Automation and Robotics News–Dec 13, 2009
- Border drones,
- New Investments in Automation,
- New Drones
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# Successful emergency room automation is possible
Posted by Dana Blankenhorn, 11/9/09
The case studies are starting to come in. The naysayers are wrong. You can automate hospital operations and improve results. Even in the toughest environments, like the emergency room.
# With Payments a Big Part of Health-Care Costs, Automation Efforts Arise
(November 30, 2009) Low-hanging fruit it’s not, but health care still remains one of the biggest untapped markets for electronic payments. A new report from Celent LLC estimates that $11 billion could be saved by automating just part of the health-care payments process. And a new industry group is forming to marshal the growing interest in medical payments among banks, payments processors, and technology vendors into revenue-generating business. The report from Boston-based Celent, “Paper-to-Electronic Processing in Healthcare,” looks mainly at the complicated processes by which medical providers, insurers, and their vendors trade patient and payment information so that insurance claims may be paid and patient data linked to the correct remittance documents. While part of this process is electronic, much of it is still paper-based and highly inefficient. “In short, it’s a mess,” says the report.
# Scientists, lawyers mull effects of home robots
By BROOKE DONALD (AP) – 12/6/09
PALO ALTO, Calif. — Eric Horvitz illustrates the potential dilemmas of living with robots by telling the story of how he once got stuck in an elevator at Stanford Hospital with a droid the size of a washing machine. “I remembered thinking, `Whoa, this is scary,’ as it whirled around, almost knocking me down,” the Microsoft researcher recalled. “Then, I thought, `What if I were a patient?’ There could be big issues here.” We’re still far from the sci-fi dream of having robots whirring about and catering to our every need. But little by little, we’ll be sharing more of our space with robots in the next decade, as prices drop and new technology creates specialized machines that clean up spilled milk or even provide comfort for an elderly parent.
# DNR: Man in jammies poached robot Bambi
By <http://connect.mlive.com/user/gburns/index.html>Gus Burns | The Saginaw News, December 06, 2009, 4:30AM
After three shots struck the deer in the chest and it still didn’t drop or run, a would-be poacher knew something was wrong, a <http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2008/04/department_of_natural_resource.html>Department of Natural Resources conservation officer says. That’s when the man fled, said Sgt. Ron Kimmerly. Firearm deer season lasted from Nov. 15 through Nov. 30. About 9 a.m. Nov. 22, Kimmerly said, two DNR officers were ready to pull the man over. The Taymouth Township scene was an example of high-tech rules enforcement for an age-old pastime. Kimmerly’s department hasn’t completed tabulating the arrests for the season, though he said they are “about the same” as past years.
# After Tough 2009, Signs of Uptick in Investment in Material Handling Automation Going Into 2010
Cliff Holste, : December 9, 2009
While 2009 was Largely a Bust, Food, Beverage, Consumer Packaged Goods, and Parts Distribution Now Showing Strong Activity, System Providers Say; Retrofits and Upgrade Projects also Active
2009 will go down as one of the worst ever for materials handling equipment and DC automation system sales. Beyond the recession that crimped budgets and left companies hoarding cash where they could, distribution volumes dropped for most companies, reducing the volume pressures that are often the catalyst for distribution center automation projects.
# First Submersible Robot Glider to Cross Atlantic Makes Landfall in Spain
ScienceDaily (Dec. 10, 2009) — The Scarlet Knight, the first submersible robot glider to cross the Atlantic, made its formal entrance into the port of Baiona Dec. 9, received by Spanish and American government officials, school children and the people of the town.
# Robot Planes To Patrol California-Mexico Border
Monday, Dec 7, 2009
(Palmdale, CA) — The U.S. Border Patrol will unveil some drone aircraft today, that will soon take to the skies of Southern California, scouting out smugglers and illegal immigrants with radar and long-distance video cameras. The “San Diego Union-Tribune” reports the Maritime MQ-9 Predator B Guardian drones are already in use along the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona and Texas. They will be based at a private airport run by General Atomics east of Lake Los Angeles, in the Mojave Desert about 160 miles north of the Mexican border.
# Robot supermarket shopping helpers being tested in Japan
December 10, 10:35 PM <http://www.examiner.com/x-16352-Japan-Headlines-Examiner>Japan Headlines Examiner Joshua Williams
Does grandma need an extra hand shopping these cold winter months, but you’re sadly unable to help? How about receiving the help of a robot? A supermarket in Kyoto, Japan is carrying out live tests of a robotic shopping helper for the elderly and the disabled for the next several months. Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR), the robot’s creator, announced in a press release on Dec. 10th that the robot, named Robovie-II, will be tested at the Apita-Seikadai supermarket in Kyoto through March of 2010. Around 20 elderly testers will have the privilege of seeing how well the Robovie-II interacts with them, as well as how useful the robot actually is.
# Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland Announces Grants Funded Through America Recovery and Reinvestment Act
<http://www.robotics.org/company-profile-detail.cfm/company/374>Lincoln Electric, Automation Division Posted 12/10/2009
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland announced that 25 Ohio solar and wind projects will receive more than $13 million in grants funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s State Energy Program. The announcement was made Nov. 29 at Lincoln Electric’s Automation Center of Excellence in Cleveland, highlighting the Company’s welding solutions for wind tower fabricators. Among those projects was $1 million awarded to Lincoln Electric to help install a wind turbine at its Cleveland manufacturing facilities. The plans call for a 2.5-megawatt turbine that will generate approximately 10 percent of the electrical needs for Lincoln’s Cleveland manufacturing operations.
#ROBOTWORX – INDUSTRIAL ROBOT NEWS
<http://www.robots.com/blog.php?tag=368>Industrial Robots Take On Distribution Centers
Posted: December 10, 2009
If asked to name <http://www.robots.com/arrivals.php>new markets for industrial robots you’d likely say alternative energy or pharmaceuticals. But you probably wouldn’t mention distribution centers (DCs). Strangely enough, DCs are one of the hottest new frontiers for <http://www.robots.com/faq.php?question=robot+automation>robotic automation. According to an article in <http://www.robots.com/applications.php?app=material+handling>Material Handling Management (Nov.’09), distribution centers and warehouses used to be hesitant to incorporate robotic <http://www.robots.com/robotics.php?page=industrial+automation>automation, but that’s quickly changing. Today’s material <http://www.robots.com/applications.php?app=material+handling>handling robots are more advanced, flexible, and cost-effective – the ideal fit for DCs.
# U.S. Military Joins CIA’s Drone War in Pakistan
By <http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/author/noah_shachtman/>Noah Shachtman, December 10, 2009
The headquarters for the <http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/12/ff_end_air_war/>American military’s air war in Central Asia and the Middle East is located in a converted medical warehouse on an undisclosed base in a country the U.S. Air Force would rather not name. The lights are turned down low, so the troops can clearly see the giant screen at the far end of the in this cavernous, classified facility. On that glowing screen is a digital map of Afghanistan, showing the position of every U.S. Air Force drone, every fighter jet, every bomber and every tanker aircraft with a teal dot. Most of the dots are positioned near the hotspots of the Afghanistan war — places like Kandahar, Helmand and Nangarhar provinces. But there are three dots, representing Air Force unmanned aerial vehicles, that aren’t above Afghanistan at all. These dots have moved to the east of the Afghan border; these drones are flying missions over Pakistan.
# Mysteries Surround Afghanistan’s Stealth Drone (Updated)
<http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/author/davidhambling/>David Hambling, December 4, 2009
Earlier this year, blurry pictures were released by the French magazine <http://www.air-cosmos.com/site/>Air & Cosmos of a previously unknown stealth drone taken at Kandahar in Afghanistan. The photos, snapped in 2007, prompted a wave of speculation about the classified aircraft. That speculation <http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3A27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3A25afdd9c-786a-483f-95ae-23cc9f365167>grew even more intense this week, when a blog belonging to the French newspaper Libération released an even better <http://secretdefense.blogs.liberation.fr/>photograph. But while the new picture may answers some questions, it also creates a heap of new mysteries. Chief among them: Why use such a fancy, stealthy aircraft in Afghanistan? The Taliban have neither the radar to spot the plane, nor the weaponry to shoot it down. The lines of the drone clearly indicate a stealth design slightly reminiscent of the B-2A Spirit bomber, but smaller. <“http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&newspaperUserId=27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a3a3730f4-c5f9-475c-be42-1fdc18846c1b&pl>Over on Ares, veteran aviation expert Bill Sweetman describes the wingspan as being perhaps eighty feet, and notes “One important detail: the overwing fairings are not B-2-like inlets, but cover some kind of equipment – satcoms on one side, perhaps, and a sensor on the other.”
# U.S. Spec Ops Adviser: Widen the Drone War in Pakistan
<http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/author/noah_shachtman/>Noah Shachtman, December 4, 2009
The most important escalation of the war might be the one the President didn’t mention at West Point. The White House “<http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/04/world/asia/04drones.html?_r=1&pagewanted=1&hp>has authorized an expansion” of the <http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/10/up-to-320-civilians-killed-in-pakistan-drone-war-report/>CIA-lead killer drone campaign in Pakistan, to “parallel” the troop surge in Afghanistan, the New York Times reports. “American officials are talking to Pakistan about the possibility of striking in Baluchistan [province] for the first time… because that is where Afghan Taliban leaders are believed to hide.” You bet U.S. officials are talking. They’re talking right on the Times’ op-ed page. <http://www.rand.org/about/people/j/jones_seth_g.html>Seth Jones is a RAND Corporation analyst who now works in Kabul for <http://shadowspear.com/vb/showthread.php?17884-Special-Forces-officer-promoted-assumes-command-of-Afghanistan-SOF-command>Brigadier General Edward Reeder, the head of Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command. In an opinion piece in today’s Times, Jones argues that “<http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/04/opinion/04jones.html>the United States and Pakistan must target Taliban leaders in Baluchistan.”
# Next-Generation of Global Hawk Unmanned Aircraft Takes Flight
Dec 06, By Robotics Trends Staff
Northrop Grumman and U.S. Air Force’s Block 40 configuration RQ-4 of Global Hawk has successfully completed its first flight. The Block 40 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft will carry an advanced, all-weather multi-platform radar technology insertion program (MP-RTIP) sensor that will help warfighters detect, track and identify stationary and moving targets. World’s first fully autonomous high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft system, the Global Hawk will carry the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) active electronically scanned array radar making well suited for designed for persistent ISR.