ABot Advanced by Avishkaar

The Avishkaar ABot Advanced Kit is a comprehensive DIY kit for STEM robotics and coding designed specifically for children aged 8 and up. It contains over 60 parts, including metal parts, motors, sensors, wheels, USB cables, screws, nuts, an Allen wrench, and a wrench. With these parts, children can build 10 different robots, from simple vehicles to more complex constructions The set reminded me of the mBot when I set it up, as it was also based on a sturdy metal construction. The included stickers and the tool are nice. The instructions were easy to understand and I didn’t find any errors or had any problems assembling. The app for remote control and programming must be activated with the product code and the user must be registered before using it for the first time. When deploying, e.g. in the classroom, you should have done this in advance. By the way, the 9V block battery visible in the video is not included when purchased from a dealer, but a full-fledged battery pack. I only use the 9V battery because of delivery problems. Overall, however, it is interesting that the robot makes this possible at all. I’m playing with the idea of connecting a solar cell here and operating the robot with solar energy…like a real Mars rover…

Here is more detailed information:

  • Easy to build programmable robots: With this kit, kids can create 10 different robots with over 60 pieces. This includes metal parts, an easily programmable brain, motors, sensors (2x light sensor, 1x touch sensor/button), wheels, USB cables, screws, nuts, an Allen key, a wrench, cables, and instructions.
  • Control via mobile app: The robots can be controlled via a remote control app. They can also be programmed using a visual block-based programming environment (similar to Scratch/Blockly).
  • Learning Objectives: With the ABot Advanced Kit, children learn robotics, programming, construction, mechanical design and problem solving.
  • Compatibility: The mobile app is compatible with iOS 11 or later and Android 10 or later.
  • Inexpensive Kit: The ABot Advanced Kit offers a sturdy metal frame to which motors and sensors can be attached. For the equivalent of about 60€, the set offers good value for money. Maybe the set will soon be available at a German retailer.

You can find a comprehensive assembly video of one of the 10 robot models here:

The set is available here: https://shop.avishkaar.cc/products/abot-advanced

Large companies are catching up in DIY automation

Montreal/Berlin, 5 June 2024. The technology company Vention has analyzed in a study how companies automate their production independently.  Small businesses are trendsetters in do-it-yourself (DIY) automation, but large companies are catching up. The study is based on anonymized data from over 1,400 corporate users of Vention’s Manufacturing Automation Platform (MAP) worldwide. 

For the second time, Vention publishes the annual study „The State of DIY Industrial Automation“. The focus is on do-it-yourself (DIY) automation, which enables manufacturers of different sizes to automate their production independently using state-of-the-art technologies.  

For the study, Vention evaluated the user behavior of its corporate customers on the Vention cloud platform MAP from January to December 2023. The aim was to capture the current state of DIY automation in companies and to explain how they use the DIY approach for the design, integration and operation of automation components, such as robot cells or cobot palletizers.  

„The trend towards DIY automation continues this year,“ says Etienne Lacroix,  CEO of Vention. „One driver is the shortage of skilled workers, which is becoming increasingly noticeable . The question of how production can be automated quickly and cost-effectively is  currently occupying many companies. We see that small companies  in particular are automating independently. But compared to last year, the number of large  companies using DIY automation is increasing significantly.“  

The most important findings of the study:  

1. Small (< 200 employees (MA)) and medium-sized enterprises („Medium“, < 2,000 employees) were the leading users of automation systems on MAP in 2023, with a share of 48% and 17%, respectively. However, small businesses faced more challenging economic conditions in 2023. As a result, there was a decline of 12% in this segment compared to the previous year (see study, p. 8). 

Large companies („Large“, < 10,000 employees) as well as the academic and government research sector („Academia & Gov Research“) have made significant gains in the use of the DIY approach on MAP (+10% and +4% respectively). Platform technology has made significant progress over the past year, providing more opportunities for high-throughput projects traditionally associated with larger manufacturers or users (see study, p. 8). 

3. In 2023, very large companies („Enterprise“, > 10,000 employees) used the DIY approach more often in their factory floors than any other sector. Accordingly, the number of projects implemented with MAP in this segment has risen – from an average of 4.1 in 2022 to 4.9 projects in 2023 (see study, p. 11).

4. Projects with machine operation applications were the fastest implemented on MAP in 2023. This is likely due to the fact that it is difficult for companies to recruit staff given the ongoing labor shortages. As recent innovations have made CNC integration more accessible, manufacturers are more eager than ever to quickly adopt automated machine operation applications (see study, p. 24).  

5. After two years of record sales (2021 and 2022), the Association for  Advancing Automation (A3) reported a significant 30% decline in robot sales in  North America in 2023. In contrast, robot deployments on MAP saw a notable increase in both  2022 and 2023. In 2023, robot deployments  on MAP grew by about 40% (see study, p. 26). 

The full study can be found here.

United Robotics Group presents new modular uLink series for retail, warehouse logistics and production

  • At VivaTech 2024, the United Robitics Group (URG) will be showing the new product in action – together with other robots from the URG fleet, which are fully adapted to the needs of retailers.
  • uLink is a highly flexible, versatile platform for rapid adaptation and support in logistics and automation.
  • uLink is the first URG solution with an open API for seamless integration with operating systems and greater operational flexibility.

Paris/Bochum, May 22, 2024 – At VivaTech in Paris, the United Robotics Group will be presenting its new service robots from the uLink series for the first time, which are characterized by easy integration, flexible customization and individual extensions. They are suitable for use in retail, warehouse logistics and manufacturing. As the European market leader for service robotics solutions, URG is expanding its CobiotX portfolio worldwide with the latest Cobiot for integrated workflows in the aforementioned segments. The modular platform fits seamlessly into the respective workflows and can be expanded with industry-standard accessories. uLink is designed to simplify operations and increase safety and efficiency in various environments. The unique combination of features sets new standards in the industry – from modular design and open API to 3D LiDAR-based navigation and real-time operational data visualization. 

uLink is equipped with IDE, SDK and fleet management tools and allows the seamless integration and control of various components such as LiDARS, engines or sensors. Thanks to powerful software functions for configuring and managing robot applications, as well as sensors and accessories, the robot can easily handle various logistics challenges in trade and warehousing, which vary depending on the industry, company size and automation requirements. The uLink accessory interface is also modular, so that the usable area can carry a payload of up to 60 kg. The SEER navigation control allows deliveries in a predefined area of up to 400,000 m².

With the help of the plug-and-play mechanism, other accessories such as a locker for Click & Collect or confidential deliveries, a pegboard for the delivery of tools and spare parts, and trays for transporting stock can be integrated into the platform. In addition, partner integrators can develop new accessories to meet specific requirements.

„The retail and logistics sector has been undergoing a profound transformation for years, related to the growth of e-commerce, automation and the shortage of skilled workers in the value chain. Whether it’s shelf replenishers or water-spiders, i.e. those responsible for inventory in warehouses or production: it is important to support the players and offer solutions that meet their specific needs,“ explains Thomas Linkenheil, Co-CEO of the United Robotics Group. „In a highly competitive sector, consumers want a fast and personalized service. Our new logistics solution enables service providers to offer up-to-date customer service without long searches in the warehouse or tedious processes that can cost time and affect customer business.“

First Cobiot with an open API for connectivity and flexibility

Like all CobiotX solutions from the United Robotics Group, uLink is also equipped with a particularly user-friendly user interface. It is based on the no-code principle and enables users without robotics knowledge to quickly integrate into daily operations. In addition, uLink has an open API platform. This allows the solution to communicate with existing operations and other connected systems such as automatic doors or elevators, and also work with other robots and automated guided vehicles such as AMRs and AGVs.

With the launch of uLink, United Robotics Group is expanding its range of robotics solutions for logistics, warehouse management and industrial manufacturing. The robot is intended to be used in retail and logistics environments such as department stores, supermarkets, warehouses and fulfillment centers, but also factories and production facilities as well as airports and healthcare facilities.

The robot is equipped with 3D LiDAR and PL LiDAR systems for maximum precision in mobility. The platform can immediately register changes in the environment such as certain movements or people or machines and react accordingly. It is connected to an online dashboard that facilitates both workflow management and quick decisions between front- and back-of-house teams. 

uLink has a long battery life of up to 14 hours on a single charge. In addition, the solution has an intelligent, wireless charging function that was developed with a well-known German battery manufacturer. This allows it to automatically return to the charging station between individual operations. The robot complies with the highest security and privacy standards, including the EU’s Performance Level D Machinery Directive and GDPR regulations. 

uLink, along with United Robotics Group’s logistics and warehouse management fleet, including RBWatcher and MobilePalletizer, will be on display at the company’s VivaTech booth (Hall 1, Booth G18) in Paris from May 22-25. 

uLink can be rented via the RaaS (Robot as a Service) model of the United Robotics Group from 699 euros / month or purchased for 19,900 euros. 

At The Bleeding Edge Of Robotics: 2 Year Milestone For pib

2 years ago, the open source robotics project pib was launched. The goal of pib, the printable intelligent bot anyone can build themselves, is to lower the barriers and make robotics and AI accessible to anyone who is interested. Over the past two years, pib has built an active and dedicated community that supports the project in moving forward. Therefore, a lot has happened since the project launch – time to look back on how far pib has come.

Milestones, Challenges and What Comes Next

It’s not every day that a robot turns two years old, so the team celebrated with a big party. The all new pib documentary was streamed to kick off the event, followed by different stations for guests to experience pib’s newest features hands-on.

pib started out as an idea that slowly took shape in the form of a master thesis and a robotic arm. From there, a humanoid robot was created that can easily be 3D printed with the free 3D print files on the website and then built with the help of the building manuals online. pib offers many ways to implement AI trainings such as voice assistant technology, object detection, imitation and more.

For starters, the pib team and the community have optimized pib’s mobility in a joint effort. The result is impressive: In its newest version, pib can now move its arms at basically all angles.  Another rapidly progressing topic is pib’s digital twin which received a birthday present by the community members that took on this project: The camera now works in the virtual environment, enabling the camera stream to be transmitted to the outside world to be analyzed there and then become the base of control processes.

Talk To Me, pib!

Aside from that, there has been some significant progress in the field of human-machine interaction, particularly focusing on enabling voice-based communication with pib through advanced voice assistant technology. Exploring the potential of natural speech interaction has become a significant area of the team’s current efforts and the project is committed to advancing pib’s capabilities in this direction.

One of the newest features that were revealed at the pib party is communication in a multimodal world. The robot captures an image, analyzes it, and then answers questions in relation to the image. For example, when asking pib “where are we right now?” it interprets the room and its setting and will answer something like “we are in an office space”.

With this new feature, pib was also able to play its first round of Tic Tac Toe. The team drew the gameboard on a whiteboard so that pib was able to analyze the current state of the game and determine the next move with commands such as “place the next X in the top right corner”.

Join The Community

The pib community is rapidly growing and consists of 3D printing, robotics and AI enthusiasts. Whether you’re a rookie or an expert, anyone is invited to join, share their ideas and work on exciting projects together.

Exploring Elephant Robotics LIMO Cobot

1. Introduction:

This article primarily introduces the practical application of LIMO Cobot by Elephant Robotics in a simulated scenario. You may have seen previous posts about LIMO Cobot’s technical cases, A[LINK]B[LINK]. The reason for writing another related article is that the original testing environment, while demonstrating basic functionality, often appears overly idealized and simplified when simulating real-world applications. Therefore, we aim to use it in a more operationally consistent environment and share some of the issues that arose at that time.

2. Comparing the Old and New Scenarios:

First, let’s look at what the old and new scenarios are like.

Old Scenario: A simple setup with a few obstacles, relatively regular objects, and a field enclosed by barriers, approximately 1.5m*2m in size.

New Scenario: The new scenario contains a wider variety of obstacles of different shapes, including a hollowed-out object in the middle, simulating a real environment with road guidance markers, parking spaces, and more. The size of the field is 3m*3m.

The change in environment is significant for testing and demonstrating the comprehensiveness and applicability of our product.

3. Analysis of Practical Cases:

Next, let’s briefly introduce the overall process.

The process is mainly divided into three modules: one is the functionality of LIMO PRO, the second is machine vision processing, and the third is the functionality of the robotic arm. (For a more detailed introduction, please see the previous article [link].)

LIMO PRO is mainly responsible for SLAM mapping, using the gmapping algorithm to map the terrain, navigate, and ultimately achieve the function of fixed-point patrol.

myCobot 280 M5 is primarily responsible for the task of grasping objects. A camera and a suction pump actuator are installed at the end of the robotic arm. The camera captures the real scene, and the image is processed by the OpenCV algorithm to find the coordinates of the target object and perform the grasping operation.

Overall process:

1. LIMO performs mapping.⇛

2. Run the fixed-point cruising program.⇛

3. LIMO goes to point A ⇛ myCobot 280 performs the grasping operation ⇒ goes to point B ⇛ myCobot 280 performs the placing operation.

4. ↺ Repeat step 3 until there are no target objects, then terminate the program.

Next, let’s follow the practical execution process.

Mapping:

First, you need to start the radar by opening a new terminal and entering the following command:

roslaunch limo_bringup limo_start.launch pub_odom_tf:=false

Then, start the gmapping mapping algorithm by opening another new terminal and entering the command:

roslaunch limo_bringup limo_gmapping.launch

After successful startup, the rviz visualization tool will open, and you will see the interface as shown in the figure.

At this point, you can switch the controller to remote control mode to control the LIMO for mapping.

After constructing the map, you need to run the following commands to save the map to a specified directory:

1. Switch to the directory where you want to save the map. Here, save the map to `~/agilex_ws/src/limo_ros/limo_bringup/maps/`. Enter the command in the terminal:

cd ~/agilex_ws/src/limo_ros/limo_bringup/maps/

2. After switching to `/agilex_ws/limo_bringup/maps`, continue to enter the command in the terminal:

rosrun map_server map_saver -f map1

This process went very smoothly. Let’s continue by testing the navigation function from point A to point B.

Navigation:

1. First, start the radar by entering the following command in the terminal:

roslaunch limo_bringup limo_start.launch pub_odom_tf:=false

2. Start the navigation function by entering the following command in the terminal:

roslaunch limo_bringup limo_navigation_diff.launch

Upon success, this interface will open, displaying the map we just created.

Click on „2D Pose Estimate, “ then click on the location where LIMO is on the map. After starting navigation, you will find that the shape scanned by the laser does not overlap with the map. You need to manually correct this by adjusting the actual position of the chassis in the scene on the map displayed in rviz. Use the tools in rviz to publish an approximate position for LIMO. Then, use the controller to rotate LIMO, allowing it to auto-correct. When the shape of the laser scan overlaps with the shapes in the map’s scene, the correction is complete, as shown in the figure where the scanned shape and the map overlap.

Click on „2D Nav Goal“ and select the destination on the map for navigation.

The navigation test also proceeds smoothly.

Next, we will move on to the part about the static robotic arm’s grasping function.

Identifying and Acquiring the Pose of Aruco Codes

To precisely identify objects and obtain the position of the target object, we processed Aruco codes. Before starting, ensure the specific parameters of the camera are set.

Initialize the camera parameters based on the camera being used.

def __init__(self, mtx: np.ndarray, dist: np.ndarray, marker_size: int):
self.mtx = mtx
self.dist = dist
self.marker_size = marker_size
self.aruco_dict = cv2.aruco.Dictionary_get(cv2.aruco.DICT_6X6_250)
self.parameters = cv2.aruco.DetectorParameters_create()

Then, identify the object and estimate its pose to obtain the 3D position of the object and output the position information.

def estimatePoseSingleMarkers(self, corners):
"""
This will estimate the rvec and tvec for each of the marker corners detected by:
corners, ids, rejectedImgPoints = detector.detectMarkers(image)
corners - is an array of detected corners for each detected marker in the image
marker_size - is the size of the detected markers
mtx - is the camera matrix
distortion - is the camera distortion matrix
RETURN list of rvecs, tvecs, and trash (so that it corresponds to the old estimatePoseSingleMarkers())
"""
marker_points = np.array([[-self.marker_size / 2, self.marker_size / 2, 0],
[self.marker_size / 2, self.marker_size / 2, 0],
[self.marker_size / 2, -self.marker_size / 2, 0],
[-self.marker_size / 2, -self.marker_size / 2, 0]], dtype=np.float32)
rvecs = []
tvecs = []
for corner in corners:
retval, rvec, tvec = cv2.solvePnP(marker_points, corner, self.mtx, self.dist, False,
cv2.SOLVEPNP_IPPE_SQUARE)
if retval:
rvecs.append(rvec)
tvecs.append(tvec)

rvecs = np.array(rvecs)
tvecs = np.array(tvecs)
(rvecs - tvecs).any()
return rvecs, tvecs

The steps above complete the identification and acquisition of the object’s information, and finally, the object’s coordinates are returned to the robotic arm to execute the grasping.

Robotic Arm Movement and Grasping Operation

Based on the position of the Aruco marker, calculate the target coordinates the robotic arm needs to move to and convert the position into a coordinate system suitable for the robotic arm.

def homo_transform_matrix(x, y, z, rx, ry, rz, order="ZYX"):
rot_mat = rotation_matrix(rx, ry, rz, order=order)
trans_vec = np.array([[x, y, z, 1]]).T
mat = np.vstack([rot_mat, np.zeros((1, 3))])
mat = np.hstack([mat, trans_vec])
return mat

If the Z-axis position is detected as too high, it will be corrected:

if end_effector_z_height is not None:  
p_base[2] = end_effector_z_height

After the coordinate correction is completed, the robotic arm will move to the target position.

# Concatenate x, y, z, and the current posture into a new array
new_coords = np.concatenate([p_base, curr_rotation[3:]])
xy_coords = new_coords.copy()

Then, control the end effector’s API to suction the object.

The above completes the respective functions of the two robots. Next, they will be integrated into the ROS environment.

#Initialize the coordinates of point A and B
    goal_1 = [(2.060220241546631,-2.2297520637512207,0.009794792000444471,0.9999520298742676)] #B
    goal_2 = [(1.1215190887451172,-0.002757132053375244,-0.7129997613218174,0.7011642748707548)] #A
    #Start navigation and link the robotic arm
    map_navigation = MapNavigation()
    arm = VisualGrasping("10.42.0.203",9000)
    print("connect successful")

    arm.perform_visual_grasp(1,-89)
    # Navigate to location A and perform the task
        for goal in goal_1:
        x_goal, y_goal, orientation_z, orientation_w = goal
        flag_feed_goalReached = map_navigation.moveToGoal(x_goal, y_goal, orientation_z, orientation_w)
        if flag_feed_goalReached:
            time.sleep(1)
            # executing 1 grab and setting the end effector's Z-axis height to -93.
            arm.unload()
            print("command completed")
        else:
            print("failed")

4. Problems Encountered

Mapping Situation:

When we initially tried mapping without enclosing the field, frequent errors occurred during navigation and localization, and it failed to meet our requirements for a simulated scenario.

Navigation Situation:

In the new scenario, one of the obstacles has a hollow structure.

During navigation from point A to point B, LIMO may fail to detect this obstacle and assume it can pass through, damaging the original obstacle. This issue arises because LIMO’s radar is positioned low, scanning only the empty space. Possible solutions include adjusting the radar’s scanning range, which requires extensive testing for fine-tuning, or adjusting the radar’s height to ensure the obstacle is recognized as impassable.

Robotic Arm Grasping Situation:

In the video, it’s evident that our target object is placed on a flat surface. The grasping did not consider obstacle avoidance for the object. In the future, when setting special positions for grasping, this situation needs to be considered.

5. Conclusion

Overall, LIMO Cobot performed excellently in this scenario, successfully meeting the requirements. The entire simulated scenario covered multiple core areas of robotics, including motion control of the robotic arm, path planning, machine vision recognition and grasping, and radar mapping navigation and fixed-point cruising functions of the mobile chassis. By integrating these functional modules in ROS, we built an efficient automated process, showcasing LIMO Cobot’s broad adaptability and advanced capabilities in complex environments.

Credits

Elephant Robotics

Elephant Robotics

Elephant Robotics Unveils myArm M&C Series Robots to Advance Embodied Intelligence

Explore myArm M&C series robots for versatile, high-performing solutions in robotics, offering precise control and diverse applications.


SHENZHEN, GUANGDONG, CHINA, May 10, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ — Embodied intelligence research, as a critical branch of artificial intelligence, is striving to endow robots with new capabilities in precise motion control, high-level autonomous decision-making, and seamless human-machine interaction.

Against this backdrop, Elephant Robotics has recently unveiled the myArm M&C series robots. These powerful and cost-effective lightweight robots empower researchers and developers in both data collection and execution, driving forward the advancements in embodied intelligence technology and its practical applications..

The myArm M&C series robots are meticulously designed to meet the diverse needs of users, prioritizing flexibility and adaptability. They play a pivotal role in various research and application scenarios, making them the ideal robotics solution for education and research purposes.

myArm C650

The myArm C650 is a universal 6 DOF robot motion information collection device designed to meet the diverse needs of education, research, and industry in robot motion data collection and analysis. With its lightweight design of weighing only 1.8kg, the myArm C650 boasts a horizontal working radius of 650mm, minimizing inertial forces during operation for enhanced response speed and precision.

Equipped with high-precision digital servo motors and 4096-bit encoders on all 6 joints, the myArm C650 mimics human arm motion with remarkable accuracy, enabling a wide range of tasks. Its intuitive control method, featuring dual-finger remote control and dual customizable buttons, supports recording functions for precise command execution and immediate feedback on robot behavior. This flexibility makes the myArm C650 an ideal choice for precise motion tracking and data collection in various experimental and educational settings. With an impressive information acquisition speed of up to 50Hz, it has become indispensable for robot algorithm development and higher education institutions, offering real-time data support for complex control systems.

In remote control applications, the myArm C650 excels, delivering outstanding performance regardless of the robot’s configuration complexity. Moreover, its compatibility with Python and ROS, coupled with open-source remote control demonstration files, expands its application scope, enabling seamless integration with advanced robot platforms like the myArm M750, myCobot Pro 630, and Mercury B1.

The myArm C650 sets a new standard for versatility and performance in robot motion data collection, empowering users to explore the full potential of advanced robotics across diverse fields.

myArm M750

The myArm M750 is a universal intelligent 6 DOF robotic arm. It not only meets the demand for high-precision robot motion control but is particularly suitable for entry-level robot motion algorithm verification and practical teaching scenarios. Its standardized mechanical arm structure provides an ideal learning platform for students and beginners to grasp the basic principles and applications of robot kinematics.

Dedicated to achieving precise motion control and verification, the myArm M750 excels in applications requiring strict operational accuracy, such as precision assembly, fine manipulation, and quality monitoring. Equipped with industrial-grade high-precision digital servo motors and advanced control algorithms, the myArm M750 delivers exceptional torque control and positional accuracy, supporting a rated load capacity of 500g and a peak load of up to 1kg.

The myArm M750’s versatility extends to its end effector design, featuring a standard parallel gripper and vision module that empower users with basic grasping and recognition capabilities. Furthermore, the myArm M750 offers compatibility with a range of optional accessories, significantly expanding its application scenarios and adaptability to diverse tasks.

myArm M&C Teleoperation Robotic Arm Kit

Teleoperation Robotic Arm Kit represents a leap forward in robotics innovation, offering an advanced solution tailored for remote control and real-time interaction through cutting-edge teleoperation technology. By seamlessly integrating the versatility of the myArm C650 with the precise control capabilities of the myArm M750, this kit forms a dynamic and adaptable platform suitable for a myriad of research, educational, and commercial applications.

Engineered to mimic human behavior, the kit enables researchers and developers to validate and test remote control systems and robot motion planning models akin to the ALOHA robot. Empowered by millisecond-level data acquisition and control capability, real-time drag control functionality, and multi-robot collaborative operation capabilities, the myArm M&C Kit facilitates the execution of complex tasks, including advanced simulations of human behavior. This technology not only showcases the precision and efficiency of robots in mimicking human actions but also propels research and development in robot technology for simulating human behavior and performing everyday tasks.

Moreover, integrated AI technology equips robots with learning and adaptability, enabling autonomous navigation, object recognition, and complex decision-making capabilities, thereby unlocking vast application potential across diverse research fields.

myArm M&C Embodied Humanoid Robot Compound Kit

Stanford University’s Mobile ALOHA project has garnered global attention for its groundbreaking advancements in robotics technology. It has developed an advanced system that allows users to execute complex dual-arm tasks through human demonstrations, thereby enhancing imitation learning algorithms‘ efficiency through data accumulation and collaborative training. The Mobile ALOHA system showcases its versatility by seamlessly executing various real-world tasks, from cleaning spilled drinks to cooking shrimp and washing frying pans. This innovation not only marks a significant milestone in robotics but also paves the way for a future where humans and robots coexist harmoniously.

Drawing inspiration from Stanford’s Mobile ALOHA project, this kit adopts the same Tracer mobile chassis. With an open-source philosophy, minimalist design, modular construction, and robust local community support, this kit serves as a cost-effective solution for real-time robot teleoperation and control, mirroring the capabilities of Mobile ALOHA with a more accessible price.

Designed to cater to the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as educational and research institutions, this kit offers a more accessible price, user-friendly features, and easy accessibility to cutting-edge robot technology.

The myArm M&C series robots are a versatile robotics solution catering to diverse needs from fundamental research to intricate task execution. In combination with optional kits, they seamlessly adapt to various application scenarios, from precision manufacturing to medical assistance, education, training, and household support. The myArm M&C series robots stand out as dependable and high-performing solutions, promising reliability and excellence. The inclusion of the Embodied Humanoid Robot Compound Kit and Quadruped Bionic Robot Compound Kit further expands the possibilities in robotics, encouraging interdisciplinary exploration and fostering innovation.

Festo at Hannover Fair unveils Bionic Honeybees that fly in swarms

For more than 15 years, the Bionic Learning Network has been focusing on the fascination of flying. In addition to the technical decoding of bird flight, the team has researched and technologically implemented numerous other flying objects and their natural principles. With the BionicBee, the Bionic Learning Network has now for the first time developed a flying object that can fly in large numbers and completely autonomously in a swarm. The BionicBee will present its first flight show at the Hannover Messe 2024.

At around 34 grams, a length of 220 millimetres and a wingspan of 240 millimetres, the BionicBee is the smallest flying object created by the Bionic Learning Network to date. For the first time, the developers used the method of generative design: after entering just a few parameters, a software application uses defined design principles to find the optimal structure to use as little material as necessary while maintaining the most stable construction possible. This consistent lightweight construction is essential for good manoeuvrability and flying time.

Autonomous flying in a swarm

The autonomous behavior of the bee swarm is achieved with the help of an indoor locating system with ultra-wideband (UWB) technology. For this purpose, eight UWB anchors are installed in the space on two levels. This enables an accurate time measurement and allows the bees to locate themselves in the space. The UWB anchors send signals to the individual bees, which can independently measure the distances to the respective transmitting elements and calculate their own position in the space using the time stamps.

To fly in a swarm, the bees follow the paths specified by a central computer. To ensure safe and collision-free flight in close formation, a high degree of spatial and temporal accuracy is required. When planning the path, the possible mutual interaction through air turbulence “downwash” must also be taken into account.

As every bee is handmade and even the smallest manufacturing differences can influence its flight behavior, the bees additionally have an automatic calibration function: After a short test fl ight, each bee determines its individually optimized controller parameters. The intelligent algorithm can thus calculate the hardware differences between the individual bees, allowing the entire swarm to be controlled from outside, as if all bees were identical.

„ReBeLs on Wheels“ make driverless transport systems affordable through modern plastic technology

Cologne/Hanover, April 24, 2024 – Mobile robotics systems are being used in more and more work areas, in e-commerce warehouses as well as in modern restaurants. Conventional models on the market start at around 25,000 euros, while solutions with an integrated robot arm start at around 70,000 euros. However, widespread use in the market is often unaffordable for small and medium-sized enterprises due to the high prices. igus wants to change this with new low-cost robotics offerings and is presenting a series of low-cost mobile plastic robots at the Hannover Messe.

The market for Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) is booming: The global market for mobile robotics, including service robotics, is currently worth around 20.3 billion US dollars, and experts expect it to almost double by 2028. 1 Mobile robots are particularly common in intralogistics and industrial applications. And even in the catering industry or in hospitals, the smart helpers are increasingly making their rounds. This is also the case at motion plastics specialist igus: For four years now, the plastics experts have been successfully testing AGVs in-house – driverless racks that deliver mail and deliveries to offices, as well as mobile robots in production that move transports and stack-and-turn containers. The experience gained flows directly into the development of a new low-cost automation product line, the „ReBeL on Wheels“. Their goal: to pave the way for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to use cost-effective mobile robotics.

Mobile ReBeL solutions for education, logistics and service
The basis of any mobile robotics system is the ReBeL. The use of plastic makes the robot particularly affordable at 4,970 euros and, with a dead weight of 8.2 kilograms, the lightest service robot with cobot function in its class. All mechanical components that make up the ReBeL are developed and manufactured by igus without exception. It has a load capacity of 2 kilograms and a reach of 664 millimetres. Various mobile systems are planned in which the ReBeL is centrally integrated: igus is launching an affordable version for the education sector for 14,699 euros – including the robot arm. The ReBeL EduMove equipped with a gripper serves as an autonomous learning platform for educational institutions thanks to open source. It has a modular design and can be flexibly expanded to include additional functions such as lidar, camera technology or slam algorithm. Another variant is an automated guided vehicle system for SMEs. It can carry up to 30 kilograms. With the optional ReBeL, simple A-to-B positioning can be made. It dispenses with expensive sensor technology and instead relies on 3D sensor technology developed in-house. The price is 17,999 euros. In addition, igus will be showcasing a study of a service robot at a low price in Hanover. The ReBeL Butler is suitable for simple but time-consuming pick-up and drop-off services, for example in the hotel and catering industry.

A lighthouse project on wheels
The goal of all these developments is the lighthouse project, a mobile robot with integrated HMI and vision that could even tidy up an office on its own. „With this project, we are pursuing a bottom-to-top strategy, in which certain components such as safety laser scanners are not included in the basic package in order to keep the price low,“ explains Alexander Mühlens, authorized signatory and head of the low-cost automation business unit at igus. „Nevertheless, it ensures that the solution can be retrofitted for industrial requirements.“ Among other things, igus is presenting an affordable gripper with a large stroke and travel this year, which offers a high degree of flexibility when gripping different geometries. Alexander Mühlens: „The areas of application for this targeted low-cost AMR are extremely diverse and go far beyond simple transport tasks. They encompass a huge range of applications in various areas of life, such as cleaning tasks or serving coffee directly at the workplace.“

IDS NXT malibu now available with the 8 MP Sony Starvis 2 sensor IMX678

Intelligent industrial camera with 4K streaming and excellent low-light performance

IDS expands its product line for intelligent image processing and launches a new IDS NXT malibu camera. It enables AI-based image processing, video compression and streaming in full 4K sensor resolution at 30 fps – directly in and out of the camera. The 8 MP sensor IMX678 is part of the Starvis 2 series from Sony. It ensures impressive image quality even in low light conditions and twilight.

Industrial camera with live AI: IDS NXT malibu is able to independently perform AI-based image analyses and provide the results as live overlays in compressed video streams via RTSP (Real Time Streaming Protocol). Hidden inside is a special SoC (system-on-a-chip) from Ambarella, which is known from action cameras. An ISP with helpful automatic features such as brightness, noise and colour correction ensures that optimum image quality is attained at all times. The new 8 MP camera complements the recently introduced camera variant with the 5 MP onsemi sensor AR0521.

To coincide with the market launch of the new model, IDS Imaging Development Systems has also published a new software release. Users now also have have the the option of displaying live images from the IDS NXT malibu camera models via MJPEG-compressed HTTP stream. This enables visualisation in any web browser without additional software or plug-ins. In addition, the AI vision studio IDS lighthouse can be used to train individual neural networks for the Ambarella SoC of the camera family. This simplifies the use of the camera for AI-based image analyses with classification, object recognition and anomaly detection methods.

PiCockpit: Innovative Web Solution for Managing Multiple Raspberry Pis

pi3g Unveils Groundbreaking New Features for Business Users

Leipzig, March 27, 2024 – pi3g GmbH & Co. KG introduces new web-based Terminal and File Editor Apps to its PiCockpit.com platform, enhancing Raspberry Pi remote management with an updated Script Scheduler, Video Streaming App, and the PiCockpit Pro Plus plan for custom software needs. These innovations reflect pi3g’s dedication to simplifying and boosting productivity for global business users without the need for in-depth Linux expertise. In particular, teams with a Windows® background require less training and specialized skills when using PiCockpit to manage the company’s Raspberry Pi fleet, resulting in substantial time and cost savings for the business.

The PiCockpit Terminal App offers a seamless web-based terminal interface, eliminating the need for complex setup or additional software like PuTTY. Leveraging WebRTC technology, it ensures a secure, encrypted connection for managing all Raspberry Pi devices from any location. This app simplifies remote device management for businesses, enabling straightforward web-based remote access beyond the limitations of traditional methods.

The File Editor App, enhanced with RaspiGPT technology powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4, simplifies file and directory management on Raspberry Pis. By accessing PiCockpit.com, users can remotely edit files from any web browser. This app provides smart assistance for script writing, log analysis, and file content explanation, streamlining file management and speeding up business development processes.

PiCockpit: Simplified management, reduced costs

Maximilian Batz, founder of pi3g, stated, “Our goal has always been to make Raspberry Pi management as accessible and efficient as possible for our users. The launch of our new PiCockpit apps, along with enhancements to our existing services, represents a significant step forward in achieving that goal. We’re particularly excited about the possibilities that RaspiGPT opens up, streamlining tasks that previously required extensive technical knowledge.”

PiCockpit’s Pro Plan introduces a comprehensive solution for businesses looking to scale their operations beyond the first five free Pis. With Two Factor Authentication, PiCockpit ensures secure access to user accounts and their Raspberry Pis. PiCockpit Pro Plus takes customization to the next level, offering bespoke software development and system integration services. This plan is not just an offering but a partnership, providing businesses with a tailored solution that meshes seamlessly with their existing systems, paving the way for significant cost savings and operational efficiencies.

About PiCockpit

PiCockpit.com is a comprehensive web interface designed to simplify the management and operation of Raspberry Pi devices. Offering a range of applications including PiStats, Video Streaming, Script Scheduler, Terminal, and File Editor, PiCockpit enables users to monitor performance, schedule scripts, stream Raspberry Pi cameras, and manage files from anywhere in the world.

About pi3g

Based in Leipzig, Germany, pi3g has been involved in the Raspberry Pi ecosystem since its very beginning in 2012. As an official Raspberry Pi approved reseller, pi3g offers a comprehensive suite of services for businesses, including hardware sourcing, software development, hardware development and consulting.