Oxford University’s Robotics Institute Win Prestigious International Exploration Challenge

Robotics researchers from the Oxford Universities Robotics Institute, have contributed to the winning team, Team CERBERUS, at the DARPA Subterranean Challenge – coming away with the top prize of $2m. The finals of the competition concluded on Friday in an underground cavern in Louisville, Kentucky with 8 international teams going head-to-head.

Underground settings present significant challenges for civilian first responders, with unknow hazards and conditions that can vary drastically or change quickly.  The DARPA Subterranean or “SubT” Challenge was established to stimulate new approaches to rapidly map, navigate, and search underground environments during time-sensitive disaster response scenarios. 

The challenge took place over three years and was designed to push the boundaries of autonomous robotic technology. The task was to explore an underground environment and to locate objects such as mannequins – simulating injured humans, – backpacks, phones and tools. 

‘We are delighted to have done so well. Contributing to CERBERUS has really accelerated our research. After 3 years of preparation, it was fantastic to test it in the DARPA’s complex underground maze’. Said Prof. Maurice Fallon, lead of the Oxford University team.

Points were awarded when an object was correctly located. Challenges included locomotion over rough terrain, accurate mapping, and coordination of the robot team by a single operator from outside the test location. The test location blended aspects of cave, tunnel and urban subways and was often unlit, filled with smoke or on a steep slope.

CERBERUS*, deployed a team of four quadruped robots, called ANYmals, as well as autonomous aerial vehicles in the competition organized by the US Government research agency DARPA.

‘In the underground environment there are so many challenges from lighting and communications to the slipperiness of terrain itself. This demanded a whole range of breakthroughs by our team’. Said Dr. Marco Camurri, Senior researcher, Oxford University.

In the end CERBERUS tied with a team from CSIRO – a research lab based in Brisbane, Australia – winning only on a tiebreaker. Other teams included representatives from top universities such as University of Colorado, Boulder (in 3rd place), Carnegie Mellon University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (part of NASA).

It is envisaged that the technologies will impact on disaster response, environmental monitoring, industrial inspection, and construction sectors. 

4ocean and Poralu Marine Debut First of Its Kind Robot for Beach Cleanups

BOCA RATON, FL (August 18, 2021) — 4ocean, a purpose-driven B Corp with a mission to end the ocean plastic crisis, is pleased to announce their partnership with Poralu Marine, a global leader in marine- grade technologies, on the launch of the BeBot in the United States, an impressive beach cleaning robot designed to recover coastal plastic debris.

The electric-powered BeBot can clean up to 3,000 sqm of beach per hour, 20-30x more effective than collecting trash by hand. The machine is agile and easy to maneuver, a clear differentiator from existing options, and it specifically excels at removing small pieces of plastic and other trash that are notoriously difficult to clean by hand, using small 1 cm x 1 cm sifting grids to separate these items from the sand.

Traditional machines are typically very large, powered by gas, and often repurposed from other agricultural purposes, making them poorly suited for more delicate beach cleanup work. In contrast, the BeBot’s smaller footprint and more shallow cleaning depth of 10 cm, effectively removes common beach trash while avoiding disruptions to any nearby habitats or animals, providing a more effective and sustainable approach to cleanups.

“We are always searching for innovative technology to improve our cleanup capabilities and are thrilled to partner with Poralu Marine on introducing such an impactful piece of technology,” said Alex Schulze, 4ocean’s co-founder and CEO. “With the launch of the BeBot, we are able to work smarter and sustainably while recovering plastic that has already seen the ocean and preventing new plastic from ever getting there in the first place.”

Meant to be used daily, the BeBot is remote operated and can be controlled by an operator up to approximately 950 feet away. The robot makes minimal noise while cleaning and requires a much smaller footprint for storage, making it the ideal cleaning method for beaches in populated areas. This design approach was intentionally created with cleaning trash in mind, which is a first of its kind. 4ocean is on track to remove 20 million pounds of trash by year’s end and the BeBot will be essential in helping the brand reach this important milestone.

Claire Touvier, member of the Environmental Solutions team from Poralu Marine noted “It is a real honor to present BeBot. We are very proud to be able to launch this new robot in the US with the help of 4ocean. This cutting edge technology was developed in Italy by a team of experts dedicated to robotics. While traditional machines equipped with wheels were degrading the shoreline, BeBot has groundbreaking and unpreceedented environmental assets. With a unique track system distributing equal and minimum pressure on the sand, BeBot reduces erosion. This innovative design also helps the preservation of biodiversity as it prevents the compression of turtles’ eggs and any vegetal ecosystem in the sand.”

This impressive beach cleaning robot represents important innovation in the ocean reclamation space, thinking creatively about the more effective, efficient and eco-friendly way to remove the small plastics that currently litter our beaches. 4ocean and Poralu Marine are thrilled collaborating as leaders in this space, preventing further pollution of our oceans.

To learn more about the BeBot and all of 4ocean’s ocean cleanup initiatives, please visit 4ocean.com.

About 4ocean

4ocean is a purpose-driven business with a mission to help end the ocean plastic crisis by cleaning the ocean and coastlines while stopping the inflow of plastic. With the goal of creating an economy around cleaning the ocean, 4ocean has built a sustainable business model that allows the company to fund cleanups, utilize the latest technology and make a monthly $50,000 donation to marine conservation organizations. Ocean cleanups are funded entirely through product purchases, removing one pound of trash for every item sold, for a total of over 15 million pounds to date. 4ocean prioritizes engaging coastal communities, which creates jobs and adds revenue to local economies while changing the demand from catching fish to catching plastic. The solution to ending ocean plastic pollution lies in stopping it on land before it enters the ocean, which is why 4ocean is educating consumers about ways to reduce their single-use plastic consumption.

About Poralu Marine

Developing unique leisure marina solutions and equipment is the core activity of Poralu Marine, which has designed, built and installed more than 8,000 projects worldwide making it the global industry leader in the design and construction of aluminium structures. From this expertise in durable installations, Poralu Marine is constantly innovating with the launch of footbridges, environmentally friendly anchoring solutions, and floating waste collectors (Seabin), to name just a few. The activities of the group’s brands – Poralu Marine, Nautiscaphe, Poralu Bridge, Rotax, WPS, EDDS – are a testimony to the constant renewal of our product range which is particularly respectful of the natural environment and of those who fight to preserve it.

In 2021, Poralu Marine strengthened its leadership in the matter of environmental protection by launching “The Searial Cleaners” the first ever range of littoral waste collectors.

MYBOTSHOP nimmt mit leistungsstarkem Kettenfahrzeug Fahrt auf

Autonomes Fahren ist schon lange keine Zukunftstechnologie mehr. Doch nicht nur im PKW auf der Straße soll alsbald auf den Fahrer verzichtet werden. So hat auch MYBOTSHOP, der deutsche Vertriebspartner für Robotik, Sensorik und Automatisierungstechnologie, ein neues Gefährt im Programm. Mit dem weiterentwickelten MBS ROVO 2 führt das Unternehmen aus Nordrhein-Westfalen ein Kettenfahrzeug auf dem Robotermarkt ein, das den meisten Umwelteinflüssen standhält und die Kosteneffizienz in Unternehmen steigern soll.

Neben der Basis-Version im bald erhältlichen MYBOTSHOP-grün, gibt es das Kettenfahrzeug auch als voll konfigurierbare und auf Kundenwünsche zugeschnittene Premium-Version. Dabei profitiert der Endkunde von der jahrelangen Erfahrung und Spezialisierung im Bereich der Anwendungsentwicklung und Forschung, die hausintern bei MYBOTSHOP umgesetzt wird. Das bedeutet, dass Zusatzelemente komplett konfigurierbar und bei MYBOTSHOP auf Anfrage erhältlich sind. Somit bekommt der Endkunde dann ein komplett mit Software aufgespieltes und in Haus getestetes Produkt ausgeliefert. Und auch während der Nutzung steht MYBOTSHOP mit seinem Support und zur Wartung beratend zur Seite. Für die ROS-basierte Programmierung wird eine vollständige Dokumentation als Support auf der Website zur Verfügung gestellt.

Das geländegängige und wassergeschützte Fahrzeug (IP 65) überwindet souverän verschiedene Untergründe wie Schlamm, Schnee und Eis, Kies, Schotter und Sand. Ermöglicht wird dies durch den niedrigen Anpressdruck, der auf der Kettenlänge basiert. Die Akkulaufzeit liegt derzeit bei ca. 8 h (abhängig von Geschwindigkeit und Belastung) und die maximale Geschwindigkeit des Fahrzeugs bei knapp 20 km/h. Optional kann ein Modul für die Schnellladefunktion erworben werden. Mit einer Traglast von bis zu 500 kg bietet sich das Fahrzeug besonders als Transportplattform an. Die Zugkraft liegt bei knapp 2 t und via optionaler Anhängerkupplung lassen sich Anhänger und Fahrzeuge problemlos ziehen.

Mittels der externen Spannungsversorgung lassen sich Zusatzverbraucher wie Roboterarme, Kameras, 3D-LiDAR und weitere Komponenten anschließen. Gerade der Ouster 3D-LiDAR bietet sich für das Mapping an, das beim autonomen Fahren unausweichlich ist. Die via Ouster 3D-LiDAR detailgetreue erstellte 3D-Punktwolke basiert auf bis zu 128 Lagen bei einer Winkelauflösung von nur 0,18° und erfüllt dabei alle relevanten Datenschutz-Vorschriften.
Ein Roboterarm, wie der 6-achsige Universal Robots UR-3, ermöglicht unter anderem als Allrounder-Arm die mobile Manipulation.
Empfehlenswert ist die Nutzung eines HOKUYO UAM-05LP – einem sogenannten Safety LiDAR. Dies bedeutet, dass er durch seine TÜV-Süd-Zertifizierung, bzw. seinem redundanten Aufbau, unter anderem in Roboter-Mensch Applikationen eingesetzt werden darf. Dabei arbeitet das System nach dem so genannten ToF-Prinzip (Time of Flight) wobei die Zeit des emittierten Lichts gemessen wird. Infolge dessen sind maximale Messzeiten von 60 ms möglich.
Die verwendete Stereolabs ZED ist eine performante 3D-Kamera für einen breiten Anwendungsbereich. So verfügt diese Kamera über zwei 4 MP Kameras, wodurch 2 K-Aufnahmen (4416 x 1242 px) mit einer Framerate von bis zu 100 Hz ermöglicht werden.

Mit dem MBS ROVO 2 kann MYBOTSHOP ein Produkt anbieten, das durch geringen Wartungsaufwand und eine lange Lebensdauer überzeugt – Preis und Leistung stimmen hier überein. Aufgrund jahrelanger Erfahrung, erprobter Technik, permanenter Weiterentwicklung und Verwendung qualitativ hochwertiger Komponenten im Fahrzeug rentieren sich die Anschaffungskosten in Höhe von 40.000 EUR (UVP). MYBOTSHOP Firmengründer Daniel Kottlarz schöpft aus der autonomen Zukunft und künstlichen Intelligenz das Potenzial, Arbeitsschritte und Prozessabläufe zu vereinfachen und die Kosten-Nutzen-Effizienz zu steigern. Ebenso können Mitarbeiter im gefährlichen Arbeitsumgebungen reduziert und deren Sicherheit unterstützt werden.

https://www.mybotshop.de/

Autonomous snowploughs tested at Oslo airport

Norwegian airport operator Avinor is now taking the next step towards autonomous snow removal through a new framework agreement regarding the purchase of self-driving runway sweepers. The self-driving technology is developed by the technology company Yeti Move AS, where Semcon is one of the co-owners.

Since the winter of 2018/2019, a number of self-driving runway sweepers are being tested at Oslo Airport. With Avinor’s new framework agreement with snowplough manufacturer Øveraasen, which runs for eight years, more autonomous vehicles will be put into operation during the winter of 2021/2022. Behind the self-driving vehicles is the technology company Yeti Move AS, which delivers the control system that runs the autonomous operations. The majority owners of Yeti Move AS are Øveraasen, Husqvarna and Semcon.

Today, efficiency and automation are high on the agenda of airlines and airport operators worldwide and the benefits of autonomous snowploughs at airports are many. In addition to cost efficiency, the new technology entails a higher capacity and greater clearing width, which makes it possible to reduce the number of vehicles and thereby achieve major environmental benefits. The system is also developed with so-called “condition monitoring” which provides a complete overview of the equipment’s condition and possible service needs.

”The contract with Avinor is an important step in the development of Yeti Move and gives the company a world-leading position in autonomous snow removal at airports. This is a result of years of collaboration with Øveraasen as a machine supplier and Semcon as a competence partner”, says Peter Due, CEO of Yeti Move.

”Semcon has extensive experience in developing autonomous solutions, from first idea to finished solution. We have been part of Yeti Moves’ journey from the start and are proud to have, as a development and competence partner, contributed to developing the software platform that makes autonomous operation possible”, says Hans Peter Havdal, responsible for Semcon in Norway.

IAM Robotics Introduces Groundbreaking Mid-size AMR

Pittsburgh, PA, March 31 – IAM Robotics is breaking boundaries in the midline autonomous mobile robot (AMR) market with its new robot, Bolt™. Making its debut April 12, 2021 at ProMat DX, Bolt gives you the power to do more in material handling—faster, longer, and farther. 

Packed with high-tech features, Bolt is built to thrive in warehouse and manufacturing environments. It elevates productivity and efficiency to new heights and stands out as an autonomous mobility solution for more than just a few reasons: 

Adaptability – Bolt allows you to retrofit various tops to serve your needs, from piece-picking arms to pallet movers. Choose from standard solutions or customize a unique top. No other AMR has this flexibility. 

Smarter Safety – Bolt uses 360-degree vision and a combination of state-of-the-art sensors and direct-drive wheel motors to ensure complete safety. Direct-drive wheel technology means Bolt’s entire body acts as a bump sensor. And for this to work, Bolt offers the same type of power-force-torque limiting as collaborative robot arms. 

Unmatched Power and Efficiency – Bolt is powerful, with a battery 3.5X the size of similar AMRs and 20-hour runtime that exceeds any other AMR. The patented hot swap battery makes it easy for one person to change in ten seconds or less. Plus, with a best-in-class 661-pound payload capacity, customers never compromise. 

Bolt is completely autonomous, is compatible with conveyor and material handling systems, and scales easily for any size application. 

Founder and CEO, Tom Galuzzo, reflected on developing the robot. “When we built our AMR, we thought, ‘How can we make this the most powerful, flexible, and collaborative solution?’ Bolt expands on our AMMR, Swift™, by turning its base into a standalone AMR. We applied what we learned with Swift, honing in on battery power and direct-drive wheels to ensure Bolt has the power to operate safely and efficiently—even with top modules attached.” He continued, “Bolt is already opening new doors for IAM Robotics because it introduces us to a faster-growing market with general AMRs.” 

IAM Robotics knows AMRs are in high demand because of their benefits to businesses over existing automation and human labor. AMRs have a low barrier to entry because they’re relatively affordable, and they deploy in as quickly as a matter of weeks—so businesses can hit the ground running. But they’re also flexible. AMRs provide the power of autonomous mobility, so you’re not limited by stationary conveyors, and they’re designed to collaborate with and complement human workers and existing automation. Bolt is certainly no different, doing all this and more. 

For more information about Bolt, explore the product online or get in touch with IAM Robotics to discuss specific applications. 

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About IAM Robotics 

IAM Robotics is the future of material handling. Our mobile robotics platform powers operational excellence in an on-demand world. 

We are dedicated to building adaptable and safe robotics solutions that seamlessly integrate into any operational environment. Our team of robotics engineers and supply chain veterans work closely with partners to model, simulate, and configure optimal solutions that keep their businesses competitive. 

IAM Robotics was founded in 2012 and is proudly based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The company is home to over 50 employees and supports customers worldwide. 

To learn more, please visit iamrobotics.com

BlueBotics’ ANT® Navigation Drives Autonomous Vehicles Over 10 Million Kilometers

St-Sulpice, Switzerland, February18, 2021 – BlueBotics, the global leader in natural feature navigation, has announced its Autonomous Navigation Technology (ANT®) is now estimated to have driven automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) over 10 million kilometers, in applications ranging from warehousing and manufacturing to commercial cleaning services, UVC disinfection and more.

Dr. Nicola Tomatis, CEO of BlueBotics, said, “The timing of this milestone is perfect as it comes the same month that we celebrate the company’s 20-year anniversary. It is amazing to think that our customers’ ANT® driven vehicles have driven over 10 million kilometers, almost 250 times the circumference of the globe. This achievement really speaks to the robustness of our industry-proven ANT® technology.”



ANT® navigation is popular with manufacturers and end users of AGVs, automated forklifts and AMRs, since it simplifies and shortens vehicle installation times as well as providing flexible, accurate and user-friendly operation. The technology suits a myriad of vehicle types and kinematics, from small 100 kg AMRs to 30-ton heavy load transporter AGVs. In addition, with BlueBotics’ accompanying ANT® server software, users whose vehicles are driven by BlueBotics’ ANT® lite+ product can create and operate a synchronized fleet of ANT® driven vehicles, no matter what the type or even brand. All of these vehicles are able to interact seamlessly with on-site equipment and machinery, including an organization’s existing WMS/MES/ERP software, using ANT® server’s simple API.

Dr. Tomatis continued, “In arriving at our 10-million-kilometer milestone, we conservatively estimate that AGVs driven by ANT® technology have worked more than one million days – over 2,500 years – of commercial operation.”

“It is exciting to see the impact ANT® technology is having, both on the AGV market and – most importantly – on the efficiency of those companies that operate ANT® driven vehicles. With our continuing strong growth, it shouldn’t be long before ANT® driven products will have circumnavigated the globe 500 times!”

About BlueBotics

BlueBotics is the reference in natural feature navigation and has the mission to help companies meet the challenge of vehicle automation. With its 20 years of industry experience, the company provides the autonomous navigation technology (ANT®) and expert support customers need to bring their AGV, automated forklift or mobile robot successfully to market. Today, there are more than 2,000 ANT® driven vehicles in operation worldwide. https://www.BlueBotics.com

Boston Dynamics expands Spot® product line

NEW SELF-CHARGING ENTERPRISE ROBOT, REMOTE OPERATION SOFTWARE, AND ROBOT ARM ENHANCE SPOT’S CAPABILITIES FOR AUTONOMOUS SITE MONITORING


Waltham, MA – February 2, 2021 – Boston Dynamics, the global leader in mobile robotics, today announced an expanded product line for its agile mobile robot Spot. The new products include a self-charging Enterprise Spot, web-based remote operations software, Scout, and the Spot Arm. These additions extend Spot’s ability to perform autonomous, remote inspections and data collection, and enable the robot to perform manual tasks.

With more than 400 Spots out in the world, the robot has successfully undertaken hazardous tasks in a variety of inhospitable environments such as nuclear plants, offshore oil fields, construction sites, and mines. Customers have leveraged Spot’s advanced mobility, autonomy, control, and customizability to improve operational efficiency, enhance worker safety, and gather critical data. Spot’s new products are designed to enable customers to fully operationalize continuous, autonomous data collection on remote or hazardous worksites of any size, from anywhere they have access to their network.

Autonomy is critical to enhancing Spot’s value. In order to support long, remote deployments, Boston Dynamics is introducing Spot Enterprise, a new version of Spot that comes equipped with self-charging capabilities and a dock, allowing it to perform longer inspection tasks and data collection missions with little to no human interaction. In addition to the basic capabilities that the base Spot robot offers, Spot Enterprise leverages upgraded hardware for improved safety, communications, and behavior in remote environments. These upgrades expand the range that autonomous missions can cover, extend WiFi support, add flexibility to Spot’s payload ports, and enable users to quickly offload large data sets collected during the robot’s mission.

Pivotal to refining Spot’s value at scale is remote operation. Scout is Boston Dynamics’ web-based software that enables operators to control their fleet of Spots from a virtual control room. Operators can use Scout to take Spot anywhere a person could go on-site, allowing them to inspect critical equipment or hazardous areas from afar. The software is designed with a simple user interface to run pre-programmed autonomous missions or manually control the robot, to perform various tasks such as walking or posing the robot to capture images and thermal data of obscured gauges or pipes using the Spot CAM+IR thermal imaging payload.

Combined, the Spot Enterprise robot equipped with a Spot CAM+IR thermal imaging payload, Scout software, and Boston Dynamics’ premium support now create an out-of-the-box solution for asset-intensive environments. Operators can deploy this solution on site to proactively maintain and manage assets while maximizing worker uptime and improving worker safety.

In addition to launching products designed to make remote inspection safer and easier, Boston Dynamics is also releasing the Spot Arm, which enables users to act on data insights and perform physical work in human-centric environments. The arm is equipped to operate through both semi-autonomous actions and telemanipulation. It can manually or semi-autonomously grasp, lift, carry, place, and drag a wide variety of objects. It is also capable of manipulating objects with constrained movement and can open and close valves, pull levers and turn handles and knobs in coordination with its body to open standard push and pull doors.

“Since first launching Spot, we have worked closely with our customers to identify how the robot could best support their mission critical applications,” said Robert Playter, CEO of Boston Dynamics. “Our customers want reliable data collection in remote, hazardous, and dynamic worksites. We developed the new Spot products with these needs in mind, and with the goal of making it easy to regularly and remotely perform critical inspections, improving safety and operations.”

Interested parties can purchase Spot Enterprise, Scout, and the Spot Arm via Boston Dynamics’ sales team. For more information on these new offerings, please visit: www.bostondynamics.com.



About Boston Dynamics

Boston Dynamics is the global leader in developing and deploying highly mobile robots capable of tackling the toughest robotics challenges. Our core mission is to lead the creation and delivery of robots with advanced mobility, dexterity and intelligence that add value in unstructured or hard-to-traverse spaces and positively impact society. We create high-performance robots equipped with perception, navigation and intelligence by combining the principles of dynamic control and balance with sophisticated mechanical designs, cutting-edge electronics and next-generation software. We have three mobile robots in our portfolio – Spot®, Handle™ and Atlas® – as well as Pick™, a computer vision-based robotics solution for logistics. Founded in 1992, Boston Dynamics spun out of the MIT Leg Lab and is one of Inc. Magazine’s Best Workplaces of 2020. For more information on our company and its technologies, please visit www.bostondynamics.comhttp://www.bostondynamics.com.

AGVs keep the PPE moving during the COVID-19 pandemic

St-Sulpice Switzerland, October 07, 2020 – The COVID-19 crisis has focussed public attention on the role that hospitals and healthcare professionals play in treating those infected by the virus. Working within strict social distancing guidelines and limited staff has strained the resources of some of the support staff including internal logistics suppliers.

This is why an increasing number of hospitals around the world are reaping the benefits of investment in automated guided vehicles (AGVs). 

A modern hospital or clinic handles a huge amount of internal transportation daily. A 200-bed hospital transports an average of six tons of materials per day over a total distance of about 60 km, while an 800-bed hospital can handle up to 27 tons of materials, covering a distance of about 800 km. By utilising an AGV logistics system these movements can be handled more efficiently, freeing up valuable resources for medical activities.

One hospital in Garbagnate Milanese, Italy, for example, employs AGVs to automate these processes. The 57,000 m2 facility has over 500 beds and the backend logistics are handled by 12 AGVs that transport goods to 147 reception stations throughout the hospital.

The quality of transport in healthcare is essential, in order to safeguard the integrity of the materials carried, ensuring a high level of hygiene and assuring the health of patients.  One company that has been supporting healthcare facilities automate their logistics since 2012 is Italy-based Oppent, with its EvoCart series of mobile robots, specifically developed for hospitals and medical centres. These vehicles can handle food, laundry, waste, sterilisation, pharmacy, and general supplies, including ensuring that vital personal protection equipment (PPE) is in the right places at the right time during the current pandemic. Oppent has managed handling in more than 20 healthcare facilities. 

Oppent’s bi-directional mobile robots have a programmable speed of 0.10 m/s to 2.0 m/s and respect the safety regulations ISO 3691-4. Their movements are controlled by Autonomous Navigation Technology (ANT®), by BlueBotics, which uses natural structures in the environment—such as walls or furniture—as references, to ensure each vehicle knows where exactly it is. This approach means an AGV installation does not require expensive infrastructure changes, such as inductive wires being laid in the floor, or triangulation reflectors on the walls, in order to navigate effectively. 

The AGVs are quickly installed with ANT® lab tool suite and modifications to routes are even simpler. As a result, installations are simple and economical to set up and maintain, whether a single automated guided vehicle or a large fleet. A specific built-in safety system using specific certified laser scanners can identify any obstacles along the path and adjust the movement of the vehicle, with the AGVs autonomously handling obstacles either by adapting their speed to avoid emergency situations (path following) or moving around them (obstacle avoidance).

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About BlueBotics

BlueBotics aims to become the reference in autonomous navigation with the mission to enable the mobility of vehicles for the automation in the professional use market.

The company is now active in two segments:

  • Industrial automation – BlueBotics proposes ANT®, its innovative navigation solution.
  • Service robotics – The company proposes engineering services based on its expertise in mobile robotics with standard platforms, feasibility studies, custom designs, and dedicated developments to enable new customer applications.

SqwaQ Wins AUVSI Xcellence Award for BVLOS Drone Communications Solution

DALLAS (PRWEB) OCTOBER 04, 2020

SqwaQ, a pioneering leader in air-to-ground (A2G) LTE connectivity that enables safe BVLOS drone flights, has been recognized by the AUVSI with a 2020 Xcellence Award for Technology & Innovation. Winners were selected from a pool of accomplished applicants across various categories.

“The AUVSI XCELLENCE Awards honor innovators with a demonstrated commitment to advancing autonomy, leading and promoting safe adoption of unmanned systems and developing programs that use these technologies to save lives and improve the human condition,” said Brian Wynne, president and CEO of AUVSI.

The SqwaQbox is the first carrier approved 4G/LTE modem for Airborne LTE Operations (ALO) that delivers robust, multi-redundant connectivity for safe BVLOS flights. The 270 gram device enables multiple cameras and sensors to stream video in real time with nationwide Command and Control (C2) of the aircraft. This provides the remote pilot with an in-the-cockpit experience that includes pilot view cameras, the capability to fly in controlled airspace, remote operation of ADSB or Mode-S transponders, voice communication to the remote air traffic control tower using aviation VHF radio, and more. The remote pilot can safely integrate with manned aircraft traffic and even take off or land at the world’s busiest airports. These capabilities, and more like it, are already patented by SqwaQ and part of a longer range roadmap that integrates unmanned traffic, rather than UTM segregation which is restrictive and not practical.

A major obstacle facing the UAS industry has been the ability to maintain command and control over long distances via a multi-redundant communication link that not only streams video and sensor data, but can pass muster with FAA safety requirements. SqwaQ understood this from the outset and manufactures the AS9100 Certified SqwaQbox to those aviation standards, with an eye toward additional FAA certifications that may become mandatory for all UASs the future.

Over the last ten years, the drone industry has been guided by robotics engineers and drone enthusiasts with little knowledge of FAA rules or FAR safety guidelines. This has led to challenging FAA authority over the airspace and ignoring aviation safety guidelines in hopes of allowing tens of thousands of flimsy drones to invade the safest airspace in the world. To the FAA this is a dangerous threat. SqwaQ technology is the missing component that resolves this conflict and integrates all connected aircraft in the sky, allowing safe integration of any properly built Remotely Piloted Aircraft.

Today in 2020, major aviation manufacturers are quietly designing their own Remotely Piloted Aircraft solutions with an eye toward full FAA type class certification and safety compliance. That’s not a Part 107 waiver or Part 135 exemption that restricts operations. It means passing a rigid safety certification like Boeing, Bell and Airbus routinely undertake with manned aircraft, to fly unfettered in the airspace and deliver value to customers that toy drones cannot achieve.

SqwaQ is engaged with many aviation manufacturing partners to lead the transformation to certified Remotely Piloted Aircraft. That RPA moniker will denote a real aircraft, flown freely across controlled airspace by a real pilot holding a conventional pilot certification and pedigree. SqwaQ anticipates that OEMs using its BVLOS technology may eliminate 75% of their competitors in the drone industry, as certified aircraft push out the flimsy toys being fobbed off, particularly in public safety.

First Day of Safety, Security and Rescue Robots 2010 (SSRR-2010)

Currently I’m participating at the workshop of Safety, Security and Rescue Robots 2010 in Bremen.

The first day is now gone and a lot of interesting talks have been given:

Tetsuya Kinugasa has shown a Flexible Displacement Sensor in his talk of “Measurement of Flexed Posture for Mono-tread Mobile Track Using New Flexible Displacement Sensor“. His group develops and uses this sensor to control the posture of a robot which is a combination of snake, worm and tank.

Jimmy Tran presented his works on “Canine Assisted Robot Deployment for Urban Search and Rescue“. The basic idea is as simple as brilliant, use a equipped dog to find victims and to inform operators about him. So, dogs are well used in rescue and they have a high mobility. They can easily overcome huge rubles and are able to carry video cameras or rescue material. So, his approach is to use the dogs to deploy a small robot next to a victim, which would allow to investigate medical status of the person. The idea is hilarious.

Development of leg-track hybrid locomotion to traverse loose slopes and irregular terrain” is so far the most interesting technical approach of this workshop. It shows a way how a tracked like vehicle can be combined with a semi-Walker.

Donny Kurnia Sutantyo  presented his work on “Multi-Robot Searching Algorithm Using Levy Flight and Artificial Potential Field“, while Julian de Hoog showed a solution for team exploration in “Dynamic Team Hierarchies in Communication-Limited Multi-Robot Exploration”.

The invited speaker Bernardo Wagner showed the outcomes of his department. The Leibniz University of Hannover has worked intensively in the field of “Perception and Navigation with 3D Laser Range Data in Challenging Environments“.

Potential Field based Approach for Coordinate Exploration with a Multi-Robot Team” is topic of Alessandro Renzaglia.

Bin Li showed another nice approach of a shape shifting robot. His robot is able to shape shift it self by rearranging its three motion segments. “Cooperative Reconfiguration between Two Specific Configurations for A Shape-shifting Robot

Jorge Bruno Silva presented a approach of trajectory planing while respecting time constrains in “Generating Trajectories With Temporal Constraints for an Autonomous Robot
Noritaka Sato closed the day by presenting novel a HMI approach for teleoperation. Instead of showing only the direct camera image his group uses temporal shifted images to generate an artificial bird eye view, like it is given in computer car games. “Teleoperation System Using Past Image Records Considering Moving Objects

I am looking forward to listen to the next talks.