It is interesting that this robot uses the Kinect camera system rather than the complex sensors used in the past. It seems that as we continuously develop vision processing that it becomes more useful. It is also often less expensive. Sometimes it is very inexpensive. I have an older BlackBerry Curve. It uses a trackball. I have replaced the trackball. It cost about $2.50. Newer models use a low resolution camera in place of the trackball. It only has to sense the direction of movement, not any other details. So, it works fine and is longer lived than the trackball. It is also simpler to build and probably cheaper to install. Any software cost is amortized over all the devices sold, so that is near zero. This is the same with the robot.
I have seen the robots with multiple laser sensors and sonar or radar. These were fantastically expensive and still not as good as a human operator. Humans use vision. Perhaps the MIT researchers are on to something here.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.