Automation and Robotics News–Sept 26, 2010
Highlights: Drone Strikes Peaking?; Robotics and the recession; Service Robotics Galore: Restaurants, Porters, hairwashers, etc.; Could a robot do your job?; Longshore strike and automation, etc.
This issue: Here
TERROR, MILITARY, POLICING, SURVEILLANCE
<http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/09/cia-snitches-are-pakistan-drone-spotters/>CIA Snitches Are Pakistan Drone-Spotters
<http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/author/spencer_ackerman/>Spencer Ackerman, September 23, 2010
How the CIA managed to expand its drone war so far and so fast has been a bit of a mystery. Now we have part of the answer: a network of Pashtun snitches, operating out of eastern Afghanistan, that infiltrate militant networks across the border. The information they collect helps direct the drones. Sometimes the targets are U.S. citizens.
<http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/09/drone-strikes-peak-can-they-help-end-the-war/>Drone Strikes Peak; Can They Help End the War?
<http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/author/noah_shachtman/>Noah Shachtman, September 15, 2010
Welcome to the new peak of America’s remote-controlled war in Pakistan. On Wednesday, U.S. drones hit their <http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2010/09/us_predators_strike_5.php>third target in 24 hours and their 12th attack in the last 13 days. That’s the highest number of robotic attacks in a single month since the <http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/12/us-military-joins-cias-drone-war-in-pakistan/>drone campaign began. And there’s still a half-month to go.
The drones’ targeting decisions are highly classified. But there are indications that behind the lethal barrage, there may be a peaceful motive: helping bring about a negotiated settlement to the Afghanistan war.
<http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/sep/16/robot-warfare-conferences>Robot warfare: campaigners call for tighter controls of deadly drones
The Guardian – Sep 16, 2010
The rapid proliferation of military drone planes and armed <http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/robots>robots should be subject to international legal controls, conferences in London and Berlin will argue this month. Public awareness of attacks by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), such as Reapers and Predators, in Afghanistan and Pakistan has grown but less is known of the evolution of unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs). Two conferences – Drone Wars in London on 18 September and a three-day workshop organised by the <http://www.icrac.co.cc/>International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC) in Berlin on 20-22 September – will hear calls for bans and for tighter regulation under international arms treaties.
<http://www.military-technologies.net/2010/09/14/us-special-ops-robot-whispercopter-crashes-in-belize/>US Special Ops robot whispercopter crashes in Belize
Military Technologies (blog) – Sep 14, 2010
Tests by the US special forces of a radical, new-technology robot helicopter equipped with a radar intended to penetrate jungle canopies from above, …
<http://jacksonville.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/stories/2010/09/20/story2.html?b=1284955200%5E3952871>Jacksonville manufacturers install automation in factories
Business Journal – <http://news.google.com/news/search?pz=1&cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&q=author:>Mark Szakonyi – Sep 17, 2010
Northeast Florida manufacturers are increasingly installing automated machines rather than hiring new employees to keep competitive in a tight economy, local executives say. Continued automation in manufacturing is key to U.S. industry’s ability to grow through production of high-tech products ranging locally from aviation to next-generation batteries, said Lad Daniels, executive director of the <http://profiles.portfolio.com/company/us/fl/jacksonville/first_coast_manufacturers_association/917611/>First Coast Manufacturers Association.
<http://www.engineerlive.com/Design-Engineer/Automation_Control/How_robotics_can_help_manufacturers_recover_from_the_recession/23045/>How robotics can help manufacturers recover from the recession
Engineer Live – Sep 13, 2010
Manufacturers are seeing an increase in demand, but how can they respond? Paul Stevens looks at developments in industrial robots which are now simpler to implement. As European member states’ economies start to recover from the recession, manufacturing companies are seeking ways to ramp up production in a flexible way. One option is to use industrial robots, which are now more cost-effective both to purchase and to implement, thanks largely to programming software that is more engineer-friendly. With robots now being simpler to integrate, there is increasing competition among manufacturers to add functionality so they can offer increasingly sophisticated systems. For example, Maurice Hanley, Fanuc Robotics’ sales and marketing manager, says: “Fanuc robots now come with onboard vision so there is no need for engineers to get bogged down in interface and connectivity issues.”
<http://www.optoiq.com/index/machine-vision-imaging-processing/display/vsd-article-display/6476013278/articles/optoiq2/machine-vision___image/applications-__markets/vision-guided-robotics/2010/9/Automotive-industry-drives-industrial-robot-recovery.html>Automotive industry drives industrial robot market recovery
OptoIQ – Sep 15, 2010
In a recent study, the <“http://www.optoiq.com/index/machine-vision-imaging-processing/display/vsd-article-display/5577281048/articles/optoiq2/machine-vision___image/applications-__markets/factory-automation/2010/5/VDMA-says-strong-growth-in-mechanical-engineering-automation-to->International Federation of Robotics (IFR; Frankfurt, Germany) says that since the beginning of 2010, the demand for <http://www.optoiq.com/index/machine-vision-imaging-processing/vsd-applications-markets/vision-guided-robotics.html>industrial robots has been surging worldwide. “The trend towards automation, which was stopped by the economic crisis in 2009, is continuing”, said Åke Lindqvist, IFR President, on the occasion of the publication of the study, “World Robotics 2010 – Industrial Robots”. A strong recovery of worldwide robot installations in 2010 will result in an increase of about 27% or about 76,000 units. A further increase of about 10% per year on average will resume in the period between 2011 and 2013 attaining a level of more than 100,000 units in 2013.
AGRICULTURE AND FOOD PRODUCTION
<http://www.oxfordreview.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2762419>Robot-ready cows on the auction block
Oxford Review – <http://news.google.com/news/search?pz=1&cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&q=author:>Elliot Ferguson – Sep 17, 2010
For the past month, the cows were at the show’s dairy pavilion, being trained to be milked by robot milking machines.
<http://gizmodo.com/5646918/panasonics-robot-is-going-to-wash-that-human-right-outta-your-hair>Panasonic’s Robot is Gonna Wash That (Hu)Man Right Outta Your Hair
There’s nothing worse than an overly chatty hairdresser. Someone harping on about their snotty-nosed children, or about how lazy their husband is. Bring on the robots, I say. Especially if they can store memories on a customer’s preferred massage treatment.
<http://gizmodo.com/5646023/spider+roomba-climbs-windows-to-clean-them-on-both-sides>Spider-Roomba Climbs Windows to Clean Them On Both Sides
<http://gizmodo.com/people/jesusdiaz/posts/>Jesus Diaz, 9/23/10
This is what happens when a <http://gizmodo.com/tag/roomba/>Roomba is bitten by a radioactive spider. It’s name isn’t Spider-Roomba, but Windoro, a climbing robot that can clean windows automatically—on both sides. Watch it in all its polishing glory action…
<http://gizmodo.com/5647279/nine-restaurants-from-the-future>Nine Restaurants Sent Back From the Future to Destroy Us (With Good Eats)
<http://gizmodo.com/people/SamBiddle/posts/>Sam Biddle, 9/24/10
The basic premises of going to a restaurant haven’t changed tremendously throughout history. You sit down. You order. It shows up. Maybe it’s good. But new, high tech establishments around the world are putting a innovative spin on eating out.
<http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20017020-1.html>’Core’ carrying robot is (almost) all legs
Monday, September 20, 2010 Posted by Leslie Katz
Headless bipedal bot can carry 220 pounds, 88 pounds more than Toyota’s i-Foot mobility assist robot can lift.
PACKING AND SHIPPING
<http://jacksonville.com/business/2010-09-14/story/longshoremens-union-strikes-deal-hanjin-shipping-co>Longshoremen’s union strikes deal with Hanjin Shipping Co.
Florida Times-Union – <http://news.google.com/news/search?pz=1&cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&q=author:>David Bauerlein – Sep 14, 2010
The planned Hanjin cargo terminal in Jacksonville cleared a major hurdle after the International Longshoremen’s Association agreed with Hanjin on manning levels at the terminal when it opens in 2014. Hanjin intends to deploy a high level of automation using remote-controlled equipment. That will cut the number of union workers in half compared to a traditional cargo terminal, said Romia Johnson, president of local 1408.
<http://www.mhwmagazine.co.uk/LatestNews/ABB_FlexPicker_robots_optimize_picking_and_packing_in_high_speed_handling_production_lines-7486.html>ABB FlexPicker robots optimize picking and packing in high speed handling …
Materials Handling World Magazine – Sep 17, 2010
With the UK manufacturing industry now enjoying its strongest growth for over 15 years, ABB has invested over £100000 in installing new robot training cells …
<http://www.healthleadersmedia.com/content/TEC-256453/Robots-Stealing-Healthcare-Jobs>Robots Stealing Healthcare Jobs?
HealthLeaders Media – Sep 15, 2010
Automation will push up into the high wage areas via technologies like specialized artificial intelligence/expert systems, while it penetrates lower skill …
The Atlantic (blog) – Sep 24, 2010
In short: automation is more dangerous than we think. Our world automation increases productivity — boosting business profits (now at record levels despite …
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
<http://www.oilandgaseurasia.com/news/p/0/news/8706>HONEYWELL Opens Automation College In Russia
Oil and Gas Industry Latest News – Sep 15, 2010
Honeywell has opened a department in the Moscow College of Automation which will give Russian specialists the opportunity to perfect their skills.
BUSINESS OF AUTOMATION AND ROBOTICS
<http://www.machinery.co.uk/article/27903/ABB-doubles-investment-in-robot-training-centre.aspx>ABB doubles investment in robot training centre
Machinery – 15 hours ago
ABB has invested over £100000 in installing new robot training cells with the latest software technologies at its robot training centre in Milton Keynes.
RESEARCH AND NEW DEVELOPMENTS
<http://gizmodo.com/5636704/real-wireless-charging-will-arrive-by-2012-fujitsu-claims>Real Wireless Charging Will Arrive by 2012, Fujitsu Claims
We’ve seen wireless chargers over the years, but like <http://gizmodo.com/5493566/first-hands+on-powermat-portable-2x-induction-charger>PowerMat’s Portable 2x model, batteries for the dock and swappable-batteries for the actual gadgets are still required. Fujitsu’s looking beyond all that, with their “<http://gizmodo.com/tag/magneticresonance/>magnetic resonance” technology. No wires! No batteries!
<http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/robotics-software/autonomous-vehicle-driving-from-italy-to-china>Autonomous Vehicle Driving from Italy to China
POSTED BY: Erico Guizzo / Tue, September 21, 2010
The van is an autonomous vehicle developed at the University of Parma’s <http://vislab.it/>Artificial Vision and Intelligent Systems Laboratory, known as VisLab. Crammed with computers, cameras, and sensors, the vehicle is capable of detecting cars, lanes, and obstacles — and drive itself. The VisLab researchers, after getting tired of testing their vehicles in laboratory conditions, decided to set out on a <http://viac.vislab.it/>real-world test drive: a 13,000-kilometer, three-month intercontinental journey from Parma to Shanghai. The group is now about halfway through their trip, which started in July and will end in late October, at the <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expo_2010_Shanghai_China>2010 World Expo in China. (See <http://viac.vislab.it/?page_id=152>real time location and live video.)