Wandelbots – No-Code Robotics – – Short Interview

Sebastian from Robots-Blog was able to do a short interview with Annelie Harz from Wandelbots. Learn in the interview what Wandelbots is and why programming might soon become obsolete.

Robots-Blog: Who are you and what is your job at Wandelbots?

Annelie: My name is Annelie and I work as a marketing manager at Wandelbots.

Robots Blog: Which robot from science, movies or TV is your favorite?

Annelie: Wall-E, actually. A little robot that does good things and is just adorable.

Robots Blog: What is Wandelbots and where does the name come from?

Annelie: The name describes the CHANGE (german: „Wandel“) of RoBOTics. Because that is exactly what we do. We enable everyone to handle robots, which today is only reserved for a small circle of experts. Our long-term company vision is: „Every robot in every company and every home runs on Wandelbots“. And that promises big change on a wide variety of levels – starting for us with industry.

Robots Blog: Who is your product aimed at and what do I need for it?

Annelie: Our product is currently aimed at customers from industry. Here, our software – Wandelbots Teaching – can help with programming various applications such as welding or gluing without having to write a line of code. It is designed to be so simple and intuitive that really anyone can work with it to teach a robot a desired result. This works through the interaction of an app and an input device, the TracePen. This takes the form of a large pen with which users can draw a desired path for the robot on the component. But we also work together with educational institutions. They are the ones who train the next generation of robot experts. And in the long term, we are convinced – and this is already part of our vision – that robots will also find their way into private life as little helpers.

Robots-Blog: What feature is particularly worth mentioning?/What can’t anyone else do?

Annelie: Our product works robot manufacturer independent. In robotics, each manufacturer has developed its own proprietary programming language over the years. This makes communication between humans and machines very difficult. We, on the other hand, want to create a tool that allows any human to work with any robot – completely independent of programming language and manufacturer. Robotics should be fun for the user of our product. Thanks to the high usability and the operation of our app via iPad, this is already possible today. And over the next time, application-specific editions will be added to our platform – currently, for example, we are working on an app version for robot welding.

Robots Blog: Do I still need to learn programming at all?

Annelie: No. As I just explained, with this so-called no-code technology, you don’t need to learn programming anymore. It is simple, intuitive and user-friendly, even for laymen. Of course, you always need to have some basic understanding of robotics, especially for safety reasons. You should never underestimate the dangers posed by robots, which is why our product always works according to the respective manufacturer-specific safety specifications.

Robots Blog: What robots are supported? I have a Rotrics DexArm and an igus Robolink DP-5; can I use those as well?

Annelie: Of course, shortly after entering the market, we first want to make robotics in the industry, for example the automotive sector, more flexible and easier. To do this, we are gradually integrating the largest robot brands into our platform. We will certainly also integrate smaller robot brands that cover one or more niches. Or – even better – thanks to our Robot Integration Software Development Kit, robot manufacturers will soon be able to do it themselves.

Robots Blog: How much does your product cost?

Annelie: Our product is offered via a licensing model as a subscription, as is common in the Software as a Service business, or also classically for purchase. The current prices for the different editions can be found on our website (and you will certainly find more exciting content there)

Tech Vision: How Boston Dynamics Built The Most Advanced Robot

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

500 ROBOTS mini sketchbook

500 ROBOTS is a 1 to 1 reproduction of a sketchbook that artist GABO began filling in May 2020 and finally completed in September 2020. The entire book was done straight to ink, meaning that he had little to no plan on what was going to be drawn! A lot of what you’ll find in this book will be robot sketches, but also includes a mess of random sci-fi mechanics and even a few mini-comics! The last two pages of the book explain some of the tools and techniques used while making it. Each page also includes annotations on the sides and bottom explaining my process and thoughts! This 52-page perfect-bound book is full color and measures 6″ x 4.5″.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gabo/500-robots-mini-sketchbook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Principal Investigator: Siemens Corporation Corporate Technologies 

Project Team: FedEx Corporation, Yaskawa Motoman   

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


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

Principal Investigator: Northeastern University 

Project Team: Merrow Manufacturing 

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


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

Principal Investigator: Siemens Corporation Corporate Technologies 

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

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


Project Title: Mobile Autonomous Industrial Disinfector (MAID)   

Principal Investigator: Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories 

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

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


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

Principal Investigator: Siemens Corporation Corporate Technologies 

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

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


Project Title: Autonomous Mobile Capability for Room Disinfecting Robots   

Principal Investigator: QinetiQ North America 

Project Team: MassRobotics  

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


Project Title: Rapid Robotic Diagnostic Kit Discovery   

Principal Investigator: Siemens Corporation Corporate Technologies 

Project Team: Maxim BioMedical Inc, Siemens Healthineers 

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


Project Title: Swarm Robotics for Large Structure Manufacturing  

Principal Investigator: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 

Project Team: Air Structures American Technologies Inc 

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


Project Title: Robotic Application of Anti-Microbial Copper Coatings  

Principal Investigator: Siemens Corporation Corporate Technologies 

Project Team: VRC Metals System  

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


ABOUT ARM PROJECTS  

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

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

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


ARM Institute Annual Member Meeting

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

LEGO® Star Wars™ BOOST droid commander set takes the force to a new level, introducing the droids you have been looking for…

New LEGO® Star Wars™ BOOST Droid Commander set lets fans build, code and play with three iconic Star Wars droids – whether they’re a young Padawan or Jedi Master

May 4, 2019: Today, the LEGO Group unveils the latest addition to its much-loved Star Wars™ range – and it’s something even Yoda’s Force sense didn’t see coming. The new LEGO Star Wars BOOST Droid Commander set offers all the creativity and coding fun of LEGO® BOOST alongside the chance to build three of the film franchise’s most iconic droids: R2-D2; the Gonk Droid; and the Mouse Droid.

It’s the first time the intuitive drag-and-drop LEGO BOOST coding technology has been used in a LEGO licensing product. With the technology overhauled to match the LEGO Star Wars galaxy, the result is a whole new play experience in which kids and parents can team up to build, code and play with the droids, then create their own Star Wars stories and battlegrounds with inspiration from 40+ interactive missions. What’s more, every time they play with this LEGO Star Wars brick galaxy of lovable droids, they will also be honing their STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) skills, which are ever more important for children in today’s digital world.

Julia Goldin, Chief Marketing Officer, LEGO Group, said: “We’ve been fuelling the imagination of young Padawans and Jedi Masters for twenty years and wanted to take the Force to a new level. By introducing LEGO BOOST and creative coding into the LEGO Star Wars galaxy, kids now have the chance to develop essential 21st century skills while immersing themselves in the amazing world of Droid Commanders. Our children are the problem solvers of tomorrow and STEAM skills will be essential to help them conquer the challenges of the future.”

The LEGO Star Wars BOOST Droid Commander set is the latest example of how the LEGO Group is using product innovation to help boys and girls gain vital STEAM skills like creativity, critical-thinking, problem-solving and communication – all while enjoying the thrill of playing with their favourite LEGO Star Wars characters.

Launching globally September 1, 2019 just in time to mark the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, all three droids (R2-D2, Gonk Droid and Mouse Droid) included in the set are great fun to build, code and play with, and completely customisable for every child.

“These are the droids you’re looking for.”

LEGO® Star Wars™ BOOST Droid Commander product facts:

  • The set includes a color & distance sensor, interactive motor, Bluetooth (Move Hub) and 1,177 pieces – enough to build all three lovable R2-D2 robot, Gonk Droid and Mouse Droid, each coming with their own personalities, skills, and authentic Star Wars sounds and music. It will be age graded 8+ and the recommended retail price will be $199,99/€199,99.
  • R2-D2 measures over 7” (20cm) high and 5” (14cm) wide. LEGO® Gonk Droid measures over 7” (18cm) high, 3” (9cm) wide and 6” (16cm) long. LEGO Mouse Droid measures over 5” (14cm) high, 3” (9cm) wide and 6” (17cm) long.
  • Free LEGO® BOOST Star Wars™ app is available for selected iOS, Android and Fire smart devices. Using the app, young commanders can build the droids, insert the Bluetooth-controlled Move Hub into the droid they want to see solve each of the 40+ missions, and bring it to life using the intuitive drag-and-drop coding environment.
  • Mission examples include:
    • R2-D2:
      • Plot a course
      • Receive and decode an incoming message
      • Party infiltration
      • Assisting flying an X-wing
    • GONK Droid:
      • Arena Training
      • Work as a load lifter
      • Ready for the fighting pit
      • Power droids
    • Mouse Droid:
      • Thrash sweep
      • Thrash dump
      • Message delivery
      • Locate Rebels

And many more…

For more information, visit: www.lego.com/starwars-droidcommander.

STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.


About the LEGO Group:
The LEGO Group’s mission is to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow through the power of play. The LEGO System in Play, with its foundation in LEGO bricks, allows children and fans to build and rebuild anything they can imagine.

The LEGO Group was founded in Billund, Denmark in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen, its name derived from the two Danish words LEg GOdt, which mean “Play Well”.

Today, the LEGO Group remains a family-owned company headquartered in Billund. However, its products are now sold in more than 140 countries worldwide. For more information: www.LEGO.com 

Museum Speelklok Utrecht – Robots love music

The international exhibition entitled ‘Robots love Music’ reveals that historical and modern-day robots not only have a brain, but also have a heart!

It’s not just the museum that will be showcasing robots; this autumn, the entire city of Utrecht will go robotic. At various locations around town, Museum Speelklok, universities, venues, and musicians will organise a wide variety of robot events.

Robots with a heart and soul?

They certainly exist! Through time musical ‘robots’ have been evolving from simply mimicking human movements to composing music independently and even improvising, just as we do.

Which musical robots?

They will come in all sizes, shapes and varieties from every corner of the world: ancient robots, interactive robots, metal robots, supersonic robots, life-size robots, cabinets with concealed robots and lots of invisible musicians. All of them will play music ‘live’.

Straight from the USA, the ultramodern and amiable music-making robot Shimon will arrive. The impressive man-size 18th-century Clarinet Player of Dutch making, which wound up in the USA, will make a special trip to Utrecht for the exhibition. From the film of the same name, the French automaton Hugo can be admired in its role as the cinematic link between the world of humans and machines.

Can robotic musicians move you? Find out for yourself at the interactive exhibition Robots love Music. Open from the 21st of September 2018 untill 3th of March 2019.

https://www.museumspeelklok.nl/exhibition-robots-love-music/

Exhibition Robots love Music

 

 

Robots Are Coming To A School Near You

ROBOLOCO has launched the Roboterra Robotics Kits to make STEM education easy for the teacher, fun for the kids and affordable to the schools.

ROBOLOCO, Inc., an educational technology company, with headquarters in Santa Clara, CA, announces a strategic distribution and licensing partnership with RoboTerra Inc., a Silicon Valley & Beijing global educational robotics company. According to the agreement, ROBOLOCO is now the sole distributor for the RoboTerra award-winning Origin and ERRA Kits, outside of China. This partnership incorporates a perpetual license for ROBOLOCO to develop its own proprietary software and robots based upon the existing RoboTerra technology.

ROBOLOCO’s CEO, Newton Paskin said, “The acquisition of RoboTerra products distribution in the global market, the rights to further improve the existing technology and continue to develop our own proprietary IP on top of RoboTerra’s IP complements our passion to help educators teach STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Our team, customers, and investors are extremely excited about the possibilities.”

ROBOLOCO will continue to develop RoboTerra’s educational tools such as the award-winning Origin Robotics Kit and the CastleRock Online Platform, the world’s first virtual robotics learning cloud. ROBOLOCO plans to add expertise in the areas of constructivist curriculum and artificial intelligence to enable instant feedback to educators and enhance the teaching and learning experiences providing an individualized and customized education opportunity for kids.

With this strategic partnership, ROBOLOCO, Inc. is seeking a new round of financing to scale its operations with the aim of reaching $ 75MM in revenue.

About ROBOLOCO, Inc.

ROBOLOCO, Inc. was recently launched by Newton Paskin, Patrick Muggler, and Derek Capo. Its’ mission is to empower educators to teach STEM and equip students with the skills they need for a successful life. To accomplish its mission ROBOLOCO is developing educational tools that combine leading-edge technology in hardware and software such as Robotics coupled with Artificial Intelligence (AI) with accessible and easy to use constructivist curriculum, aligned with ISTE and NGSS Standards, focused on the teacher. Its motto is “Easy for the teacher, fun for the kids and affordable to the schools”

About RoboTerra, Inc.

RoboTerra was founded in Spring 2014 by Yao Zhang a 2016 Young Global Leader, Columbia University alum in the Economics and Education Ph.D. program, a FIRST Robotics World Championship invited speaker, and recipient of the „Best 10 Global Citizen Service Award“ by the United States Department of State.

RoboTerra China Private Enterprise (a.k.a. in Chinese “Luo Bo Tai La”) will continue its operations in China focusing towards developing products for the Chinese education market and RoboTerra Inc. (a Delaware C-Corp) will continue to advance technologies in the learning space.

London Science Museum – Robots Exhibiton

London Science Museum – Robots Exhibiton