The Duckietown Foundation is excited to announce the The AI Driving Olympics, a new competition focused around AI for self-driving cars. The first edition of the AI Driving Olympics 2018 will take place December 7, 2018, at Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), the premiere machine learning conference, in Montréal. This is the first competition with real robots that will take place at a machine learning conference.
The competition will use the Duckietown platform, a miniature self-driving car platform used for autonomy education and research. The Duckietown project originated at MIT in 2016 and is now used by many institutions worldwide.
The AI Driving Olympics is presented in collaboration with 6 academic institutions: ETH Zürich (Switzerland), Université de Montréal (Canada), National Chiao Tung University (Taiwan), Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago (USA), Tsinghua University (China) and Georgia Tech (USA), as well as two industry co-organizers: nuTonomy (a self-driving car company) and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
About the competition: The competition comprises 4 challenges of increasing complexity: 1) Road following on an empty road; 2) Road following with obstacles; 3) Point to point navigation in a city network with other vehicles; and 4) Fleet planning for a full autonomous mobility on demand system.
Competitors will have access to a suite of professional development tools (simulators, logs, baseline implementations). Real environments called “Robotariums” will be remotely accessible for evaluation. The highest scoring entries in the robotariums will be run during the live event at NIPS 2018 to determine the overall winners.
Scientific goals: The competition aims at directing academic research towards the hard problems of embodied AI, such as modularity of learning processes, and learning in simulation while deploying in reality.
Social goals: The competition also promotes the democratization of AI and robotics research by using an inexpensive platform, and offering a common infrastructure available through the use of remote testing facilities. Competitors can also build or acquire their own testing facility (Duckiebots and a Duckietowns), through either open-source DIY instructions, or as rewards obtained in our kickstarter campaign (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/163162211/duckietown-a-playful-road-to-learning-robotics-and?ref=dwrnb2)
- Exhibitor, visitor and area records
- More international than ever
- The tangible Workplace 4.0
automatica 2018 (June 19 to 22) set new records: more than 46,000 visitors (+ seven percent) and 890 exhibitors (+ seven percent). Trade Fair Managing Director Falk Senger: “automatica addresses the future topics of human-robot collaboration, digital transformation in production, and service robotics. The strong results show: The history of automation and robotics is being written here in Munich!” Mr. Senger considers the growing internationalism of the trade fair as particularly impressive: “There was a 20 percent increase of visitors other countries. This shows that the automatica is becoming increasingly important on a global level.”
Industry Representative Dr. Norbert Stein, Chairman of the Board of VDMA Robotics + Automation and Managing Director of VITRONIC GmbH, is convinced by the trade fair concept: “automatica has once again set standards. It shows the future of automation and provides knowledge for orientation at the highest level. Visitor quality and quantity: outstanding!”
Per Vegard Nerseth, Managing Director of ABB Robotics, explained the importance of automatica for his company: “automatica is the most important trade fair in the area of robotics and automation. A lot of value is put on future-oriented technology here. This is the main reason why we are here in Munich.”
Networked production is already a reality today
New names, products and concepts enriched the exhibition portfolio. The motto is: Digitalization, easy operation and greater flexibility in production with the aim of opening up new application areas.
Ralf-Michael Franke, CEO of the Factory Automation Business Unit at Siemens AG, commented on the trade fair premiere of his company: “Our digital enterprise portfolio fits ideally to the automatica motto ‘Optimize your Production’. Siemens provides end-to-end software and hardware solutions, with which the entire value chain can be integrated and digitalized. As a result, machine manufacturers and users can already use the benefits of Industry 4.0.”
Wilfried Eberhardt, Chief Marketing Officer of KUKA AG, sees a decisive advantage for the trade fair in the networked production world: “The topic IoT is part of intelligent automation. automatica is the only trade fair in the world that focuses on it. That is why it stands quite clearly for innovation. Trade visitors get a glimpse into the future here.”
With new exhibitors, specialist lectures and demonstrations, the topic “IT” plays a central role at the trade fair. Sixty-four companies exhibited from the IT environment within the framework of the IT2Industry area. Dr. Christian Schlögel, CEO of connyun GmbH, stated: “automatica 2018 has shown the technological opportunities that companies have for implementing their digital transformation. It is impressive to see the great range of industrial loT developments and which potential is still available.”
Machines speak a common language
A major growth driver for the future: the connectivity between machines. The decisive factor for this is the standardization of communication interfaces. The importance of collaboration between industry participants was demonstrated by the OPC UA Demonstrator from the VDMA Robotics + Automation Association, in which 31 companies are participating. “Interoperability is the key to differentiating our products in the networked world of Industry 4.0. OPC UA is the designated standard to let machines speak the same language in the intelligent factory of the future,” Dr. Horst Heinol-Heikkinen said, Chairman of the VDMA OPC Vision Initiative.
Collaboration—the dominant topic
Collaborative robotics is conquering the market at rapid pace and opening up almost unlimited automation possibilities. From the sensor via the cobot to a complete installation, direct interaction between man and machine is gaining increasing acceptance.
The technological developments are thanks to close collaboration between science and industry. Munich is the international meeting point for this. Prof. Oussama Khatib from Stanford University explained: “automatica, this year, opens a wide window on the emerging applications in the robotic industry. Robots with increased capabilities working in closer proximity with humans are being built for real world applications, a testimony to the fruitful collaboration and technology transfer between research and industry.”
People in the Smart Factory
The question that goes beyond the trade fair: How will people work in the future? With the special exhibition “People in the Smart Factory”, the professional association VDMA Robotics + Automation made the work world 4.0 tangible: digital assistance systems as supporters in manual assembly, augmented reality, gesture control, exoskeletons and wearables that simplify interaction between man and machine. Patrick Schwarzkopf, Managing Director of VDMA Robotics + Automation, explained: “Jobs will be more attractive and ergonomic. The respective strengths of man and machine are complementary! This opens up a great opportunity for a better workplace design. This topic sets the tone of automatica as hardly any other fair.”
What lies ahead—Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the next technological leap. automatica communicated relevant expertise with numerous talks on this topic. AI-based data analyses can give industry an enormous increase in growth. Interdisciplinary dialog is crucial here. “To use business potential successfully, automation and IT providers must collaborate much more closely together with AI experts in future,” Ralf Bucksch said, Technical Executive of Watson IoT Europe, IBM Sales & Distribution, Software Sales.
Start-ups and the promotion of young people
Twenty-three young entrepreneurs from all over the world presented themselves at the Start-up Arena. With that, automatica promotes exchanges in the industry and supports young entrepreneurs on their way to success.
With the Makeathon, Integration Islands and Escape Game formats, the trade fair addresses young people in a targeted manner. More than 120 Makeathon participants and 200 students brought a breath of fresh air to the industry. Trade fair Managing Director Mr. Senger sees an important issue in this respect: “The shortage of skilled workers is unfortunately a daily reality in industry and SMEs now. To address this problem, we will continue to strengthen our commitment in the area of promoting young, talented people.”
Top grades from visitors and exhibitors
The positive mood in the industry could be felt everywhere: Ninety-six percent of the exhibitors and 98 percent of visitors evaluate the trade fair as excellent, very good or good. automatica is the business platform for making concrete investments, and 97 percent of the visitors confirmed this.
The next automatica will take place In Munich from June 16 to 19, 2020.
The automation industry innovates at Automatica with the presence of Mecademic’s ultra- compact and precise robots, at stand B5.514.
Montreal, June 04, 2018 – Mecademic is pleased to present the newest generation of its Meca500 six- axis industrial robot at booth B5.514 at Automatica in Munich, June 19-22, 2018. The latest generation of the Meca500 now includes absolute encoders, no mechanical limits on joint 6, faster joint velocities and a safety module with integrated power supply.
Continuing to push the boundaries of compact industrial robotics, Mecademic will also unveil an extremely small SCARA robot. Thanks to their ultra-compact design and integrated controller, Mecademic’s robots allow precise manipulations in the most confined spaces, which has enabled the development of new concepts and highly integrated solutions.
For further details regarding the Meca500, you can download its brochure and manuals.
About the Meca500
The Meca500 is one of the few industrial robots with an integrated controller in its base, and the only industrial robot arm that fits in the palm of your hand. This six-axis robot can handle payloads up to 500 g with an unmatched accuracy of 0.005 mm. The Meca500 is designed as an automation component, of high quality and accuracy, affordable and easy to use; there is no proprietary robot programming language to learn, but a simple set of instructions. Introduced to the public in May 2015, the Meca500 has been commercialized since July 2016 and is used for testing, inspection, micro-assembly, dispensing and transfer of materials in small confined spaces. It is already put to work in twenty countries, generally in the electronics and medical device industries.
Mecademic was founded in 2013 in Montreal, where its head office is located. The company designs, develops and manufactures the most compact and precise small industrial robots on the market, in order to achieve its main mission, which is to extend flexible automation to the most confined, delicate and complex tasks and applications. Its young and dynamic team is continually growing, with a great passion for creativity and innovation. As a proactive partner, Mecademic deals directly with companies and academic institutions. The company also has distributors in North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania, where the robot is already in use.
Die Wissenschaftsmesse mit Jahrmarktcharakter für die ganze Familie
Hannover, 24. Mai 2018 – Am 26. und 27. Mai öffnet die Maker Faire von 10 bis 18 Uhr wieder ihre Türen. Dann verwandelt sich das FEZ-Berlin in einen großen Do-it-Yourself-Kosmos und präsentiert zahlreiche kreative Ausstellungen, Erfindungen, Mitmachstationen und Experimente. Rund 900 Maker präsentieren ihre neuesten Selbermach-Projekte und laden Groß und Klein zum Mitmachen ein.
Gleich am Eingang des FEZ begrüßt das Feuer spuckende Schrottmonster D1zzy die Gäste. Sein Erbauer, der Künstler Dyle Doghead, hat dazu auch noch seine beeindruckende Skulptur Blastr mitgebracht.
Die Besucher können sich zudem auf ein hochkarätiges Vortragsprogramm freuen. Die Abenteurer Tom Morgan und Stephane Rousson erzählen von ihren spektakulären Himmelserkundungen und die ESA berichtet von ihren Maker-Technologien bei ihren Reisen zum Mond. Als Ehrengast wird der Amerikaner Dale Dougherty, der „Vater der Maker-Bewegung“, über Maker-Projekte im Zeitalter von Künstlicher Intelligenz sprechen. Des Weiteren gibt es ein Panel zum Thema Assistive Technology, bei dem diskutiert wird, wie Menschen mit Behinderung Hilfsmittel selber entwickeln können.
„Die Maker Faire Berlin zeigt: Nahezu jeder ist in der Lage, ein Produkt zu erfinden oder weiterzuentwickeln“, schreibt Michael Müller, Regierender Bürgermeister von Berlin, in seinem Grußwort zur Maker Faire. Und genau das kann man an allen Ständen sehen: Maker erklären, wie man Windkraftanlagen, 3D-Prothesen, Lichtinstallationen, Scanner, Lasercutter oder Roboter baut. Sie präsentieren spannende Nachhaltigkeitsideen und coole Upcycling-Projekte, etwa Schmuck aus alten Leiterplatten oder Lego mit PET-Flaschen. Sie alle haben Spaß und Leidenschaft dabei, so dass der Funke der Begeisterung sofort überspringt.
Das umfangreiche Mitmachprogramm ist auch für Kinder geeignet: So können sie am Make-Stand Blink-Makeys löten, sich mit den fahrenden Droiden R2D2 unterhalten oder das Lego-Auto mit bunten Klötzchen bebauen. Sie können das Audio-Memory ausprobieren, mit Pappe basteln, Schlüsselanhänger nähen oder Zahnputzroboter programmieren.
Auch große Kreative kommen bei der Maker Faire voll auf ihre Kosten. Sie erfahren hier, wie man Modellautos mit dem Smartphone steuert oder Musikinstrumente selbst fertigen kann. Es gibt Hacking extra für Frauen und die Besucherinnen und Besucher können in die Sterne schauen.
„Zudem gibt es zum ersten Mal auf der Maker Faire in Berlin eine Singer/Songwriter-Bühne: Elf Künstler sorgen für musikalische Untermalung und präsentieren Songs aus den Bereichen Rock, Pop, Soul und Country. Das unterstreicht den Festivalcharakter und trägt noch mehr zu der einzigartigen Atmosphäre unserer Community-getriebenen Veranstaltung bei“, freut sich Daniel Rohlfing, Senior-Produktmanager der Maker Faire.
An den Publikumstagen am Wochenende, 26. und 27. Mai, richtet sich die Maker Faire an die gesamte Familie. Die Öffnungszeiten sind jeweils von 10 bis 18 Uhr. Tickets gibt es im Shop auf der Webseite maker-faire.de oder an der Tageskasse. Die Tagestickets kosten 15 Euro, ermäßigt 10 Euro. Familientickets gibt es für 32 Euro, Kinder unter 6 Jahren sind frei.
Presseakkreditierungen: Unter folgendem Link können sich Pressevertreter (auch Blogger, YouTuber und Jugend- und Schülerpresse) anmelden.
Alle Maker Faires in D/A/CH werden vom deutschsprachigen Make Magazin präsentiert.
Die Maker Faire Berlin ist eine unabhängig organisierte Veranstaltung unter der Lizenz von Maker Media, Inc.
Robots&Girls – Techfashionlabel Startup in a new dimension.
The Berlin-based fashion label start-up company Robots&Girls GmbH establishes humanoid robots in the retail trade. Opening of the first workerbotkioskTM is scheduled for spring 2018 in the ‚BIKINI BERLIN‘ concept shopping mall. In order to finance this ambitious project, Robots&Girls has started a worldwide crowdfunding campaign on indiegogo.com on January 18th, 2018. (https://igg.me/at/robotsandgirls )
The robot Gisela in the Robot&Girls Kiosk
Encountering a humanoid robot is sometimes very difficult. A small kiosk in the middle of a concept shopping center in Berlin will very soon change this situation however. Robots&Girls GmbH will open the doors to the public of its first flagship store in the BIKINI BERLIN in Spring with a festive atmosphere and in the presence of the media and switch on the friendly huma- noid robot Gisela for it to start its work. The robot will then produce goods on its own in the unique shop and then hand over the final products to customers.
The TechFashion label company Robots&Girls will offer technical Gadgets such as wearab- les, TechJewelry and TechToys. The first product will be a small robot, that the robot Gisela assembles in front of her customers. Also ‘click and collect’ purchases are being considered. This involves customers being able to order goods in advance in Internet and then collect them at the workerbotkioskTM.
But Robots&Girls GmbH will however go much further. The newly established company also of- fers the kiosks for sale or rent and plans, following a successful start in Berlin, to bring worker- botkioskTM to the market as a franchise concept, or to grant individual licenses for use of the concept.
Robots&Girls GmbH operates as the worldwide first company to run, lease or grant licenses for kiosks as retail outlets run by humanoid robots.
A faster, smarter, and more powerful control system perfect for any learning environment
For over ten years, millions of schools around the world have chosen VEX Robotics as the premiere STEM education solution. This year at CES 2018 (Booth 43761, Sands Hall D) the world’s leading education STEM solution is unveiling a faster, smarter, and more powerful control system designed to scale from the classroom to the competition field. The V5 control system is engineered to provide the most advanced robotics learning experience, which is complimented with customizable STEM Labs and a programming environment that grows and evolves with the student.
From the touch interface of the Robot Brain to the VEX Coding Studio programming software, V5 was designed with the key focus of “Intelligent Simplicity.” This system of products embraces the model of explorative STEM learning through each unique component.
“We want kids to learn how much fun it is to solve challenging problems,” commented Paul Copioli, President of VEX Robotics, Inc. “With the launch of V5, we’ve revolutionized the way VEX EDR robots communicate so that teachers and students can focus on solving other truly complex STEM principles that will get them both excited and prepared for their future.
Our STEM Labs were designed by a team of classroom teachers, cognitive scientists, and pedagogy experts who work closely with the world-renowned Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy to conduct collaborative research on educational robotics and computer science. Our STEM Labs are mapped to educational standards, and designed to transform the learning experience for students and teachers with fun and engaging activities that incorporate hands-on educational robotics. STEM Labs spark creativity and innovation in the classroom by moving students through projects that allow them to test and apply their knowledge in multiple situations, while understanding the real-world relevance of the topics and concepts they are learning.
VEX, in partnership with Robomatter and Modkit, is developing a completely new programming environment named VEX Coding Studio. VEX Coding Studio is a simple, intuitive programming environment to teach students of all skill levels how to program and keep them programming as their skills advance.VEX Coding Studio has multiple programming languages, device updates, and diagnostic tools are built into one package. Users can start with graphical programming using Modkit Blocks, move into the transitional (blocks & text) language called Modkit Text, and then advance into text-only programming with ROBOT C++ (the next evolution of ROBOTC). VEX Coding Studio includes many features that VEX users have been requesting for years, such as auto-complete, syntax assistance, color-coding, and UI themes and will also work on multiple platforms, including Windows, Mac, Chromebook, iPad and Android tablets.
VEX is also used in the world’s largest and fastest-growing educational robotics competition, providing the perfect opportunity for educators and students to apply learning in an exhilarating environment both in the classroom and beyond.
British illustrator Matt Dixon is bringing his 2018 robot calendar to Kickstarter in September. The calendar will be A3 in size, offset printed in full colour, spiral bound and features a robot artwork printed full page for each month of the year.
The images are drawn from Matt’s ‚Transmissions‘ series of robot art books. The first volume was published in 2013, followed by a second funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2015. Another Kickstarter campaign in 2017 gave birth to the third volume in the series, plus two books of ‚Blueprints‘ featuring drawings from Matt’s sketchbooks showing the development of some of the paintings in the ‚Transmissions‘ collection in addition to ideas that have yet to become finished paintings.
Matt is reluctant to share much information about his robots or the world they inhabit, preferring to allow the viewer to interpret the images as they find them.
Matt Dixon was born in Birmingham, England in 1972 and has been an enthusiastic waver of brushes, crayons and pens for as long as he can remember. He began to use computers as an artistic tool in 1980 and first contributed graphics to videogames as a teenager. Matt went on to work full time in games development before making the jump to freelance in 2012. He now works as an illustrator and concept artist, still mostly within the games industry.