triple Twitter digital servo drive

Gold Solo Triple Twitter is an ultra-high-current servo drive, capable of delivering up to 270A/60VDC, 240A/80VDC, 210A/100VDC and 100A/200VDC. The drive delivers up to 17 kW electrical power in a compact package (EtherCAT: 152.68 cm3 or CAN: 144.32 cm3). This advanced, high power density servo drive provides top performance, advanced networking and built-in safety, as well as a fully featured motion controller and local intelligence. As part of the Gold product line, it is fully programmable with the Elmo Motion Control language. The Gold Solo Triple Twitter is available in a variety of models. There are multiple power rating options, different communication options, a number of feedback options and different I/O configuration possibilities. The Gold Solo Triple Twitter can be used in a variety of industrial applications, including medical, robotics, semiconductors and material handling fields.
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