iRobot Takes Next Step in the Connected Home with Clean Map™ Reports and Amazon Alexa Integration

Tell Roomba® vacuuming robot to clean via Amazon Alexa™, then learn more about the cleaning job in the iRobot HOME App

BEDFORD, Mass., March 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — iRobot Corp. (NASDAQ: IRBT), a leader in consumer home robotics, today announced updates to the iRobot HOME App that expand the value of connected Roomba vacuuming robots within the smart home. New Clean Map reports provide visual post-cleaning maps that display information about the robot’s cleaning performance, such as the dirtiest floor areas and total space cleaned, while the integration of Amazon Alexa™ voice activated control will make communicating with a Roomba vacuuming robot a breeze.

„iRobot is aggressively pursuing opportunities within the connected home to improve our customers‘ experience with our cleaning robots,“ said Colin Angle, chairman and CEO of iRobot. „The latest updates for the iRobot HOME App make cleaning with an iRobot Roomba vacuuming robot even more user friendly, with voice-activated commands, enhanced mapping features and useful post-cleaning reports. These are exciting next steps towards our vision of an ecosystem of home robots that work collaboratively and further enable the smart home.“

Combining adaptive navigation with visual localization, iRobot Roomba 900 Series vacuuming robots build a map of a home as they clean. Clean Map reports make these maps visible to customers in the iRobot HOME App after a cleaning job is complete, showing total area and duration a Roomba® 900 Series vacuum cleaned — for up to 30 cleaning jobs.  Leveraging Dirt Detect™ – an iRobot patented feature only found on Roomba vacuuming robots – Clean Map reports also provide users with information about where the robot encounters higher concentrations of dirt or debris, providing a more focused cleaning in those areas. With the addition of Clean Map reports, users can now have greater confidence in knowing the vacuuming is complete.

Clean Map reports can be viewed in the History tab of the iRobot HOME App. Once the map is opened, users can manipulate the map on the screen with their fingers, zooming and panning from room-to-room to see where Dirt Detect™ events occurred. The update to the iRobot HOME App also includes push notifications that will alert users on job status, including when the robot is finished cleaning.

With Amazon Alexa™, customers can start, stop and pause Roomba cleaning jobs with simple voice activated commands (e.g. „Alexa, ask Roomba to begin cleaning.“). The Alexa™ skill for Roomba vacuuming robots will be available to U.S. customers in Q2 2017 and is compatible with any connected Roomba vacuum, such as the Roomba 900 Series.

Available for Android and iOS devices, the iRobot HOME App gives users more control over their connected cleaning products, such as the Roomba 900 Series Vacuum Cleaners and Braava jet® Mopping Robot, with customized cleaning preferences, information about cleaning jobs, customized maintenance tips and direct access to customer support.

Availability

The latest update for iRobot HOME App is available for download beginning today worldwide for iOS and Android users. The Amazon Alexa skill for connected iRobot Roomba vacuums will be available to U.S. customers in Q2 2017.

Photos, videos and background can be found at: http://media.irobot.com/

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

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 feature 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.

For iRobot Investors

Certain statements made in this press release that are not based on historical information are forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. This press release contains express or implied forward-looking statements relating to iRobot Corporation’s expectations concerning management’s plans, objectives and strategies. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. iRobot undertakes no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances or otherwise. For additional disclosure regarding these and other risks faced by iRobot, see the disclosure contained in our public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including, without limitation, our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Updates für Automatisiertes Fahren und Maschinelles Lernen

MathWorks stellt Release 2017a der MATLAB- und Simulink-Produktfamilien vor

Aachen/München, 9. März 2017MathWorks stellt heute Release 2017a (R2017a) mit einer Reihe neuer Funktionen in MATLAB und Simulink vor. R2017a enthält ein neues Produkt, die Automated Driving System Toolbox, für den Entwurf, die Simulation und das Testen von fortgeschrittenen Fahrerassistenzsystemen (ADAS) und automatisierten Fahrsystemen. R2017a enthält zudem Neuerungen im Bereich Big Data Analytics und Machine Learning ebenso wie Aktualisierungen für 86 vorhandene Produkte.

Neue Funktionen für Automatisiertes Fahren

Das Release 2017a umfasst die neue Automated Driving System Toolbox für das Design und Testen von ADAS und autonomen Fahrsystemen. Sie stellt neue Funktionen zur Entwicklung von Sensor-Fusion- und Tracking-Algorithmen bereit, die den Anwendern helfen, durch das Zusammenführen von Sensordaten aus komplementären Quellen neue und präzisere Kenntnisse über einzelne Verkehrssituationen zu erlangen. Anhand von generierten Verkehrsszenarien und synthetischen Sensordaten lassen sich Algorithmen testen und validieren. Mit weiteren Funktionen können komplette Kamera-, Radar- und Lidar-basierte Sensoren entwickelt werden. Durch die automatische Generierung von Code für den Sensorfusions- und Verfolgungs-Workflow lässt sich wertvolle Entwicklungszeit einsparen.

Von Data Analytics zu Maschinellem Lernen

Ein weiterer Fokus des R2017a liegt auf neuen Funktionen für Data Analytics, Machine Learning und Deep Learning. Neue Tools erleichtern die Skalierung und schnellere Ausführung von Algorithmen in MATLAB und Simulink. Dieser Vorteil kommt beispielsweise zum Tragen, wenn Anwender große Mengen an Bilddaten analysieren möchten, um Algorithmen zur Objekterkennung zu entwickeln.

Mit dem neuen Update ist es möglich, neuronale Netze vollständig selbst zu trainieren oder Transfer Learning mit vortrainierten Modellen zu verwenden, die bereits Tausende von Objekten erkennen. Anwender können das Training mit GPUs auf ihrem Multi-Core Computer oder durch Skalierung in der Cloud beschleunigen.

Das Update umfasst zudem Frameworks zur Objekterkennung, die helfen, Objekte mit Deep Learning noch präziser lokalisieren und klassifizieren zu können. Funktionen für Maschinelles Lernen sind bereits in die Classification Learner App integriert und helfen bei der Klassifizierung von Objekten. Ergänzt wird sie durch die neue Regression Learner App zum Trainieren von Regressionsmodellen mit überwachtem maschinellem Lernen.

Big Data leichter verarbeiten

Bei der Bearbeitung großer Datenmengen stehen Anwender oft vor technischen Problemen, etwa wenn sie Algorithmen entworfen haben und diese skalieren möchten, die Daten aber nicht in den Arbeitsspeicher passen. Zur leichteren Bearbeitung von Big Data wurden im Release 2016b Tall Arrays eingeführt, die bei großen Datenmengen dennoch eine vertraute Syntax bieten. Mit dem Release 2017a werden Tall Arrays auch in vielen Machine-Learning-Funktionen unterstützt.

Leichteres Arbeiten mit Simulink in der Cloud

Auch in Simulink erleichtern Neuerungen des umfassenden Updates die Arbeit mit großen Datenmengen. Zum Beispiel ist es nun möglich, Eingangssignale aus MAT-Dateien zu streamen anstatt sie in den Arbeitsspeicher laden zu müssen. Zudem können Nutzer nun mithilfe des parsim-Befehls mehrere Simulationen parallel ausführen – entweder auf dem eigenen PC oder in der Cloud.

Auf der embedded world 2017 in Nürnberg, 14.-16. März, können Sie sich auf dem MathWorks-Stand (Halle 4, Stand 110) persönlich mit einem Ansprechpartner austauschen

Updates der MATLAB-Produktfamilie:

  • MATLAB
    • Interaktive Aktualisierungen von Abbildungen im Live Editor (einschließlich des Titels, der Beschriftungen, der Legende und weiterer Anmerkungen) sowie die Möglichkeit, Live-Script-Ausgaben in andere Anwendungen zu kopieren
    • Heatmap-Diagrammfunktionen für die Datenvisualisierung
    • Mehr Funktionen für die Arbeit mit Tall Arrays, darunter ismember, sort, conv und Funktionen für sich bewegende Statistiken
  • Econometrics Toolbox
    • Bayes‘sches lineares Regressionsmodell zum Analysieren der Beziehung zwischen einem Ausgang und einer Reihe von Prädiktorvariablen
    • Vektorautoregressives Modell zum Analysieren von Daten multivariater Zeitserien, einschließlich exogener Prädiktoren
  • MATLAB Production Server
    • Webbasiertes Servermanagement-Dashboard für die IT-Konfiguration und -Steuerung
  • Neural Network Toolbox
    • Deep-Learning-Algorithmen zum Trainieren von neuronalen Faltungsnetzwerken (CNNs) für Regressionsaufgaben mit mehreren GPUs auf PCs, auf Clustern und in der Cloud
    • Deep-Learning-Visualisierung für die von einem CNN-Modell erlernten Funktionen mithilfe von Bildoptimierung
    • Funktionen zur Übertragung von Gewichtungen von vortrainierten CNN-Modellen (AlexNet, VGG-16 und VGG-19) und Modellen von Caffe Model Zoo
  • Statistics and Machine Learning Toolbox
    • Regression-Learner-App zum Trainieren von Regressionsmodellen mit überwachtem maschinellem Lernen
    • Tall-Array-Algorithmen für Support Vector Machine (SVM) und naive Bayes-Klassifikation, Entscheidungsbäume mit Bagging sowie Lasso-Regression
  • Computer Vision System Toolbox
    • Deep Learning zur Erkennung von Objekten mit Fast R-CNN und Faster R-CNN
  • Automated Driving System Toolbox
    • Neues Produkt für den Entwurf, die Simulation und das Testen von fortgeschrittenen Fahrerassistenzsystemen (ADAS) und automatisierten Fahrsystemen

Updates der Simulink-Produktfamilie:

  • Simulink
    • Simulink-Projektupgrade für die leichte Aktualisierung aller Dateien in einem Projekt auf das aktuelle Release
    • parsim-Befehl für die direkte Ausführung mehrerer paralleler Simulationen
    • Streaming für umfangreiche Eingangssignale von MAT-Dateien, ohne dass die Daten in den Arbeitsspeicher geladen werden
    • Reduzierte Busverdrahtung zur schnellen Gruppierung von Signalen in Busse und zur automatischen Erstellung von Buselement-Ports, um weniger Signalleitungen zwischen und innerhalb von Subsystemen zu benötigen
    • Automatische Port-Erstellung zum Hinzufügen eingehender und ausgehender Ports zu Blöcken beim Routing von Signalen
  • Simscape Multibody
    • Laufzeitparameter für die Beschleunigung von Simulationsaufgaben und für das Verändern von Komponenten-Parameterwerten ohne erneute Generierung des C-Codes
    • Onshape-CAD-Import zur Verwendung cloudbasierter CAD-Baugruppen in der Mehrkörpersimulation

Zu den Signalverarbeitungs- und Kommunikations-Updates gehören:

  • Antenna Toolbox
    • Antenna Designer-App für die interaktive Auswahl und Analyse von Antennen mit den gewünschten Eigenschaften
  • Communications System Toolbox
    • Modellierung und Simulation für räumlich definierte MIMO-Kanäle in Mehrweg- und Streuungs-Übertragungsszenarien
  • LTE System Toolbox
    • MATLAB-Funktionen zum Simulieren von neuen 3GPP 5G-Mobilfunk-Technologien
    • Sidelink-Empfangsfunktionalität für die Simulation direkter Kommunikation über LTE-A ProSe auf Link-Ebene für Anwendungen in der öffentlichen Sicherheit und der Fahrzeugkommunikation
  • WLAN System Toolbox
    • Unterstützung der Generierung von Wellenformen gemäß IEEE 802.11ad

Zu den Codegenerierungs-Updates gehören:

  • Embedded Coder
    • Release-unabhängige Code-Integration zur Wiederverwendung von generiertem Modell-Referenzcode aus früheren Releases
  • Simulink Coder
    • Unterstützung von dynamisch zugewiesenem Arbeitsspeicher für die Simulation von MATLAB-Funktionsblöcken und die Codegenerierung
  • HDL Coder
    • Generierung von HDL-Code aus Gleitkommaoperationen mit einfacher Genauigkeit nach IEEE-Standard
  • HDL Verifier
    • Unterstützung der Abtastung und Erfassung interner FPGA-Signale zur Analyse in MATLAB oder Simulink

Zu den Verifikations- und Validierungs-Updates gehören:

  • Polyspace Bug Finder
    • Codeüberprüfung für MISRA C:2012 Amendment 1 und neue Kryptografie-Routinen
  • Simulink Verification and Validation
    • Verbesserungen bei der Klon-Erkennung für die Refaktorierung wiederholter Bibliotheksmuster und Subsystem-Klone
    • Unterstützung von DOORS Next Generation für die Verknüpfung von Modellelementen mit Anforderungen und die entsprechende Nachverfolgung in DOORS Next Generation
  • Simulink Design Verifier
    • Virtualisierung der Auswirkungen des Timings von Zustandsaktivitäten auf die Slicer-Hervorhebung für Simulationen
  • Simulink Code Inspector
    • Unterstützung von Schleifen- und Zyklus-Operationen in MATLAB, Simulink und Stateflow

R2017a ist ab sofort weltweit erhältlich. Weitere Informationen siehe R2017a Highlights.

Folgen Sie @MATLAB auf Twitter, um mitzuverfolgen, was bei R2017a neu ist, oder klicken Sie auf der MATLAB Facebook-Seite auf „Gefällt mir”.

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PLEN Cube: The Portable Personal Assistant Robot, from PLENGoer Robotics Inc., launched on Kickstarter

PLENGoer Robotics launched a KICKSTARTER campaign to bring PLEN Cube:
The Portable Personal Assistant Robot, to the world. PLEN Cube can be your
customizable, palm-­sized companion featuring a smart camera and automation skills.
Visit PLEN Cube’s Kickstarter page to pre-­order it, meet the developers, and learn more
about the product that is changing our lives.


PLEN Cube is a portable robot that can consolidate your devices and favorite web
services;; capture moments with a smart camera that tracks your face and motions;; and
complement your life with hands-­free voice activation, and customization options.
Natsuo Akazawa, CEO at PLENGoer Robotics, explains: “Think of PLEN Cube as your
right-­hand man (in robot form). We’ve packed a lot into this playful 3-­inch powerhouse:
a powerful processor, Full-­HD camera, display, microphone array and speakers, along
with cutting-­edge software in facial recognition, speech recognition, and more.“

 

A HANDS-­FREE CAMERA THAT FOLLOWS YOUR MOVEMENTS

No need for a cameraperson. Simply use voice commands to take a photo or video. PLEN Cube also uses computer vision technology, and can rotate 360 degrees to follow you wherever you go. Because PLEN Cube is wifi and bluetooth-­enabled, you can instantly share photos or videos on social media.

KEEPS YOU INFORMED

PLEN Cube aggregates all your day’s essential info including the weather, schedule, reminders, social media and more.Use the PLEN Cube mobile app to connect your services. PLEN Cube will keep you informed through its display, movements, sound, or notifications to your mobile device.

ALL YOUR SERVICES AND DEVICES IN ONE PLACE

With PLEN Cube, you can control all your favorite devices via Wifi, Bluetooth and infrared.You can also connect and consolidate your social media, including Facebook,Instagram, and Twitter.

CUSTOMIZE TO YOUR LIFE -­ FROM MORNING TO NIGHT

Anyone can customize the PLEN Cube using IFTTT, a web-­based automation service that allows you to create chains of actions with your favorite web services. PLEN Cube can do everything else a personal assistant bot can do, and also expands the number of triggers (inputs) and actions (outputs) you can use. Advanced developers can access our open API and take customization to the next level. We’ll also launch a community forum where users can share ideas and collaborate, and PLENGoer can provide further developer information.

Specs:

  • Size: 75mm x75mm x75mm / Weight: 500g (1.1 lbs).
  • Intel Joule 570x
  • WiFi, Bluetooth
  • 320×240 LCD – full color
  • Full HD Camera – with stop motion, panoramic, and face and actiontracking
  • Microphone x2 – to locate sound source
  • Electromagnetic field-based sensor – detects hand presence and motion.
  • Program different gestures to activate certain application actions
  • Speakers – full range drivers, woofers and tweeters from GoerTek, a leaderin the global miniature electro-acoustic industry
  • Infrared home appliance control – through a partnership with Crossdoor
  • Motors – for PLEN Cube’s expressive movement
  • Linux OS
  • Robot Operating System (ROS)
  • Voice recognition software (we’re currently evaluating the best option for this)

About PLENGoer Robotics Inc.

Founded in 2016, PLENGoer Robotics Inc. develops personal service robots to achieve a richer quality of life. With the robot development technology our parent PLEN Project Company has cultivated thus far, and production technology of GoerTek group, we aim to develop unprecedented and truly functional service robots. PLENGoer Robotics will be an innovation platform for service robots.
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/plengoer/

Kuri – A First-of-Its-Kind Home Robot Announced at 2017 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES)

Designed with personality, awareness, and mobility, Kuri enhances life at home and helps people connect

Mayfield Robotics , a Bosch startup out of Redwood City, CA, at CES proudly unveiled Kuri, an intelligent robot for the home. Kuri is designed with personality, awareness, and mobility, and adds a spark of life to any home. Priced at $699, Kuri is available for pre-order in the U.S. with a $100 deposit starting today at heykuri.com.

Kuri is built to connect with you and helps bring technology to life. Kuri can understand context and surroundings,recognize specific people, and respond to questions with facial expressions, head movements, and his unique lovable sounds. Like many adored robots in popular culture, his personality and ability to connect are his greatest attributes.

“For generations, people have dreamed of having their own personal robot in the home, and we’ve been focused on making that dream more of a reality,” said Sarah Osentoski, COO and co-founder of Mayfield Robotics. “We’re proud to introduce Kuri to the world and can’t wait to see how he touches the lives of everyone, ranging from parents and children to early technology adopters.”

Behind his clean design, Kuri is powered by serious hardware & capabilities:

  • A built-in 1080p camera so you can check-in on the house or pets while you’re away;
  • A 4-Microphone array, powerful dual speakers, and wifi + Bluetooth connectivity, so he can play music, read the kids a bedtime story, or follow you around playing podcasts while you’re getting ready for work;
  • Various sensors for mapping and detecting edges and objects so he knows where he is, and so you don’t have to worry about him bumping into that chair you forgot to put away, or driving down stairs;
  • Easily programmable tasks and IFTTT capabilities to connect within modern smart homes
  • Hours of battery life, and when it’s time to refuel, he simply returns himself to his charging dock for a quick charging nap.

“While insanely cute on the outside, Kuri contains serious technologies on the inside that represent the latest developments in smartphones, gaming, and robotics,” said Kaijen Hsiao, CTO and co-founder of Mayfield Robotics. “We hope Kuri introduces people — especially kids — to the power of technology and can inspire a new world of possibilities for their future.”

“I’m excited to finally share the work we’ve done,” said Mike Beebe, Mayfield Robotics’ CEO and co-founder. “We have an incredible team that’s focused on a single dream: home robots done right.”

Kuri is 20” tall, weighs about 14 lbs, and includes an app for iOS and Android for setup and controlcapabilities. Mayfield Robotics plans to ship the first Kuri robots for Holiday 2017.

###

About Mayfield Robotics

Mayfield Robotics is the maker of Kuri, a new kind of intelligent home robot. Born out of the Bosch Startup Platform, the company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Robert Bosch North America Corporation. Founded in 2015 by Sarah Osentoski, Kaijen Hsiao and Mike Beebe, the company is based out of Redwood City, California. For more information, visit www.mayfieldrobotics.com, and to pre-order Kuri, visit www.heykuri.com.

Panasonic Demonstrates Desktop „Companion“ Robot

Panasonic announced it has developed a desktop „companion“ robot with human-like movements and communication skills. The robot, developed as a proof of concept, debuts at the Panasonic booth (#12908) at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. during Jan 5-8.

„This test project builds on Panasonic’s innovations in robotics including battery and power solutions, vision and sensing, navigation solutions and motion control in a new appealing design. This is Panasonic’s latest effort in demonstrating network services in a friendly package, and we are showing this robot at CES as a way of obtaining feedback on its features and functions,“ said Takahiro Iijima, Director, Panasonic Design Strategy Office in North America.

The robot is equipped with a Wi-Fi network function that accesses artificial intelligence-based natural language processing technology. This enables it to communicate in a clear, friendly way. The robot is able to access and use cloud data, and commute with those in other locations. Thanks to its embedded projector, the robot can be used for distance learning and other purposes. The robot is about the size of a standard kitchen countertop blender.

Panasonic has submitted patent or design registration applications in the U.S. and other parts of the world.

Specifications (Based on test model; subject to change)

Product name Desktop companion robot
Dimensions Diameter: Up to 290 mm (9.5 inches)
Height: Up to 485 mm (1.5 feet)
Weight 3.7 kg (8.1 lbs)
Movement speed Max. 3.5 km/h (2.1 mph)
Battery Lithium ion battery
Capacity: 11.1 V 6600 mAh
Operable hours: Approx. 6 hours
Sensors 8 M pixel CMOS camera × 1, infrared sensors × 5
Motors Wheels: Pulse width modulation controlled DC motor × 4
Neck: Feedback controlled servo motor × 3
Projector WVGA+ (854 × 480 dots), 50 lumens
Language English
Processor & OS 1.2 GHz 64/32-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53, UNIX OS
Wireless connectivity Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4GHz/5GHz)
Bluetooth: Version 5

The robot has a cover that looks like an egg shell, which the robot can open to reveal a built-in projector. The robot also moves back and forward, and up and down. Its features and dexterity–designed to mimic human movements–inspires people to interact with it and are made possible with Panasonic-developed servo control technology. The robot’s child-like voice adds to the realism. Its voice and embedded projector work together to deliver natural communication that builds a sense of attachment with its human owner.

WiSoccero, The Soccer Player Robot

WiSoccero is designed to take advantage of the exciting art of robotics by removing all the struggles involved and also adding a little more fun. It makes entering the world of Robotics as easy as possible. It begins by just playing with friends and travels to incredible areas like learning about robots and even developing amazing robotic projects.

WiSoccero is agile and versatile. Unlike traditional RC Cars, it can move in any direction without any hesitation. It employs a special wheel arrangement and omnidirectional wheels which gives it more freedom in maneuvering.In order to take advantage of this flexibility, the pack includes a customized DIY joystick kit that gives complete control of all its various features and capabilities over WiFi.

This soccer player robot is capable of kicking and passing the ball. It utilizes an electromechanical part (solenoid) and the necessary electrical drivers. This system is capable of kicking the ball with different level of force that can be controlled effortlessly.

WiSoccero needs to be powered by 3 Li-ion 18650 cylindrical rechargeable batteries (at least 2200 mAh in capacity) that under normal condition lasts for about 2 hours.

WiSoccero is based on ATmega2560 core and it has all standard Arduino Mega Headers. Also it’s equipped with WiLoader for WiFi programming and communication.

It also comes with a lot of great components for hobbyist and developers like three DC motor drivers, Gyroscope (for orientation setting), DIP switch, buzzer, two LED Strings, two configurable buttons, power and protection circuit, two rocker switches for turning circuit and motors on/off separately, isolated voltage booster circuit and power transistors  for kicker mechanism.

WiSoccero is truly developer friendly. Thanks to its Arduino compatible headers and component placement, its possible to use any Arduino Mega shield such as distance sensor shield for obstacle avoidance, camera shields for autonomous operations and much more. Also you can use all these amazing shields while playing soccer. It’s truly fun!

WiSoccero Kickstarter campaign starts on February 8 for a period of 30 days by PetuniaTech. It offers special discount for the first day only. The final products will be available on June 2017. Click here to view more on WiSoccero Kickstarter campaign.

MeArm Pi by Mime Industries now on Kickstarter

Mime Industries launched their latest product on Kickstarter; a Raspberry Pi powered robot arm kit that’s simple enough for kids to build.

Ben Pirt from Mime Industries said “we believe in helping children to have fun whilst learning about technology and the MeArm Pi is completely designed around that goal”. Based on the original MeArm, which was launched on Kickstarter in 2014, this version has seen a complete re-working in order to make it much simpler for children to build.

The kit integrates smoothly with the Raspberry Pi, the ubiquitous educational computing platform, using a HAT (a plug-on board that fits on the computer) with on-board joysticks for control. Because of the large ecosystem of programming language support for the Raspberry Pi it is also possible to program the movements of the arm using a wide range of popular programming languages.

Mime Industries enables people to learn through play and exploration of technology. Their groundbreaking build-it-yourself kits have inspired children and adults to break through their own barriers and learn to build and code whilst having fun. Their products are simple to build and can be easily understood. Meaning you can use them to learn whilst playing, adding your own imagination to make something great.

Link to the Kickstarter Page

International MOONBOTS Competition Launches, Challenging Next Generation of Space Explorers

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, Google Lunar XPRIZE announced the final MOONBOTS Challenge, an international competition that inspires the next generation of space explorers and innovators and is also known as the “Google Lunar XPRIZE for Kids.” The MOONBOTS Challenge, which invites kids ages 8 to 17 to create a video of what they would leave behind on the Moon as a legacy and design and program their own lunar rover, will for the first time provide an opportunity for finalists to send personalized video messages to the Moon, as part of the Google Lunar XPRIZE teams’ missions.

The MOONBOTS Challenge is inspired by the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, a global incentivized competition that was launched to challenge and inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration and ignite a new era of space exploration. The Google Lunar XPRIZE is in its final phase with five privately funded teams preparing to initiate their launch to the Moon by December 31, 2017. The sixth and final MOONBOTS Challenge will also provide an opportunity for one grand prize winner to go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to meet with a finalist Google Lunar XPRIZE team.

“As we embark on the final leg of the MOONBOTS Challenge, the next generation of space travelers will get an opportunity to tell us what is most important to them, and actually leave that legacy behind on the Moon,” said Chanda Gonzales-Mowrer, senior director, Google Lunar XPRIZE. “We really want to get kids excited about space exploration and the associated STEM disciplines, and we welcome newcomers from all countries and communities to join the competition and help inspire kids all over the world.”

In order to enter the competition, teams, comprised of two to four members and one team captain that is 18+ years old, are asked to submit a two-minute video about what they would leave behind on the Moon as a legacy. Registration for the MOONBOTS Challenge is officially open through March 15, 2017 and there is no charge to enter.

A panel of judges from the International Space University will select 12 teams by April 2017 to qualify and those teams will be provided one of three robotics platforms (LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3, VEX IQ, MECCANO™ Meccanoid 2.0) to build and program a unique simulated robotic mission, based on the legacy in the video they submitted. Additionally, they are asked to provide a demonstration to the judges via live webcast and contribute to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education by sharing their innovation with children and adults in their community. The announcement of the grand prize winner will be made in July 2017.

Since 2010, MOONBOTS has had hundreds of teams sign-up and has challenged thousands of young people from all around the world. In addition to the Google Lunar XPRIZE, competition partners include FIRST® LEGO® League, VEX Robotics Inc., LEGO Education, Parentesis.com, MECCANO™, GeekDad, GeekMom, Robomatter, Inc. and Dexter Industries.

More information about the competition can be found at moonbots.org.

About the Google Lunar XPRIZE

The $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE is an unprecedented competition to challenge and inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. To win the Google Lunar XPRIZE, a privately funded team must successfully place a robot on the Moon’s surface that explores at least 500 meters and transmits high-definition video and images back to Earth. Visit http://lunar.xprize.org/ or @GLXP for more information.

About XPRIZE

XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. Active competitions include the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE, the $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, the $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, the $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE, the $5M IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, the $1.75M Water Abundance XPRIZE and the $1M Anu & Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE. For more information, visit http://www.xprize.org/.

Introducing MekaMon: an Augmented Reality Gaming Experience with Real-Life Robots Designed to Turn Living Rooms Into Battle Zones

BRISTOL, U.K. (Jan. 3, 2017) — Pokemon Go introduced the magic that comes from augmented reality to the world. As fun as it was, it was limited to watching onscreen battles between digital creatures. Now, augmented reality breaks out of the screen with MekaMon: the world’s first premium gaming robots that battle in both the physical and virtual worlds, creating a limitless experience for gamers everywhere.

Created by Reach Robotics and available for purchase today at MekaMon.com, MekaMon starts at $279 and is a new way to experience augmented reality, robotics and video games, where the whole universe is one giant battlefield.

Augmented Reality, Real Robots

Inside the MekaMon app, the smartphone screen becomes a dashboard for controlling and customizing the real-life robots, as well as a gateway for augmented reality gameplay. In single player, the screen transforms into a vast augmented reality world where players embark on an epic campaign and gamers learn how to strike, evade, and

master the robot’s controls. MekaMon’s tracking technology enables robots to transcend the physical environment and become one with digital gameplay in real time.

Mechanized Warriors

MekaMon’s robots have gone through 27 iterations over three years of development to become premium fighting machines. Features include:

  • Three degrees of freedom per leg allowing a sophisticated level of movement
  • Customization by physical accessories that add weapons or shields, enabling the creation of aggressive, defensive or technical specialists
  • One hour of battery life per charge
  • Phone camera and infrared tracking system for precision gameplay
  • Lightweight form factor (2.2 pounds) to enable swift battle strikes Two Bots Enter, One Bot Leaves MekaMon spans single and multiplayer action.

In multiplayer mode, friends battle in bot-to bot-combat as well as arcade-style, co-op gameplay that spans Tug of War, Last Man Standing, and more. MekaMon robots can also connect to multiple devices, allowing for cooperative gameplay for two people and up. In single-player mode, gamers progress through the MekaMon campaign and earn upgrades and experience points that they can use later for future battles.

As the robots battle, they level up and achieve new capabilities and weapons that can be customized in the mobile app based on a player’s strategy. Digital items augment abilities and boost health and recovery times, adding a layer of depth and strategy to upgrade choices and inventory.

Co-founded by 25-year-old Nigerian robotics engineer Silas Adekunle, Reach Robotics has assembled a team of leading engineers, game designers and computer vision PhDs and experts who have built their

reputations working at Aston Martin and Airbus. The result is a premium robotics product that’s easy to play but difficult to master and aimed squarely at bringing consumer robots to the multi-billion dollar toys-to-life market.

“At the root of everything we build is the premise that gaming is an experience that goes beyond a screen. We imagine a world where things come to life in front of you,” says Silas Adekunle, CEO and cofounder of Reach Robotics. “Our inspiration came from building robots in STEM classes with underprivileged students in the U.K., and while we got our humble start there — we’re ready to introduce a new twist on hardware and video games and unleash our battling robots.”

Enlist in the MekAcademy

The first 500 people to buy MekaMon will receive exclusive features and enter the MekAcademy, a club that offers special promotions, battle advice and more. For a limited time, a single MekaMon is available in the Lone Wolf Battle Pack for $279 while the Ultimate Battle Pack contains two MekaMons and is available for $499 – a discount of more than 35 percent from its retail price.

To purchase MekaMon today, go to: MekaMon.com

About Reach Robotics

Founded in 2013 by CEO Silas Adekunle, CTO Chris Beck and COO John Rees, Reach Robotics is creating the future of gaming by fusing robotics, reality-bending technology and competitive play. MekaMon is the company’s first product and the company is backed by world-class investors like London Venture Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, Hardware Club, Iglobe Partners, Passion Capital and Techstars.

SmartGurlz launches the World’s First Mini-Robot for Girls

Dolls, Robots and Dreams: the aim is to engage more girls in Science & Tech by connecting their tablets and smartphones to their dolls via a robot

January 31st, 2017, Spielwarenmesse, Nuremberg, Germany

While millions of robots and mini-drones have been sold this year, few have ended up in the hands of women or even girls reflecting a deepening gender gap in the world of technology.

Many girls’ toys lag behind in the development of spatial skills, hands-on problem solving skills, and confidence with technology.

These are exactly the skills that SmartGurlz aims to develop.

SmartGurlz has a unique offering of stylish scooter robots, dolls and books with digital elements such as an e-learning platform that teaches basic coding. The idea is to encourage girls from being consumers of technology into creators and code writers.

‘We at SmartGurlz believe that kids learn by playing and childhood is a time for setting the foundation for further educational pursuits,’ said CEO and Co-Founder, Sharmi Albrechtsen, ‘we wanted to modernize doll playing to reflect changing times. The end result are really amazing mini-drones shaped like fashionable Italian scooters and Segway-like vehicles that are self-balancing, driven by App and can be coded using our own coding platform SugarCoded TM.’

The self-balancing aspect is unique since the robot can maneuver in small rooms, on carpet, inside and outside. SmartGurlz’s CTO, Thomas Kølbæk Jespersen has been working with Aalborg University and DTU’s robotics departments to finalise this unique feature.

Launched this 2016 Christmas in Denmark, Switzerland and UK, SmartGurlz charms geeks and toy masters but most importantly impresses girls and their parents with the amount of creative fun coding can give.

Designed by tech toy start-up company, SmartGurlz Aps, girls playing with SmartGurlz gain three major learnings:

1. SPATIAL REASONING. Girls learn how to direct/orient their robots in new environments and interpret maps.

2. COMPUTER PROGRAMMING. Girls learn to program their robots using our specially made kids coding software App called Sugar CodedTM*.

3. STORYTELLING & PROBLEM SOLVING.Girls learn to story tell and solve missions via coding.
*SugarCoded was inspired by open-sourced Scratch, the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab and uses elements from Blockly, created by Google.

 

SMARTGURLZ NEW YORK STORY: CHARACTERS & BOOKS

SmartGurlz first product line is SmartGurlz New York ™ which focuses on the everyday adventures of 4 young talented women studying at the fictional New York Institute of Technology – N.I.T.

A collaboration with the Kurhn Doll Company allows us to offer high quality fashion/action dolls that represent the ideals of SmartGurlz New York TM.

SmartGurlz New York dolls are naturalistic and smartly dressed with simple elegance that you may find in a real-life, young woman touring around a college campus in the ‘Big Apple’, New York City. The multi-cultural dolls represent various education backgrounds including Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and our books highlight each girl’s corresponding story line.

SmartGurlz New York products are available Christmas 2016.

Siggy: Robot, Doll and Apps • Ages 6+  

Digital Products:

SugarCoded App  Free
a strategic game-like interface that teaches coding and allows for self-build coding projects available at both App Store and Google Play

ABOUT SMARTGURLZ, A/S.
SmartGurlz is a fun, tech toy to engage girls in design, robotics and computer programming using their mobile phones and tablets. It’s created for girls who want to take playing with fashion dolls to the next level, and the name of our little company. (We’re brand new!)