Reshoring, automating China as wages rise, big advances in autonomous cars (and other vehicles), the next agricultural revolution, service including fast food offer huge sectors for growth in automation, mining robots (on the moon and on asteroids), robots building AND installing green economy, drones not only in the skies but on and under the water, Automation and jobs debate heats up, among others…



2011: A Banner Year in the North American Robotics Industry

Mini Swamy, Feb. 6 2012

The momentum and sustained interest in automation in the manufacturing and automotive industries has set the ball rolling for North American robotic companies, which witnessed unprecedented sales of robots in 2011with the fourth quarter being the strongest quarter ever recorded by the RIA.

Automation of Chinese factories takes off

ABC Online – Apr 21, 2012

LIAM COCHRANE: When it comes to industrial automation Japan is still king with about 300000 operational robots. But it’s China that’s booming.


A third industrial revolution: As manufacturing goes digital, it will change out of all recognition, says Paul Markillie. And some of the business of making things will return to rich countries

Apr 21st 2012, The Economist, Special report: Manufacturing and innovation

OUTSIDE THE SPRAWLING Frankfurt Messe, home of innumerable German trade fairs, stands the “Hammering Man”, a 21-metre kinetic statue that steadily raises and lowers its arm to bash a piece of metal with a hammer. Jonathan Borofsky, the artist who built it, says it is a celebration of the worker using his mind and hands to create the world we live in. That is a familiar story. But now the tools are changing in a number of remarkable ways that will transform the future of manufacturing.


Canon Cameras Betting On Robot-only Production

Canon Inc. is moving toward fully automating digital camera production in an effort to cut costs — a key change being played out across Japan, a world leader in robotics. Canon, the world’s leader in digital cameras with a 20% market share, is building two automated plants in Oita Prefecture that are expected to be fully online by 2015. (May 14, 2012)


Detroit’s Wages Take on China’s


Televisions are being made in the U.S. again, but the effort says as much about marketing as it does about the global shift…


German Maker of Robots Gains as Chinese Wages Rise

New York Times – Apr 13, 2012

Kuka forecasts that growth at its robotics unit this year will outpace the industry, which it expects to expand by about 2 percent. Japanese rivals are also


ArcelorMittal Steel Mill in Indiana Revived With Lessons From Abroad

May 21, 2012, By JOHN W. MILLER

BURNS HARBOR, Ind.—Some steel mills are destroyed by globalization, others reborn.

Left for dead a decade ago, this 50-year-old facility on the shores of Lake Michigan has been rejuvenated thanks to an unusual experiment by its owner, Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal. In 2008, Burns Harbor was “twinned” with a hypermodern mill in Gent, Belgium. Over 100 U.S. engineers and managers, who were flown across the Atlantic, were told: Do as the Belgians do. Burns Harbor now enjoys record output. Its furnaces, where steel is made out of iron ore, coal and limestone, are run with software developed in Belgium. Robots are in. Pencils are out. Workers are learning to make the same amount of steel with nearly half the people it employed three decades ago. Productivity is nearing Belgian levels. The transition hasn’t been seamless. As a collective bargaining session looms this summer, union leaders say a tough battle is expected over wages, safety risks and the next wave of automation. But there is also an acknowledgment that increased productivity has saved the mill from oblivion. American manufacturing—from chemicals to washing machines—is growing again. Spurred by stable labor costs, weaker unions and low natural gas prices, today’s manufacturers have emerged from the recession far different from what they were even a decade ago. They employ more highly skilled workers, are more automated and have far fewer workers.


Remade in the USA: A Crib for Baby: Made in China or Made in USA?


ROBBINSVILLE, N.C.—Stanley Furniture Co. is betting baby cribs are among the few things Americans will pay a hefty premium for just because they carry a “Made in the U.S.A.” label. The 88-year-old company recently shifted its crib manufacturing back to the U.S. from China, to a sprawling factory here that not long ago was earmarked for closure along with Stanley’s other two domestic plants. Today, the Robbinsville factory is an oddity in an industry that has been abandoning the U.S. because of costs: It is growing and investing over $8 million in new machinery. What prompted the move was a …


3D Printing Robot To Impact Annual $8B In Retail Furniture Sales

Tables and chairs for casual dining represent an $8 billion slice of the more than $96 billion annually in retail sales of furniture and home furnishings. A Dutch inventor named Dirk Vander Kooij believes that his 3D printing robot that prints out tables and chairs —from recycled materials, no less— has a more than passing chance to impact that industry in a very big way. (May 08, 2012)


Robotic Assistants May Adapt to Humans in the Factory

06/13/12 — CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — In today’s manufacturing plants, the division of labor between humans and robots is quite clear: Large, automated robots are typically cordoned off in metal cages, manipulating heavy machinery and performing repetitive tasks, while humans work in less hazardous areas on jobs requiring finer detail. But according to Julie…


Hon Hai moving toward automation at China plants

June 17, 2012 TAIPEI–Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (2317.TW) Chairman Terry Gou said Monday that, in a few years’ time, automation will replace all ‘monotonous and repetitive’ tasks performed at the company’s plants …


Rising wages should feed robot boom: experts

China Daily – July 5, 2012

The government should provide fiscal and taxation incentives to encourage increased production of industrial robots.


Report to President Outlines Approaches to Spur Domestic Manufacturing Investment and InnovationRobotic Industries Association Posted 07/19/2012

Final Recommendations of Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Steering Committee
WASHINGTON, DC – A new report released today by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) urges efforts to build on progress to date on improving domestic manufacturing competitiveness and encouraging companies to invest in the United States.


Foxconn May Add Up To One Million Robots To Its Workforce: Report

Huffington Post-Jul 18, 2012

China is expected to surpass Japan as the world’s largest robotics market in two last July to add one million industrial robots to its workforce over three years.

Robots becoming a crucial part of aircraft production

Macon Telegraph (blog)-Jul 25, 2012

Before the use of robots, technicians at Spirit AeroSystems, wearing welders’ Inside Spirit’s 787 hangar, a robot works behind an enclosed cage drilling thick


Robots, Re-shoring and America’s Manufacturing Renaissance

08/02/12 — With Euro financial chaos raging on, China’s industrial engines slowing, and BRIC countries feeling a decided fiscal drag, the U.S., even with its economic rebound still limping along, is looking more and more like a manufacturing renaissance unfolding…ever so slowly. After a decade of globalization, during which the U.S. witnessed much of its manufacturing pride, prowess and jobs get exported worldwide—making such new-age business jargon as off-shoring, near-shoring and on-shoring become painfully too familiar—now comes yet another new term, only this time it is one filled not with more angst but rather with a sense of renewal: re-shoring. Yes, the…


The Next iPhone May Be Made By Robots

WebProNews-Sep 27, 2012

The switch to robot labor has come at a time when Foxconn has been forced to start paying its workers more. Due to FLA audits and riots, Foxconn has agreed to


A Factory of Robots to Make Uniforms

Posted 07/19/12 at 07:32 PM

… There was an uproar when it became known that China is producing the uniforms and flags for the American Olympic team for this year’s London Olympics. … The Pentagon is worried about the same situation regarding our military’s uniforms and has contracted SoftWear Automation to build a complete robotic production facility to cut, assemble and sew uniforms. … A retired GA Tech professor published a paper on the subject – describing a fully automated work cell with vision controlled cutters and sewing machines. … Details here.


The March of Robots Into Chinese Factories

Businessweek-Nov 29, 2012

Step into the factory of Chinese SUV and truck maker Great Wall Motors, and it’s easy to forget you’re in the world’s most populous country. Swiss-made robots

Foxconn Builds, Installs Its Own Robots

11/15/12 — Foxconn, the Chinese electronics manufacturer that builds numerous mobile devices and gaming consoles, has been in the media lately because of labor issues, complaints over working conditions, rumored riots, and even suicides, all occurring in the past few years as demand for smartphones and tablets is skyrocketing. While consumers began…


Coming soon: Robots that help build buildings

Los Angeles Times-by Jon Healey-Nov 13, 2012

In my previous post, I described the potential for a new era of automated manufacturing in which it’s easier for entrepreneurs to create products but harder for


Manufacturing: The new maker rules | The Economist

Big forces are reshaping the world of manufacturing

Nov 24th 2012

Mr Pettis, the founder of MakerBot, a maker of low-cost 3D printers, spoke at the opening of his firm’s first retail store on November 20th in New York. It will sell desktop MakerBots, which make things out of plastic, for just $2,200. It is still early days, but MakerBots and machines like them are “empowering people to make the things they want, rather than buy them from factories,” says Mr Pettis. Certainly 3D printing is hot. Some firms are already using the technology, which is also known as additive manufacturing because it involves building up material layer by layer. It can be used to make such things as prototype cars, hearing aids, customised dolls and medical implants. On the same day that Mr Pettis opened his store, GE announced it had bought for an undisclosed sum Morris Technologies, a Cincinnati firm that uses industrial 3D printers (which cost $500,000 or more) to print objects for engineers. Morris will be printing metal parts for a new GE jet engine.


Labour shortages: Double-digit wage increases

December 11, 2012

The weeks after Chinese New Year are typically peak recruiting season for the factories in southern China, which for three decades have produced toys, jeans and electronics for retailers around the world. This year was markedly different. Factory owners in Dongguan, a city a couple of hours drive from Hong Kong that consists of constellations of factories specialising in different products, reported that they were confronted with a labour shortage.

Emerging Economies and Globalization Drives Automation

ARC Advisory Group-Dec 20, 2012

Automation Expenditures for Discrete Industries Global Business This environment created tremendous growth opportunities for automation equipment for


Hon Hai Hits Obstacles in Push to Use Robots

Wall Street Journal-Dec 11, 2012

Automating production for such items as television sets, game consoles and Apple’s iPhones could be a game changer for Hon Hai, helping it become more




New Generation of Robots Poised to Transform Global Agriculture

04/16/12 — “We’ve started with a clean sheet of paper”, commented Blackmore. “We’re re-evaluating the whole approach to agriculture. At the moment, crops are drilled in straight rows to suit machines, but what if they were drilled to follow the contours of the land, or to take account of the micro level environmental conditions within a portion of a field? The potential boost to production we could generate if harvests were staggered to suit the crop rather than mechanisation is immense. We’re talking about micro tillage, mechanical weeding and planting using small, smart, autonomous, modular machines.” Delegates at the Forum saw demonstrator…


Hygienic Robots Getting More Food Prep Jobs

04/10/12 — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in six people in the United States gets sick from eating contaminated food each year. Foodborne illness is blamed for about 3,000 deaths annually. With 19 states currently in a sushi Salmonela alert and memories still fresh on Germany’s deadly… Robots on the Farm

05/10/12 — Discovery—Commercial farms of the future may be staffed by robots that will identify, spray and pick individual pieces of produce from plants, even when their targets are grapes, peppers and apples that are as green as the leaves that surround them. As scientists in Israel and Europe get closer to…


Australia’s First Robotic Dairy

05/15/12 — Australia’s first robotic rotary dairy has been opened in a commercial pilot farm in Quamby Brook, Tasmania. The Dornauf family, which owns the dairy farm, had agreed to install the Automatic Milking Rotary (AMR), which has been manufactured and installed by Swedish dairy equipment company DeLaval. FutureDairy project in Australia,…


Humans No Match For RoboButcher In $23B Poultry Industry

Big-bang innovation in poultry processing may hold an answer; big bang meaning revolutionary, disruptive change, something that redefines the productivity landscape of today’s annual 50 billion pound, $23 billion poultry processing industry. (May 21, 2012)


Kraft Foods Teams with CKF Systems for Robot Efficiencies

06/22/12 — Gloucester-based CKF Systems has designed, installed and commissioned a new automated re-circulating system for Kraft Foods at its Bournville production facility. Kraft recognized that a significant increase in efficiencies could be achieved through the introduction of an automated robot distribution system for its popular Roses and Heroes products. It was also realized that the investment would also benefit the company’s ongoing commitment to the Kraft Foods Sustainability Program– substantially reducing material usage by replacing cardboard boxes with reusable plastic tote bins and cutting daily vehicle movements through more accurate management of fixed cycling schedules. “The complexity and size of the…

Automation to increase farmers yields by 13 per cent

The Standard Digital News-8 hours ago

Software development firm Virtual City is targeting grain farmers with mobile technology aimed at automating processes from farm to market, in an effort to get


Robot Learns to Pick the Sweetest, Ripest Strawberries

Wired News-Aug 6, 2012

Richard Dudley imagines a world where strawberries grow in perfect rows and every day a robot army tastes their colors before harvesting the ripe ones.


Robotic Milkers on Ohio Farm

07/13/12 — That would not have seemed possible 40 or 50 years ago, or even 20 or 30 years ago. But four of these new robots are now milking cows on the Denmandale Farm in Johnson Township. Denmandale Farm is owned and operated by Davis and Betty Denman and their family, daughter…


Down on the farm, Lettuce Bot is quietly slaying weeds

By Tim Hornyak, CNET, Sep 14, 2012

Blue River is working on an agricultural robot that can ID undesirable plants and dispatch them. It could help reduce the cost of organic produce.


This Weed-Killing Robot Dispatches Dandelions with 98 Percent Accuracy

September 13, 2012 – A prototype weed-seeking automaton could change the way seven billion humans eat, as well as help to end industrial agriculture’s reliance on toxic herbicides and itinerant labor.


Wall-Ye Robot Is In Your Vineyard, Prunin’ Your Vines

POSTED BY: Evan Ackerman  /  Thu, September 27, 2012

Ah, booze. The only thing it’s (generally) missing is the sweet and vaguely servo-y taste of robotics. A little robot named Wall-Ye is trying to get involved in the process from the ground up by helping out in vineyards in France, meaning that we’ll get to add “robotolicious” to the official list of wine descriptors.

Robots That Pick Fruit

New types of robots are being developed for harvesting oranges, strawberries and other produce.

10/11/12 , WSJ, By OWEN FLETCHER


Noodle-Making Chef Catches on in China

By Robotics Trends’ News Sources – Filed Oct 16, 2012

In the face of rising labor costs, Chinese restauranteur Cui Runguan is selling thousands of robots that can hand slice noodles into a pot of boiling water called the Chef Cui.


Fruit-Picking Robot Addresses Human Labor Shortage

10/02/12 — It’s sunrise at Hayden Farms in Pasco. Chatter of birds nearby. But on Wednesday morning, wheels, tubes and exhaust cram the orchard.It’s called the DBR. It stands for Dietrich, Brown and Rasch, the last names of the engineers of the machine. It’s robo-farmer of sorts. A newly-engineered machine to assist…


Autonomous robot swarm takes over farm work

New Scientist (blog)-Oct 26, 2012

Move over farmers: soon a swarm of robots could take over all the hard labour. A new robot developed by David Dorhout and colleagues from Dorhout R&D is


Fast Food: Another Robotic Frontier

Posted 10/08/12 at 02:31 PM

… A machine that makes a 10.5” pizza from scratch in 2.5 minutes is beginning to appear in malls, student unions and other public places in Europe.
… A cupcake ATM machine created long lines at a Beverly Hills cupcake store and will soon be showing up in Chicago and New York too.
… And robotic arms are dispensing frozen yogurt and ice cream and sprinkling them with various toppings.
… All have simple-to-use order entry and payment screens and all let the user see what’s going on inside the machine.
… Read the details and get the company names here.


ABB Robots at Work at Honeytop

The company’s flexpicker robots dramatically impact production and changeover time

By Robotics Trends’ News Sources – Filed Dec 26, 2012

“After three weeks of production, a brand-new product was introduced in less than an hour without the need for any new investment from Honeytop.” FOOD AND BEVERIDGE PACKAGING: Robots help packagers work more efficiently, increasing output and reducing change over time. But they address hygiene concerns too. One company in the UK saw firsthand the benefits of automation, which helped the pancake producer streamline its packaging process.

Horticulture Specialists and Robotics Engineers Team Up to Automate Australian Agriculture

Perception of Australia as the future “food bowl” for the Asian market is driving innovation

By Robotics Trends’ News Sources – Filed Dec 13, 2012

Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems Salah Sukkarieh at the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies leads a team that is developing robotic devices with the ability to autonomously sense, analyse and respond to their own surroundings.


The Ava robot can take you to aisle 9

Feb 29, 2012, Martin LaMonica

iRobot reorganizes and creates a business unit for its tablet-sporting Ava pedestal robot in retail, security, and health care.


Anybots Now Offering AnyLobby Robotic Staffing Service

Evan Ackerman  /  Thu, February 02, 2012

Do you need a receptionist at your company? Are you having trouble affording another employee? Do you like spending time with robots more than humans? If you answered yes to any of these questions (or all of them), you might want to check out a brand new service being offered by Anybots called AnyLobby that will solve all your problems.


Adept Technology Introduces New Autonomous Transporter

02/06/12 —   Adept Technology, Inc., a leading provider of intelligent robots and autonomous mobile solutions, announced the launch of the new Adept Courier, which the company says represents an innovative new approach to automating the movement of goods. The Adept Courier is a small autonomous vehicle that simplifies the everyday task…


Robots Making Their Way into the Service Industry

February 06, 2012, Julie Griffin

Fortunately, many of us live in a society where we no longer lash out on “the help” if we are having a bad day. Instead, we will still tip our servers properly after rude or aloof service because we sympathize with him or her for having a bad day. Our society is becoming more human. Because of this, we don’t want to enlist people to do our dirty work. So why not make robots do the job?


Portrait-drawing robot shows CeBIT’s artistic side

Mar 07, 2012, Stephen Shankland

The Van Goghs of the world needn’t worry for now, but a robot at CeBIT is drawing portraits of people at the tech show.


Golf slightly less frustrating with robot caddy

Mar 19, 2012, Tim Hornyak

Caddytrek carries your clubs and automatically follows you around the course. It won’t expect a tip after the 18th hole.


The robodoctor will see you now

Apr 12, 2012, Martin LaMonica

Robots in the form of linen-carrying droids and prosthetics are starting to slowly open the path for robotics in health care. Can in-home robots help care for elderly people, too?

Robotic Baristas Now Serving Coffee

05/03/12 — The first version of Briggo went online in November 2011 and it appears to be a hit with students and professors alike. Customers can order drinks off the web, a smart phone app, or at the kiosk itself. Even before ordering, the status of the queue and estimated time for…


Coming soon to a salon near you

3 May 2012, by John_RobotsPodcast

While Panasonic’s legal department may be cringing at the prospect, this shampoo-bot appears to be headed straight for market, where it can relieve busy stylists from the need to also perform shampoos, while providing customers with more thorough shampoos and less water in the eyes. Add a sanitization cycle to keep from passing germs and parasites from one customer to the next (if it doesn’t already have one), and it just might be marketable as is.

Robotic Surgery: Tool-wielding Robots Crawl in Bodies

05/29/12 — Indystar—Imagine a tiny snake robot crawling through your body, helping a surgeon identify diseases and perform operations. It’s not science fiction. Scientists and doctors are using the creeping metallic tools to perform surgery on hearts, prostate cancer, and other diseased organs. The snakebots carry tiny cameras, scissors and forceps, and even more advanced sensors are in the works. For now, they’re powered by tethers that humans control. But experts say the day is coming when some robots will roam the body on their own. “It won’t be very long before we have robots that are nanobots, meaning they will actually…


Robot Lifeguard Swims into Summer…Autonomously

05/30/12 — Ever wondered what Baywatch would have been like with robot lifeguards instead of human ones? It probably would not have the same appeal, but in any case the folks at Hydronalix have come up with a robot lifeguard dubbed E.M.I.L.Y., which we’re sure that most of you guys have figured…


Robotic ‘Fish’ Take to Seas to Catch Pollution Sooner

05/22/12 — MSNBC—In a bid to track sea pollution by mimicking how fish navigate and work together, scientists on Tuesday moved their robotic fish from the lab to the sea. The technology could reduce the time it takes to detect a pollutant from weeks to just seconds, the scientists said in a…


Robotic Guitar Can Replace Three Guitarists

05/25/12 — We already know that musically inclined robots will take up the Beatles mantle in the future, and that they are skilled at reproducing the classic James Bond theme. But just to further show how obsolete human musicians are, Vladimir Demin (MrDeminva on YouTube) built a robotic guitar that can replace a group of guitarists. Normally it takes a group of musicians to play this particular Russian tune. Demin’s actuated player guitar can reproduce the song by itself with such unrelenting tempo and perfect accuracy. The robotic guitar can do this because each fret on the instrument has its own dedicated…


RoboPizza Lands Stateside

06/19/12 — Late-night cravings for pizza may soon be satisfied not by all-night delivery, but by this robot vending machine. Invented by Italians and just now arriving on our fair shores, the Let’s Pizza machine actually creates the pizza more or less from scratch, and then bakes it as you watch. The…

The Robot Mannequin that Mimics You

06/27/12 — Professor Maarja Kruusmaa  working alongside Fits.me COO Diana Saarva has created a virtual fitting room which enables users to virtually try on clothes before buying them. All told, the robot is capable of replicating 2,000 body shapes. When a retailer signs up with Fits.me, they first send in their clothes. Each size is placed on the robot, which then cycles through all the body shapes it knows. While that’s going on, a camera is taking pictures of each permutation. This photographic log is then stored in an online database. Once you go online and type your measurements into the retailer’s site,…

Automated garbage pickup making headway

Tampabay.com – Jun 22, 2012

The county is prepared to change a contract to make it available to communities that want it. . BROOKSVILLE — The County Commission is poised Tuesday to …


Researchers develop prototype automated pavement crack …

Phys.Org – Jun 18, 2012

Sealing cracks in roadways ensures a road’s structural integrity and extends the time between major repaving projects, but conventional manual crack sealing …


My Word: Are robotic teachers the best teachers?

Orlando Sentinel – July 4, 2012

Based on standard end-of-course exams and state standardized tests, robotic teachers are often judged as the best or excellent teachers. Their students often …


CMU’s AndyVision Robot Is In Your Store, Doing Your Inventory

Evan Ackerman  /  Tue, July 03, 2012

Underneath that color-coordinated hoodie is AndyVision, Carnegie Mellon’s inventory assistance robot. It’s programmed to take over the utter drudgery* of daily retail inventory, helping stores figure out what customers want and customers figure out how to get it.

Multilingual robot to guide visitors at Tokyo Tower

Postnoon-Aug 1, 2012

Tokyo: A robot capable of giving information in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean was welcomed today as the latest feature to Japan’s Tokyo Tower,


Toyota’s New Human Support Robot Gives Disabled Humans a Hand (and an Arm)

POSTED BY: Evan Ackerman  /  Mon, September 24, 2012

We’re always caught slightly off-guard when major Asian electronics companies introduce a new robot with virtually zero warning, like Toyota just did with their Human Support Robot, or HSR. Designed to assist disabled people, the HSR looks like it might be good for all kinds of household tasks whether you’re disabled or not.

Hector: A Robot Who Helps the Elderly

10 Sep 2012 by steve

Hector is a robot designed to assist elderly people who suffer from mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Developed as part of the CompanionAble project by researchers at the Smart Homes foundation in the Netherlands.

QinetiQ’s Talon Robot Tested for Fire Departments

09/05/12 — Marine Corps firefighters from Camp Lejeune and CBRN defense specialists from the 2nd Marine Division  recently tested QinetiQ North America’s Talon robot at its fire department training area. The wireless, remote-control Talon robot carried a payload of CBRN tools, including a radiation detector and a non-invasive temperature probe. Talon robots currently are deployed for improvised…


Future Robot introduces new kiosk robot and sells 100 robots to Brazil

Gizmag-Sep 26, 2012

Future Robot has unveiled a new service robot called FURO-K that will function as a friendly kiosk. The company claims that people often prefer to wait in line to


Underwater robots track sharks off US

NBCNews.com-Oct 19, 2012

An underwater robot is helping to track sand tiger sharks off the East Coast of the United States. It’s the first time a device like this has been used to find and


Japan readies new robot to probe crippled nuclear plant

CNET-Oct 23, 2012

Several robots and other tech are being thrown at the mess north of Tokyo, and Chiba Institute of Technology’s Future Robotics Technology Center (fuRo) is

Da Vinci Surgery Robot Lawsuits Mount, as Bernstein Liebhard LLP

San Francisco Chronicle (press release)-11 hours ago

According to a recent report issued by Citron Research, Intuitive Surgical has been named in at least nine Da Vinci Robot lawsuits alleging bad outcomes


Window Cleaning Robot Can Handle Any Building Configuration

11/21/12 — The R2D2 of window cleaners rolled its way up the side of Dubai’s Dusit Thani Hotel yesterday to show off its polishing prowess for an audience of investors and municipality officials. And the audience – apart from window cleaning companies that rely more on flesh and blood to get the job done – seemed quite impressed. The German engineering company Samad International says it designed the Robo Clean specifically for the UAE. The robot, measuring one metre by 1.5 metres and weighing 60 kilograms, climbs using 22 suction cups to clean 210 square metres of glass an hour.There is no…


YouTube rolls out auto-captions for six European languages

Nov 28, 2012, By Donna Tam

Now people who speak German, Italian, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Dutch can watch videos with automated captions.


This Robo-Griller Can Flip 360 Burgers an Hour

November 26, 2012 – The most expensive part of that flimsy burger from your local fast food joint isn’t what you put in your mouth; it’s the human hands that put it together.

1.5 Million Home Automation Systems Installed in the US This Year

The Herald | HeraldOnline.com-Nov 19, 2012

NEW YORK — The global market for home automation services saw strong growth during 2012, driven by a wave of new entrants and offerings in the North


Robot scanner reads 250 book pages a minute

Nanowerk LLC-Nov 23, 2012

(Nanowerk News) Developed at the Ishikawa Oku Lab at the University of Tokyo, the BFS-Auto book scanning robot can achieve high-speed and high-definition ..


SkyTender puts automation in airplane aisles

News – Dec 16, 2012, 4:37 PM | By Tim Hornyak

Fresh from its maiden flight, this drink dispenser promises to speed up relief for thirsty passengers.


Wastewater treatment robot is fueled by human sewage

ZDNet-by Heather Clancy-Dec 26, 2012

Summary: This isn’t just potty talk. The experimental EcBot III uses the microbes in human waste to generate electricity, creating power from the water it cleans.


The Robotics Company that could Revolutionize Fast Food

12/19/12 — Science fiction has always positioned the idea that one day our human jobs would be replaced by machines. For those working in burger assembly lines, that day might be sooner than you think. Introducing a machine that makes burgers. Literally, it’s a burger making machine, in prototype, that takes unprepared ingredients like whole tomatoes, onions, uncooked patties, untoasted buns, and spits out a completely assembled burger: Momentum Machines, the San Francisco-based robotics company responsible for the concept, notes that they are aiming to have a functional demo model by June 1st, 2012. About a month ago, the company got a quick…




Brands Start Automating Social Media Responses On Facebook …

TechCrunch – Jun 7, 2012

Companies are struggling to keep up with social media conversations, the growth in this channel has exploded, and will soon automate their responses, …


Financial automation set to keep rising, MathWorks survey says

Automated Trader-Sep 27, 2012

London – Nearly three out of five financial institutions are looking to increase levels of automated trading, according to a survey conducted by computing software


Blame bots for $1.5B in wasted ad spend this year

Shara Tibken, Oct 01, 2012, CNET

Solve Media says 10 percent of all online traffic is generated by bots, which hurt publishers and advertisers by generating fake ad clicks and false user accounts.


Marketing automation becoming easier to manage

BtoB Magazine-Nov 5, 2012

Marketing automation deployment within large enterprises—and often down to the midsize-company level—is increasingly providing marketers with the ability to capture customers’ “digital body language” to inform lead scoring, nurturing and conversions. But even given a maturing of powerful new capabilities, marketers sometimes struggle to strike a balance between technological power and ease of use, and in making sense of a growing number of devices and channels.


Cisco & Dell acquisitions bring datacenter automation center stage

ZDNet-by David Chernicoff-Nov 16, 2012

Automation software for IT has always been an important, if low profile, part of the IT management tool box. Building automation sequences using software tools


Dell Buys Infrastructure Automation Company Gale Technologies

Seeking Alpha-Nov 16, 2012

Dell is making a deeper investment in providing converged infrastructure to automate data center operations with the acquisition of Gale Technologies.


Workload Automation Moves Front and Center in 2013

Wired-Dec 11, 2012

Big Data, cloud computing and mobile devices continue to be the business IT megatrends of the 21st Century’s second decade. Intimately linked to all three, as it


Automation Will Represent the Next Big Step for Biobanks, Says

PR Newswire (press release)-Dec 19, 2012

LONDON, Dec. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Every year, nearly 100 million samples are added to biobanks worldwide. Over 1500 bio repositories exist today and


IT Automation: What Lies Ahead in 2013

IT Business Edge (blog)-Dec 5, 2012

Click through for six IT automation predictions for 2013, as identified by Ben Rosenberg, CEO of Advanced Systems Concepts, Inc. IT environments are


Robot Data Collectors: How to Win in a Device-to-Data Center World

Forbes-Dec 18, 2012

Robot Data Collectors: How to Win in a Device-to-Data Center World … You can think of them as robot data collectors—collecting, culling, and sending back data …


Amazon plunks down $775M for order-fulfiller Kiva Systems

Mar 19, 2012, Rachel King

Kiva boasts scalable and automated material handling systems that will likely be put to work in Amazon warehouses before long.


FedEx Ground Accelerates Package Sorting With Digital Cameras

Clint Boulton, May 25, 2012

Few people know what happens to packages before they reach their doorsteps, but FedEx Ground CIO Ken Spangler was game to tell CIO Journal how the carrier sorts 9 million parcels a day—and how that highly automated process has helped the business grow.Spangler said the average hub in the FedEx Ground network can sort up to 7,500 packages per hour, per sorter. This reliance on automated systems to sort packages reduces human error of misdirected packages, speeding up the sorting process. “Almost everyone that comes to see these [sorting hub] operations says ‘wow, where are all of the people?,’” he said.

Robotic planes, tractors loom behind autonomous cars

May 01, 2012, 2:39 PM | By Martin LaMonica

MIT professor Mary “Missy” Cummings sees autonomous cargo planes and robotic tractors coming to market within three years.

American Packaging Corporation Puts Seegrid Robots To Work

05/29/12 — American Packaging Corporation (APC), a packaging supplier for major brands such as Pringles, Betty Crocker, and Planters, has invested $150 Million in the last 13 years on new equipment and facility upgrades. Following a $17.5 Million expansion of their Columbus, Wisconsin facility, APC needed to move its packaging materials across much longer distances in less time. APC chose to automate the transportation process with Seegrid robotic industrial trucks rather than Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) once it was determined that the labor costs associated with traditional forklift operations were not optimal and AGVs would be more difficult to integrate. The programming…


Asciano flags further automation of ports

The Australian-Jul 18, 2012

Asciano chief executive John Mullen said the capital investment program to redevelop and expand the Sydney terminal, including installation of new handling


Waterfront war looms over port automation plans

Business Spectator-Aug 7, 2012

Waterfront war looms over port automation plans cut 270 of its 511 workers at Port Botany by 2014, replacing them with automated straddle carrier technology.


Gov’t to examine technology for automated cars

Yahoo! News (blog)-Oct 23, 2012

Automated vehicles are the next “evolutionary step” in car technology, David Strickland, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, told an


BHP unveils robot trucks

The Australian-Oct 31, 2012

BHP Billiton has followed Rio Tinto’s lead in using automated and remote technology at West Australian iron ore mines, revealing it plans to run a fleet of robot


Big companies count on technology for supply chain future

The Age-Nov 5, 2012

Two of Australia’s largest enterprises have nominated big data and automation as the emerging technologies and the biggest opportunities for their future supply


Virginia roads to test out automation

Knovel-Nov 6, 2012

Google has gotten the most attention with the recent introduction of its self-driving cars, but automation on the roadways is a growing trend across the industry,


Should Port Workers Be Paid For Work That Disappeared?

By Tom Gara, December 26, 2012

Unions and employees will have one last chance this week to reach a deal and avoid port closures that could cripple trade…




Robots to Mine Near-Earth Asteroids

04/23/12 — Pasadena, CA—New report describes the results of a study sponsored by the Keck Institute for SpaceStudies (KISS) to investigate the feasibility of identifying, robotically capturing, and returning an entire Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) to the vicinity of the Earth by the middle of the next decade.  The KISS study was performed…


Mining future in automation

Fraser Coast Chronicle-Jul 25, 2012

Sandvik Mining automation manager Pieter Prinsloo said when it came to either the Bowen or Galilee basins, there were more discussions than decisions at this

AeroVironment’s Mola Robot Flies Underwater on Solar Power

POSTED BY: Evan Ackerman  /  Tue, August 28, 2012

A mola, or ocean sunfish, is a very big, very flat, and (in this reporter’s opinion) rather silly looking tropical bony fish. Aerovioronment has used the sunfish as an inspiration for one of their latest proof of concept robots: Mola, an oceangoing robot that’s powered by the sun.

Mobile ‘bots work to increase solar panel efficiency (video)

Jason Pepper, Sep 03, 2012 CNET

CNET News correspondent Kara Tsuboi visits Qbotix in Menlo Park, Calif., as the company shows off a new robotic tracking system that pivots solar panels in the direction of the sun.


A Home Automation Primer

PC Magazine-Oct 17, 2012

So, what exactly are we talking about when it comes to home automation? Here are just some of the things you now have the ability to set up and control,


“Our substations need immediate automation

Utility Products-Oct 23, 2012

Our substations need immediate automation. In developed countries, the electrical network is fairly good and is built to adequate capacity, and they have been


How Robots Are Making Solar Power Cheaper

Forbes-by Todd Woody-Oct 31, 2012

Behind a high fence in Menlo Park, Calif. a gray, tuna-shaped robot glides on a monorail around 20 solar panel arrays attached to steel poles, like WALL-E on a


Petroleum companies install automation machine to ensure pure

Times of India-Dec 29, 2012

HUBLI: Hereafter, people can expect to get unadulterated petrol as petroleum companies have started installing automation machines in their petrol pumps in


The future of automation

Australian Mining-Dec 10, 2012

For experts at Sandvik and the CSIRO, the future of automation in mining is already upon us. And while we’ve started to introduce this technology on Australian




Man vs. Machine: Behind the Jobless Recovery

In no other U.S. recovery since WWII have companies been faster to boost spending on machines, while slower to add the people…


In U.S., a Cheaper Labor Pool

Trying to convince workers in Canada to accept a pay cut, Caterpillar is citing lower wages elsewhere. But instead of pointing…

hey can do.


Robots to Create More Than a Million Jobs by 2016

ROBOTICS will be a major driver for global job creation over the next five years.  The announcement is based on a study conducted by the market research firm, Metra Martech, “Positive Impact of Industrial Robots on Employment”, which was published on Thursday in Tokyo.


How Robots Create Jobs

by Adil Shafi, President, ADVENOVATION, Inc.

Posted: 04/04/2012 So, how do robots create jobs? Before we review the math and dynamics of robot jobs, let’s look at a …


Too Many Robotics Jobs, Not Enough Skilled Workers

A recent report from WANTED analytics indicates more than 1,800 jobs for robotics workers were advertised during March, representing a 44-percent increase from one year ago and an 80-percent jump from two years ago. As more surgical and health-related procedures require robotics, employment ads for registered nurses with robotics skills have increased by 21 percent.


Robots Can Replace Chinese Workers

With all of the controversy surrounding Foxconn, one of Apple’s major suppliers in China, including several suicides by workers, Foxconn and other Chinese companies might do well to replace much of their labor force with robots, Klaus Zimmermann writes for Financial Times.


Will Robots and Automation Make Human Workers Obsolete?

Huffington Post – Jun 18, 2012

PBS News Hour recently had a special on the main topic I’ve been writing about here on The Huffington Post and elsewhere: unemployment and inequality …


Could Automation Lead to Chronic Unemployment? Andrew McAfee

Forbes-Jul 19, 2012

Famed economist, John Maynard Keynes, voiced concerns regarding automation in the 1930’s and coined the term “technological unemployment.” In the early


Reconsidering the Human Side of Automated Production

Automation World-Aug 7, 2012

Though the movement to re-shore manufacturing operations is gaining a great deal of attention, the reality is that these projects represent only a small portion of


Global Employment Trends 2012: World faces a 600 million jobs challenge, warns ILO

24 January 2012

The world faces the “urgent challenge” of creating 600 million productive jobs over the next decade in order to generate sustainable growth and maintain social cohesion, according to the annual report on global employment by the International Labour Organization (ILO).


Infographic: Robots & Automation in U.S. Manufacturing

POSTED BY: Evan Ackerman  /  Wed, September 19, 2012

Kuka Robotics put together this nifty infographic describing how manufacturing robots aren’t necessarily evil job stealin’ machines of… evil. It’s especially timely what with yesterday’s big news about a certain robotics company that wants to use robots to make domestic manufacturing more cost effective and efficient, although Rethink is tackling things much differently than big boys like Kuka.


Can Robots Bring Manufacturing Jobs Back to the US?

TIME-Sep 27, 2012

Heading into the 20th century, America was a predominantly rural country. Roughly 40% of the nation’s labor force toiled on farms alongside 22 million work


Automation will soon touch every job on the planet: prediction

SmartPlanet.com (blog)-Sep 25, 2012

Blame automation for much of the lackluster job growth seen in the current economy. In fact, there soon will be few jobs that machines won’t be able to do just as


Automation gives jobs, but also takes them away

Colorado Springs Business Journal

Automation, aided by new technologies, is increasingly replacing labor, changing workplaces and altering the economy in fundamental ways. Just look around


The robot economy and the new rentier class

FT Alphaville, December 10, 2012

It seems more top-tier economists are coming around to the idea that robots and technology could be having a greater influence on the economy (and this crisis in particular) than previously appreciated. Paul Krugman being the latest. But first a quick backgrounder on the debate so far (as tracked by us).


Robots Don’t Destroy Jobs; Rapacious Corporate Executives Do

AlterNet / ByWilliam Lazonick

Worrying about automation distracts us from the real problem: misuse of corporate profits.

Automation is making unions irrelevant | Computerworld Blogs

Patrick Thibodeau, December 13, 2012

The problem with unions is they can’t protect jobs. They can’t stop a company from moving jobs overseas, closing offices, or replacing workers with automation. I grew up in Connecticut, a heavily unionized state. In the post-war period, the state’s industries made typewriters, appliances, bearings, locks, tools. None of them survived. Through the 1960s and into the 1980s, thousands of factory workers lost their jobs, including my father. These jobs were lost because of globalization and changes in technology. The unions did not cause these job losses, and IT workers provide a good example as to why. In Connecticut, the big IT employers are financial services firms, insurance companies mostly. These firms aren’t unionized. In the late 1990s, financial services firms began offshoring work and IT jobs were cut. The same forces that dismantled manufacturing jobs were now attacking highly skilled, knowledge-based jobs.

Better Than Human

By Kevin Kelly, 12.24.12

Imagine that 7 out of 10 working Americans got fired tomorrow. What would they all do?

It’s hard to believe you’d have an economy at all if you gave pink slips to more than half the labor force. But that—in slow motion—is what the industrial revolution did to the workforce of the early 19th century. Two hundred years ago, 70 percent of American workers lived on the farm. Today automation has eliminated all but 1 percent of their jobs, replacing them (and their work animals) with machines. But the displaced workers did not sit idle. Instead, automation created hundreds of millions of jobs in entirely new fields. Those who once farmed were now manning the legions of factories that churned out farm equipment, cars, and other industrial products. Since then, wave upon wave of new occupations have arrived—appliance repairman, offset printer, food chemist, photographer, web designer—each building on previous automation. Today, the vast majority of us are doing jobs that no farmer from the 1800s could have imagined.


Robot Workers: Coexistence Is Possible

Businessweek-Dec 13, 2012

The robots are coming. Resistance is futile. From car factories to microprocessor plants to fulfillment warehouses, a single robot can now handle tasks that once


Rise of the Robots

By PAUL KRUGMAN, NY Times, December 8, 2012,

Catherine Rampell and Nick Wingfield write about the growing evidence for “reshoring” of manufacturing to the United States. They cite several reasons: rising wages in Asia; lower energy costs here; higher transportation costs. In a followup piece, however, Rampell cites another factor: robots.


Robots and Robber Barons

By PAUL KRUGMAN, NY Times Op-Ed December 9, 2012

The American economy is still, by most measures, deeply depressed. But corporate profits are at a record high. How is that possible? It’s simple: profits have surged as a share of national income, while wages and other labor compensation are down. The pie isn’t growing the way it should – but capital is doing fine by grabbing an ever-larger slice, at labor’s expense. Wait – are we really back to talking about capital versus labor? Isn’t that an old-fashioned, almost Marxist sort of discussion, out of date in our modern information economy? Well, that’s what many people thought; for the past generation discussions of inequality have focused overwhelmingly not on capital versus labor but on distributional issues between workers, either on the gap between more- and less-educated workers or on the soaring incomes of a handful of superstars in finance and other fields. But that may be yesterday’s story. More specifically, while it’s true that the finance guys are still making out like bandits – in part because, as we now know, some of them actually are bandits – the wage gap between workers with a college education and those without, which grew a lot in the 1980s and early 1990s, hasn’t changed much since then. Indeed, recent college graduates had stagnant incomes even before the financial crisis struck. Increasingly, profits have been rising at the expense of workers in general, including workers with the skills that were supposed to lead to success in today’s economy. Why is this happening? As best as I can tell, there are two plausible explanations, both of which could be true to some extent. One is that technology has taken a turn that places labor at a disadvantage; the other is that we’re looking at the effects of a sharp increase in monopoly power. Think of these two stories as emphasizing robots on one side, robber barons on the other. …


Robots ready to replace human labour

Bangkok Post-4 hours ago

With the daily minimum wage rising to 300 baht nationwide on Jan 1, businesses are attempting to lower their production costs by turning to machinery and


Burger-making robot could make fast food workers obsolete

DVICE-Nov 30, 2012

Over the last few decades, the fast food industry has remained a bulletproof option for the low wage worker, but thanks to robotics those days appear to coming



Energid Funded by the NSF to Cut Costs for Robotic Manufacturing

03/12/12 —   Energid Technologies Corporation received funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) under a two-year project to create robotic manipulation technology for cost-effective manufacturing. The work will make it easy for operators to achieve more with existing hardware capability. Many time-consuming tedious tasks, such as moving and modifying objects, combining…


California’s autonomous car bill inches closer to reality

Apr 11, 2012, Liane Yvkoff

Autonomous car legislation SB 1298 passed the Senate Transportation Committee and is headed to the Senate Rules committee.


Google says California legislators could drive away robotic cars

Jun 25, 2012, 5:33 PM | By Donna Tam

A Google rep tells an Assembly committee that if California passes a bill that removes the ability to have driverless cars eventually, the state is telling technology providers to take autonomous cars elsewhere.


Activists want stronger privacy protections for driverless cars

Jun 25, 2012, 2:00 PM | By Donna TamConsumer Watchdog says Google is going to go willy-nilly with data collection for autonomous vehicles, and the California bill shouldn’t get the green light without more restrictions.


Labor Union Summit Focuses on Automation

MarineLink-Sep 17, 2012

Elsewhere, and in Australia, but also on the introduction of dock automation, MUA National Secretary Crumlin reported on the events leading up to Patrick


Robots Reduce Cost of Science for USGS

Posted 7 Nov 2012

After a contentious election, the US Government will be returning to business as usual soon and one thing both sides agree on is that the cost of government needs to be reduced. A recent report by the US Geological Survey illustrates how robots are helping out with this problem. Airborne scientific observation missions can cost as much as $30,000 per hour. The USGS is replacing these expensive airborne data gathering missions with remotely piloted vehicles, or drones, which can complete an entire mission for $3,000. So far the USGS is using the Honeywell T-Hawk Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) and AeroVironment Raven RQ-11B. The Raven in particular has other advantages over manned missions besides cost.


County upgrades to Accela Automation for land management

Tucson Citizen-Dec 21, 2012

Pima County announced that Accela Automation is its new enterprise software for service delivery to eight Public Works departments.




Robot sales in 2011 exceeded all expectations

Sales increased by 30 percent to about 150,000 units

“The success of the global robotics industry continued in 2011,” said Dr. Shinsuke Sakakibara, IFR President “Investments in robot automation again surged in all regions!” Based on the results of the IFR Quarterly Statistics the IFR estimates that in 2011, sales of industrial robots will reach the new peak level of about 150,000 units. This would be an increase of about 30% compared to 2010.


Why Kiva Is Worth $775 Million to Amazon

Evan Ackerman  /  Thu, March 22, 2012

On Monday, we broke the news that Amazon.com has decided to acquire Kiva Systems for more than three quarters of a billion dollars in cash. This is a heck of a lot of money, even for a company like Amazon, but as soon as you see what Kiva’s robots are capable of, it’ll make perfect sense.


Robotics Industry Off to a Great Start in 2012

Robotic Industries Association Posted 05/01/2012

Ann Arbor, Michigan – North American robotics companies enjoyed one of the industry’s strongest opening quarters ever, according to new statistics released from Robotic Industries Association (RIA), the industry’s trade group. A total of 5,096 robots valued at $343.8 million were ordered from North American robotics companies through March, increases of 27% in units and 30% in dollars over the same period in 2011. A total of 4,605 robots valued at $299.6 million were shipped to North American customers in the first quarter, the best opening quarter ever for shipments. “It’s clear that the strong demand we saw in our record-breaking year of 2011 has continued into 2012,” said Jeff Burnstein, President of RIA. “The activity is especially strong among automotive OEMs and tier suppliers, where robot orders jumped 42% in the first quarter over a year ago. In fact, automotive-related orders accounted for 65% of the new orders in the first quarter of 2012. Non-automotive orders grew six percent,” Burnstein said.


How to pick Robotics Stocks and what to avoid.

15 May 2012, by IKE_RobotsPodcast

We usually forget that apart from an exciting research field, robotics is also a huge industry. Frank Tobe, Editor and Publisher of The Robot Report describe the robotics stock exchange map from an investor’s perspective. There are numerous companies that are currently active on robotics but only a fraction of them rely heavily on that sector, most of these stocks are influenced by other trends. There are also newly formed companies that aspire to cash in on the hype that surrounds robotics as an exotic and innovative sector without providing evidence that they are a viable and healthy investment. You can read more about robotics stocks in the article from everything-robotic.com and also in the Robot Report.


Russian Internet CEO Begins $25M Robotics Fund

06/15/12 — Daily Herald—Dmitry Grishin, founder of Russia’s mail.ru, believes that the time is right to invest in robotics technology, and help bring robots to the mass market. He believes in it so much that he recently announced the launch of a $25 million venture fund geared toward bringing robots to daily…


Robots in Your Portfolio? Here are the Stocks To Watch

Kapitall Blog (blog)-Jul 20, 2012

In South Korea the Ministry of Information and Communication hopes to put a robot in every home there by 2013. The Japanese Robot Association predicts that


The Robot Report Maps The Future Of Robotics

08/02/12 — For too long, media coverage of robotics has included a great deal of vague statistical data and conjecturing. In part because of the industry’s rapid growth and the discrepancies between pure-play robotics companies and those who dabble in the business, it’s difficult to see exactly how big the industry is, and where its epicenter(s) lie.  The need for data-gathering tools in this sector is greater than ever if researchers, investors and business owners hope to stay ahead of the game. The Robot Report is taking up the charge by building an interactive map of robotics start-up companies, and expanding it with the help of…


Robotic Start-up Companies – A Glimpse At Our Robotic Future

Posted 08/12/12 at 08:44 PM

… Thank you for helping by adding 40 new robotic start-up companies to our list … But don’t stop now. Please add to our list of global robotic start-up companies by sending information to info@therobotreport.com. Thank you. … Click to see 159 global robotic start-up companies (name, city, website link). … PS: In addition to the 159 start-ups shown on this map, there are 850+ industrial and service robot vendors – established companies – plus 250 research labs and 650 ancillary businesses in our directories. See left column, at the top.


iRobot sucks up Mint maker Evolution Robotics

By Tim Hornyak, CNET, Sep 17, 2012

The $74 million acquisition of California-based Evolution Robotics brings the Mint floor cleaner into the iRobot fold, as well as navigation technologies.


Brooks Automation cuts 150 jobs

Boston Herald-Sep 18, 2012

Chelsmford-based Brooks Automation Inc. said it expects to cut as many as 150 jobs to reduce its operating costs and improve profitability, the company


Interactive Map of Global Robot Providers

… 200+ industrial robot makers (red markers); 600+ service robot providers (blue markers) and 170+ start-up companies (green markers) covering 37 countries around the world.
… Clusters can be seen surrounding the top 20 robotics universities and research labs (shown in yellow). … Details here. … Map here.


Recent funding for robotics companies

Posted 11/24/12 at 03:31 PM

MAKO Surgical gets $43 million from the sale of common stock. MAKO produces a robotic orthopedic surgical platform for implant placement. MAKO’s stock (NASDAQ:MAKO) has had a dramatic downward ride from a high of $45 to it’s present $14 because of missed revenue and earnings projections.
Revolve Robotics, a San Francisco start-up with a remote telepresence device, shared a $1.85 million round of funding with 4 other start-up companies in the LEMNOS Labs stable of hardware incubator companies.
Unmanned Innovation, a Newport Beach, CA start-up also in the LEMNOS Labs incubator group, is a producer of auto-pilot components for UAVs and also shares in the $1.85 million funding round.


Brooks Automation Profit Soars On Tax Benefit; Sees Weak Q1

NASDAQ-Nov 8, 2012

(RTTNews.com) – Brooks Automation Inc. (BRKS) on Thursday reported a Steve Schwartz, President and CEO of Brooks Automation said, “Strength in our


Brooks Automation is cutting 100 jobs as it reduces its workforce by

Boston.com-Dec 19, 2012, By Chris Reidy, Globe Staff

Brooks Automation Inc., a Chelmsford-based provider of automation, vacuum, and instrumentation products for such markets as the semiconductor industry, said it will cut 100 jobs, or 6 percent, of its workforce as it looks to “achieve cost synergies” following an acquisition and to improve profitability in a tough economic environment. The company added that 29 jobs of the jobs being be cut are in Massachusetts. The cuts will leave Brooks with a Bay State headcount of 605 employees. Brooks recently acquired Crossing Automation Inc.


German Automation Growth Spurt Expected to Slow

Automation World-Dec 4, 2012

The enormous growth spurt a lot of German automation companies—and many of their customers—have been experiencing since 2009 is expected to slow for




New technologies spread arrival of robots into our lives


Robots, it seems, are everywhere, from microbots, which are tiny black dots, to bots that resemble bees and bats, to gigantic models.


Single-atom transistor built with precise control

Feb 19, 2012, Martin LaMonica

Seeking to keep Moore’s Law on pace, researchers have developed a repeatable technique for assembling a single-atom version of the transistor–the building block of semiconductors and computers.


The Future of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Is Open

POSTED BY: William Hertling  /  Thu, April 05, 2012

At South by Southwest Interactive last month, I debated the future of artificial intelligence with my co-panelists. The roboticist on the panel argued that AI is an intellectually challenging field where the problems are difficult, and therefore can be solved only by highly intelligent people working on obscure mathematics and algorithms. The future, he argued, will look much like the past: a series of incremental, hard-won improvements in very narrow fields.


African Project Aims To Innovate in Educational Robotics

Erico Guizzo  /  Tue, May 01, 2012

Abibiman mma a wɔn anigye robot ho, yɛnkambom!

That’s how you say, “African robot enthusiasts unite!” in Twi, one the main native languages in Ghana, a vibrant nation of 25 million people in West Africa. Roboticists there and in the United States are launching today an initiative to enhance robotics education, research, and industry in Africa. The African Robotics Network (AFRON) wants to mobilize a community of institutions and individuals working on robotics-related areas, strengthening communication and collaboration among them.


New-look Moon Rover Robot to Land in 2014

05/24/12 — The lunar rover ‘Asimov’ due to land on the Moon in 2014, will be the first autonomously navigated rover on the Moon. It’s autonomous navigation system is a major technological leap. While the Russian Moon rovers Lunokhod 1 and 2 in the early 70s were fully controlled from Earth, today’s Mars rovers like NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover ‘Opportunity’, which has been tirelessly exploring the Red Planet since 2004, are autonomous. However, Opportunity requires nearly three minutes to process a pair of images — a delay that causes it to move at an average speed of just 1 cm/sec or less…


Robotic Arm Weaves A Structure Like A Spider

05/01/12 — First, this is not a robotic spider, it’s a non-autonomous robotic arm pre-programmed to weave a structure out of its own surroundings. Down the road, the researchers plan to make the robotic arm autonomous so it can sense where objects are and build its own structure to fit the surroundings.…


Who Is To Blame When A Robotic Car Crashes?

06/11/12 — Society must make two big leaps in order to enable truly self-driving cars. The first is technological. Engineers need to improve today’s cars (which can warn a driver that he’s drifting out of his lane) beyond current Google and Darpa prototypes (which maintain the lane on their own) to the…


Automation may cut traffic deaths

Detroit Free Press – Jun 13, 2012

Automated vehicles could be the technology leap that significantly reduces U.S. fatalities because of car crashes, a top safety official said Wednesday at the first …


Robotic Fingertip More Sensitive than Human Touch

06/21/12 — Researchers at USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering have created a robotic fingertip that is more sensitive to the touch than an actual human fingertip, an achievement which could greatly aid prostheses and advance artificial intelligence. Called BioTac, the tiny machine is a “new type of tactile sensor built to mimic the human fingertip, using a newly designed algorithm to make decisions about how to explore the outside world by imitating human strategies.” The sensor was only rarely confused by pairs of similar textures, between which humans could not differentiate at all. USC Professor of Biomedical Engineering Gerald Loeb, who is…


FACE Robot Mimics Human Facial Expressions, Aims To Cross

Huffington Post-Jul 16, 2012

Modeled after a research team member’s wife, the robot was created to show a wide range of human facial expressions, with the goal of going beyond the


Czech Republic Aims to be Home of Robotics and Wide-ranging Research

07/11/12 — Eurasia—In 1920, Czech writer Karel Capek introduced the word ‘robot’ to the world. His play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) was a work of science fiction, but robots, albeit very different from how Capek imagined them, are rapidly becoming a reality today. Their development is being helped by groundbreaking research taking place in the Czech Republic, a country with a long history of innovation in many fields. The Czech Technical University (CTU) in Prague, the oldest institute of technology in Central Europe, stands at the forefront of robotics research. Teams there are working on a range of technologies that promise great advances…


Robot divers to report on Lake Superior’s depths

Minnesota Public Radio-Aug 7, 2012

DULUTH, Minn. — With its frigid, often ice-choked water and legendary storms, Lake Superior can be a dangerous place for scientists to conduct research.


Robot chauffeurs: Google self-driving cars log 300K miles

VentureBeat-Aug 7, 2012

Google announced today that its self-driving cars have logged over 300000 miles without a single accident — a step closer to being able to say, “Look Mom,

Japan building robot that would pass college exams

Tim Hornyak, CNET, Sep 12, 2012

Researchers have teamed up to create an AI that would be smart enough to pass the notoriously difficult entrance exams to the University of Tokyo. Don’t expect it to help with your homework though.


Pentagon Robot Is Faster Than Usain Bolt—and Freaks the Hell Out of Me

September 5, 2012 – This is freaking scary. This is even scarier than Big Dog. It’s the latest version of the Pentagons’s newest Cheetah robot and it now runs faster than Usain Bolt.


Why Driverless Cars Are Inevitable—and a Good Thing

The driverless car is coming. And Dan Neil says we all should be glad it is. 09/24/12 WSJ


Kinect@Home Wants to Start 3D Scanning the World

POSTED BY: Evan Ackerman  /  Wed, August 29, 2012

Back in January, Adept’s Erin Rapacki told us all that it’s time to start 3D scanning the world. We agree with her, but it’s not an easy thing to actually go and, you know, do. There are approximately 975 bajillion different objects out there in the world that robots need to know how to interact with, and the only way we’re going to learn about them all (short of Google throwing approximately 975 bajillion dollars at the problem) is through a cooperative, crowdsourced effort like this new project called Kinect@Home.


10 Amazing Robots We Met in 2012

Mashable-Nov 26, 2012

That doesn’t mean robots weren’t on our mind this year. … And if your absurdly quaint notion of free will leads you to suggest a robot that didn’t make our list, …


New Artificial Muscle Could Replace Traditional Motors in Robots

11/28/12 — New artificial muscles made from nanotech yarns and infused with paraffin wax can lift more than 100,000 times their own weight and generate 85 times more mechanical power than the same size natural muscle, according to scientists at The University of Texas at Dallas and their international team from Australia, China, South Korea, Canada and Brazil. The artificial muscles are yarns constructed from carbon nanotubes, which are seamless, hollow cylinders made from the same type of graphite layers found in the core of ordinary pencils. Individual nanotubes can be 10,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair, yet…


Robot Skin Paves the Way for Healable Devices

11/14/12 — U.S. researchers, led by Zhenan Bao of Stanford University in California, have created a flexible, touch-sensitive, electrically conducting and pressure-sensitive polymer-based material that could have ‘e-skin’ applications for robots or prosthetic body parts, such as artificial hands. The polymer matrix consists of a network of randomly branched oligomers that contain…


Academics to Study Threat of Robot Uprising

11/27/12 Robots and intelligent machines rising up against their creators has long been the stuff of science fiction. But could it…




Edifici intelligenti, meglio se made in Italy

La Repubblica-Nov 4, 2012

Milano Q uasi due miliardi di euro: tanto pesa l’industria italiana fornitrice di tecnologie per la sicurezza e automazione edifici. Un settore in profonda


Ristrutturazione industriale per Amorim Cork Italia

Tribuna Economica-Nov 20, 2012


La vera rivoluzione della robotica di servizio

Data manager online-by giuseppe mariggiò-Nov 13, 2012

Non tutti sanno che l’Italia è il secondo integratore di robotica in Europa. Anche ABB, leader mondiale nell’automazione robotizzata, punta sulla robotica

Vorwerk lancia il robot Folletto

DDay.it – Digital Day-Nov 30, 2012

Si chiama Folletto VR100 ed è il nuovo robot aspirapolvere di Vorwerk, l’azienda tedesca nota per il Folletto, da oltre settant’anni in Italia sinonimo di


Italian Robotic Surgery System Requires a Single Incision

By Robotics Trends’ News Sources – Filed Oct 31, 2012

A team of scientists in Italy have been working on a unique robotic surgery system.They hope that one day robots could take over the work of surgeons in operation theatres. Gianluigi Petroni is one of the biomedical engineers at the SSSA Biorobotics Institute, he describes one of the procedures that robots could soon be performing: “The robot enters the patient’s body via the navel. We firstly insert a small capsule. Then the two robotic arms are inserted through this capsule one by one. Once inside, the robot is configured to be remotely controlled by the surgeon.”


Robots Replace Gardeners as Sales Surge for Auto-Mowers

Businessweek-Oct 23, 2012

(DE) and Global Garden Products Italy SpA this year started offering robotic mowers, which Husqvarna sells for as much as 5,000 euros ($6,487). Honda Motor …


Japanese Robot Manufacturers Realize Increase in Sales in 2011

RobotWorx Posted 01/20/2012

Despite the most devastating disaster in Japan since WWII, industrial robot manufacturers based in Japan saw their sales increase in the first three quarters of 2011. About one-third of all industrial robot orders originate in Japan, largely due to highly robotic automotive assembly lines. Industrial spot welding robots, such as the Motoman UP165 pictured, are a common sight in automotive factories. Yaskawa Robotics (the parent company for Motoman Robotics), FANUC Robotics, and Kawasaki’s robot division made up the three industrial robot manufacturers that saw the largest sales increases. Yaskawa’s sales were up 46% from the previous fiscal year. FANUC saw a 6% increase, and Kawasaki also saw significant gains.


Japan’s Robots Defy Trade Trend

01/25/12, WSJ

Japan’s grim trade data make it easy to miss the success stories—like export-dependent industrial-robot maker Fanuc, which…


Toyota aims to put robots to use early next decade | Reuters

Reuters UK – Mar 9, 2012

Unveiling two new robots called the “mobility robot” and the “violin-playing robot,” Japan’s top automaker said it would step up research and development in


SushiBot Rolls Out 3600 Pieces Per Hour

‎Wired News – Apr 6, 2012

Would-be sushi moguls take note: Suzumo has a line of sushi robots that might fulfill your 24-7 maki-making fantasies. The Japanese company is displaying


Toyota’s latest processes have less automation and more…

Economic Times – Feb 6, 2012

Carmakers globally increasingly believe that automation is the way to keep longterm The Japanese carmaker, whose famed production system has won many


ADAM Robots Introduced into Japanese Market

05/23/12 — RMT Robotics entered into a sales representative agreement with eepos Japan for the promotion and sale of its ADAM mobile robots in Japan. Eepos Japan will work with RMT to promote and sell the AMR fleets to end users throughout Japan with a strategic focus on the automotive manufacturing and…


Japan’s Most Closely Guarded Secret in Industrial Robotics

The goal: combining the intelligence of the human being with the characteristics of industrial robots for human-collaboration robotics operating in real-life work environments. (May 25, 2012)


Japan Robot Lab Readies Second Prototype for Work at Crippled Nuclear Reactor

PCWorld – May 25, 2012

A Japanese robotics lab has developed a new emergency response prototype that will soon be put to work at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in…


Robots Get a Makeover in Factories

Wall Street Journal – May 31, 2012

Companies including Japan’s Kawada Industries Inc. and Fanuc Corp. and Switzerland-based ABB Ltd. are developing dexterous robots to perform such


TinyBot: The MH-2 Mimics Human Actions

05/31/12 — Japanese researchers have taken another step into the dimension of weird for robotics: a wearable miniature humanoid virtual presence. The robot, called MH-2, allows friends or family to virtually interact through the virtual presence device so you do not feel alone. The MH-2 acts as an avatar, or a remote…


Google’s Robot Auto Has New Rival in RoboCar HV

06/12/12 — ResponseJP—Last year, Tokyo-based robot venture ZMP introduced the RoboCar MEV mini car, single-person, 4-wheeled, autonomous, electric robotic vehicle. For 2012, ZMP has topped itself with robot car that this time really looks like a car. Watch out Google! The Robocar HV, based, according to Response JP, on the Toyota Prius,…


Japanese launch 4.5-tonne gun-toting robot controlled by smartphone

The Guardian-Jul 30, 2012

Japanese launch 4.5-tonne gun-toting robot controlled by smartphone The massive robot, called Kuratas, is controlled either by a human pilot in a mid-torso


A Robot Sex Doll. From The Future.

Kotaku-Aug 7, 2012

A Robot Sex Doll. From The Future. An example of the genre – one wildly popular in Japan – is Katawa Shoujo, released earlier this year. Paragon Sexa Doll


These Robots Install Solar Panels

Mashable-Jul 25, 2012

PV Kraftwerker built its robot from off-the-shelf Japanese components. The machinery consists of a robotic arm mounted on an all-terrain vehicle with tanklike




DARPA Wants to Give Soldiers Robot Surrogates, Avatar Style

Evan Ackerman  /  Fri, February 17, 2012

In the movie Avatar, humans hooked themselves up to brain-machine-interface pods with which they could control giant genetically engineered human-alien hybrids. It’s just a movie, but DARPA, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, doesn’t care: It wants this kind of system to be real, just replace “giant genetically engineered human-alien hybrids” with “robots.”


Navy Chief: Robotic Subs Might Span Oceans. (Someday.)

Spencer Ackerman, March 19, 2012

It’s been the Navy’s dream for years: undersea drones that can swim entire oceans. But it’s been thwarted by science’s inability to build propulsion and fuel systems for a journey of that length. Still, the Navy’s top officer and its mad scientists think that some recent research could help turn the dream into an ocean-crossing reality.


Advanced Israeli Drone May Spy on Mexican Drug Cartels

Robert Beckhusen, March 15, 2012

Israel isn’t keeping its latest advanced spy drone for itself. It’s going south of the U.S. border, probably purchased by the Mexican government. The cartel war may be about to get a lot more robotic.


Darpa to Troubled Soldiers: Meet Your New Simulated Therapist

Katie Drummond, April 20, 2012

The Pentagon hasn’t made much progress in solving the PTSD crisis plaguing this generation of soldiers. Now it’s adding new staff members to the therapy teams tasked with spotting the signs of emotional pain and providing therapy to the beleaguered. Only this isn’t a typical hiring boost. The new therapists, Danger Room has learned, will be computer-generated “virtual humans,” used to offer diagnostics, and programmed to appear empathetic.


Hundreds of Warbots Will Join Cops’ Ranks

Spencer Ackerman, April 9, 2012

The war in Iraq is (mostly) over. The war in Afghanistan is (slowly, incompletely) ending. And yet the new battlefield robots produced by a decade of war are having an easier transition to peacetime than some human veterans. The robots are simply trading their fatigues for the blue uniforms of American police.


iRobot Warrior, PackBot go to work at S.C. nuclear plant

Apr 02, 2012, Tim Hornyak

With a tour of duty in Japan’s Fukushima under their belt, iRobot’s military robots are now working at a U.S. nuclear plant as part of routine operations.


RoboCops Now Guarding South Korean Prisons

Evan Ackerman  /  Mon, April 16, 2012

The next time you find yourself in a South Korean prison (and don’t worry, it happens to the best of us), this not especially friendly looking robot is going to be either your new best buddy or your new worst enemy. But probably the latter.


EFF Warns of Police Drone Privacy Concerns

The EFF has issued an appeal to local governments to institute privacy protections against the misuse of drones by local law enforcement agencies. The FAA’s initial rules for allowing flying robots into the National Airspace System were announced on 14 May. Many law enforcement agencies are already obtaining and flying drones but they’re not likely to volunteer that information. It took an EFF Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to make the FAA release the list of who has been approved to fly spy drones over US cities. When local newspapers in Seattle found out from the EFF that police had purchased two drones and made survellience plans without informing the City Council, the Washington ACLU called for the city to develop policies to safeguard privacy and free speech rights.


U.S. Drones Can Now Kill Joe Schmoe Militants in Yemen

Noah Shachtman, April 26, 2012

In September, American-born militant Anwar al-Awlaki was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen. In the seven months since, the al-Qaida affiliate there has only grown in power, influence, and lethality. The American solution? Authorize more drone attacks — and not just against well-known extremists like Awlaki, but against faceless, nameless, low-level terrorists as well. A relentless campaign of unmanned airstrikes has significantly weakened al-Qaida’s central leadership in Pakistan, American policymakers say. There, militants were chosen for robotic elimination based solely on their intelligence “signatures” — their behavior, as captured by wiretaps, overhead surveillance and local informants. A similar approach might not work in this case, however. “Every Yemeni is armed,” one unnamed U.S. official told the Wall Street Journal. “So how can they differentiate between suspected militants and armed Yemenis?”


Army Readies Its Mammoth Spy Blimp for First Flight

David Axe, May 22, 2012

TAMPA, Florida — Sure, it took an extra year or so, but Northrop Grumman has finally penciled in the first flight of the giant surveillance airship it’s building for the U.S. Army. The Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle — a football-field-size, helium-filled robot blimp fitted with sensors and data-links — should take to the air over Lakehurst, New Jersey, the first or second week of June. K.C. Brown, Jr., Northrop’s director of Army programs, crows: ”We’re about to fly the thing!” It’s fair to say Northrop and the Army are crossing their collective fingers for the flight to actually take place, and smoothly. Giant airships promise huge benefits — namely, low cost and long flight times — but it’s proved incredibly hard to build and equip the massive blimps with military-grade sensors and communications … and fill them with helium.


First-time Demo of Wireless Through-the-earth Command and Control of a Robotic Vehicle

06/12/12 — ChronicleHerald—An abandoned coal mine near Springhill, Nova Scotia was the test site this winter for an underground robot communications system developed by Ultra Electronics Maritime Systems Inc. of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. “We wanted to validate the capabilities of the system under the most realistic conditions possible,” Steve Parsons, business development manager at Ultra, said Monday in an interview. It was a first-time demonstration of wireless through-the-earth command and control of a remotely operated robotic vehicle, Parsons said. “It’s the first time the capabilities of this technology have been successfully placed on a robot,” he said. “There are a few other…


Throwbot Packs Big Capability Boost in Small Package

06/08/12 — Defense News—Recon Robotics, maker of the Recon Scout XT throwable robot — now officially renamed the Throwbot XT in a nod to its cooler-sounding nickname — has made a big change to a small package. The company already has 3,700 Throwbots in use in 30 countries around the world, but none of those systems has the capability that the company is unveiling today: a microphone so users can hear what’s going on around the robot once it’s tossed into a building or over a wall. The microphone added no weight to the 1.6-pound robot, said Ernest Langdon, the company’s director…


Revealed: 64 Drone Bases on American Soil

Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, June 13, 2012

We like to think of the drone war as something far away, fought in the deserts of Yemen or the mountains of Afghanistan. But we now know it’s closer than we thought. There are 64 drone bases on American soil. That includes 12 locations housing Predator and Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles, which can be armed.


US Military Wants Drones in South America, But Why?

Spencer Ackerman, June 12, 2012

Flying, spying robots are addictive. Every military commander who has them wants more. Those who don’t have them covet their colleagues’ supply. And according to Air Force planning, they’re about to go to the military’s redheaded, drone-poor stepchild: the command overseeing South America.


Europe Wants Drones to Spot Illegal Immigrants at Sea

Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, July 26, 2012

The European Union wants robotic eyes on incoming immigrants. As part of a $410 million proposal to improve border security, the European Commission, the executive body of the Union, is considering a deployment of drones above the Mediterranean Sea to keep an eye on illegal immigrants. Alongside increased satellite activity, “sensors mounted on any platforms, including manned and unmanned aerial vehicles” would keep a close watch on unauthorized immigration activity in the Mediterranean Sea, according to the European agency in charge of the EU’s borders.


Russia Is Stockpiling Drones to Spy on Street Protests

Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, July 25, 2012

Small surveillance drones are starting to be part of police departments across America, and the FAA will soon open up the airspace for more to come. This drone invasion has already raised all kinds of privacy concerns. And if you think that’s bad, across the ocean, Russia seems hell-bent on outdoing its former Cold War enemy.


Super-Silent Owl Drone Will Spy on You Without You Ever Noticing

Robert Beckhusen, July 19, 2012

For spy tools, drones are pretty easy to spot. And hear, because they’re as loud as a gut-busting rock concert. But now the intelligence community’s research division, Iarpa, plans to start designing a silent drone inspired by quiet, creeping, flying owls. Darpa has reportedly awarded a $4.8 million contract to Connecticut firm D-Star Engineering to develop the ultra-quiet drone, Aviation Week reports. It’s the next step in developing a workable drone as part of the agency’s Great Horned Owl Program, which the agency hopes will let the military collect intelligence “without anyone knowing you are there,” (.pdf) according to an agency briefing.


Robotic Cameras Will Snap Pictures at the 2012 Olympics

07/10/12 — Cameras with swiveling, nimble robotic heads will be deployed by photographers who work for Getty Images, the official agency of the International Olympics Committee. The robotic heads will be perchedon scaffolding above several of the sporting sites. The photographers themselves will be stationed below with what one Getty photographer described…


Flight of The Mystery Drone: Bird ‘Bot Flew over Iraq

Spencer Ackerman, September 17, 2012

It wasn’t just Pakistan. The weird, vaguely avian drone of unknown origin that curiously showed up in Pakistan last year apparently made a different flight — to Iraq. It may have even migrated to Pakistan from Basra. In August 2011, Pakistani forces recovered a small, silver, unarmed aircraft that had crashed in Balochistan province. With silver wings and a span about the size of a grown man’s outstretched arms, the drone was clearly more than a hobbyist’s toy: the remains of a camera were near the crash site, a camera that fit into the robotic bird’s belly, ostensibly for spying on insurgents. No one claimed responsibility for the drone, but when Danger Room checked into it, we found it suspiciously reminiscent of Festo’s SmartBird, a drone that used the herring gull to inspire its design, although there were enough differences in the wings, tail and fuselage to render it distinct.


Army Wants Tiny Suicidal Drone to Kill From 6 Miles Away

Spencer Ackerman, September 10, 2012

Killer drones just keep getting smaller. The Army wants to know how prepared its defense-industry partners are to build what it calls a “Lethal Miniature Aerial Munition System.” It’s for when the Army needs someone dead from up to six miles away in 30 minutes or less. How small will the new mini-drone be? The Army’s less concerned about size than it is about the drone’s weight, according to a recent pre-solicitation for businesses potentially interested in building the thing. The whole system — drone, warhead and launch device — has to weigh under five pounds. An operator should be able to carry the future Lethal Miniature Aerial Munition System, already given the acronym LMAMS in a backpack and be able to set it up to fly within two minutes.


29 Dead in 8 Days as U.S. Puts Yemen Drone War in Overdrive

Noah Shachtman, September 5, 2012

29 dead in a little over a week. Nearly 200 gone this year. The White House is stepping up its campaign of drone attacks in Yemen, with four strikes in eight days. And not even the slaying of 10 civilians over the weekend seems to have slowed the pace in the United States’ secretive, undeclared war.


New Commercial Aerial Drone Introduced

Posted 10/09/12 at 05:17 PM … senseFly, a Swiss start-up, launched their new eBee aerial photography drone with funding from a recent equity investment by Parrot (of AR.Drone quadcopter fame). With it’s 3’ wingspan the eBee can fly for 45 minutes in up to 25 mph winds. … Two kinds of software drive the eBee: one to create a flight path and the other to turn the 2D geotagged images into 3d maps and reports…. Two videos explain the process.

Robot to help Oregon police

Toledo Blade-Oct 29, 2012

The Oregon Police Division will be getting some significant upgrades thanks to a corporate donation and money from a federal grant. A $15,000 donation from


US Navy’s robotic firefighter

Telegraph.co.uk-Oct 25, 2012

The aluminium robot named Ash (Autonomous Shipboard Humanoid), sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, will serve to tackle flames in thick smoke.


Pentagon To Replace Mine-Clearing Dolphins With Robots


But now, due to escalating costs and a viable robotic alternative, the Sea the US military used herds of goats to clear minefields in Italy during World War II).


Japan Produces Its Own Bot to Inspect Fukushima Plant

By Robotics Trends’ News Sources – Filed Oct 19, 2012

Researchers have built a new and more nimble camera-carrying robot to climb stairs inside the Fukushima No. 1 plant and deliver images from areas where radiation levels remain dangerously high.


U.S. Air Force in Afghanistan Fueled by Automation

November 1, 2012

For military operations around the globe, one of the biggest logistics challenges is to manage critical fuel resources. Building a fuel transfer system for the Bagram Air Force Base (AFB), a U.S. military operation about 40 miles north of Kabul, Afghanistan, posed a greater than normal number of challenges. The equipment must withstand unforgiving surroundings, from a mountainous terrain to a harsh climate that is hot and dry in summer and cold and wet in winter. Pendant Automation was tapped to meet these challenges by designing a fuel transfer system with16 diesel storage tanks and 30 generator day tanks. The control system had to automatically transfer the fuel so personnel would not have this daily chore. Ruggedness was a key factor in the project.


Military Stats Reveal Epicenter of U.S. Drone War

Noah Shachtman, November 9, 2012

Forget Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and all the other secret little warzones. The real center of the U.S. drone campaign is in plain sight — on the hot and open battlefield of Afghanistan. The American military has launched 333 drone strikes this year in Afghanistan. That’s not only the highest total ever, according to U.S. Air Force statistics. It’s essentially the same number of robotic attacks in Pakistan since the CIA-led campaign there began nearly eight years ago. In the last 30 days, there have been three reported strikes in Yemen. In Afghanistan, that’s just an average day’s worth of remotely piloted attacks. And the increased strikes come as the rest of the war in Afghanistan is slowing down.


Robocod: Homeland Security adds underwater drones to their arsenal with robots based on fish

29 Nov 2012 Meet Robocod, the latest weapon in Homeland Security’s increasingly high-tech underwater arsenal, a robotic fish designed to safeguard the coastline of America and bring ‘justice’ to the deep. Well almost. The new robot, named BioSwimmer, is actually based not on a cod but a tuna which is said to have the ideal natural shape for an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV). Its ultra-flexible body coupled with mechanical fins and tail allow it to dart around the water just like a real fish even in the harshest of environments. Thanks to CLG <http://www.legitgov.org/#breaking_news> for bringing this story to my attention.


Navy Preps Killer Drone for First Carrier Launch

David Axe, 11.30.12

While China conducts, and celebrates, the first jet takeoffs and landings on its new aircraft carrier Liaoning, the U.S. Navy is aiming to do even better. In a parallel series of tests this week, the sailing branch has taken huge steps towards deploying the first carrier-based robotic warplane.


Pentagon: A Human Will Always Decide When a Robot Kills You

Spencer Ackerman, 11.26.12

The Pentagon wants to make perfectly clear that every time one of its flying robots releases its lethal payload, it’s the result of a decision made by an accountable human being in a lawful chain of command. Human rights groups and nervous citizens fear that technological advances in autonomy will slowly lead to the day when robots make that critical decision for themselves. But according to a new policy directive issued by a top Pentagon official, there shall be no SkyNet, thank you very much. Here’s what happened while you were preparing for Thanksgiving: Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter signed, on November 21, a series of instructions to “minimize the probability and consequences of failures” in autonomous or semi-autonomous armed robots “that could lead to unintended engagements,” starting at the design stage (.pdf, thanks to Cryptome.org). Translated from the bureaucrat, the Pentagon wants to make sure that there isn’t a circumstance when one of the military’s many Predators, Reapers, drone-like missiles or other deadly robots effectively automatizes the decision to harm a human being.


How Israeli Drone Pilots Made Their Life-and-Death Choices Over Gaza

Noah Shachtman, 11.22.12

JERUSALEM — The man was a few seconds from an all-but-certain death, when Gil told everyone to call off the airstrike. This was Sunday. Gil, a captain in the Israeli Air Force, was sitting in a green-painted metal box on the Palmahim Air Base, south of Tel Aviv. In front of him was a joystick and a set of screens. They showed footage of a Gaza slum, taken by an unarmed Israeli spy drone with an infrared sensor. Gil had the sensor display a dark shade for heat. Which gave the images on Gil’s screen an inverted feel; white was black, and black was white. The man, Gil’s superior officers told him, was a known Hamas terrorist. The neighborhood, a militant haven. So when the black blotch of a man stepped out into the alley, and began to fiddle with dark strings that looked suspiciously like wires, Gil’s Colonel gave the order to a second aircraft, flying nearby: Take this man out. He’s setting up a booby trap for our soldiers.


U.S. Navy Ramps Up Robot Deployment in the Persian Gulf

11/15/12 — The United States Navy is rushing more of the newest unmanned mine-clearing technology to the Persian Gulf while creating two new sets of crews to operate minesweepers in the region, Navy officials said Wednesday. The effort is intended to balance a renewed American emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region while sustaining…


Navy Test-Fires Missiles from Robot Boats

11/08/12 — U.S. Navy ships face the growing threat of small boat swarms used by terrorists, pirates or enemy countries. New testing has shown off a possible counter that looks strangely similar except for the lack of human sailors — small robot boats armed with missiles. The Navy launched six missiles from…


Human Rights Watch is Apparently Terrified of Military Robots, But You Shouldn’t Be

POSTED BY: Evan Ackerman  /  Wed, November 28, 2012

Human Rights Watch, an international organization that advocates for human rights around the world, published a report about a week ago warning against the development of autonomous armed robots and suggesting that they be preemptively banned by international treaty. We’re unashamedly pro-robot around here, but this is an issue that I do take very seriously, and there are some good reasons why I think that attempting to ban autonomous armed robots is a mistake.



Berkeley May Create First ‘No Drone Zone’ in U.S.

12/26/12 — The city of Berkeley, Calif., this week took the first steps toward a ban on drones as the autonomous aircraft deployed in the war on terrorism are being embraced for local law enforcement. The debate over creating a No Drone Zone in this famously left-wing stronghold is likely to be repeated across the U.S. as ever-smaller drones equipped with high-definition cameras and sensors take to the skies with the ability to collect vast amounts of data on citizens. While the Federal Aviation Administration is drafting rules for the deployment of drones in domestic airspace the use of drones to collect…

Get ready: Drones will come to Bay Area – SFGate

Chip Johnson, Chronicle Columnist, Updated 11:22 am, Tuesday, December 18, 2012

If everything goes according to plan, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office will soon have a drone, a small unmanned aircraft, to aid with crowd control, search-and-rescue missions and other law enforcement duties that could use a set of eyes in the air.Think of it as the newest tool for law enforcement. Not surprisingly, not everyone is happy about this. The chief concern of critics, including the American Civil Liberties Union, is that the drones threaten the privacy rights of everyday citizens. The Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission went as far as to propose a ban, a “No Drone Zone” in Berkeley airspace for all but hobbyists. But despite the commission’s stern stance, in the not-too-distant future the skies above American cities will host unmanned flying vehicles.


Alameda County puts the brakes on purchasing drone

By Angela Woodall, Oakland TribunePosted:   12/04/2012

Outcry from privacy advocates prompted Alameda County Board of Supervisors to postpone or possibly scrap plans to purchase a surveillance drone for the Sheriff’s Office.Last minute intervention Tuesday morning by the American Civil Liberties Union prompted supervisors to require explicit authorization to use grant money the Sheriff’s Office received to purchase the drone. Now the proposal will have to go to the public protection committee for approval then back to the full board of supervisors. That is likely to happen early next year. Concern has been mounting among privacy groups for months that Sheriff Greg Ahern was forging ahead without rules for deploying a drone in the skies above Alameda County. The ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation are concerned about the lack of privacy protections. They were dismayed to find that the Sheriff’s Office was asking the supervisors on Tuesday to approve a $31,646 grant to help pay for a drone, indicating that the department was far closer to acquisition than they had led the public to believe.


Japanese Security Firm to Start Renting Surveillance Drones

Evan Ackerman  /  Fri, December 28, 2012

We know, it’s Friday. And usually, we post a whole bunch o’ videos on Fridays, but since we’ve done that for two out of our last three posts (!), we figured we’d give you a bit of a break. Instead, we’ve got this little quadrotor from Japan that’s trying to be the next level of paranoia in private security.


Air Force May Be Developing Stealth Drones in Secret

By David Axe, 12.08.12

The Air Force’s multi-billion-dollar drone fleets may have helped against the insurgents of Iraq and Afghanistan. But in a fight against a real military like China’s, the relatively defenseless unmanned aerial vehicles would get shot down in a second. So once again, the air will belong to traditional, manned bombers and fighters able to survive the sophisticated air defenses. At least that’s the Air Force’s official position. Secretly, however, the flying branch could be working on at least two new high-tech UAVs optimized for the most intensive future air wars. Ace aviation reporter Bill Sweetman has gathered evidence of new stealth drones under development by Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman — the latter potentially armed, and both drawing on classified funds. If these robots are real, the Air Force’s drone era is not only not ending — it’s barely begun.


2012 Was the Year of the Drone in Afghanistan

By Spencer Ackerman, 12.06.12

The soldiers and marines are packing their bags. The pilots are sitting on the tarmac. But the armed robotic planes are busier than they’ve ever been: Revised U.S. military statistics show a much, much larger drone war in Afghanistan than anyone suspected. Last month, military stats revealed that the U.S. had launched some 333 drone strikes in Afghanistan thus far in 2012. That made Afghanistan the epicenter of U.S. drone attacks — not Pakistan, not Yemen, not Somalia. But it turns out those stats were off, according to revised ones released by the Air Force on Thursday morning. There have actually been 447 drone strikes in Afghanistan this year. That means drone strikes represent 11.5 percent of the entire air war — up from about 5 percent last year.