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.

Automatisierung direkt beim Kunden: igus ist mit Low Cost Automation Roadshow unterwegs

igus zeigt Produktneuheiten rund um kostengünstige Roboter- und Automatisierungslösungen beim Anwender vor Ort

Köln, 7. September 2020 – Produktlösungen für eine kostengünstige Automatisierung kennenlernen und anfassen trotz Abstands- und Hygieneregeln? Zu diesem Zweck schickt igus jetzt eine Low Cost Automation Roadshow durch Deutschland und besucht Anwender mit robolink Gelenkarm-, Delta- und Portalrobotern. Außerdem stellt igus mit der igus robot control eine neue Simulations- und Steuerungssoftware zur einfachen und intuitiven Auslegung und Programmierung aller igus Roboterkinematiken vor.

Messen fallen aus und Kundenbesuche in den Büroräumen sind, wenn überhaupt, nur unter strengen Auflagen möglich: Wie also die Produkte und Neuheiten direkt zum Kunden bringen? Diese Frage hat sich igus gestellt und daher jetzt seine Neuheiten und Lösungen rund um die Low Cost Automation in einen Transporter gepackt. „Mit der Low Cost Automation Roadshow können wir uns direkt auf den Parkplatz oder Innenhof des Kunden stellen. Alle Interessenten haben hier die Möglichkeit, sich unsere Lösungen in aller Ruhe anzuschauen. Natürlich mit Maske und/oder Sicherheitsabstand, Desinfektionsmittel und unter freiem Himmel,“ so Jacob Geber, Low Cost Automation Experte bei der igus GmbH. Für den Schutz bei hochsommerlichen Temperaturen hat igus außerdem einen Pavillon mit dabei. Mit der Roadshow können zwei igus Experten allen Interessenten Produkte für eine kostengünstige Automatisierung vorstellen: vom Delta-Roboter über den Portalroboter bis hin zum robolink-Gelenkarm. Außerdem präsentieren die Firmenvertreter den Besuchern die neue kostenlose igus robot control Software, mit der sich alle igus Kinematiken vor einem Kauf simulieren und später auch programmieren lassen. Natürlich dürfen aber auch die igus Energieketten, Leitungen, Gleitlager und Linearführungen nicht fehlen. „Je nach Kundenbesuch passen wir unser Sortiment an, ähnlich wie bei unserer mobilen Hausmesse, mit der wir jedes Jahr bei Anwendern weltweit unsere Neuheiten vorstellen. Mit der Low Cost Automation Roadshow richten wir unseren Fokus auf die direkte Umsetzung einer Anwendung beim Kunden vor Ort, die einen schnellen Return on Invest bringt“, so Geber. Mit dem flexiblen Messekonzept ist der Stand in 30 Minuten auf- und wieder abgebaut. „Das Konzept ist klasse! Unsere Mitarbeiter aus der Forschung und Entwicklung können sich hier in Ruhe und nacheinander informieren und das trotz der besonderen Situation mit einem persönlichen Kontakt“, so Dr. Stefan Sommer von der Günther Heisskanaltechnik.

Preisverleihung auf der Roadshow

Auch für besondere Events wie eine Preisverleihung bietet sich die Low Cost Automation Roadshow an. Die Firma Günther Heisskanaltechnik, die Heisskanäle zum Beispiel für Spritzgussmaschinen herstellt, nahm bei einem Gewinnspiel während der igus Keynote „Konstruieren, simulieren, kontrollieren… das alles aus dem Home Office“ auf den Hannover Messe Digital Days teil und gewann einen Delta-Roboter inklusive Steuerung. Übergeben wurde der Roboter von Jacob Geber und Julian Ruwe an Dr. Stefan Sommer und Lucas Schulze „Wir freuen uns sehr, den Delta Roboter bei uns zu Testzwecken einsetzen zu können“, freut sich Dr. Sommer über den Gewinn. „Unsere dualen Studenten haben so die Möglichkeit, sich in der Entwicklungsphase mit dem Thema Automatisierung direkt auseinanderzusetzen.“

Im Video können Sie sich ein paar Eindrücke von der Low Cost Automation Roadshow machen: https://youtu.be/wJ-idPt-sms

Interessenten für die Roadshow können online einen Termin vereinbaren: www.igus.de/lca-roadshow

Schauen Sie sich alle igus Vorträge der Hannover Messe Digital Days an: www.igus.de/digitaldays

World’s First Palm-sized, Trick Playing Robot Dog Petoi Bittle Launches on Kickstarter

On August 24, Petoi Bittle launches on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter. Starting from $195 for the early bird special, Bittle is the first affordable robot dog for coding and fun.

Petoi hopes to raise $50,000 to bring the agile quadruped robots to makers and STEM communities. The fund was fulfilled in one day and was doubled in three days. It reaches $128,000 on the fourth day.

Kickstarter URL:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/petoi/bittle/

Petoi Bittle is a tiny but powerful robot that can play tricks like real animals. It is compact, agile, accessible, and seamlessly designed. We fine-tuned every bit to fit agile maneuverabilities into a palm-sized robot pet. You can bring Bittle to life by assembling its puzzle-like frames, running our demo codes, and injecting new skills with your own codes. Bittle makes a perfect tool for learning, teaching, and researching, or a surprising gift to impress your family and friends.

Rz Li, the founder of Petoi, explains: „Building on the success of our first robot cat project Petoi Nybble on Indiegogo in 2018 and feedback from our worldwide user community, we’ve designed Bittle to be more durable, agile and extensible. Bittle moves with four legs rather than wheels. Legged motion gives it more freedom to navigate unstructured terrains, and expresses the joy of life whenever it moves. Such dynamic maneuverability and behaviors were only seen on a few luxury robots from the best labs or tycoon companies previously. „

Evolving with an open-source gene, Bittle is an open platform to fuse multiple makers‘ gadgets into one organic system. With our customized Arduino board coordinating all instinctive and sophisticated movements, you are free to clip on various sensors to bring in perception and inject artificial intelligence capabilities. You could also mount a Raspberry Pi or other AI chips through wired/wireless connections for higher-level functionalities.

Bittle is a compact system of five major components: body frame, actuator, electronics, battery, and the software to coordinate all the hardware to perform varied tasks. More details are covered on their Kickstarter page.

Deliverables:
Plastic body parts
10× P1S Servo
Rechargeable 7.4V Li-ion battery pack
NyBoard V1
Bluetooth and WiFi dongle
Various sensors that can be held by the mouth of the robot dog
Open-source software: the OpenCat program

The kit starts at $195 for the Early Bird adopters.
For more information, please visit Petoi’s website.

About Petoi LLC
OpenCat started as the founder Rz Li’s pet project in 2016. After the demo video went viral in 2018, he devoted all his time and resources to bring this sophisticated and cute robot to the public. He founded Petoi and successfully crowdfunded the Nybble project in 2018. All the earnings have been put into the fulfillment of Nybble and the R&D of Bittle.
Our mission is to bring affordable robotic pets from fiction to reality. We grew from a single maker to a company that can collaborate and negotiate with manufacturers to get the best solutions to our needs. We have many more cool ideas in mind, and Bittle is another small step towards our ideal shape of household robots.

3D-gedruckte Kunststoff-Zahnräder: Schneller zur Serie durch igus Online-Lebensdauerberechnung

Online-Seminar vermittelt in 30 Minuten Wissen zu 3D-gedruckten Tribo-Zahnrädern und der Nutzung hilfreicher Web-Tools

Köln, 31. August 2020 – Zahnräder aus Tribo-Kunststoffen bieten zahlreiche Vorteile: Im Gegensatz zu Metall-Zahnrädern sind sie leicht, leise, selbstschmierend und wartungsarm. Doch welche Lasten hält ein Kunststoff-Zahnrad überhaupt aus und wie lange? Die Antworten darauf gibt Tom Krause, Leiter Additive Fertigung bei igus. Der Experte zeigt in einem 30-minütigen Online-Seminar wie die Lebensdauer von Kunststoff-Zahnrädern berechnet und schon bei der Auslegung und Konstruktion optimiert werden kann.

Längst werden Kunststoff-Zahnräder nicht mehr nur in Nischen wie dem Modellbau eingesetzt. Durch ihre additive Fertigung ergeben sich inzwischen Möglichkeiten, die bisher mechanisch nicht umsetzbar waren. „Das gilt beispielsweise für die Optimierung der Zahnradgeometrie“, stellt Tom Krause, Leiter Additive Fertigung bei der igus GmbH, heraus. „Da es sich um eine vergleichsweise neue Möglichkeit handelt, Zahnräder zu konstruieren, vermitteln wir jetzt in einem Online-Seminar, wie man diese Potenziale effektiv nutzen kann.“ Der Workshop dauert 30 Minuten und findet am 16. September 2020 um 10 Uhr statt. Die Teilnehmer sind anschließend in der Lage, die Lebensdauer von verschleißarmen und schmierfreien Tribo-Kunststoff-Zahnrädern in ihren jeweiligen bewegten Anwendungen und Umgebungen einfach zu bestimmen. Und das, ohne die deutlich umständlichere Tragfähigkeitsberechnung durchführen zu müssen. Sie lernen Zahnmodul und Zahnbreite mit dem von igus bereitgestellten kostenlosen Online-Tool vorzunehmen und zu optimieren. Auf diese Weise können Versuchs- und Testzeiten auf dem Weg zur Serienanwendung erheblich reduziert werden. Neben einer theoretischen Einführung fokussiert sich der Workshop auf die praktische Tool-Nutzung. So können die Teilnehmer diese mit Blick auf ihren Anwendungsfall direkt ausprobieren und sofort Fragen an den Experten stellen.

Einfach und schnell zum 3D-gedruckten Zahnrad

Die von igus bereitgestellten Online-Tools wie der iglidur Designer und der Zahnrad Lebensdauerrechner sind kostenlos und ohne Anmeldung auf der igus Webseite frei zugänglich. Die Datenbasis stammt direkt aus dem hauseigenen 3.800 Quadratmeter großen igus Testlabor, in dem Zahnräder aus verschleißfesten iglidur Kunststoffen, im Vergleich zu anderen Werkstoffen, umfangreich getestet werden. So stellte sich dort in Testreihen heraus, dass aus iglidur gedruckte Zahnräder rund 80 Prozent verschleißfester sind als herkömmliche Kunststoffe. Mit mehr als 120.000 gedruckten Teilen im vergangenen Jahr und acht SLS-Druckern verteilt auf Europa, Asien und Amerika, gehört die additive Fertigung heute mit 11 eigenen verschleißfesten iglidur Werkstoffen fest zu den etablierten Produktionsverfahren des Unternehmens. Die 3D-gedruckten Zahnräder sind in nur drei Tagen versandfertig.

Zahnräder zu konstruieren ist aufgrund der komplexen Evolventenverzahnung ohne Hilfsmittel oftmals schwierig. Doch nicht nur die Konstruktion, auch die Auswahl des richtigen Materials und des geeigneten Fertigungsverfahrens sind entscheidende Kriterien für ein langlebiges Zahnrad. In einem Live-Webinar am 31. Januar 2019 widmet sich igus genau diesen Themen und stellt den Zahnradkonfigurator, die iglidur Hochleistungskunststoffe für das SLS-Verfahren sowie den igus 3D-Druckservice vor.

Mehr zum Online-Seminar und zur Anmeldung unter:

https://content.communication.igus.net/online-workshop-höhere-lebensdauer-für-kunststoff-zahnräder

Ist die Teilnahme aus terminlichen Gründen nicht möglich, kann die Seminar-Aufzeichnung im Anschluss an die Veranstaltung zugeschickt werden:

https://content.communication.igus.net/zahnrad-lebensdauer-bestimmen-optimieren-workshop

MyAppCafé: In den Mercaden Böblingen bereitet ein Barista-Roboter Kaffee zu

Böblingen – 27. August 2020 – Espresso, Cappuccino oder Milchkaffee, mit Kakao, Karamell oder Kokosnuss verfeinert – diese und andere heiße Kaffeespezialitäten können sich Besucher der Mercaden Böblingen ab Samstag, 15. August von einem Roboter frisch zubereiten lassen. Die im März 2019 gegründete Firma MyAppCafé eröffnet in den Mercaden Böblingen bereits ihre zweite Roboter-Kaffeebar. MyAppCafé wird als Franchise-System betrieben. Friedrich Kunc, Inhaber des Roboter-Barista in den Mercaden Böblingen, ist der erste Franchisenehmer von MyAppCafé. 

Herzstück der innovativen Kaffeebar im Erdgeschoss ist ein vollautomatischer Barista-Roboter. Auf nur sieben Quadratmetern Standfläche kann er zwischen 80 und 120 Kaffee- und Kakaogetränke pro Stunde ausgeben. Zum Einsatz kommen nur Bio-Fairtrade-Kaffee, Bioprodukte und biologisch abbaubare Becher, Deckel sowie Holzrührstäbchen. Am Eröffnungstag erhält jeder Kunde den ersten Kaffee über die App-Bestellung kostenlos.

Das Prinzip von MyAppCafé ist einfach. Kunden stellen am Terminal ihren Lieblingskaffee zusammen und zahlen bargeldlos. Sofort geht der Roboter ans Werk. Ebenso leicht geht es mit der MyAppCafé-App per Smartphone oder Tablet. Damit lässt sich sogar der Milchschaum des Getränks individuell verschönern – mit Herzen, Smileys oder dem eigenen Selfie. 

„Mit MyAppCafé kommen unsere Kunden in den Genuss von frisch zubereitetem Spitzenkaffee in Bio-Qualität. Gleichzeitig erleben sie, wie die Digitalisierung fortschreitet und Vorteile bringt. Lange Wartezeiten gibt es zum Beispiel nicht”, sagt Edip Özerol, Center Manager der Mercaden Böblingen.

„Die Mercaden Böblingen sind eine besonders attraktive Einkaufsadresse in der Region. Daher sind wir sehr stolz, den Besucherinnen und Besuchern des Centers unsere Neuentwicklung MyAppCafé zu präsentieren“, sagte Michael Stille, Gründer und CEO von MyAppCafé. „Unsere Roboter-Kaffeebar wird in Deutschland hergestellt und ist ein gutes Beispiel, dass Digitalisierung im Handel auch für Kunden ganz besondere Erlebnisse schaffen kann.“

Gegründet wurde das Start-Up MyAppCafé im Jahre 2019 in Pfinztal bei Karlsruhe. Das Gründerteam besteht aus den drei befreundeten Familien Stille, Yelkenkayalar und Alvarez. Die Idee wurde gemeinsam mit dem Unternehmen WMF umgesetzt.