RoboBusiness 2013: A Robot to Carry Your Stuff
from IEEE Spectrum
By Evan Ackerman
Posted 28 Oct 2013 | 14:42 GMT
Sometimes all it takes to make something successful is a simple solution to a simple problem. At RoboBusiness 2013, Five Elements Robotics demonstrated prototypes of a little robot called Budgee that can follow you around while carrying your stuff for you. That’s all it does, but that’s all it needs to do to be pretty darn useful.
Budgee is just about as simple as a robot of this size can get. It’s got two wheels and holds a basket, and will autonomously drive after you while you walk around, whether you’re shopping, out at the park, or doing anything else. It doesn’t have any sort of fancy vision or navigation systems or anything like that. Instead, you slip a small ultrasonic pinger into your pocket, which the robot homes in on:
You can talk to the robot using an app on your phone, and set basic parameters like follow distance (and eye color!). Budgee can hold up to 22 kilograms (50 pounds) of whatever you like in a basket equipped with some sort of locking mechanism, and when you’re done, the ‘bot folds up into a package that somehow weighs just a little over 2 kilograms (5 pounds). Also included are a bump sensor and cliff sensors, but otherwise, that’s the entire robot. Like we said, simple and straightforward.
As much as we like this idea, we’re a little bit concerned about the $1,400 asking price. Five Elements is targeting a mid-November Kickstarter launch, and we’re looking forward to a bunch more details when it goes live.
UBR-1 Robot From Unbounded Robotics Revolutionizes Affordable Mobile Manipulation
From IEEE Spectrum
By Evan Ackerman
Posted 21 Oct 2013 | 15:00 GMT
We’ve been following Unbounded Robotics, the final spin-off from Willow Garage, since we first learned of the company’s existence back in April. Unbounded has been working in stealth mode for the past year, but our best guess was that they were developing a low-cost mobile manipulator for research and education: something like a PR2, except (we were hoping) significantly cheaper. Today, Unbounded is unveiling UBR-1, a shiny new human-scale one-armed robot designed to completely revolutionize the market for research and education robotics and beyond, for just a tiny fraction of the cost of similar platforms.
RoboBusiness 2013: A Robot to Carry Your Stuff http://news360.com/article/207264876
From Evangelical Christian School Website
SWAT Places in BEST Competition!
Posted: October 23, 2013
Mississippi Boosting Engineering Science and Technology (BEST) is designed to inspire and interest students in engineering, science, and technology through participation in an exciting sports-like technology contest. The BEST competition motivates students by challenging them to build a remote-controlled robot that accomplishes a defined task within a competitive setting.
On Wednesday, August 28, 2013, Lydia Allison presented Barrett Luketic and ECS SWAT (Students Working to Advance Technology) team administrators with the idea and opportunity to compete in the Mississippi BEST Competition this year. After the meeting, Coach Burton, SWAT team sponsor, garnered the interest of the team members and parents and the journey began. Kick-off day of the competition was September 7, 2013, at the Raspet Flight Center in Starkville, MS. SWAT team members and coaches learned about the theme of the competition, Gatekeeper, and received a box of random materials, a few pieces of plywood, and some PVC pipes to build a robot. Immediately, brains were technologically activated and on a mission to complete the task at hand. The team was given a time frame of six weeks from the kick-off day to design and program a robot that could technically build a computer according to the rules of the game. At the end of the six weeks, the team competed in Game Day.
The ECS SWAT team faced multiple difficulties in developing a design and strategy for the robot. After gaining a clear understanding of the concept of the competition, team members began to modify and improve their strategy. When the plan was completed, they began to brainstorm ideas about the robot’s design. After a few weeks of constructive criticism, headaches, celebrating, working, mechanical brain overload, and far too much pizza, the SWAT team created the SWAT BOT.
Preview Day of the competition was held at the Raspet Flight Center on October 12, one week before Game Day. Teams were allowed to bring their robot design to the actual competition game field and practice. The SWAT team and SWAT BOT traveled to Starkville for Preview Day and gained some essential practice time on the field. The SWAT team learned more performance information about their robot from this experience and it also exposed the need for some minor modifications to be made. This practice time later proved to be beneficial to the team’s performance on Game Day.
Game Day arrived. On Friday evening, October 18, teams’ robots had to pass a compliance check, and they were allowed practice time on the game field. On Saturday morning, October 19, the SWAT team competed in the Mississippi BEST 2013 Robotics Competition. Throughout the preliminary rounds of the competition, the SWAT team competed well and, as a “rookie” team, astonished the competitors. The SWAT team finished the preliminary rounds in third place, performing like a veteran club. The SWAT team fiercely competed in the semi-finals, retained their third place effort, and advanced to the finals. They strongly competed in the finals and finished fourth overall out of 24 teams. The SWAT team showed that regardless of experience, through persistence, teamwork and dedication, anything is possible.