EP.16 BLUEBERRY HARVESTING ROBOTS
Another new humanoid, a harvesting robot, a robot that looks like a bug & much more...
The cockroach-like robot cock 🪳
Engineers at the University of Colorado, Boulder, have unveiled CLARI (Compliant Legged Articulated Robotic Insect), a groundbreaking robot inspired by insects' adaptability. CLARI is a miniature robot that can change its shape, making it capable of maneuvering through tight spaces, potentially transforming disaster response operations.
Despite its small size, this robot boasts a modular design that allows for various adjustments, including the addition of more legs, making it highly versatile. Currently tethered by wires for power and control, the researchers aim for CLARI to eventually operate autonomously and explore previously inaccessible areas, such as inside jet engines or collapsed buildings. The robot's designer, Assistant Professor Kaushik Jayaram, challenges the conventional cube-like robot structure, drawing inspiration from animals' adaptability to confined spaces. This robot focuses on squeezing through horizontal gaps, adjusting its width from 34 millimeters to 21 millimeters.
Future plans for CLARI include integrating sensors for obstacle detection and maintaining a balance between flexibility and strength as more legs are added. The development of this mechanical cockroach heralds a new era in robotics, potentially assisting first responders in disaster scenarios and performing intricate tasks like internal engine inspection.
Robots that help in blueberry harvesting 🫐
Burro agricultural robots stand out for their user-friendly design. These robots utilize advanced technologies, including computer vision, high-precision GPS, and artificial intelligence, enabling them to autonomously follow individuals and navigate from one point to another while carrying various loads.
The Burro, categorized as an autonomous mobile robot (AMR), has been crafted to collaborate effectively with farm laborers, whether in the field or plant nurseries. They are commonly employed for tasks such as harvesting and nursery work.
Burros offer the flexibility of being trained to travel to specific predefined locations, follow designated paths, or track a worker's movements within the property. Remarkably, they can carry substantial cargo, up to 500 pounds, and maintain operations for up to 12 hours on a single charge. Moreover, the Burro's battery can be swiftly swapped in the field, minimizing downtime.
Among these demonstrations were a Burro equipped with a mower for weed and grass control between crop rows, another fitted with a small sprayer for pest control (still in prototype stage), and a collaborative robot (cobot) mounted atop a Burro, guided by vision technology to pick ripe grapes from vines. This last application demonstrates the platform's versatility for various agricultural tasks, even though the cobot's operation affects the overall runtime due to power requirements.
Meme of the week 🤖
Literally the graphical representation of the Machine Learning process.
If you only know HP from printers, it's time to change that! 🖨️
HP has introduced SitePrint, a site printing robot designed to streamline construction processes and boost productivity significantly. SitePrint delivers precise and consistent printing of lines, complex objects, and even text from digital models directly onto construction sites. This autonomous robot is adept at obstacle avoidance.
Described as lightweight and compact, SitePrint includes a touchscreen tablet for remote control and configuration, along with a range of inks tailored to various surfaces, environmental conditions, and durability requirements.
The robot's positioning and navigation are facilitated by linking it to a robotic total station, a collaborative effort between HP and Leica Geosystems. Furthermore, HP is collaborating with Topcon to integrate SitePrint with the Topcon Layout Navigator and GT robotic total stations.
SitePrint has undergone testing across diverse environments, including residential, parking, airport, and hospital projects, with over 80 pilot projects conducted globally. Skanska, in particular, has tested the robot on two major US projects, achieving faster layout processes, reduced schedules, and improved quality control.
Another humanoid joins the race (again) 👀
Apptronik has introduced its new Apollo humanoid robot, marking the company's entry into the commercial humanoid robotics market. Apollo, standing at 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing 160 lbs, is designed for tasks involving "gross manipulation" and is initially aimed at warehouse applications like moving boxes and crates.
While pricing details have not been disclosed, Apptronik plans to release Apollo by the end of 2024, and the robot is expected to have a swappable battery for up to 4 hours of operation. The company emphasizes safety, with features such as vision perception and force sensing to ensure collaboration with humans.
Apptronik's Apollo humanoid robot, developed after over 13 generations of electric actuators, aims to serve as a versatile and multipurpose machine, capable of performing various tasks in real-world environments while maintaining a strong focus on safety and collaboration with humans.
🚨 BREAKING NEWS
Rockwell Automation acquiring Clearpath Robotics🤖
Rockwell Automation is acquiring Clearpath Robotics, a Canadian developer of autonomous mobile robots for research and manufacturing, in an undisclosed deal funded by a portion of the proceeds from Rockwell's sale of its investment in PTC.
The acquisition is expected to close in Q1 of fiscal year 2024 and is set to bolster Rockwell's position in the rapidly growing market for autonomous robots in manufacturing, which is projected to reach an estimated market size of $6.2 billion by 2027. This strategic move follows a trend of AMR-related acquisitions, with notable recent investments including Jungheinrich's acquisition of Magazino and SoftBank Group's agreement to acquire a 41.8% stake in Balyo for about $12.9 million.
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