[The biweekly feature that documents changes in the electronics revolution, military and productive applications of robotics, and the replacement of labor-power]
Automation and Robotics News–Nov, 21 2010
Highlights: Japanese Surveillance Robot, Robo-troops, Robot Orders Up 34%, Robotic Milker, Nurses replaced, Recesssion Pushes
A shuttle cart dumps almonds onto a conveyor belt that loads them into a trailer for transport to a sheller. Mike Young switched to almonds and harvesting technology at his orchard in Buttonwillow, Calif., to reduce the need for workers. At seasonal peaks, he employs 70 percent fewer, he said.
Replacement of Workers by Tech, and more…
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TERROR, MILITARY, POLICING, SURVEILLANCE
Japan unveils flying surveillance robot
Monday, November 08, 2010 Posted by Tim Hornyak
Japan’s military is working on a compact spy drone that can fly like a helicopter.
This Design will KILL you
14 Nov 2010, Rog-a-matic,
Yanko Design is featuring a Chris Rogers concept called the “Mega Hurtz Tactical Robot”. The remote-controlled robot works in conjunction with a virtual reality headset and sports a turrent-mounted non-lethal automatic weapon. The 280 pound machine can tow a Hummer, smash through a concrete wall, and run over your foot with ease. Mega Hurtz is suitable for SWAT teams, First Responders, and Search and Rescue operations. Gun-toting model and batteries not included.
Phantom Ray robot Stealth combat jet looks forward to trials
UberGizmo – 11/22/10
The Phantom Ray robot Stealth combat jet intends to place the US army ahead of the other nations, where trials of said jet are slated to begin.
Rise of the robots and the future of war
The Guardian – Nov 20, 2010
For some military tasks, armed robots can already take care of themselves. The sides of many allied warships sport a Gatling gun as part of the Phalanx …
>Robot snake is one enemy not to be trifled with
UberGizmo (blog) – Nov 17, 2010
Trust the military to come up with high tech weapons that brings the world to its knees – this newest robotic snake from Israel already looks menacing on …
Army’s Newest Bomb-Stopping Idea: ‘Intelligent’ Robo-Cart (with Arms)
Spencer Ackerman, November 16, 2010
The Army’s remote-controlled, bomb-finding robots aren’t finding enough bombs in Afghanistan. So the military is toying with a new notion: Let the robot drive itself; and make it bigger, like the size of a golf cart. In a recent solicitation for small businesses, the Army expresses interest in a remote-controlled vehicle that’s bigger than most robots but (way) smaller than its fleet of tactical vehicles. Really, it’s a software system outfitted with sensors for detecting a variety of bombs —. . .
Will Robo-Copters Carry Wounded Troops to Safety?
Spencer Ackerman, November 12, 2010
The next time Marines find themselves in a tight spot in any clime or place, they might make a quick call to a drone to ferry them out. And the Navy wants that communication to occur like David Hasselhof summoning Kitt:. . .
Air Force Eyeing Microwave ‘E-Ray’ for Stealth Drones?
David Axe, November 11, 2010
Taking down an enemy’s air defenses — his radars, missile launchers and command centers — is a prerequisite for large-scale air campaigns. Today, jet fighters packing radar-seeking missiles do the heavy-lifting in the so-called “Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses” mission. In the future, that dangerous task might fall on stealthy drones armed with electronics-frying microwave weapons. That is, if the Air Force can ever get the combination to work. The drones are coming along just fine. The microwave weapons … not so much.
Bombs Away: Afghan Air War Peaks With 1,000 Strikes in October
Noah Shachtman, November 10, 2010
The U.S. and its allies have unleashed a massive air campaign in Afghanistan, launching missiles and bombs from the sky at a rate rarely seen since the war’s earliest days. In October alone, NATO planes fired their weapons on 1,000 separate missions, . . . Since Gen. David Petraeus took command of the war effort in late June, coalition aircraft have flown 2,600 attack sorties. That’s 50% more than they did during the same period in 2009. Not surprisingly, civilian casualties are on the rise, as well.
Robot Troops Will Follow Orders, Beat You at Rock, Paper, Scissors
Spencer Ackerman and Noah Shachtman, November 9, 2010
The military has a ton of ground robots scurrying around Afghanistan. Too bad they’re dumb as puppets, unable to make the slightest move without a human pulling the strings. But if the U.S. Navy has its way, all that will change. Robots will be able to obey a pointed finger or a verbal command, and then tackle a job without flesh-and-blood micromanagement. Which will free up the hundreds, if not thousands, of troops who today have to spend their time twiddling robot joysticks.
ABB expands industrial robot range
Manufacturing Talk – 11/22/10
ABB Robotics has introduced three models in its range of multipurpose robots designed to increase productivity in machine tending, material handling, …
North American Robot Orders Up 34%
Appliance Magazine – Nov 15, 2010
RIA said 9628 robots, valued at $618.4 million, were ordered through September by North American manufacturing companies. This represents a gain of 34%
AGRICULTURE AND FOOD PRODUCTION
Robotic Milker Offers Cow Freedom
A-4 Automatic Milker
8 Nov 2010, Rog-a-matic, robots.net
The new A4 robotic cow milker by Lely offers the cow a simple walk-through design reducing unnecessary stress and maximizing output. Size and motion of the cow and its vital parts are monitored by a 3D camera system which provides precise data to control the robot arm and cleaning devices. Various sensors and specialized software monitor the milk flow and provide real-time data about the fluid content so optimum milk quality and cow health are maintained. The modular system can serve both family farms and larger producers. Video, Brochure PDF.
Meet Cody, the robot that gives sponge baths
Wednesday, November 10, 2010 Posted by Matt Hickey
It’s not as sexy as Nurse Nancy, but Cody, the robot who gives baths, might be more effective and cheaper in the future.
Adept Technology Robotics Selected to Participate in Advanced Cancer Treatment Program
November 18, 2010
Adept Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq:ADEP), the leading provider of intelligent vision-guided robotics and global robotics services, today announced it is participating in the CLARA (Lyon Auvergne Rhone-Alpes Cancer cluster) program with Lyon Civil Hospitals as the robotics component in a method for treating small cancer tumors.
Second Robot to Be Sent Into New Zealand Mine
The first robot broke down two hours after it was sent into the mine in an effort to locate 29 miners missing since Friday…
A Robot Actress Stars In A Play
Casey Chan, 11/13/10
Gemenoid-F, a robot, is co-starring in a Japanese play where she plays the role of a caretaker. It’s a director’s dream: the robot has no ego and does what is told. Here’s a video of her in action, or “acting”.
Rescue robots not effective – experts
Radio New Zealand – 11/22/10
Sean Dessureault, a mine automation expert from the University of Arizona, says underground conditions are cold, wet and rough on the ground, …
>Why US IT jobs aren’t coming back
Galen Gruman, InfoWorld, November 18, 2010
The recession may be technically over and IT spending may rise slightly in 2011 and beyond (per Gartner and IDC projections), but U.S. and European IT workers won’t benefit. The technology jobs created and reinstated by the economic recovery will be in India, China, and other countries witth cheaper workers. In fact, an additional 600,000 American and European jobs in IT will disappear in the five years from 2010 through 2014, on top of the 500,000 lost in the 2008-09 period. That’s according to bleak research released today by the Hackett Group, a consultancy specializing in helping companies save costs through techniques that, ironically, include outsourcing. “There’s no end in sight for the jobless recovery in business functions, such as IT and corporate finance, in large part due to the accelerated movement of work to India and other offshore locations,” the report says.
Teaching Medical Robots
U.S. News & World Report – Marlene Cimons – 19 hours ago
“Right now, these robots are dumb,” said M. Cenk Cavusoglu, associate professor in the department of electrical engineering and computer sciences at Case …
Love robots will end loneliness
AsiaOne – Nov 21, 2010
A robot which can fall in love with its owner could help those suffering from loneliness, the Sun reported. Funktionide, a pillow-like robot invented by …
US sex robots headed to UK
Times of India – Nov 17, 2010
LONDON: Sex robots developed in the US could be heading to Britain following a demand from robot fetishists. With a fixed stare but having movable limbs, …
PACKING AND SHIPPING
Amazon gets Kiva robots via Zappos, Diapers buys News Thursday, November 11, 2010, Rafe Needleman
Kiva Systems’ inventory robots are invading Amazon.com-owned warehouses via the e-commerce powerhouse’s recent acquisitions.
‘Uplifting’ Outlook for Pallet-Handling Robotics Technologies in 2011
By Geoffrey Oldmixon – Filed Nov 11, 2010
The coming year is poised to be another one in which operations managers will be tasked with further reducing costs. According to Boston-based research firm The Aberdeen Group, that could mean big things for warehouse robotics. Automated pallet-handling equipment solutions, such as automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and other pallet-moving technologies, are relatively low-cost, high-ROI technology investments that warehouse operations will likely consider in the coming months, says the analyst firm.
Automation in Siberian field provides more stable operations
Oil & Gas Journal – Ron Cramer – Nov 1, 2010
Automation in Salym field of western Siberia has reduced operator travel and hazard exposure, reduced interruption in electric submersible pump operations, …
Replacing Nurses With Robots
ADVANCE for LPNs (blog) -Linda Jones – Nov 22, 2010
As a nurse, if you were to create a robot to perform part of your job, what would you have it do? Are there tasks you do that do not require critical …
Recession spurs faster replacement of workers with technology
An automated tree-shaker causes almonds to fall; another machine will collect and sort them. "Labor is so expensive," Young said. "There's their wages, truck, insurance, workers' comp and the safety regulations."
Columbus Dispatch – Alana Semuels – Nov 1, 2010
Automation means Young no longer needs large crews of farmworkers to plant or harvest – and no more worrying about immigration status, pay or benefits.
BUSINESS OF AUTOMATION AND ROBOTICS
New robotics study published by the European Commission
The Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry (DG ENTR) and the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (JRC-IPTS) have launched a series of studies to analyze prospects of success for European ICT industries in the face of technological and market innovation. These studies under the common acronym “COMPLETE” aim to gain a better understanding of the ICT areas in which it would be important for the EU industry to remain or become competitive in the near future, and to assess the likely conditions for success. This particular report “A Helping Hand for Europe: The Competitive Outlook for the EU Robotics Industry” reflects the findings of the JRC-IPTS COMPLETE study on robotics applications in general, and in two specific areas selected because of potential market and EU capability in these areas: robotics applications in SMEs and robotics safety. The report starts by introducing the state of the art in robotics, their applications, market size, value chains, and disruptive potential of emerging robotics technologies. For each of the two specific area the report describes the EU landscape, potential market, benefits, difficulties and how these might be overcome. The last chapter draws together the findings of the study to consider EU competitiveness in robotics, opportunities and policy implications.
RESEARCH AND NEW DEVELOPMENTS
Mexico uses robot to explore ancient tunnel
The Associated Press – Nov 10, 2010
The one-foot (30-cm) wide robot was called “Tlaloque 1” after the Aztec rain god. The grainy footage shot by the robot was presented Wednesday by Mexico’s …