Innorobo, Europe’s leading event dedicated entirely to the robotics sector and its innovations, is now opening its doors in Berlin.

Innorobo is Europe’s leading summit on the worldwide robotics market. 

Innorobo is an inclusive professional robotics trade show aimed to present the state of the art of world robotics to a diverse range of markets through engaging workshops, inspiring keynotes, and content sessions with renowned specialists that deliver meaningful and actionable information. The goal is to encourage cross-innovation and open up new opportunities for growth and diversification in nearly all sectors.

This year, for the first time, Innorobo will open its doors in Berlin at IFA Global Markets.

You can find all information about the show, exhibitors and partners here on the website  

The Expo

The Innorobo exhibition will focus solely on the B2B2C and retail channels, rather than consumer visitors, to ensure maximum opportunity for networking and lead generation.

The expo will be filled with mobile autonomous robots, collaborative robots and advanced technology solutions. Other cutting-edge exhibitor groups from around the globe, including 3D Printing, will also be on display in the IFA Global Markets feature.

The Conference

The conference will take place 5-6 September with the mission to accelerate the adoption of modern robotics – service and collaborative robots for the home and other consumer applications, healthcare, education as well as business and manufacturing. Organized for robot buyers, end users and developers, the conference program focuses on practical and sustainable robots,

Use the discount code „ROBOTSBLOG“ for 15% off.

iRobot Expands Connected Product Line with Roomba® 960

Company also brings iRobot HOME App compatibility to Braava jet® Mopping Robot

Aug 4, 2016

BEDFORD, Mass., Aug. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — iRobot Corp. (NASDAQ: IRBT), a leader in delivering robotic technology-based solutions, today announced the Roomba® 960 Vacuuming Robot starting at $699. The second 900 Series Roomba to be introduced by iRobot, Roomba® 960 extends mapping, adaptive navigation with visual localization and cloud connected app control to a wider range of consumers, providing high-efficiency and systematic cleaning at a more accessible price point. Further extending the company’s connected product line, iRobot also announced iRobot HOME App availability for both existing and new Braava jet™ Mopping Robot customers.

iRobot Roomba 960 Vacuuming Robot helps keep floors cleaner throughout the entire home with intelligent visual navigation, iRobot HOME App control, and 5x the air power over previous generation Roomba vacuum cleaners.

„As iRobot continues its push to address significant opportunities within the connected home, we are very excited to bring Roomba 960 and Braava jet app compatibility to market,“ said Colin Angle, chairman and CEO of iRobot. „This is a significant milestone as we are now able to offer a more accessible Roomba with mapping capabilities and cloud connected features across multiple product lines. iRobot will continue to build upon its connected robot technologies moving forward, allowing for an enhanced customer experience and for our products to play a larger role within the smart home.“

iRobot Roomba® 960 Vacuuming Robot

Roomba 960 helps keep floors cleaner throughout the entire home with intelligent visual navigation, iRobot HOME App control with wireless connectivity, and 5x the air power over previous generation Roomba vacuum cleaners.1The Roomba 960 also includes many of the premium features that can be found on all Roomba 800 and 900 Series vacuums, including tangle‐free debris extractors to prevent hair tangles, Dirt Detect™ Series II for a focused cleaning on particularly dirty areas, and Recharge and Resume functionality (900 Series) to keep the Roomba 960 cleaning until the job is complete.2

iRobot HOME App for Braava jet Mopping Robot

Now also compatible with Braava jet, the iRobot HOME App helps users get the most out of their experience by allowing them to choose the appropriate cleaning options for their unique home. Using the iRobot HOME App, users can start and stop their Bluetooth® enabled Braava jet from the palm of their hand, access customizable cleaning settings, initiate over-the-air software updates, and access helpful customer support information. This update is available for existing and new Braava jet customers using Android and iOS, Bluetooth®-enabled devices.

Pricing and Availability
The Roomba 960 Vacuuming Robot is available for immediate purchase in the United States and Canada starting at$699 on www.irobot.com. Roomba 960 will also be available in Japan and select EMEA countries later in the third quarter of 2016.

The iRobot HOME App is available now for Android and iOS devices.

Roomba 960 and Braava jet photos, videos and background information can be found at:http://media.irobot.com/media-kits

Please join iRobot on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

1Compared to Roomba 600 and 700 series AeroVac™ systems.
2Roomba 960 will clean for up to 75 minutes, as tested in iRobot’s Home Test Lab on hard floors, before recharging and resuming cleaning, if needed.

About iRobot Corp.
iRobot designs and builds robots that empower people to do more. The company’s home robots help people find smarter ways to clean and accomplish more in their daily lives. iRobot’s portfolio of solutions features proprietary technologies for the connected home and advanced concepts in navigation, mobility, manipulation and artificial intelligence. For more information about iRobot, please visit www.irobot.com.

Onion Launches the Omega2 to Bring Innovation to the Internet of Things (IoT)

July 29, 2016 – Onion announces the Omega2, the IoT development board aimed at bringing innovation back into the IoT space. The Omega2 launched on Kickstarter last week and is currently more than 1,100% funded, with 25 days left to go in the campaign. Campaign Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/onion/omega2-5-iot-computer-with-wi-fi-powered-by-linux
IoT never really gained mainstream status. Most „smart“ products on the market are nothing more than ordinary products with a screen slapped on it. These products don’t bring true value, so as soon as the novelty factor wears off, consumers move on to try the next „smart“ thing. Innovation in IoT is driven not by the needs of the market, but by the need of product companies to create new products and turn a profit. To bring innovation to IoT, the products need to be repositioned to address real pain points in everyday life. Onion aims to do that with the Omega2 by making hardware development accessible so everyone can start solving problems in their lives with IoT technology.

„We created the Omega2 to be the most accessible hardware development board,“ says co-founder and CEO Boken Lin. „We do this in two ways, by making it extremely affordable, and by making it very beginner-friendly. There is always a risk involved with trying new things, and by reducing the price to starting at just $5, we hope to minimize that risk so more people can make the plunge. Making it beginner-friendly means that even users with no electronics experience can do something with the Omega2 on day one.“

With a myriad of hardware development boards already on the market, the Omega2 is uniquely positioned as having the advantages of single-board computers such as the Raspberry Pi as well as microcontrollers such as the Arduino. It is much smaller than the Raspberry Pi (less than ¼ the size), and it is much more power-efficient, yet at the same time, it is much more powerful and robust than the Arduino, allowing it to be used in applications such as video/audio streaming, etc.

Because the Omega2 runs Linux, and for inexperienced developers, developing on it will feel much like using a regular computer. An added advantage to supporting Linux is that the Omega2 supports many programming languages. This capability makes the Omega2 approachable for existing programmers who are new to hardware development, allowing them to build hardware projects with familiar languages and programming environments. Finally, for users with absolutely no experience in programming, the Omega2 integrates Node Red, a programming environment developed by IBM that allows users to program IoT devices by simply dragging and dropping block diagrams.

„Everything around us is becoming smart.“ says Lin. „It started out with the smartphone movement in 2006, and now everything from thermostats to televisions, from cars to light bulbs are becoming smart. We want to create the tools that give everyone the power to reinvent their environment. And that’s why we have worked so hard to make the Omega2 so simple and affordable for everyone.“

Onion is a startup that aims to create “The Invention Platform for the Internet of Things”, a collection of hardware and software development tools that simplifies the process of creating and manufacturing connected products. The company is based in Boston, Massachusetts, with operations in Toronto, Canada, and Shenzhen, China. Onion completed a very successful Kickstarter campaign last year to launch the first generation Omega. Onion is backed by Techstars, and went through their 2014 Winter program in Boston.

3D Printed Robot Arm for STEM Created by Idaho Startup

Boise, ID – Slant Robotics has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a 3D printed robot arm, LittleArm. LittleArm is low cost kit for teaching engineering and robotics to students in STEM courses.

 

The LittleArm began as a weekend project for Slant Robotics founder, Gabe Bentz. “I didn’t want to pay the 100-plus dollars for an existing arm kit,” said Bentz, “So, I did a little design and let my 3D printer do the work.”

Bentz eventually showed his creation to colleagues and friends in the area. Many asked him to make them one. But when several STEM teachers expressed interest in the arm for their classrooms Bentz decided to turn the kit into a product, at Slant Robotics.

Thanks to rapid prototyping techniques the LittleArm was ready for production within just a few weeks. It utilizes high strength metal-geared microservos, and is controlled with a standard Arduino Uno allowing it be programmed using graphical software such as Blockly. When connected to a computer, Slant has created a simple graphical app which allows the arm to be trained to execute a set of motions.

The entire project is open-source, allowing anyone to download the 3D designs and software and build their own LittleArm.

At the time of this release, the LittleArm Kickstarter campaign has passed the halfway point, after being live for just 2 days. Over the next few months the team at Slant Robotics will be developing software and producing teaching materials so that students and teachers can easily use the LittleArm when it arrives.

About Slant Robotics

Slant Robotics is a startup located in Boise, ID. Its mission to to develop consumer robots for the home, school and business. The LittleArm is the fourth product that Slant has released.

BuWizz – The one brick to steer them all

BuWizz is a high performance LEGO® compatible remote control system and battery, seeking to raise $50,000 on Kickstarter. Why we made BuWizz? The original LEGO® Power Functions control system allows lesser speed, power and agility than users would like to have for their models. Created as an enhancement to the existing LEGO® remote control system, BuWizz is better than anything available on the market until now. Paired over Bluetooth with an iOS or Android device, BuWizz brick is made to control the motors and lights of LEGO® Trains and LEGO Technic models. Besides motors to power movement, BuWizz users will be able to add light effects and other special functions to their models.

While one BuWizz brick can control up to four motors or lights, several bricks can be controlled in parallel, from either one or more smart devices. Users can control a huge model with 8, 12 or even more motors and lights. It’s perfect for having fun, like racing against each other using several cars. One BuWizz brick inside the model replaces 3 LEGO components: a battery box and two infrared receivers, while only occupying the space of two receivers.

Connected inside a LEGO model or train, BuWizz brick offers precise control and provides eight times more power than existing solutions. It operates in three speed modes, pushing any LEGO model to it’s limits in “Fast” mode. Until now, LEGO models were mostly limited to indoor use. With BuWizz they come alive, zoom around two times faster and are ready to defeat the most difficult outdoor terrains.

In a later announced stretch goal, BuWizz team will offer “Ludicrous” mode, the next generation of speed and power levels, which will dwarf even the currently highest-performance “Fast” mode.

Users will be able to write their own Apps to control BuWizz and integrate BuWizz into platforms of their choice, the communication protocol will be open.

The reason for success is design and clever engineering solutions, which made BuWizz powerful and simple to use. Several benefits of BuWizz are due to the embedded Li-ion battery, which provides power for hours of fun. BuWizz can be recharged with any Micro-USB charger. The App will alert users when power is running low. For extended play time, BuWizz can also be charged on the go, with a standard Powerbank charger.

The price of single brick will be $119. And shipping will begin in November.

WEBSITE – www.buwizz.com

http://www.buwizz.com/

THE KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN  –

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/973645257/789115000?token=eafeb608

SubPos Ranger: Indoor Positioning System

The SubPos Ranger is as an open source indoor positioning system to be used for robotics applications in the education and hobbyist markets. It has primarily been designed as a flexible radio frequency platform for experimenting and tinkering, that allows you to not only obtain positioning and perform distance measurements, it can also be used for passive motion detection as well as communication between embedded devices.

While there are many positioning systems on the market, the Ranger has been created to be extremely cost effective, easy to use and develop for. While other systems are usually locked down in one way or another, whether that be functionality or availability of source code, the Ranger is completely open and flexible. Perfect for the budding hobbyist to invent the next big thing.

The Ranger is fully operational and ready for manufacture, and a complete system can be had for $274AUD (~$210USD), which gives you 3D positioning in a room, as well as a receiver to output the position. Once set up, the system can give up to +-10cm of accuracy. Other options are also available to experiment with too, such as a cheaper option for two nodes to perform distance measurements and motion detection, or a Wi-Fi support add-on.

Key Features:
•        Supports 2D and 3D Positioning – not just x and y, but z also.
•        2.4GHz ISM Spectrum – supported worldwide.
•        Standards Compliant Hardware – supports 802.15.4 and can also utilise Zigbee or 6LoWPAN communication protocols.
•        Reconfigurable RF Chipset – enables many different 2.4GHz ISM applications.
•        Firmware Updates over USB – no need for any extra programming hardware.
•        Open Source Hardware and Software – hack, repurpose and play to your heart’s content.
•        Modular Design – the Ranger allow all sorts of connectivity options. You can connect it to anything such as a Raspberry Pi via USB or GPIO, Arduino or to your smartphone via Wi-Fi.
•        Low Level Raw Data and Parameters – access to all low level measurement data and parameter tweaks are available to discover interesting new applications (such as motion detection).
•        Node Position Calibration – get the position of nodes automatically; no manual fixed node measurements required.
•        9-Axis Accelerometer – the client expansion board contains a 9 axis accelerometer for increased positioning accuracy.

Board Image – https://cdn.hackaday.io/images/7007401465041329447.jpg
Client Image – https://cdn.hackaday.io/images/3158211465041337828.jpg

Enhance Your Makerspace!

It’s no secret how exciting the trend of makerspaces are for schools. While this movement was started quite some time ago, it seems to have gained particularly great momentum in the past 5 years.

Built on the idea of ‘constructionism’, makerspaces are a very obviously translated idea, where a space is dedicated within a school or educational facility for students to create and ‘make’ things.  There is shared resources and networking that takes place and provides a different structure of learning for students. Ranging from woodworks to robotics, these spaces are extremely important in fostering creativity and problem solving in students.

Where Will Makerspaces Work Best?

Makerspaces also range from elementary schools to college campuses, so their versatility is extremely useful.

According to Educause.edu, on their article 7 Things you Should Know About Makerspaces,

“….certain materials and tools are emblematic of makerspaces, such as microcontrollers called arduinos and 3D printers, valuable for fast prototyping. As the notion of providing space for project design and construction has caught on in education, such places have acquired other accoutrements, from paints and easels and impromptu stage sets to cooktops and candy molds. Used by students, faculty, and staff, makerspaces have become arenas for informal, project-driven, self-directed learn- ing, providing workspace to tinker, try out solutions, and hear input from colleagues with similar interests. “

It’s places like these that encourage a different type of learning to take place, perhaps a more ‘open-range’ type of environment that differs from the structure of a classroom being led by a teacher.

Some supplies for a makerspace are less available than others, such as 3D printers and robots.

If you compare sharing a robot amongst a class of 20 students to them all sharing a computer to learn from; you can see how the essence of learning is diluted. The experience is completely different and likely not nearly as effective or beneficial to the students until it’s their “turn” to use the computer.

The same can be said for robotics. We know they are extremely useful for teaching many STEM concepts and early mechanical engineering, and LEGO robots are very popular for schools and competitions but start around $400. For most public schools, one robot may be more than is affordable so to effectively teach an entire class by sharing; the students are not receiving the best quality experience from their class.

Here is another example where the Virtual Robotics Toolkit can provide a solution to hundreds of schools and thousands of students, where each student is able to individually use the simulator. They can build and control their own robots using the exact same controller and concepts as the physical robots. In fact, if they’ve already learned how to use a LEGO EV3 MINDSTORMS or NXT robot, they will seamlessly navigate the VRT.

Pilots use flight simulators to learn to fly for the same reason students can learn robotics with one; costs and training purposes.

If students are given access to the VRT in addition to the makerspace of sharing a physical robot, their skills and overall experience will be greatly enhanced and at a fraction of the cost of a real robot.

It’s a win-win for teachers as well, since they’re able to help their class all get to the same level.

Where can this movement take students and educators?

The Educause article says, “One key demand of a makerspace is that it exist as a physical location where participants have room and opportunity for hands-on work, but as these environments evolve, we may see more virtual participation.”

This is such a great point, because of global networking the opportunities are truly endless. Again, here is a great window of opportunity for the VRT to be a part of your school’s makerspace.  The software already encourages users to interact and even compete with other robot enthusiasts across the globe via the internet.

This capability allows students to learn from eachother and share ideas and challenges that they would otherwise not have had the access to.

Leipzig: Best Place for Robots and Friends

It was a festival for the mind and the heart: The 20th RoboCup combined scientific peak performances with the outstanding enthusiasm of participants from all over the world. The world championships of intelligent robots inspired 35,000 participants and visitors on the Leipzig exhibition grounds. In 17 disciplines, the robots and their creative developers demonstrated what robotics is already capable of today. The competitions were accompanied by an exciting exhibition, a scientific technical program and numerous participation offerings.

“We can look back to a very successful RoboCup,” says Professor Gerhard Kraetzschmar, General Chair of RoboCup 2016. “The competitions have demonstrated once more the enormous growth taking place in the robotics sector. And Leipzig and Leipziger Messe proved themselves to be the perfect venue for RoboCup 2016.” Markus Geisenberger, Managing Director of Leipziger Messe, adds: “This was a wonderful RoboCup 2016. Participants from all over the world enjoyed their stay in the trade fair city of Leipzig. And there was something else: RoboCup has shown us that working together on an idea gives rise to a celebration among friends. I would like to thank all supporters who contributed to this successful event.”

These are the winners of RoboCup 2016

A total of 3,500 participants from more than 45 countries and regions came to RoboCup 2016. With them came more than 1,200 robots that competed in the disciplines Soccer, Home, Rescue and Industrial, and in the Junior leagues. The participants and their autonomous robots were fired up from the first to the last minute, and cheered each other on. The following teams won their respective competitions:

RoboCup Major: Soccer

  • Standard Platform League: B-Human, Universität Bremen, Bremen
  • Small Size League: MRL, Islamic Azad University of Qazvin, Qazvin
  • Middle Size League: Final: Tech United Eindhoven, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven
  • Humonoid Kid Size: Rhoban Football Club, University of Bordeaux 1, Talence
  • Humanoid Teen Size: NimbRo TeenSize, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Bonn
  • Humanoid Adult Size: Baset Adult-Size, Baset Pazhuh Tehran Co., Tehran
  • Simulation 2D: Gliders2016, University of Sydney, Sydney
  • Simulation 3D: UT Austin Villa, University of Texas at Austin, Austin

RoboCup Major: Rescue

  • Rescue Robot League: iRAP ROBOT, King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok, Bangkok
  • Rescue Simulation Agent: MRL, Islamic Azad University of Qazvin, Qazvin
  • Rescue Simulation Virtual Robot: Yıldız, Yıldız Teknik Üniversitesi, Istanbul

RoboCup Major: Home

  • [email protected]: ToBI, Universität Bielefeld, Bielefeld

RoboCup Major: Industrial

  • [email protected]: LUHBots, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Hanover
  • RoboCup Logistics: Carologistics, FH Aachen, Aachen

Leagues continue to progress: Outdoor-Challenge, RoboCup Industrial, Referee Software

RoboCup is supported by a global community of tens of thousands of members. Their vision: In 2050, a team of autonomous robots wants to play against and beat the reigning FIFA World Champion. Even if this goal still seems visionary at present, the various leagues again registered numerous successes this year, confirming the steady progress of this technology.

Several leagues took up the challenge of having competitions held under outdoor conditions. In the Soccer Standard Platform, a separate competition was successfully held on artificial turf under wildly fluctuating natural lighting conditions. Similarly, Middle Size Soccer also successfully implemented a Technical Challenge under these difficult conditions. Two other innovations created a lot of excitement due to accordingly increased realism. Difficulties and progress in the Soccer category: The Humanoid League used artificial turf and real soccer balls. Three types of automated referee software were used in Small Size Soccer for the first time. They successfully refereed soccer games involving 22 players.

A competition under outdoor conditions was also implemented in the Rescue Robot League. Robots had to localize and remove victims in danger zones, and transport material to these zones. It was also the first time that flying robots took part in another technical evaluation as part of this league. In addition, humanoid robots mastered new tasks such as opening doors, closing valves and using tools.

Another exciting innovation was demonstrated in the [email protected] and RoboCup Logistics Leagues. These were combined under RoboCup Industrial for the first time; a joint competition with mobile robots highlighted key developments for Industry 4.0.

Toyota and SoftBank Robotics will provide robots for future [email protected] Standard Platform Leagues

Hundreds of trade visitors followed the company presentations of the [email protected] Call on Friday. Two new Standard Platforms will be introduced in this discipline for RoboCup 2017. While the current competition allows for the free selection of hardware and software, specific robots will be specified for these leagues in the future. Six well-known technology companies presented their robots, which are well suited for this purpose, and their advantages. “All of the company presentations were impressive, leaving the RoboCup Federation with a difficult decision,” says Prof. Oskar von Stryk, Associated Chair of RoboCup 2016. “We are pleased to announce that Toyota and SoftBank Robotics have been selected by the RoboCup Federation for providing the robots for the [email protected] Standard Platform Leagues starting next year.”

Team Delft wins Amazon Picking Challenge in both categories

This is the first time that the Amazon Picking Challenge was held concurrently with RoboCup. Sixteen teams from around the world took up the challenge of picking up and securely stowing twelve very different items from a shelf within a very short time period. The Delft team from the Netherlands put in an impressive performance on Friday and Saturday, and won both Stow and Pick categories.

Comprehensive scientific and technical program

Several high level scientific events closely co-located with RoboCup also invited visitors to exchange scientific ideas. Lively discussions on the current state of research took place at more than ten concurrent scientific and technical events, including the DGR Days, the 9th IFAC Symposium and the Flower Robotics Seminar. Tomorrow’s RoboCup Symposium closes the world championships of intelligent robots.

RoboCamp delivers a new generation of young scientists

The children and youths participating in RoboCamp fidgeted in their seats during the opening ceremony. The young scientists were very excited about the upcoming workshop, and could hardly wait for the starting signal. For three days, 160 children and youth and their parents worked on their first own robots as part of RoboCamp; the robots then faced off against each other in the first competitions. “The great amount of work done at RoboCamp demonstrates the fascination of children and youth with MINT issues,” says Markus Geisenberger. “I am very pleased that we were able to organize this workshop together with IHK zu Leipzig. I am sure that we have laid the foundation for one or more engineering careers.”

From robot friends and household assistants: Exhibition with an eye to the future

Hello. I can see you! – With these friendly words, robot Pepper from SoftBank Robotics caused quite a bit of excitement among many visitors. At this stand and at 60 more, market leaders such as Siemens, KUKA, Festo, Schenker, Tuxedo and noDNA presented fascinating exhibits. “This exhibition is the ideal complement for the competitions,” says Professor Gerhard Kraetzschmar. “It continues the game-based setting of the competitions with the application side, and turns the future vision of robotics into something tangible.” The future was also at the heart of the Recruiting exhibition. On 1 and 2 July, this event brought together potential employees and employers in the robotics industry at the Congress Center Leipzig.

RoboCup 2017 in Japan

The 21th RoboCup will be held in Nagoya, Japan, from 25 to 31 July 2017.

About RoboCup

RoboCup is the leading and most diverse competition for intelligent robots, and one of the world’s most important technology events in research and training. The World Cup of robots combines a variety of interdisciplinary problems from robotics, artificial intelligence, informatics, as well as electrical and mechanical engineering, among others. As the central discipline, robots play soccer in different leagues. Additional visionary application disciplines, such as intelligent robots as assistants for rescue missions, in households and in industrial production have been added during the last few years. The vision of the RoboCup Federation: That autonomous humanoid robots beat the reigning soccer world champion in 2050. In addition to the Global Sponsors of the RoboCup (Festo, Flower Robotics, MathWorks, SoftBank Robotics), the 2016 world championships are also supported by Siemens (Gold Sponsor), Amazon Robotics, Festo, KUKA (Silver Sponsors), Schenker, TUXEDO Computers (Hardware Partners), HARTING, Arbeitgeberverband Gesamtmetall / think ING, S&P Sahlmann (Bronze Sponsors), DHL (Logistics Partner) and Autoverwertung Freund, arvato, Donaubauer, Flughafen Leipzig/Halle, GiSA, Metropolregion Mitteldeutschland, Micro-Epsilon and regiocom (Friends).

Pioneer of Collaborative Robots Launches Universal Robots+

Odense, Denmark/Munich, Germany, June 21, 2016:Universal Robots, the Danish pioneer of human-robot collaboration, revolutionizes the automation industry with the launch of Universal Robots+ at AUTOMATICA in Munich. Today, the company presents:

  • Universal Robots+: A showroom of Plug & Play application solutions offering a new level of simplicity for companies that want to hit the ground running when installing their next UR robot application;  By choosing accessories, end-effectors, and software solutions from Universal Robots+, both distributors and end users get high security and predictability that applications will run well from the start, saving weeks and months in the integration process from concept to operation of the UR cobots.
  • +YOU: a unique, free-of-charge developer program, offering a powerful marketing and support platform for the flourishing eco-system of UR-robot application developers.

At the AUTOMATICA kick-off in Munich, Universal Robots+ will – for the first time – be presented in hall B5 (518) as well as to all interested developers at a designated +YOU booth (341).

With Universal Robots+, the company creates its own eco-system enabling applications revolving around the collaborative robot arms UR3, UR5 and UR10 to be developed and showcased. The so-called URCaps, accessory components that extend the UR robots’ capabilities, can be customized hardware components, software plug-ins, or a combination of both. The aim of Universal Robots+ is to reduce implementation periods, increase user comfort and reduce costs for all parties involved.

“With Universal Robots+, we create an unmatched win-win-win situation benefitting the developer community, our distribution partners and our end customers,” explains Esben H. Østergaard, CTO and co-founder of Universal Robots. “The participants in the developer program +YOU will receive free support from Universal Robots when developing URCaps. By integrating the accessory components showcased at the Universal Robots+ showroom, our distribution partners and end users reduce spending on application development and testing when they deploy the URCaps as simple Plug & Play solutions. In short, Universal Robots+ is easy access to efficient, well-proven, and safe automation solutions that we elevate to the next level by collaborating with a crucial component: the developers of today and tomorrow.”

How developers and distributors will benefit

“When developers have received our approval for designing within Universal Robots+, we will support them via our local subsidiaries by providing robots for testing and optimizing URCaps. On request, robots can also be purchased at a reduced price, given that they will be used exclusively for the development and testing of new UR-related components,” says Stefan Tøndering Stubgaard, Manager of Universal Robots’ Corporate Technical Support.

After completion of a URCaps prototype, the developer will send it to Universal Robots for examination. Tøndering Stubgaard explains: “Before a new product can be presented in our showroom, we verify its quality. In comprehensive functionality tests, we test whether the URCap can be implemented and operated easily and if the product conforms to Universal Robots’ quality requirements.”

In addition, developers can also get their URCaps certified by Universal Robots. In order to receive this additional quality certificate, developers must document that their solution is already operating in a real application and used successfully by a customer.

Having capabilities featured in the Universal Robots+ showroom is free of charge for developers. In providing this, Universal Robots offers all developers a professional marketing platform granting them access to an ever expanding, global customer network. Sales of all products and capabilities revolving around the UR-robots’ universe will continue to be provided through Universal Robots’ established network of distribution partners. In this way, distributors also benefit from this central platform, where they can both offer and access applications developed specifically for the use with UR robots. Universal Robots+ is the toolbox that tailors the optimal solutions for their individual customer needs.

Entering the Universal Robots+ Community

Developers need only complete a few steps to get their application solutions featured in the Universal Robots+ showroom. Registration for developers is free in the +YOU community forum where developers can submit their application ideas. In order to become a member of the +YOU community, the following conditions must be met:

  • Submission of a first draft detailing which type of capabilities is being developed. The following categories of URCaps can be chosen:
    • End-effectors:All types of end-of-arm-tooling (EOAT) such as grippers, force-torque-sensors, screwdrivers, and many more.
    • Accessory components:hardware products, which do not belong into the category of end-effectors – for instance, cable guidance, protective covers, communication modules, vision systems, HMI-panels, etc.
    • Software:These are either software plug-ins, which have been developed with the URCaps Software Development Kit (SDK), PC programs, for example, for the simulation of robot systems or programming, or UR-Library Plug-ins for the software of third parties such as the PLC programming suite.
  • Moreover, the developer needs to offer an established support service with a response time of maximum 24 hours on week days.
  • The developers must present a website with valid contact data.

After verification of the URCaps by Universal Robots, the developers will receive access to the +YOU online forum, where they can exchange questions and ideas. In addition, all members of the community will receive access to the company-internal developer support, which will assist (if necessary) in developing a market mature application. Additionally, the URCaps Software Development Kit can be downloaded free-of-charge.

 

First URCaps developed

The first approved capabilities developed by the developer community will accompany the Universal Robots+ launch at AUTOMATICA. One new URCap is the vision-guided Pick & Place solution of Robotiq, the Canadian manufacturer of flexible robot grippers and sensors. Samuel Bouchard, CEO of Robotiq, explains: “The UR robot arms can be equipped with our new camera and vision system and deployed right into assembly within five minutes. There is no need for an external computer to set up, program, or operate the camera. Everything can be done within the robot’s user interface. In developing this solution, we managed to meet the need of Universal Robots and our customers demanding an easier and faster implementation of a camera and vision system that can be deployed by anyone.”

Software release reduces implementation time

Alongside the launch of Universal Robots+, a new update for the robot arms’ operating software has been published. The new release (Software Version 3.3) includes updates such as the Profinet IO device functionality. The new compatibility with Profinet protocols opens up numerous additional areas of deployment and activities for robots. “A key feature of the update supporting the Universal Robots+ platform is the ability for providers to now offer solutions that interface seamlessly with the UR software,” says Østergaard.

Until now, the software enabling communication between developer applications and the UR robot arms had to be implemented by using relatively complex script code, which is time consuming and a difficult task for the majority of end users to handle. As the Software Version 3.3 now consists in parts of open source software, the developers can implement their software as an add-on, reducing the time needed for implementation at the end customer’s premises significantly, thus reducing both price and potential risks.

Availability

Universal Robots+ and the +YOU forum are accessible online from today in English. The first URCaps are already on display in the Universal Robots+ Showroom.

UR+ 2

About Universal Robots

Universal Robots is the result of many years of intensive research at Denmark’s successful robot cluster, which is located in Odense, Denmark. The company was co-founded in 2005 by the company’s CTO, Esben Østergaard, who wanted to make robot technology accessible to all by developing small, user-friendly, reasonably priced, flexible industrial robots that are safe to work  with and  on their own can be used to  streamline processes in the industry. The product portfolio includes the collaborative UR3, UR5 and UR10 robotic arms named after their payload in kilos. Since the first UR robot launched in December 2008, the company has experienced considerable growth with the user-friendly robots now sold in more than 50 countries worldwide. At just 195 days, the average payback period for UR robots is the fastest in the industry. The company, a part of Boston-based Teradyne Inc., is headquartered in Odense and has subsidiaries and regional offices in the U.S., Spain, Germany, Singapore, Czech Republic, India, and China. Universal Robots has more than 270 employees worldwide. Learn more at: www.universal-robots.com, www.universal-robots.com/plus/ and on the company-owned blog.

RoboCup: The world comes to Leipzig

It is the meeting place of the international research elite. From 30 June to 3 July, 3,500 participants from more than 45 countries and regions will be in Leipzig for RoboCup. Many of them have been a part of the global community for years. And they are all excited to engage in an inspiring dialogue on the current state of robotics.

RoboCupMajor

b-it-bots, Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, Sankt Augustin, Germany

Liga: [email protected] und [email protected]

“We have participated in RoboCup since 2012. “After first competing in [email protected], we added [email protected] to our list of competitions in 2012. With our 16 team colleagues – all of whom are studying Autonomous Systems – we take on the RoboCup challenge every year. In 2009, we were the [email protected] world champion, and won second place in [email protected] in 2014. What is so special about this event: Our team members are from all corners of the globe, including Mexico, India, Congo, Ukraine, Pakistan, Canada and Vietnam, and we all practice the idea of RoboCup. We look forward to an inspiring environment with the opposing teams, some of which are also close friends.”www.b-it-bots.de

Nao-Team, Hochschule für Technik, Wirtschaft und Kultur, Leipzig, Germany

Liga: RoboCup Standard Platform League

“Our team consists of 17 informatics students. We have been enthusiastic participants of RoboCup for years, and look forward to welcoming the competition to Leipzig this year. At RoboCup, we use innovation and creative software to push hardware to its limits – something that motivates us every year.” http://htwk-robots.de

Tech United Eindhoven, Eindhoven University, Eindhoven, Netherlands

Liga: Soccer, Midlle Size League

“We have been coming to RoboCup since 2005 – with much success. In the Middle Size league, we have always reached the finals in the past few years, and even won the coveted trophy in 2012 and 2014. What is so special about RoboCup? Despite its competitive character, everyone is working on the same goal – to promote research in robotics. The community spirit is really noticeable!” www.facebook.com/techunited

UT Austin Villa, University of Texas, Austin, USA

Liga: Soccer, 3D Simulation League

“We have competed at RoboCup for more than ten years. Participating in different RoboCup leagues since 2003, we won the 3D Simulation League title four times in the past five years. 3D simulation unites robotics, multiagent systems and artificial intelligence – something that really motivates us. RoboCup is an excellent opportunity to meet up with friends and colleagues and talk about the newest results, share ideas and test the latest advances.”

http://www.cs.utexas.edu/~AustinVilla/sim/3dsimulation/

WrightEagles, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China

Liga: [email protected]

“We were the first Chinese team to compete at RoboCup in 2009. We now have 15 students who have been competing for the top spots in the [email protected] league for several years, and we won the title in 2014. What we find exciting about RoboCup? During the event, members have an opportunity to advance their technologies and test their inventions in real life. At the end, what counts is not only the ranking, but the insights that have been gained.”http://wrighteagle.org/en/robocup/atHome/

Bit-Bots, Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Liga: Soccer, Humanoid KidSize

“We have competed in RoboCup’s Humanoid KidSize league since 2012. Our team consists of 17 members. We have already been able to reach the top spots at the RoboCup German Open and IranOpen several times. RoboCup is a wonderful opportunity for gaining practical experience as part of our academic course of studies. We are very excited to discuss the newest robots with the other teams in Leipzig.” www.bit-bots.de

Solidus, Höhere Fachschule für Technik, Mitteland, Switzerland

Liga: RoboCup Logistics

“We started competing at RoboCup in 2010. Last year, our nine-member team garnered the second place. For us, RoboCup is the ideal setting for networking, exchanging ideas and expanding our social and technical competence.”https://www.facebook.com/hftmrobotics

Hector, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany

Liga: RoboCup Rescue

“We have participated in the RoboCupRescue league since 2009. The objective of this league is to search for buried victims in simulated disaster scenarios – an exciting task, since these technologies are supposed to be used in real life very soon. Our autonomous rescue robots already achieved some success in this area, and we have won the “Best in Class Autonomy” award in every one of the last four years. In 2014, we were the first team with a focus on autonomy that won the world championship title in Brazil. Therefore we will work hard to again achieve a top ranking in the “home game” in Leipzig. We are excited about RoboCup because it gives us an opportunity to test our robots at a world class level. The intensive exchange with the other teams is another exciting aspect of the world championships.“www.teamhector.de

RoboCupJunior

FRT – FIRST RoboCup, Alexander von Humboldt Gymnasium, Berlin, Germany

Liga: Soccer

“Our team was created in 2006, and has competed at many robotics world championships in the RoboCupJunior Soccer leagues. This year, we became the German champion, and are of course looking forward to Leipzig. Our team is characterized by its passion and friendships. We look forward to exciting days!“ www.frtrobotik.de

RoboCup at a glance

Participants: approx. 3,500 from 45 countries

Junior participants: 1,155

Major participants: 1,540

Volunteers: 248

Amazon Picking Challenge: 100 participants

RoboCamp: 160 participants

Representatives of the RoboCup Community: approx. 300 participants

Home geographical regions Egypt, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil

of the participants: Chile, China, Germany, Ivory Coast, Estonia, France, United Kingdom, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Canada, Columbia, Croatia, Macau, Mexico, Netherlands, Austria, Pakistan, Panama, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Switzerland, Sweden, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Hungary, Uruguay, USA

Geographical regions with Germany (620), Iran (356), China (227), Japan (230),

the most participants: USA (162)

Participants who have travelled University of New South Wales, Sydney

the longest way: (Air-line distance: 16,195.25 km)

About RoboCup

RoboCup is the leading and most diverse competition for intelligent robots, and one of the world’s most important technology events in research and training. The World Cup of robots combines a variety of interdisciplinary problems from robotics, artificial intelligence, informatics, as well as electrical and mechanical engineering, among others. As the central discipline, robots play soccer in different leagues. Additional visionary application disciplines, such as intelligent robots as assistants for rescue missions, in households and in industrial production have been added during the last few years. The vision of the RoboCup Federation: That autonomous humanoid robots beat the reigning soccer world champion in 2050. The 20th RoboCup will be held in Leipzig from 30 June to 4 July 2016. More than 500 teams from 40 countries with 3,500 participants are expected to compete at this event. In addition to the Global Sponsors of the RoboCup (SoftBank Robotics, Festo, Flower Robotics, MathWorks), the 2016 world championships are also supported by Siemens (Gold Sponsor), Amazon Robotics, Festo, KUKA (Silver Sponsors), Schenker, TUXEDO Computers (Hardware Partners), HARTING, Arbeitgeberverband Gesamtmetall / think ING, S&P Sahlmann (Bronze Sponsors), DHL (Logistics Partner) as well as arvato, Donaubauer, Flughafen Leipzig/Halle, Metropolregion Mitteldeutschland and Micro-Epsilon (Friends).