Wired for war – robot soldiers more fact than fiction – Brisbane Times

Robots are becoming an important part of the United States military.  Here is an article that explores some of the issues surrounding the use of robots in the armed forces.

Wired for war – robot soldiers more fact than fiction
Brisbane Times, Australia – Deborah Snow
THE world is on the brink of a "robotics revolution" in military combat that will have profound social, psychological, political and ethical effects, says a leading US defence analyst. Peter Singer, who headed Barack Obama’s defence policy team during

Wired for war – robot soldiers more fact than fiction – Brisbane Times
Wed, 06 May 2009 14:10:00 GMT


Robotics Booming in High Schools: Universities and Colleges Lag Behind

Programs such as FIRST and BEST have provided elementary, middle, and high school students with opportunities in robotics.  Close to 40,000 high school students participate in FIRST Robotics, but there is a lack of college level programs to absorb all these students.  Although this article is specific to Massachusetts, I suspect the story is the same for other states.  Read the article below for more details.

Robotics is booming, but education lags
Mass High Tech,  USA
By Brendan Lynch.

Massachusetts’ robotics cluster is thriving despite the recession — but the state is in danger of losing its edge due to the scarcity of collegiate robotics programs. Colleges like MIT, Harvard University, the Franklin W. Olin College

Robotics is booming, but education lags – Mass High Tech
Fri, 10 Apr 2009 04:18:34 GMT

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Snakebots in a Building!

Image: HyDRAS-Ascent prototype robot

No, this is not the sequel to a recent action film from Hollywood.  It is a proposal for a new type of robot that can be used on constructions sites for tall buildings.  The snakebot is one of the latest proposals for robots to assist humans in work that is too dangerous or difficult for humans to perform.

Nature continues to provide the model for many types of robots.  Although I would not have thought of a robot based on a snake, obviously some very creative people have seen a snake as a great model.  This article explores the application for the robot modeled on a snake.


Snakebots could take over construction sites
IT Examiner, India – 2 hours ago
By Nick Farrell @ Tuesday, January 20, 2009 7:27 AM A new robot design could help build tall buildings where humans are in danger of falling.

Note:  This post has been edited from the original to update links to photos.

FIRST Day – CompactRIO vs Old FRC Controller

                   NEw cRIO Controller                      VS.                Old FRC Controller

Chassis          Rc-350

As in an earlier blog entry, I gave you a preview of the two control systems of FRC. One is the C RIO which will be used this year for the first time in USFIRST history. The other was the control system that has been use since at least 2000 until last year.

Now I'm going to go over some of the features of the two control systems and let you decide whether the new system or old system is best for you.

The first system I will be discussing in the post is between the robot and the driver station.

In the old system communication was accomplished by radio modem or with a direct connection by a serial cable also known as a tether. To program the robot you had to tether the robot, which sometimes caused problems. If you didn't have the right tether you couldn't do anything. Also, it caused some safety issues at the competition and back home in the shop. First of all, you could trip over the wire and potentially damage your operator interface. We did this at a competition once and ripped-off the connection to the power input. We very nearly couldn't compete if it hadn't been for a team to give us some epoxy and we glued it back on. Luckily, it still worked. Altough you can have some safety issues, it was a pretty solid system of signal between the operator and robot.

Now, in the new system, the whole thing runs off wireless 802.11. Although you don't have to wire it up to program the system it still poses some problems. One that I can see is if you dont secure your system you could get hacked and someone could mess with your programming. Another problem I can see if you dont have a good laptop or a good singal you can't compete. Although it poses some problems I think this is the better system of the two.

Next week I'll discuss another sub system of the two control system and compare them.

Edited By: Brittany, Daniel

30 December 2008, Tuesday GMT 1:08

Meet Jules

Good Afternoon everyone, Happy New Year! I would like you to meet Jules. Hanson-Robotics-1 Jules is a fascinating character who has a lot of potential. Thanks to Hanson Robotics and Frubber™

"the elastic polymer that makes realistic facial movement and speech possible while being stronger, more elastic and using only a fraction of the power required for existing materials. Frubber™ has potential to become the future of prosthetics applications, facial reconstruction and many other uses". 

Jules surpasses the I' Robot look to a humanoid robot. Check this video of Jules and Jules isn't the only thing they have been working on. Meet the rest of the gang.

Editors: Rudy, Daniel

FIRST Report: Labview 8.5.1 Now available for download

Hey, for all of you involved with FIRST robotics, this entry came across from Chief Delphi last week. In keeping with our efforts to have Tuesdays be our day for FIRST, we thought this might be helpful.

For anyone interested in the software for this version of LabVIEW, you can follow the link to the full post on Chief Delphi.

“I’m not sure if it’s been widely or clearly announced, but…
You can now download and install the LabVIEW 8.5.1 environment with an extended trial license good until Jan 15 2010 if you want to follow along with the beta testers here at the following link.

Labview 8.5.1 Now available for download
Thu, 16 Oct 2008 15:21:12 GMT


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NASA Sending New Robot Lab To Mars Next Year – AHN

Continuing the exploration of Mars, the Mars Science Laboratory is currently scheduled for launch to the Red Planet in the fall of 2009.  The Mars Science Laboratory should arrive at its destination in 2010 and will be the introduction to the next phase of Martian exploration.

The rover’s mission is to assess the past and present habitability of Mars.

The Mars Science Laboratory is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program.


NASA Sending New Robot Lab To Mars Next Year
AHN – 1 hour ago
Washington, DC (AHN) – NASA announced Friday it will proceed with plans to send a new rover to explore Mars in October next year.
Mars mission OK’d but needs more cash Houston Chronicle
Mars Science Laboratory to press on toward 2009 launch Examiner.com
all 329 news articles

NASA Sending New Robot Lab To Mars Next Year – AHN
Sat, 11 Oct 2008 11:05:39 GMT

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14 Must-See Exhibits at WIRED NextFest in Chicago – The Windy Citizen

WIRED’s NextFest has been up and running since September 27, and will wrap-up on the 12th of October. WIRED NextFest:

"[WIRED NextFest] is the premier showcase of the global innovations transforming our world."

Windycitizen has posted their own best of NextFest by listing the "14 Must-See Exhibits". Such exhibits range from HumanCar, more like RowBoatCar, to a block of Solid Ink Cartridge, sounds messy. Personally, "Moe" the robotic sheep mower is certainly number ONE in everyone’s hearts.

The Windy Citizen

14 Must-See Exhibits at WIRED NextFest in Chicago
The Windy Citizen, IL – 6 hours ago
27 – October 12 and features exhibits of sustainable design, next generation healthcare, interactive art and games, humanoid robotics and more.
Wired’s NextFest not just for geeks Chicago Tribune
all 8 news articles

14 Must-See Exhibits at WIRED NextFest in Chicago – The Windy Citizen
Fri, 26 Sep 2008 21:50:57 GMT

Robot snakes slither forward – CNET News

Nature has become the model for robots.  Of course, this makes great sense because who is better at innovation than life.  Robotics will depend on innovative approaches to develop the machines that will help us at work and at home.  Check it out.

There is no doubt that many scientists are looking to nature for mechanical inspiration. This past spring we have seen robotic bugs , swarms of bugs, fish and perhaps even the promise of a robotic dolphin . The SINTEF ICT part of the SINTEF Group , a …

Robot snakes slither forward – CNET News
Tue, 24 Jun 2008 11:18:00 GMT


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