Sony Announces Limited First Litter Edition Release of aibo in U.S.

NEW YORK, Aug. 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Sony Electronics Inc. today revealed plans to offer a special First Litter Edition of its acclaimed aibo autonomous robotic „puppy“ companion in the United States. Following the recent reintroduction of aibo in Japan, Sony’s First Litter Edition for the U.S. will be a limited, all-in-one aibo bundle that includes the aibo1, a three-year AI Cloud Plan2, a fun assortment of aibo toys, and an individually numbered commemorative dog tag.

First introduced in 1999, the latest design of aibo is the sixth generation of Sony’s beloved companion robot. Unlike previous versions, it pairs cutting-edge robotics with a new, cloud-connected artificial intelligence (AI) engine and advanced image sensors, giving aibo the ability to learn and recognize faces. As aibo interacts with people over time, it develops its own unique personality through everyday interactions, enabling it to remember what actions make its owner happy and form a deep bond with members of the household.

No two aibo companion robots are the same. Each owner’s approach to raising their aibo shapes its personality, behavior and knowledge, creating a unique environment for growth. In fact, aibo is able to learn new tricks through owners‘ interactions, experiences with changing seasons and different events. Not content to sit and wait to be beckoned, aibo will actively seek out its owners and can recognize their faces. It can also detect words of praise and smiles, as well as react to being petted or scratched on the head.

„This is truly a one-of-a-kind product designed to connect with its owners on an emotional level,“ said Mike Fasulo, president and chief operating officer of Sony Electronics North America. „aibo’s charming personality, dog-like behaviors and ability to intelligently interact with family members help to create a personal bond. Bringing aibo back to the U.S. reflects Sony’s broader commitment to provide consumers with products that not only entertain them, but also enrich their lives.“

To create such a loveable, expressive and life-like robo-puppy, Sony integrated a wide range of sensors, cameras and actuators to bring aibo to life. Ultra-compact 1- and 2-axis actuators give aibo’s body the freedom to move along a total of 22 axes. Its adaptable behavior is made possible through deep learning AI technology in the form of built-in sensors that can detect and analyze sounds and images. aibo’s whimsical body language is expressed through a combination of eye, ear, and tail movements, as well as different voice sounds. In addition, two OLED displays are utilized for aibo’s eyes and give the appearance of blinking and closing, allowing for diverse, nuanced expressions.

Like any pup, aibo enjoys playing with a variety of toys. Sony’s First Litter Edition aibo will arrive with a pink ball, an „aibone,“ paw pads and charging station. Users can also take their aibo experience to the next level with the „My aibo1 2“ app.  In addition to accessing system settings and owner information, the app’s handy user interface allows owners to check out and share their aibo’s pictures, as well as add „tricks“ to its repertoire. The app is packed with fun-filled features—even for people who don’t have an aibo of their own.

The three-year AI Cloud Plan2 included in the First Litter Edition bundle enables aibo to upload its day-to-day life experiences to Sony’s leading-edge AI engine. This database of memories is accessed to form each aibo’s unique personality, which grows and evolves over time. The aibo AI Cloud Plan also enables users to enjoy the full range of aibo features via Wi-Fi connection at home or a mobile connection on the go.

Sony’s latest generation aibo is one of the products of the Company’s broader commitment to technology innovation, particularly in the areas of AI, robotics and image sensing. This commitment has enabled Sony to achieve other innovations in these areas, such as its Neural Network Console, an integrated software development environment for creating deep learning programs for artificial intelligence; Sony’s recent agreement with Carnegie Mellon University to collaborate on artificial intelligence and robotics research; and the introduction of a compact CMOS image sensor with resolution rivaling SLR cameras.

By looking for new ways to bring joy to people’s lives through technology innovation, such as with aibo, Sony is staying true to its philosophy of Kando – creating an emotional connection with Sony’s customers. Similarly, the company has designed aibo’s packaging from 50 percent post-consumer recycled plastic as a reflection of its commitment to environmental sustainability.

aibo First Litter Edition with accessory bundle and three-year AI Cloud Plan will be available for purchase in September 2018 at a suggested retail price of $2,899, with delivery in time for the holidays. Additional details will be announced in the coming weeks. To get the latest aibo updates via email and find additional information on fun aibo features and accessories, visit us.aibo.com

aibo will be exhibited at Sony Square NYC from August 24th to October 14th. The exhibit is open to the public and is the only place to experience aibo before it goes on sale.

About Sony Electronics Inc.
Sony Electronics is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America and an affiliate of Sony Corporation (Japan), one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world, with a portfolio that encompasses electronics, music, motion pictures, mobile, gaming and financial services. Headquartered in San Diego, California, Sony Electronics is a leader in electronics for the consumer and professional markets. Operations include research and development, engineering, sales, marketing, distribution and customer service. Sony Electronics creates products that innovate and inspire generations, such as the award-winning Alpha Interchangeable Lens Cameras and revolutionary high-resolution audio products. Sony is also a leading manufacturer of end-to-end solutions from 4K professional broadcast and A/V equipment to industry leading 4K Ultra HD TVs. Visit www.sony.com/news for more information.

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1 „My aibo“ will be available at Google Play and the App Store from the day on which the aibo is shipped. A web browser version is also available at the same time. Network services, content, and the operating system and software of this Product may be subject to individual terms and conditions and changed, interrupted or discontinued at any time and may require fees, registration and credit card information.

2 aibo and aibo AI Cloud Plan subscription required to fully enjoy all features of „My aibo.“ App

World’s first smart dancing robot speaker, dancebot, gets funded just 2 hours from launch

Expressive robot speaker connects with any Bluetooth-capable device and converts any type of audio played in real time into motion using intelligent algorithm to drive the feet of the robot using bionics technology.

HOUSTON – Aplus Drones is pleased to announce the launch of Dancebot, a smart dancing robot speaker designed with intelligent algorithm technology, today on Kickstarter. Dancebot reached its funding goal of $10,000 in just 2 hours.

Dancebot is the world’s first smart dancing robot speaker. Connect your device to Dancebot via Bluetooth and use it as a speaker. Dancebot will move to the audio it plays.

Aplus Drones has developed an algorithm to analyse audio input on the fly to string together movements that best express the sound played through Dancebot. It moves to the rhythm and tempo of music in its adorable expression of the songs. It taps its feet and jives to upbeat tunes. It slides in silky sleek movements to bring out the sexy in slow pieces.

Dancebot is designed with two joints in each leg. A motor drives each joint through 360 degrees of motion. Aplus Drones engineers have been creating a database of movements Dancebot is capable of. The variation of speed and degree of motion at each joint creates multiple permutations of possible moves that can be achieved with the four joints. The large library of movements and on-the-fly analysis means Dancebot has a different dance routine each time it jives to the same song.

The movement expressed by Dancebot depends on the audio it plays. Besides playing music, Dancebot can be used to play audiobooks, videos, podcasts or even voice messages.

This makes Dancebot the perfect companion for children. Play a children’s audiobook or nursery rhymes with Dancebot and it will move to the narration of the story and dance along to the nursery rhymes. Dancebot’s animated movements makes learning more engaging and a whole a lot more fun.

The startup sound for Dancebot can be customized into a personalised message, making it ideal as a gift.

For more information or to purchase Dancebot at a special discount during crowdfunding, visit the Dancebot Kickstarter campaign page.

About Aplus Drones

Aplus Drones is an entrepreneurial technology company focusing on artificial intelligence and robotic technology development. The company provides award-winning product design, product development, manufacturing, marketing, logistics and shipping services. Full control over the whole supply chain makes Aplus a one-stop solution for clients.

About Dancebot

Dancebot is a smart dancing robot speaker that is a fun audio companion. It moves to the rhythm and tempo of the audio played through it. Play music, audiobooks, podcasts, videos or even voice messages

My Best-friend ARTIBO

Introducing Cubroid’s second robot project: ARTIBO! Cubroid originally launched in 2017 with its AI educational Coding Blocks and is back with a new robot for coders, non-coders, kids and adults all alike. Only having been showcased at trade fairs such as The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and The Mobile World Congress (MWC) so far, Cubroid will now make Artibo available to general consumers.

Currently robots trendy among those with interest in such technology. However, going forward, robots will have a huge influence on people’s daily lives as a whole. “We put our best effort forward to make everyone who is interested in robotics have an opportunity to easily enjoy this robot. That’s why being well-designed and functional is key in how Artibo was created” says CEO and Founder, Mark Shin.

Artibo is your very own AI best-friend, designed to make daily life that much more simple. An at-home assistant that is small enough to fit anywhere and also efficient enough to go anywhere you go.

Artibo comes with an AI block (which houses the camera, microphone, speaker and LED screen), a motor block, a connector block (to join the AI and motor block) and silicon wheels.

When all the pieces are connected, Artibo stands at approximately 97mm tall and weighs less than a pound (240g) – with the AI block weighing less than half a pound

With separate (but buildable) parts, you can separate the AI block and place it on your desk while you work or connect all the parts and have Artibo follow you from one room to the next. With Artibo, buying multiple to have one in every room is unnecessary.

The features you would like your Artibo to display are customizable from a list of features such as walkie-talkie, scheduler, music, voice recognition, and many more. Each feature having a corresponding display that is shown on the LED screen.

Keeping with the core of what Cubroid does, you can also code Artibo for even more personable interactions and functionality. Kids can also continue their coding education from coding with Cubroid Coding Block to now coding with Artibo.

On Kickstarter preorder of Artibo will be available from July 31st 2018 to September 30th 2018. With Super Early Bird prices starting as low as US$79. Artibo’s prices are set so low to give as many people as possible the opportunity to afford and experience such a robot. After achieving the set goal, Cubroid estimates manufacturing and delivery to be completed by the end of November 2018. We proudly introduce you to your own AI robot: Artibo!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cubroid/my-best-friend-artibo

The Duckietown Foundation announces the AI Driving Olympics (AI-DO), a self-driving car competition to debut at NIPS 2018

The Duckietown Foundation is excited to announce the The AI Driving Olympics, a new competition focused around AI for self-driving cars. The first edition of the AI Driving Olympics 2018 will take place December 7, 2018, at Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), the premiere machine learning conference, in Montréal. This is the first competition with real robots that will take place at a machine learning conference.

The competition will use the Duckietown platform, a miniature self-driving car platform used for autonomy education and research. The Duckietown project originated at MIT in 2016 and is now used by many institutions worldwide.

The AI Driving Olympics is presented in collaboration with 6 academic institutions: ETH Zürich (Switzerland), Université de Montréal (Canada), National Chiao Tung University (Taiwan), Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago (USA), Tsinghua University (China) and Georgia Tech (USA), as well as two industry co-organizers: nuTonomy (a self-driving car company) and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

About the competition: The competition comprises 4 challenges of increasing complexity: 1) Road following on an empty road; 2) Road following with obstacles; 3) Point to point navigation in a city network with other vehicles; and 4) Fleet planning for a full autonomous mobility on demand system.

Competitors will have access to a suite of professional development tools (simulators, logs, baseline implementations). Real environments called “Robotariums” will be remotely accessible for evaluation. The highest scoring entries in the robotariums will be run during the live event at NIPS 2018 to determine the overall winners.

Scientific goals: The competition aims at directing academic research towards the hard problems of embodied AI, such as modularity of learning processes, and learning in simulation while deploying in reality.  

Social goals: The competition also promotes the democratization of AI and robotics research by using an inexpensive platform, and offering a common infrastructure available through the use of remote testing facilities. Competitors can also build or acquire their own testing facility (Duckiebots and a Duckietowns), through either open-source DIY instructions, or as rewards obtained in our kickstarter campaign (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/163162211/duckietown-a-playful-road-to-learning-robotics-and?ref=dwrnb2)

 

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STEM Labs are hands-on activities, which include diverse builds, games, and competitions, that align with education standards while also showing real-world applications of concepts.

These activities give students the opportunity to communicate and collaborate with their classmates. Every STEM Lab has multiple approaches to solving a problem, allowing students to experiment with creative design solutions.

For many teachers, figuring out how to implement concepts into maths, design & technology, engineering and computer science subjects can be difficult. Our STEM Labs allow for easy implementation with minimal preparation time. Each STEM Lab can be used on multiple platforms and includes easy-to-follow build instructions.

Go to the STEM Labs Portal: https://education.vex.com/

Smartibot launches the world’s first A.I. enabled cardboard robot

London, England – June 26th 2018 The Crafty Robot today launches its new robot kit Smartibot which is aimed at letting users get hands-on experience with A.I. and get creative through building their own robot out of anything, even a potato. Created by product designer Ross Atkin, who is part of a team of inventors in the BBC’s flagship technology program ‘The Big Life Fix’, Smartobots are available for pre-order on Kickstarter from £30 ($40).

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/460355237/338515758?ref=1k04h4&token=994114b3

Smartibot takes The Crafty Robot’s ‘build a robot out of anything’ ethos and adds the latest A.I. technology and smartphone connectivity. This allows you to build robots that can recognise and respond to objects they can see such as people, animals and vehicles, or be driven around the home and office using your smartphone as a remote control.

Smartibot comes with cleverly designed cardboard parts, and can be re-used to easily create new robots out of almost anything from porcelain to parsnips. The first three cardboard robot designs include;

  • A.I. Bot: The fun robot that can chase you, your pets or toy vehicles around the room.
  • Teabot: Which can carry two full drinks around the room, giving you a fun way to deliver your favourite person their beverage of choice.
  • Unicorn: It’s a freakin’ Unicorn!

Working with two groups of London-based craftspeople who use traditional processes, Smartibot has grown from a simple robot to something more. Artists at Turning Earth Studios have been able to craft robots using various clay and ceramic techniques whilst regulars at Wild and Woolly Yarn Shop have found knitting a series of robots was more their style. In an East London Makerspace, Machines Room, Smartibot robots have been made using the less traditional materials including potatoes and other vegetables in order to pit them against each other in a race and arena combat in the inaugural ‘Botato Wars’.

“I build technology for a living and I know that the best way to avoid being replaced by a robot is to be the person making the robot” explained Ross Atkin. “We believe building your own robot should be affordable, easy to understand and exciting for everyone. Because of this we created Smartibot in order to allow everyone the opportunity to experiment with the latest A.I. technology in a fun and inventive way.”

Unlike most education technology products, Smartibot allows you to learn all of the disciplines required to create new inventions, from coding and machine learning, to mechanical design and development through iteration.

Akram Hussein, Smartibot software lead, said  “What I love about Smartibot is it allows me share my love of technology and machine learning with my young nephews in a way that is both fun but educational. I’m hopefully they will be excited to pursue STEM careers and believe Smartibot is just the right level to get them started in learning how robots and programming work.”

About The Crafty Robot

The Crafty Robot is a technology education brand, founded by Ross Atkin that has manufactured and sold cardboard robots since 2015 when it was successfully Kickstarted and delivered to over 1,600 backers.

Ross, a London based designer and engineer specialising in internet of things and smart city products, and is part of a team of eight inventors who create one off pieces of technology to solve problems for disabled individuals in the primetime BBC2 TV program ‘The Big Life Fix’.

The Crafty Robot is focused on allowing people to get creative with technology in the most fun and accessible ways possible.

New TacoBot toy makes learning coding skills easy for young children

Indiegogo campaign lets early adopters grab TacoBot toys for home or school at best-ever pricing
XIAMEN, FUJIAN, CHINA –There’s a new robot in town, and it’s about to become the hottest tech toy around. That toy is TacoBot. Designed to help children learn to code, this colorful stacking toy was developed by RoboSpace to facilitate STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) education.
RoboSpace has launched an Indiegogo campaign to accelerate the launch of TacoBot, which is sure to become the new “must have” toy for children starting at age four. TacoBot teaches children to code with screen-free or drag-and-drop coding that allows them to build critical thinking and problem-solving skills while they are playing.
With TacoBot, children can simply stack pieces to create their own special robot. Because stacking is the “most intuitive and simplest construction method,” TacoBot enables children to explore, create, and code a variety of robots and then play with them immediately. This stacking method suits both the hands-on capability and comprehension levels of children from very young ages.
The TacoBot was designed to “minimize complication and maximize exploration.” A basic TacoBot includes four body parts with built-in sensors that control separate functionality:
  • The hat controls perception.
  • The head controls expression.
  • The body controls interaction.
  • The base controls movement.
Once built, the TacoBot gives children instant voice feedback to help them better understand and interact with their toy.
In addition to the basic parts, children can add shovel, plate, and catapult extensions to their TacoBot to expand what their robot can accomplish. With the basic parts and add-ons, children can program their robots with a wide array of functions, from going on patrol, to storytelling, catapulting, and dancing and singing. They can send them into battle or have them clean up toys. TacoBot will even interface with and assemble Legos to create hours of fun. That is to say, one TacoBot quals to a coding robot, a modualr robot, a accompany robot and more.
Two different TacoBot kits will be available for delivery in November. The basic kit includes the programming hat, head, body, base, and a free app. The Happy Kit includes the basic kit along with two additional sensor hats and the shovel, plate, and catapult extensions.
Parents and teachers can visit the TacoBot Indiegogo page right now to pre-order individual or classroom kits and support the toy’s development. Early pricing of the TacoBot through the Indiegogo campaign provides savings of 40% or more:
Basic Kit Early Bird: $34 USD + Shipping. Regularly $59 (42% off)
Happy Kit Early Bird: $44 USD + Shipping. Regularly $75 (41% off)
2 X Basic Kit Family Package of 2: $69 USD + Shipping. Regularly $118 (41% off)
2 X Happy Kit Family Package of 2: $89 USD + Shipping. Regularly $150 (40% off)
6 X Basic Kit Classroom Package of 6: $199 USD + Shipping. Regularly $354 (43% off)
For an additional $5, grab a USB Bluetooth adapter to allow control and programming of the TacoBot by PC (supports Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP). The adapter will be regularly priced at $10.
Visit the just-launched Indiegogo campaign to support the project and grab your TacoBot: www.indiegogo.com/project/preview/9e736306#.
To learn more about TacoBot or see it in action, visit www.tacobot.net or watch our product video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ed6IEVK982A.

automatica beats all records again

  • Exhibitor, visitor and area records
  • More international than ever
  • The tangible Workplace 4.0

automatica 2018 (June 19 to 22) set new records: more than 46,000 visitors (+ seven percent) and 890 exhibitors (+ seven percent). Trade Fair Managing Director Falk Senger: “automatica addresses the future topics of human-robot collaboration, digital transformation in production, and service robotics. The strong results show: The history of automation and robotics is being written here in Munich!” Mr. Senger considers the growing internationalism of the trade fair as particularly impressive: “There was a 20 percent increase of visitors other countries. This shows that the automatica is becoming increasingly important on a global level.”

Industry Representative Dr. Norbert Stein, Chairman of the Board of VDMA Robotics + Automation and Managing Director of VITRONIC GmbH, is convinced by the trade fair concept: “automatica has once again set standards. It shows the future of automation and provides knowledge for orientation at the highest level. Visitor quality and quantity: outstanding!”

Per Vegard Nerseth, Managing Director of ABB Robotics, explained the importance of automatica for his company: “automatica is the most important trade fair in the area of robotics and automation. A lot of value is put on future-oriented technology here. This is the main reason why we are here in Munich.”

Networked production is already a reality today
New names, products and concepts enriched the exhibition portfolio. The motto is: Digitalization, easy operation and greater flexibility in production with the aim of opening up new application areas.

Ralf-Michael Franke, CEO of the Factory Automation Business Unit at Siemens AG, commented on the trade fair premiere of his company: “Our digital enterprise portfolio fits ideally to the automatica motto ‘Optimize your Production’. Siemens provides end-to-end software and hardware solutions, with which the entire value chain can be integrated and digitalized. As a result, machine manufacturers and users can already use the benefits of Industry 4.0.”

Wilfried Eberhardt, Chief Marketing Officer of KUKA AG, sees a decisive advantage for the trade fair in the networked production world: “The topic IoT is part of intelligent automation. automatica is the only trade fair in the world that focuses on it. That is why it stands quite clearly for innovation. Trade visitors get a glimpse into the future here.”

Highlight: IT2Industry
With new exhibitors, specialist lectures and demonstrations, the topic “IT” plays a central role at the trade fair. Sixty-four companies exhibited from the IT environment within the framework of the IT2Industry area. Dr. Christian Schlögel, CEO of connyun GmbH, stated: “automatica 2018 has shown the technological opportunities that companies have for implementing their digital transformation. It is impressive to see the great range of industrial loT developments and which potential is still available.”

Machines speak a common language
A major growth driver for the future: the connectivity between machines. The decisive factor for this is the standardization of communication interfaces. The importance of collaboration between industry participants was demonstrated by the OPC UA Demonstrator from the VDMA Robotics + Automation Association, in which 31 companies are participating. “Interoperability is the key to differentiating our products in the networked world of Industry 4.0. OPC UA is the designated standard to let machines speak the same language in the intelligent factory of the future,” Dr. Horst Heinol-Heikkinen said, Chairman of the VDMA OPC Vision Initiative.

Collaboration—the dominant topic
Collaborative robotics is conquering the market at rapid pace and opening up almost unlimited automation possibilities. From the sensor via the cobot to a complete installation, direct interaction between man and machine is gaining increasing acceptance.

The technological developments are thanks to close collaboration between science and industry. Munich is the international meeting point for this. Prof. Oussama Khatib from Stanford University explained: “automatica, this year, opens a wide window on the emerging applications in the robotic industry. Robots with increased capabilities working in closer proximity with humans are being built for real world applications, a testimony to the fruitful collaboration and technology transfer between research and industry.”

People in the Smart Factory
The question that goes beyond the trade fair: How will people work in the future? With the special exhibition “People in the Smart Factory”, the professional association VDMA Robotics + Automation made the work world 4.0 tangible: digital assistance systems as supporters in manual assembly, augmented reality, gesture control, exoskeletons and wearables that simplify interaction between man and machine. Patrick Schwarzkopf, Managing Director of VDMA Robotics + Automation, explained: “Jobs will be more attractive and ergonomic. The respective strengths of man and machine are complementary! This opens up a great opportunity for a better workplace design. This topic sets the tone of automatica as hardly any other fair.”

What lies ahead—Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the next technological leap. automatica communicated relevant expertise with numerous talks on this topic. AI-based data analyses can give industry an enormous increase in growth. Interdisciplinary dialog is crucial here. “To use business potential successfully, automation and IT providers must collaborate much more closely together with AI experts in future,” Ralf Bucksch said, Technical Executive of Watson IoT Europe, IBM Sales & Distribution, Software Sales.

Start-ups and the promotion of young people
Twenty-three young entrepreneurs from all over the world presented themselves at the Start-up Arena. With that, automatica promotes exchanges in the industry and supports young entrepreneurs on their way to success.

With the Makeathon, Integration Islands and Escape Game formats, the trade fair addresses young people in a targeted manner. More than 120 Makeathon participants and 200 students brought a breath of fresh air to the industry. Trade fair Managing Director Mr. Senger sees an important issue in this respect: “The shortage of skilled workers is unfortunately a daily reality in industry and SMEs now. To address this problem, we will continue to strengthen our commitment in the area of promoting young, talented people.”

Top grades from visitors and exhibitors
The positive mood in the industry could be felt everywhere: Ninety-six percent of the exhibitors and 98 percent of visitors evaluate the trade fair as excellent, very good or good. automatica is the business platform for making concrete investments, and 97 percent of the visitors confirmed this.

The next automatica will take place In Munich from June 16 to 19, 2020.

Meet and greet service robots at automatica Demo Park

Interact with the world’s leading robots and see them in action at the dedicated Service Robotics Demo Park at automatica 2018. From June 19 to 22 in Hall B4, over a dozen exhibitors will be showcasing a wide range of professional service robots, in applications from detection and individual picking of objects, cleaning and transport to rehabilitation, personal assistance and public relations.

“Hey, I’m Paul, I’m a mobile service robot. Can I guide you through the park?”

Making its premiere at automatica’s Demo Park this year, Care-O-bot 4 is a mobile robot assistant that actively guides and supports humans in environments such as retail stores, hostels, offices and, as in this case, exhibition spaces.

If visitors give a positive answer to its question, Care-O-bot 4 will ask if they are interested in a particular application area and will offer to guide them there or provide alternative suggestions.

Care-O-bot 4 aka “Paul” is already guiding customers in several retail stores. Dr. Ulrich Reiser, CEO and Director of Care-O-bot 4 developer Mojin Robotics, expects the number of Care-O-bots operating in public to increase significantly in the next years: “The goal of Mojin is to support qualified personnel by taking over simple tasks, thereby increasing their productivity and satisfaction”.

Rehabilitation robots and more
Providing a different kind of assistance, in physical rehabilitation, the RIC (Robotic Interactive Care) system, a product of the company BEC, combines a lightweight KUKA iiwa robot to enable re-learning of motor skills after neurological injury. The robot’s end effector is fitted with a baby shoe, ready for a game of football. The patient grasps the shoe and plays the game on the big screen in front of them. The level of assistance can be adjusted and, says BEC Project Manager, Oussama Benfarah, “the system provides real-time tracking of biofeedback data and an interactive gaming aspect that keeps the patient motivated.”

Mobile, lightweight and focused on personal assistance applications (it can complete 30 different tasks altogether), Lio is a human-friendly collaborative mobile robot with a robotic arm, voice control, sensory skin and internet functions, developed by the Swiss company F&P Robotics. Lio can help elderly and handicapped people, support nursing staff, serve food, clear the table, clean, and more.

Another robot that’s equally at home both in a domestic and factory environment, is the “KINOVA Ultra lightweight robotic arm”, designed by French-Canadian company, Kinova. Originally intended to aid people with upper-body limitations, this is a six-axis robotic manipulator arm with a two or three-finger hand that can individually grasp different kind of objects. Whereas in assistive applications it might be used for adjusting a thermostat or brushing one’s teeth, at automatica 2018 it will be shown in an industrial application where visitors can ask the robot to pick up specific tools from a table. “Kinova’s mission is to further the human cause by empowering people to achieve the extraordinary,” says Olivier Pharand-Allard, Regional Manager for Europe. “Our robotic arm solutions are very safe, versatile and power-efficient, allowing people to be more autonomous, more efficient, and to achieve more. There is no need too small, no task too great.”

Flexible, interactive and easy to use
In today’s professional service robotics sector, complicated programming and tricky interfaces are a thing of the past; “easy-to-use”, “versatile” and “human-friendly” are the buzz words not only at this year’s automatica. These are qualities also to be found in the plug and play smart automation product of the Belgian company Pick-it. Integrating with all leading robot brands, it is a 3D camera and software to detect individual parts’ positions, even in poor visibility, when items overlap or come in varying sizes and materials.

Whether visitors are investigating pick-and-place options or want to meet Care-O-bot 4 “Paul”, the Service Robotics Demo Park should be on everyone’s priority list at automatica 2018. Never before has there been such a wealth of service robots to watch, learn about and interact with.

The exhibits will be showcased daily in shows presented by an emcee. The shows start every full hour.

Enterprise montratec presents world premiere on leading trade fair automatica: the self-propelling “shuttle carrier”

(Niedereschach/Germany) – At the leading trade fair automatica 2018, from 19 to 22 June in Munich, montratec GmbH with headquarters in Niedereschach, Germany, is showcasing five new product developments of their future-oriented automation and transport system montrac®. Product highlight is the new “shuttle carrier” – connecting rail-bound workstations without rail.

 Sven Worm, chairman of the board of montratec GmbH informs: „At our first attendance at the automatica we are directly starting with a world premiere. With the development of the “shuttle carrier” we are at the same time optimizing the applications of our intelligent automation and transport system montrac® and offering solutions for customers with extremely limited installation spaces.” Worm is convinced that the new innovation of montratec will succeed in various industrial areas.

Using the self-driving “shuttle carrier” allows for the first time to interrupt the monorail track system without interrupting the entire manufacturing/production process and enables open spaces between track-bound workstations for escape paths, transport routes, and passages for employees.

The self-propelling “shuttle carrier” acts as a connecting robot on the floor: with the aid of integrated sensors it recognizes the respective route based on stripes drawn on the floor and follows them at speeds of up to 25 meters/min.

A height-adjustable track on top of the “shuttle carrier” carries transport shuttles, either empty or with cargo of up to 50 kilogram, from one track section to another track section and gets the transport shuttles back on the monorail. Battery charging takes place during docking which ensures a permanent availability.

With the innovation of the „shuttle carrier“, the modular automation and tracking system montrac®, so far consisting of a monorail system and self-propelling transport shuttles, is extended by another active component.

The use of shuttle carriers will further reduce the low space requirements of montrac®. The already low space requirements of montrac® result from combining electrical track switches, crossings, very tight radii (of 220 millimeters), overcoming gradient angles of up to 12 degree, and integrated lifting elements. Based on smart logistic technology, the shuttles know precisely where the products need to go. The transport shuttles move with speeds of up to 55 meters/min and communicate via infrared with both the track sections and the route.

“Due to continuous power supply of all shuttles, montrac® always ensures total reliability and extreme high availability”, explains Worm and he adds: “At any time, each shuttle can manually be replaced or removed from the running system without stopping the system.”

Among the new montratec product developments to be presented at the fair are:

  • Shuttle variation including integrated robotics
  • Cleanroom Shuttle MSH4 CR,
  • New version of SmartRouter
  • New shuttle generation MSH5

Please join us at our fair stand (booth 320/hall A5) and see how our new innovations can support your company.

Company informationen about montratec GmbH

The high-tech company montratec GmbH is clearly focused on its core competencies in the industrial intralogistics and process automation. The montratec GmbH has 130 employees and company locations in Niedereschach (Headquarters Germany) and Solothurn (Switzerland). Direct sales are located in Europe, North America, and Asia. International agencies are operated by dealerships.