Dallas, TX —Do your kids sass you when asked to cut the grass? Now tell them to take a hike.
Friendly Robotics has developed the RL500 robotic lawnmower that uses a miniature electronic brain based on its proprietary Robo-Scan®technology to systematically cut grass. RoboScan uses an internal floating compass to find magnetic north for navigation. Odometers in the rear wheels count the number of "clicks" to account and adjust for turns. Guided by 18 AWG perimeter wires secured by plastic pegs, the robotic lawn mower uses an onboard computer, ultrasonic sensors, and sensitivity bumpers. The internal computer is a 16-bit Hitachi microprocessor with 256K of memory, and 512K of flash memory for adding software, music, and future upgrades. The mower uses four proximity, and four RF sensors to follow a specific signal from the insulated perimeter wire.
One way to keep a Formula One racing team moving at breakneck speed in the pit and at the test facility is to bring CAD drawings of the racing vehicle’s parts down to the test facility and even out to the track.
Most of us would just as soon step on a cockroach rather than study it, but that’s just what researchers at UC Berkeley did in the pursuit of building small, nimble robots suitable for disaster-recovery and search-and-rescue missions.
Design engineers need to prepare for a future in which their electronic products will use not just one or two, but possibly many user interfaces that involve touch, vision, gestures, and even eye movements.
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