Tech Vision: How Boston Dynamics Built The Most Advanced Robot

The following video has been uploaded to YouTube by tech vision. I think it has all the information you need about Boston Dynamics robots and is therefore a must-see.

Blaize Delivers First Open and Code-free AI Software Platform Spanning the Entire Edge AI Application Lifecycle


El DORADO HILLS, CA — December, 2020 — Blaize today fully unveiled the Blaize AI Studio offering, the industry’s first open and code-free software platform to span the complete edge AI operational workflow from idea to development, deployment and management. AI Studio dramatically reduces edge AI application deployment complexity, time, and cost by breaking the barriers within existing application development and machine learning operations (MLOps) infrastructure that hinder edge AI deployments. Eliminating the complexities of integrating disparate tools and workflows, along with the introduction of multiple ease-of-use and intelligence features, AI Studio reduces from months to days the time required to go from models to deployed production applications.



“While AI applications are migrating to the Edge with growth projected to outpace that of the Data Center, Edge AI deployments today are complicated by a lack of tools for application development and MLOps,” says Dinakar Munagala, Co-founder and CEO, Blaize. “AI Studio was born of the insights to this problem gained in our earliest POC edge AI hardware customer engagements, as we recognized the need and opportunity for a new class of AI software platform to address the complete end-to-end edge AI operational workflow.”



“AI Studio is open and highly optimized for the AI development landscape that exists across heterogeneous ecosystems at the edge,” says Dmitry Zakharchenko, VP Research & Development, Blaize. “With the AI automation benefits of a truly modern user experience interface, AI Studio serves the unique needs in customers’ edge use cases for ease of application development, deployment, and management, as well as broad usability by both developers and domain expert non-developers.”



The combination of AI Studio innovations in user interface, use of collaborative Marketplaces, end-to-end application development, and operational management, collectively bridge the operational chasm hindering AI edge ROI. Deployed with the Blaize AI edge computing hardware offerings that address unserved edge hardware needs, AI Studio makes AI more practical and economical for edge use cases where unmet application development and MLOps needs delay the pace of production deployment.



“In our work for clients, which may include developing models for quality inspection within manufacturing, identifying stress markers to improve drug trials or even predicting high resolution depth for autonomous vehicles, it is vital that businesses can build unique AI applications that prove their ideas quickly,” says Tim Ensor, Director of AI, Cambridge Consultants. “AI Studio offers innovators the means to achieve this confidence in rapid timeframes, which is a really exciting prospect.” Cambridge Consultants, part of Capgemini Group, helps the world’s biggest brands and most ambitious businesses innovate in AI, including those within the Blaize ecosystem.

Code-free assistive UI for more users, more productivity
The AI Studio code-free visual interface is intuitive for a broad range of skill levels beyond just AI data scientists, which is a scarce and costly resource for many organizations. “Hey Blaize” summons a contextually intelligent assistant with an expert knowledge-driven recommendation system to guide users through the workflow. This ease of use enables AI edge app development for wider teams from AI developers to system builders to business domain subject matter experts.

Open standards for user flexibility, broader adoption
With AI Studio, users can deploy models with one click to plug into any workflow across multiple open standards including ONNX, OpenVX, containers, Python, or GStreamer. No other solution offers this degree of open standard deployment support, as most are proprietary solutions that lock in users with limited options. Support for these open standards allows AI Studio to deploy to any hardware that fully supports the standards.



Marketplaces collaboration
Marketplace support allows users to discover models, data and complete applications from anywhere – public or private – and collaborate continuously to build and deploy high-quality AI applications.

AI Studio supports open public models, data marketplaces and repositories, and provides connectivity and infrastructure to host private marketplaces. Users can continually scale proven AI edge models and vertical AI solutions to effectively reuse across enterprises, choosing from hundreds of models with drag and drop ease to speed application development



Easy-to-Use application development workflow:
The AI Studio model development workflow allows users to easily train and optimize models for specific datasets and use cases, and deploy quickly into multiple formats and packages. With the click of a button, AI Studio’s unique Transfer Learning feature quickly retrains imported models for the user’s data and use case. Blaize edge-aware optimization tool, NetDeploy, automatically optimizes the models to the user’s specific accuracy and performance needs. With AI Studio, users can easily build and customize complete application flows other than neural networks, such as image signal processing, tracking or sensor fusion functions.



Ground-breaking edge MLOps/DevOps features
As a complete end-to-end platform, AI Studio helps users deploy, manage, monitor and continuously improve their edge AI applications. Built on a cloud-native infrastructure based on microservices, containers and Kubernetes, AI Studio is highly scalable and reliable in production.



Blaize AI Studio Early Adopter Customers Results
In smart retail, smart city and industry 4.0 markets, Blaize customers are realizing new levels of efficiency in AI application development and deployment using AI Studio. Examples include:

– Complete end-to-end AI development cycle reduction from months to days
– Reduction in training compute by as much as 90%

– Edge-aware efficient optimizations and compression of models with a < 3% accuracy drop

– New revolutionary contextual conversational interfaces that eclipse visual UI



Availability
AI Studio is available now to qualified early adopter customers, with general availability in Q1 2021. The AI Studio product offering includes licenses for individual seats, enterprise, and on-premise subscriptions, with product features and services suited to the needs of each license type.



About Blaize


Blaize leads new-generation computing unleashing the potential of AI to enable leaps in the value technology delivers to improve the way we all work and live. Blaize offers transformative computing solutions for AI data collection and processing at the edge of network, with focus on smart vision applications including automobility, retail, security, industrial and metro. Blaize has secured US$87M in equity funding to date from strategic and venture investors DENSO, Daimler, SPARX Group, Magna, Samsung Catalyst Fund, Temasek, GGV Capital, Wavemaker and SGInnovate. With headquarters in El Dorado Hills (CA), Blaize has teams in Campbell (CA), Cary (NC), and subsidiaries in Hyderabad (India), Manila (Philippines), and Leeds and Kings Langley (UK), with 300+ employees worldwide.

e-spool flex für eine unterbrechungsfreie Panel-Zuführung an Industrierobotern

Robotik-Dienstleister ARAGON Industrieelektronik GmbH verwendet einen neuen schleifringfreien Kabelabroller von igus



Köln, 6. Januar 2021 – Sie sind die Schaltzentrale für den Roboter: Bedienpanels. Damit sie flexibel eingesetzt werden können, muss ihre Leitung nicht nur einige Meter lang, sondern auch beweglich und sicher verstaut sein. Hierfür hat igus die e-spool flex entwickelt. Die neue igus Kabeltrommel kommt ohne Schleifring aus und kann so selbst Bus-Signale unterbrechungsfrei führen. Die Leitung lässt sich auch einfach nachträglich in das System einsetzen. Vorteile, die den Robotik-Dienstleister ARAGON überzeugt haben. Er bietet als Service für seine Industrieroboter ein Kabel-Komplettset an, bestehend aus e-spool flex mit einer Standardleitung sowie einer vormontierten Panelhalterung.



Alten Robotern neues Leben einhauchen, das ist die Aufgabe der ARAGON Industrieelektronik GmbH. Der führende Anbieter für Industrierobotik bietet weltweit Lösungen rund um die Reparatur, Wartung, den Retrofit und das Tuning von Industrierobotern an. Die Kunden finden sich in kleineren Betrieben, die bis zu 10 Robotersysteme einsetzen. Aber auch größere Unternehmen und OEMs im Bereich Automotive setzen auf die Expertise des Robotik-Spezialisten. Speziell für den Einsatz an Bedienpanels suchte das Unternehmen nach einer praktischen Lösung für die Leitungen: „Wir sind stets bestrebt, die Sicherheit unserer Kunden durch innovative Lösungen zu gewährleisten. Bisher lag das Kabel immer auf dem Boden, wurde schnell beschädigt und stellte eine Stolperfalle dar. Daher waren wir auf der Suche nach einem Kabelaufroller, der unterbrechungsfrei, einfach und schnell nachrüstbar ist“, erklärt Iryna Geike, Global Country Manager bei ARAGON. Fündig wurde das Unternehmen bei igus. „Uns wurde das neue Kabelaufrollsystem e-spool flex vorgestellt und es hat uns direkt überzeugt“, erinnert sich Iryna Geike. Der wesentliche Vorteil der e-spool flex gegenüber anderen Kabelwicklern liegt darin, dass kein Schleifring zum Einsatz kommt. So können auch Medien, Daten und die Strom- und Signalversorgung des Not-Aus-Tasters in das System integriert werden. Bereits bestehende Panelleitungen lassen sich einfach in die Schneckenführung des Systems einlegen und werden automatisch aufgerollt. „Unsere Kunden erhalten nun für ihre Bedienpanels ein vormontiertes Set bestehend aus e-spool flex, ARAGON Panelhalterung, Leitung und einem Bügel zur Befestigung an den Roboterschaltschränken. Mit der e-spool flex verlängern wir die Lebensdauer der eingesetzten Leitung deutlich und sorgen für mehr Sicherheit und Ordnung an den Bedienpanels“, erklärt Iryna Geike.



Kabel auf- und abrollen: automatisch oder von Hand

Die e-spool flex bietet igus in mehreren Varianten an. Als Low-Cost-Version mit einem Handdreher oder einem Akkuschrauber zum Aufwickeln der Leitung, als automatische Lösung mit einem federgetriebenen Rückholmechanismus und einer Rastfunktion sowie optional mit einer Einlaufbremse. ARAGON entschied sich für die Variante mit einer Rückholfeder. Der Kabelroller ist in drei Größen erhältlich, für Leitungen mit einem Durchmesser von 5 bis 15 Millimetern mit einer Auszugslänge von 5 bis 15 Metern. Sie lassen sich jederzeit schnell tauschen. Neben einer nachträglichen Integration der e-spool flex mit einem bestehenden Kabel, bietet igus die Kabeltrommel auch bereits fertig konfektioniert mit speziell für den bewegten Einsatz ausgelegten chainflex Leitungen an. Die Langlebigkeit der Leitungen in der e-spool flex wird derzeit im hauseigenen 3.800 Quadratmeter großen Testlabor ausgiebig untersucht.

Autonomous UVC disinfection robot scales up the fight against viruses

St-Sulpice Switzerland/Sezana, Slovenia, September 16, 2020 – Based on proven mobile robot and UVC lamp technologies the mini UVC, jointly developed by BlueBotics and Engmotion, can be used alone or in a connected fleet to autonomously disinfect hospitals and other public buildings such as airports, hotels, and commercial/industrial sites. The robot combines the reliability and fleet management capabilities of BlueBotics’ mobile robot and navigation technologies with Engmotion’s powerful Steril-ONE UVC disinfection lamp.
 

“As COVID-19 forces facility managers to improve the depth and frequency of their cleaning operations at a time when fewer staff may be available, this robot provides a new and efficient way to achieve these goals,” Dr Nicola Tomatis, the CEO of BlueBotics, said. “Using our industry-proven ANTsoftware it is simple to generate a map, set disinfection points and your autonomous robot will do the rest. The robot easily and efficiently disinfects any type of indoor public space, from hotel rooms to hospitals, airports and more.”

Disinfecting a restroom with UVC light

With businesses around the world taking tentative steps towards reopening, attention has turned to how public facilities such as hospitals, airports and hotels can ensure they remain safe for visitors. The public are increasingly seeking reassurances of venue safety before visiting or passing through, and at the core of organizations’ responses is enhanced disinfecting policies and practices.

With the pressure that the COVID-19 pandemic has put on hospitals and nursing homes, there is an increased focus on ensuring they are a safe location for patients, medical staff, and visitors. In a study last year published in the American Journal of Infection Control, examined the effects of an ultraviolet (UV) light technology designed to defeat superbugs in hospitals and found that it eliminated almost 98 per cent of pathogens. These infections cost billions of dollars, and some estimates state that they cause almost 100,000 deaths each year in the United States alone.

mini UVC robot with ultraviolet lights

“When it comes to disinfection technology, UVC light is proven to destroy up to 99% of viruses on surfaces, including the SARS family of viruses, and vegetative bacteria,” said Enrico Merlani, the CEO of Engmotion. “However, static lamps require trained staff to place and move them. An autonomous mobile robot that can move and position itself at every required location really is the optimal solution. The robot allows facility managers to do more with less, systematically disinfecting more areas, more deeply and more often using either one or several connected robots, and all without the need for additional human resources.”


Safe and reliable disinfection
BlueBotics, working in combination with Engmotion, developed the mini UVC robot to enable operations teams to disinfect sites safely and autonomously. It features safety laser scanners at the front and rear of the robot, which allow it to detect obstacles and people when in transit, and a high-sensitivity movement sensor on top, which automatically shuts down UVC operations if a human is detected.

If an operator needs to disinfect an area more quickly, disinfect a larger site, or clean multiple areas at the same time, the robot’s ANT server software makes it easy to create a full fleet of connected mini UVC robots. Other ANT driven vehicles can also be included in the fleet, such as Cleanfix’s floor cleaning robots or other logistics vehicles. Additionally, ANT server’s built-in simulator allows an operator to verify a project before activation.

Deployed thousands of times in the field, BlueBotics’ ANT technology and Engmotion’s Steril-ONE UVC disinfection lamp ensure the system disinfects exactly as planned, time and time again. 

The BlueBotics mini UVC is quick to set up and easy to use: just drive the robot with a joystick manually around the site to generate a map, create routes and set disinfection points using the system’s ANT lab software, and the BlueBotics mini UVC — or fleet of mini UVCs — does the rest. The solution can be operated 100 per cent autonomously, semi-autonomously (if staff need to open doors), or manually via a wired controller (personal protective equipment required).


The power of ultraviolet cleaning

Scientists have known for over a century about UV’s ability to disinfect. And for many years, UVC lamps have been used for sterilisation in medical settings, food production and a number of other places. The properties of UV rays are also known to be effective at killing viral particles, including other coronaviruses like MERS.


Pilot Project

The BlueBotics mini UVC was recently deployed at an international airport in Italy as part of a pilot project carried out by Software Design (A SITA Company). 

“In this COVID-19 era, airport operators need to keep their sites cleaner, with more disinfection cycles every day,” explained Marco Pici, who is Head of Business Development & Business Transformation at Software Design (a SITA Company). “The BlueBotics mini UVC can be a great help. It can be used to run more cycles with the same resources, helping sites to do more with less. With the ANT server an operator can easily manage and operate a number of different robot types, like our reception robot, and use these as they see fit, or even have them triggered by the airport’s operation system.”

Mayflower Autonomous Ship Launches

PLYMOUTH, England, Sept. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Ocean research non-profit ProMare and IBM (NYSE:IBM) have announced the completion and launch of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) – an AI and solar powered marine research vessel which will traverse oceans gathering vital environmental data.

Following two years of design, construction and training of its AI models, the new fully-autonomous trimaran was today lifted into the waters off the coast of Plymouth, England ahead of its official launch tomorrow.

Designed to provide a safe, flexible and cost-effective way of gathering data about the ocean, the new-generation Mayflower promises to transform oceanography by working in tandem with scientists and other autonomous vessels to help understand critical issues such as global warming, micro-plastic pollution and marine mammal conservation. ProMare is co-ordinating the scientific studies working with IBM Research and a number of leading scientific organizations.

MAS features an AI Captain built by ProMare and IBM developers which gives MAS the ability to sense, think and make decisions at sea with no human captain or onboard crew. The new class of marine AI is underpinned by IBM’s latest advanced edge computing systems, automation software, computer vision technology and Red Hat Open Source software.

„Able to scan the horizon for possible hazards, make informed decisions and change its course based on a fusion of live data, the Mayflower Autonomous Ship has more in common with a modern bank than its 17th century namesake,“ said Andy Stanford-Clark, Chief Technology Officer, IBM UK & Ireland. „With its ability to keep running in the face of the most challenging conditions, this small ship is a microcosm for every aspiring 21st century business.“

To enable followers around the world to stay updated with MAS as it undertakes its various missions, IBM and ProMare have today launched a new interactive web portal. Built by IBM iX, the business design arm of IBM Services, the MAS400 portal is designed to provide real-time updates about the ship’s location, environmental conditions and data from its various research projects. Live weather data will be streamed from The Weather Company, as MAS is receiving forecast data and insight from the new IBM Weather Operations Center.

The portal even features a seven-armed, stowaway octopus chatbot called Artie, who claims to be hitching a ride on the ship. Powered by IBM Watson Assistant technology and created in partnership with European start-up Chatbotbay, Artie has been trained to provide information about MAS and its adventures in a lively, and accessible format.

„MAS400.com is one of the most advanced ocean mission web portals ever built,“ says Fredrik Soreide, Scientific Director of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship project and Board Member of ProMare. „Protecting the ocean depends on our ability to engage the public in important matters affecting its health. This MAS400 portal is designed to do exactly that and tell people where the ship is, what speed it’s travelling at, what conditions it’s operating in and what science we are conducting. Users can even help Artie the Octopus fish out surgical masks, cigarette butts and other increasingly common forms of ocean litter from a virtual ocean of facts and data.“

MAS will spend the next six months in sea trials and undertake various research missions and voyages before attempting to cross the Atlantic in Spring 2021. MAS’s transatlantic voyage will be based on a similar route and pioneering spirit to the 1620 Mayflower which made the same crossing 400 years ago.

MAS Facts:

Name: Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS)
Organizations and
companies behind it:   
ProMare, IBM and a global consortium of partners 
Mission:MAS and other autonomous ships and drones working in tandem with human scientists to collect vital oceanographic data
Humans on board:0
Autonomy level5 (can operate independently with no human intervention)
Sensors on board:30+
AI Cameras on board:   6
Octopuses on board:1
Science projects:Marine mammals, micro plastics, sea level height & wave patterns, oceanographic and environmental data collection
Length:15M
Width:6.2M
Max speed:10 knots
Weight:5 tons/4535KG
Equipment capacity:    0.7 tons/700KG
Hull design:Trimaran (central hull with two outrigger wings)
Power:Solar-driven hybrid electric motor
Software:IBM Visual Insights computer vision technology, IBM edge systems, IBM Operational Decision Manager automation software, IBM Maximo asset management software, data from The Weather Company        
Hardware:IBM Power Systems AC922, 6 Jetson AGX Xavier, 2 Jetson Xavier NX, 4+ Intel-based computers, 4+ custom microprocessor systems
Navigation equipment:Precision GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System), IMU (Inertial Measurement Units), radar, weather station, SATCOM, AIS
Live mission portal:https://mas400.com
More information:https://newsroom.ibm.com/then-and-now
B-roll:  https://newsroom.ibm.com/mayflower-b-roll
Images:https://newsroom.ibm.com/mayflower-images

Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute Announces Nine New Technology Projects Focused on COVID-19 Recovery

Approximately $5M in Department of Defense funding dedicated to projects that advance the use of robotics to respond to current and future pandemics 

September, 2020 – The ARM (Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing) Institute is pleased to announce the selection of nine technical projects that will be led by members of its national consortium to help with COVID-19 recovery. Special funding for this project call was provided by the Office of the Secretary of Defense.  

The ARM Institute is the nation’s leading collaborative partnership focused on industrial robotics and workforce innovation. ARM and its 260+ member organizations from industry, academia and government advance transformative robotic technologies and education for both commercial and defense industrial base needs to grow U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and supply chain resilience.

These projects address the needs of the manufacturing industry and the Department of Defense (DoD) in response to the national emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The specific applications of the selected projects have been identified by the Department of Defense as areas of urgency, such as diagnostics, medical care, medical countermeasures, non-medical personal protective equipment (PPE), and other supplies. The projects are explicitly linked to COVID-19 mitigation, demonstrating an ability for the United States and the Department of Defense to prevent, prepare for, and respond to this and future pandemics. 

“The selection of these 9 projects shows that the ARM member ecosystem is joining the fight against this pandemic by developing robotic–related capabilities to assist DoD and commercial Industries,” said Dr. Greg Hudas, the DoD Program Manager for the ARM Institute.

ARM plans to award close to $5M in funding, for a total contributed investment of approximately $8M across these 9 projects, briefly described below:  


Project Title: Autonomous Robotic Spraying and Disinfection in Warehouses & Shipyards  

Principal Investigator: Siemens Corporation Corporate Technologies 

Project Team: FedEx Corporation, Yaskawa Motoman   

Description: Logistics and support operations have played a vital role in supporting the nation by supplying medical supplies and essential goods to millions of Americans. To control the spread of COVID-19 in these facilities, more frequent and reliable disinfection is required. This project will develop an autonomous warehouse disinfection system that can automatically navigate, locate, and disinfect heavily touched surfaces and potentially contaminated areas. This process will minimize the human role in potentially harmful disinfecting procedures while reducing costs. 


Project Title: Automation of Characterization and Evaluation (ACE) in PPE Manufacturing   

Principal Investigator: Northeastern University 

Project Team: Merrow Manufacturing 

Description: The quality assurance procedures for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as facemasks, is labor intensive and time consuming. Sample testing of PPE has become a priority not only in manufacturing plants but also at medical centers. The national labs providing validation testing for PPE are reporting lead times up to 75 days due to lack of qualified technicians and overwhelming volume of new requests.  This project aims to develop a robotic system to automate the quality assurance tests for PPE inspection, thus improving the performance, productivity, and efficiency of PPE manufacturing in the United States. 


Project Title: Built-By-Bot: Customized Mask Assembly using Robots  

Principal Investigator: Siemens Corporation Corporate Technologies 

Project Team: Henderson Sewing Machine Corporation, Sewbo Inc, Bluewater Defense, Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center (ISAIC)    

Description: The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has identified cloth masks as playing a vital role in slowing the spread of COVID-19, but the supply has not been able to keep up with the demand. Robotic sewing presents a technical challenge because it requires the manipulation of flexible materials, fine motor control, and precise part recognition. This project will build upon the outputs from other ARM projects to automate the robotic production of cloth face masks for personal protective equipment (PPE). 


Project Title: Mobile Autonomous Industrial Disinfector (MAID)   

Principal Investigator: Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories 

Project Team: GrayMatter Robotics, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), Lockheed Martin Rotary Mission Systems   

Description: Due to the rapid transmutability of COVID-19, frequent surface disinfection is required for businesses and workspaces to operate safely. The current method of manual cleaning is not ideal because it puts another person into the space who could get sick or transmit the virus. This project will develop an autonomous mobile robot with a mounted collaborative multi-axis robotic arm capable of manipulating both a disinfection system and a sensor suite. The system will identify areas that need disinfecting, execute the disinfecting process, and keep records of the cleaning tasks completed. 


Project Title: Rapid PPE Production through Automation & Robotics (RAPPAR)   

Principal Investigator: Siemens Corporation Corporate Technologies 

Project Team: Henderson Sewing Machine Company, Yaskawa Motoman, HomTex Inc   

Description: The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed critical vulnerabilities in the global health care supply chain. At the beginning of the pandemic, U.S manufactures were unable to meet the significant demand for Personal Protective Equipment, resulting in shortfalls and long lead times. This project will improve existing automated mask production in the US by including robotic automatic visual inspection, picking-and-sorting, and end-of-line packing and palletizing. 


Project Title: Autonomous Mobile Capability for Room Disinfecting Robots   

Principal Investigator: QinetiQ North America 

Project Team: MassRobotics  

Description: Schools, offices, military bases, and manufacturing floors need to be disinfected between shifts to minimize the spread of COVID-19. The Decon–X  (DX1) disinfecting system has proven its effectiveness in Europe, but currently lacks the mobility and autonomy to disinfect spaces without an operator. An automated solution is required to ensure workers return to a COVID-free environment each day. This project is aimed at adding mobile autonomous capabilities to the DX1 room disinfection system to automate the consecutive treatment of multiple rooms and spaces within workplaces.  The addition of mobility and autonomous navigation to the DX1 will enable the robot to move from room to room and perform a series of treatments with little to no human intervention. 


Project Title: Rapid Robotic Diagnostic Kit Discovery   

Principal Investigator: Siemens Corporation Corporate Technologies 

Project Team: Maxim BioMedical Inc, Siemens Healthineers 

Description: While many tests for COVID-19 have been developed, the U.S still has not reached the scale necessary for effective management and control. COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests have long turnaround times (2-3 days for lab results). Rapid development of COVID-19 Lateral Flow Assay (LFA) tests would dramatically aid the United States’ efforts towards large-scale testing for current and future pandemics. LFA test strip evaluation requires at least two technicians – one to run the assay and one to interpret results using analyzers that image and quantify individual strips. This project will develop a solution utilizing advanced vision systems and flexible robots to accelerate LFA test development by automating LFA test-strip evaluation. 


Project Title: Swarm Robotics for Large Structure Manufacturing  

Principal Investigator: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 

Project Team: Air Structures American Technologies Inc 

Description: COVID-19 has highlighted the urgent need to rapidly deploy negative pressure spaces. These air supported structures are rapidly deployable with performance advantages over traditional tents, and are ideal for use as expeditionary hospitals, quarantine facilities, housing, and other disaster relief or military applications. Production of these structures is labor-intensive but can be expedited with the development of robotic technology to aid manufacturing personnel with moving and manipulating heavy, flexible materials. This project aims to solve the problem of moving and manipulating a large, heavy, flexible material over a large area by developing a fleet of self-aware, human-directed robotic platforms to take on the hard work of moving the material around the production floor. This manufacturing technology will help team member Air Structures American Technology Inc (ASATI) produce a “hospital in a shipping container” that can be set up in a parking lot with a crew of 8-10 and a forklift in only 72 hours. ASATI will be able to reduce cost and manufacturing lead times of these critical structures through the implementation of this development. 


Project Title: Robotic Application of Anti-Microbial Copper Coatings  

Principal Investigator: Siemens Corporation Corporate Technologies 

Project Team: VRC Metals System  

Description: Copper-coated surfaces rapidly kill coronaviruses like COVID-19, but these have not been widely manufactured due to low demand. However, the pandemic has highlighted the need for self-disinfecting surfaces. Robotic cold spraying of copper will enable rapid production to meet the new demand. Wide adoption of copper-coated surfaces will reduce the spread of COVID-19 without the need for frequent cleaning. The robotic application of copper coating will improve the manufacturability of these parts. This project will develop a robotic anti-microbial copper application system (cold spray),  integrating a scanner and developing an automated path generation and QA tools to apply the copper coating to components like a doorknob, hospital bench, cart, handrail, etc. 


ABOUT ARM PROJECTS  

ARM receives funding from the United States Department of Defense and other government agencies to manage programs that develop, demonstrate, and accelerate the early adoption of novel robotic technology and workforce development solutions to:   

  • Assert U.S. leadership in advanced robotics for manufacturing   
  • Empower American workers to be cost-competitive with low-wage workers abroad   
  • Lower the technical, operational, and economic barriers to adopt robotics technologies   
  • Aid in the creation of new jobs to secure U.S. national prosperity.    

ARM works collaboratively with the government and Institute members to identify areas of need in robotics and workforce development. ARM projects require  at least one industry organization participant on each project to ensure that the outputs are relevant, applicable, and impactful. The projects are selected by a team of ARM members and partners spanning government, industry, and academia. Only ARM members can participate in projects. Email [email protected] to learn about membership. 


ARM Institute Annual Member Meeting

Join us October 13-15, 2020 for our Annual Member Meeting! Registration is free and open to ARM Members only. The Annual ARM Member Meeting is our cornerstone event and brings together representatives from across 260 member organizations for three days of high-energy engagement and information sharing. Spanning industry, government, and academia, our event highlights important solutions in robotics and workforce development to strengthen U.S. manufacturing for the defense and commercial industrial bases. Email [email protected] for more information.

Service robotics at a small price thanks to new low-cost robot joint from igus

igus introduces revolutionary ReBeL joint with plastic strain wave gear, BLDC motor and control system

Serving orange juice, loading the dishwashing machine or sorting purchases. The low-cost robotics concept from igus is intended to make these tasks possible. Under the name ReBeL, igus developed a new kind of joint, driven by a strain wave gear as a single component and also a study of a 6-axis service robot. The new joint is fundamentally different to the previous robolink models: Instead of stepper motors, brushless direct-current motors are used in the joints for the first time. Thanks to maintenance-free injection-moulded parts, the new ReBeL series is set to become a real bargain for robot manufacturers.

A practice household assistant for the home or in the office. Easy to program at a reasonable price. Who does not want this? The topic of collaborative robotics – interaction between people and machines – has now been taken up by igus with its low-cost robotics in the form of robolink. The requirements for the components were that they must be light and cost-effective. The result is the ReBeL joint. „Alexa, bring me a glass of orange juice!“ could thus become reality when the product is used in combination with a voice control system. The new low-cost robotics concept is fundamentally different to that of the previous robolink joints and makes it possible for robot manufacturers to generate new solutions. Instead of stepper motors, brushless direct-current motors (BLDC motors), which already belong to the state of the art in industrial robotics, are used.

A flyweight due to plastic components

Due to their small size, the BLDC motors can be installed in the maintenance-free strain wave gear of a ReBeL joint. The control equipment is also built into the axes and thus renders an external control cabinet superfluous. „The cables can now be routed directly inside a robot arm as a BUS system“, explains Alexander Mühlens, head of low cost automation at igus GmbH. „A further idea is to equip new joints with absolute encoders, that remember the position of an arm even when a power failure occurs“, continues Mühlens. The ReBeL makes it possible to have the 6th rotation axis in the modular robolink system and thus allows all positions to be reached. For bearing purposes, lubrication-free and smoothly operating xiros plastic ball bearings are used. As the gearboxes are also mostly made of polymers, the ReBeL system is very light. The BLDC motors also contribute to weight reduction as they are lighter than the previously used stepper motors.

A butler for everyone thanks to the low price

Injection-moulded parts ensure the small price of a ReBeL joint and therefore of the robot arms. „Our vision is that manufacturers will be able to offer 6-axis service robots for a price of 1,000 euros without control unit or for a maximum of 5,000 euros with integrated control unit“, says Alexander Mühlens. „We want to make cost-effective robot arms and applications possible for mechanical engineering companies and even private persons.“ The ReBeL system is suitable not only for tasks in the private area but also for other functions such as collection and delivery services or pick-and-place applications in factories, especially in the case of mobile applications where the robot arm is mounted on a moving platform.

Bloomberg Media and Intelligence Squared U.S. present a new limited debate series “That’s Debatable” hosted by Award-Winning Journalist and Moderator John Donvan and featuring AI from IBM Watson

The one-hour program will premiere on Bloomberg Television on Friday, October 9 at 7:00 PMAudiences can join the conversation now by submitting their arguments at IBM.com/debatable on the first debate topic: “It’s Time to Redistribute the Wealth”

NEW YORK September 3, 2020 — Bloomberg Media today announced a new interactive debate series titled “That’s Debatable,” to debut on Bloomberg Television Friday, October 9 at 7:00PM ET. Presented in partnership with Intelligence Squared U.S. and hosted by four-time Emmy Award-winning journalist, broadcaster and Intelligence Squared’s longtime debate moderator John Donvan, the program will feature industry leaders, economists, policy makers and public intellectuals debating some of today’s most pressing issues. “That’s Debatable” is sponsored exclusively by IBM.

Filmed in front of a live virtual audience, “That’s Debatable” will be conducted in the traditional Oxford-style format with two teams of two subject matter experts debating over four rounds. The live audience will select a winner via mobile, to be announced at the conclusion of the program.

The show will also demonstrate how AI can be used to bring a larger, more diverse range of voices and opinions to the public square and can help uncover new perspectives to enhance the debaters’ arguments. The general public is invited to submit a short argument for or against each episode’s position statement. During the debate, IBM Watson plans to use Key Point Analysis, a new capability in Natural Language Processing (NLP) developed by the same IBM Research team that created Project Debater, which is designed to analyze viewer submitted arguments and provide insight into the global public opinion on each episode’s debate topic.

“Bloomberg Media’s global audience regularly turns to Bloomberg Television as a critical source of news and information,” said Al Mayers, Global Head of Bloomberg Television and Radio. “By partnering with Intelligence Squared for ‘That’s Debatable,’ we will provide viewers with thoughtful discourse and insights into some of the most important subjects currently at the forefront of national and global conversation.”

“Globally, we are facing unprecedented and complex challenges,” said Intelligence Squared U.S. CEO Clea Conner. “In this era of seemingly endless soundbites and social media echo chambers, it is harder than ever before to truly engage with the other side of an issue. At this historic moment, we are calling for a return to civilized and substantive debate to help us navigate a rapidly changing world. Together with Bloomberg TV, and our exclusive sponsor IBM, ‘That’s Debatable’ will explore multiple viewpoints of the most important topics of our time — and give a voice to a global audience with Watson’s advanced AI analysis.”

The debut episode’s debate topic is: “It’s Time to Redistribute the Wealth.” As nations around the world face a reckoning on race and social justice and work to combat the economic impacts of the pandemic, “That’s Debatable” will take a hard look at the hotly contested question with leading experts on both sides of the argument.

Audiences can join in the discussion by submitting a short argument for or against the motion: „It’s time to redistribute the wealth“ starting today through September 14 at www.ibm.com/debatable. Then tune into “That’s Debatable” on October 9 to see a debate fueled in part by your submission.

„Our ambition for ‘That’s Debatable’ is simple — to showcase one of the many ways AI can be used for good by helping people understand nuanced viewpoints, discover and surface critical insights, and inform high stakes decision making,” said Daniel Hernandez, General Manager, IBM Data and AI. “What we learned from over 30,000 Watson client engagements inspired IBM Research to create cutting-edge innovation in language, automation and building trust, which will be demonstrated in the series and made available in Watson for all businesses to use.”

About Bloomberg Media:

Bloomberg Media is a leading, global, multi-platform brand that provides decision-makers with timely news, analysis and intelligence on business, finance, technology, climate change, politics and more. Powered by a newsroom of over 2,700 journalists and analysts, it reaches influential audiences worldwide across every platform including digital, social, TV, radio, print and live events. Bloomberg Media is a division of Bloomberg LP. Visit BloombergMedia.com for more information.

About Intelligence Squared U.S.:

A non-partisan, non-profit organization, Intelligence Squared U.S. was founded to address a fundamental problem in America: the extreme polarization of our nation and our politics. Their mission is to restore critical thinking, facts, reason, and civility to American public discourse. The award-winning debate series reaches millions of viewers and listeners through multi-platform distribution, including public radio, podcasts, live streaming, newsletters, interactive digital content, and on-demand apps including Roku and Apple TV. With over 180 debates and counting, Intelligence Squared U.S. has encouraged the public to „think twice“ on a wide range of provocative topics. Author and ABC News correspondent John Donvan has moderated IQ2US since 2008.

About IBM Watson:

Watson is IBM’s AI technology for business, helping organizations to better predict and shape future outcomes, automate complex processes, and optimize employees’ time. Watson has evolved from an IBM Research project, to experimentation, to a scaled set of products that run anywhere. With more than 30,000 customers, Watson is being applied by leading global brands across a variety of industries to transform how people work. To learn more, visit: https://www.ibm.com/watson.

To learn more about Natural Language Processing and how new capabilities like Key Point Analysis are designed to analyze and generate insights from thousands of arguments on any topic, visit: https://www.ibm.com/watson/natural-language-processing.