#276: IROS 2018 Exhibition (Part 2 of 3), with Kristoffer Richardsson, Michael Zillich and Paulo Alvito


Kristoffer Richardsson, Developer at Bitcraze in Sweden, speaks about small open-source unmanned aerial vehicle and different ways of localizing them. Michael Zillich, CTO of Blue Danube Robotics in Austria, discusses a robotics platform for picking up toys, called Kenny. He discusses how children can show the robot where to put specific toys, about how this large European project was coordinated, and about possibly commercializing this platform. Alvito discusses what it means to be remotely autonomous, the design of the robot, and how these robots communicate data.

How robots are helping doctors save lives in the Canadian North


It is the middle of the winter and a six-month-old child is brought with acute respiratory distress to a nursing station in a remote community in the Canadian North. The nurse realizes that the child is seriously ill and contacts a pediatric intensivist located in a tertiary care centre 900 kilometres away. The intensivist uses her tablet to activate a remote presence robot installed in the nursing station and asks the robot to go to the assessment room. The robot autonomously navigates the nursing station corridors and arrives at the assessment room two minutes later. With the help of the robot's powerful cameras, the doctor "sees" the child and talks to the nurse and the parents to obtain the medical history.

#277: Presented work at IROS 2018 (Part 3 of 3), with Pauline Pounds, Philippe Morere and Yujung Liu


Pauline Pounds, Associate Professor at the University of Queensland, speaks about building robots that can endure children. She discusses the tradeoffs of designing a robot that can survive children and cannot harm the children. Pounds talks about how the robot has performed with children so far, the hardware design, and her future direction with this work.

Robots are being programmed to adapt in real time


It's part of a field of work that is building machines that can provide real-time help using only limited data as input. Standard machine-learning algorithms often need to process thousands of possibilities before deciding on a solution, which may be impractical in pressurised scenarios where fast adaptation is critical. After Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, for example, robots were sent into the power plant to clear up radioactive debris in conditions far too dangerous for humans. The problem, says robotics researcher Professor Jean-Baptiste Mouret is that the robots kept breaking down or came across hazards that stopped them in their tracks. As part of the ResiBots initiative, he is designing a lower-cost robot that can last long periods without needing constant human maintenance for breakages and are better at overcoming unexpected obstacles.

Dave Rollinson: Building a Force-Controlled Actuator (Company) CMU RI Seminar


Abstract: "In 2014, I was lucky enough to be one of 5 people to start HEBI Robotics, with the dream of eventually making the task of building custom robots as easy as building with Lego. A few years later we are now 10 people, and our first product, a series of modular force-controlled actuators, is rapidly being adopted for research and development. This talk will discuss the technical aspects of developing force-controlled actuators and the software tools for controlling them, why we are pursuing series-elastic actuation, and various challenges that we face during development. I will also talk about what it's like to be an engineer who is increasingly involved with the business aspects of a growing company."

#278: IROS 2018 Exhibition (Part 3 of 3), with Ryan Gariepy, Lars Grimstad and Péter Fankhauser


Ryan Gariepy, Chief Technology Officer of ClearPath and Otto Motors in Canada, speaks about Boxer, a robust research platform that has been used extensively in an industrial context over many years. Gariepy discusses how Boxer can be used in investigating human-robot interaction questions because of its expressive lighting, including for autonomous cars. He speaks about the platform's design, including its power systems and communication protocol. Grimstad also talks about a project using this platform to pick hanging strawberries. Péter Fankhauser, Chief Business Development Officer and Co-founder of ANYbotics in Switzerland, speaks about ANYmal, a quadrupedal robot.

Large Bang After Bomb Disposal Robot Enters Van in Northern Ireland's Londonderry

U.S. News

LONDONDERRY, Northern Ireland (Reuters) - There was a large bang and black smoke emerged from an abandoned van in a cordoned off area of Londonderry on Monday after an army bomb disposal robot entered the vehicle, a Reuters witness said on Monday.

Drones will take to the skies to detect and repair small potholes

Daily Mail

Drones equipped with robotic arms could help prevent potholes by detecting small cracks and repairing them. A fleet of automatons will scan roads looking for small cracks at night while the streets are empty to avoid disrupting traffic. They will then spray 3D-printed asphalt into damaged surfaces to prevent larger potholes from developing. Engineers developed the innovative project as a solution to the major pothole problem in many cities and towns. Robotic engineers have developed a sophisticated drone capable of detecting and repairing small potholes.

Galaxy S10: Most ground-breaking feature on new Samsung phone will be unusable with screen protector

The Independent

Owners of Samsung's next flagship smartphone will not be able to be able to make use of its most exciting feature if they use a screen protector, according to the latest leak. The forthcoming phone – expected to be called the Galaxy S10 – is still a month away from being officially revealed, but a slew of leaks and rumours mean many of the key features are already known. One of the most highly-anticipated features is an in-screen fingerprint sensor, which will allow Samsung to make a full-screen device by not having to place the scanner separately at the bottom of the display or on the rear of the devive. The latest leak claims that placing a screen protector over the display will make this feature unusable. It was revealed in a tweet by Armadillotek, a US-based firm that manufactures "military grade" screen protectors for high-end Samsung smartphones.

Russia launches case against Facebook and Twitter over 'breach of data laws'

The Independent

Russia has launched a civil case against Facebook and Twitter for failing to provide details about how they will comply with the country's data laws, according to local media reports. Communication watchdog Roskomnadzor said the social media firms had failed to explain exactly how local laws would be adhered to considering the companies both store data in centres outside of Russia. The Interfax news agency quoted the watchdog as saying that Twitter and Facebook had not explained how and when they would comply with legislation that requires all servers used to store Russians' personal data to be located in Russia. The agency's head, Alexander Zharov, was quoted as saying the companies have a month to provide information or else action would be taken against them. Russia has introduced tougher internet laws in the last five years, requiring search engines to delete some search results, messaging services to share encryption keys with security services and social networks to store Russian users' personal data on servers within the country.