3) Medical robots. A different type of remote-controlled mobile robot is the medical variety. HeartLander Surgical Robot Inches Closer to Reality describes a miniature robot that creeps along the surface of a human heart to take measurements and perform simple surgical tasks. This robot solves two problems by gaining access to the heart without opening the patient’s chest and operating on the heart while it is beating. Surgical robots are thought by many to be the wave of the future. This trend heralds miniature devices that will probably become more complex and capable of more functionality as the technologies on which they are based get more powerful and less expensive, following typical price/performance curves.
This previous HeartLander prototype uses onboard motors measuring 8.5mm high, 15mm wide, and 46mm long.
4) Tracking luggage. In Smarter Baggage Handling, we learn about a highly complex, interconnected, synchronized, and automated storage and retrieval system being used at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. This huge system conveys and tracks each and every bag at every point in its 21km journey. It integrates the baggage handling system with passenger check-in information and real-time flight information.
It operates six robot cells for automatically loading bags into containers and carts, as well as the redundant storage of the positions of more than 4,200 bags and Destination Coded Vehicles (DCVs). Robots pull bags from storage on demand. To prevent system overload, the robots release bags on the conveyor belt only as needed. Eventually, the airport expects to use robots to handle up to 60 percent of baggage in its south hall to improve working conditions for operators and increase productivity. The system’s mind-numbing complexity orchestrates embedded software in the robots, a scheduling program that handles gate changes, and logistics and communications software.
vimalkumarp, thanks for the feedback. Also, thanks for the info a while ago on the da Vinci surgical robot. It has a surprising number of potential apps. For example, NASA is using a modified one in a program that's studying how robots can refuel and service space satellites, remotely controlled from Earth:
It's interesting that you post Integration as the number one issue. I just read an article in another trade magazine (I don't remember which one) that was talking about this very issue. The ongoing integration efforts include a change to programming so it more closely resembles PLC programming and is therefore easier for a wider variety of engineers to setup.
Easier than going to Amsterdam: go to youtube and search for "Grenzebach Baggage Handling" to see the baggage robot at work.
Also, if you happen to have a stopover in Amsterdam, you can catch a glimpse at the robots (as the new baggage hall has a window front towards the public side of the airport - the technology does not have to be hidden in the basement ;-)).
Finally, any seriously interested party can get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can arrange for a site visit.
You´re right. There´s quite a bunch of technologies involved (SW algorithms for online "palletizing", robot controls, vision technology, handling technology, HMI, ...) to have a robot "playing 3D-tetris" in such a complex environment
Chuck, I've been tracking industrial robots, not consumer or office models. But I'd bet there are more of them out there, if the commercials and ads are any indication. I do know that home robots started out pretty pricey, and have been an early adopter phenomenon (read: expensive).
Rob, those are good questions and I'd like to know the same things myself.
Some humanoid walking robots are also good at running, balancing, and coordinated movements in group settings. Several of our sports robots have won regional or worldwide acclaim in the RoboCup soccer World Cup, or FIRST Robotics competitions. Others include the world's first hockey-playing robot and a trash-talking Scrabble player.
A recent example of a major CAE revamp is MSC Apex, released last month by MSC Software Corp. In a discussion with Design News, MSC executives noted that its next-generation platform is designed to substantially reduce CAE modeling and process time, “in some cases from weeks down to hours.”
The Thames Deckway would run for eight miles close to the river’s edge, rising and falling slightly with the tidal cycle. It will generate its own energy from a series of devices that will line the pathway and use a combination of sources to make the path self-sustaining.
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