Team SCHAFT, the highest-scoring team at the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) Trials in December 2013, has elected to switch to the self-funded Track D of the program. The team was recently acquired by Google Inc.
Already firmly established among the research community, ROS is now set to become the industry standard. The open-source 'Robot Operating System' (ROS) offers a host of highly developed software components that can be efficiently employed also for industrial applications.
Commercial cleaning robots are designed to clean offices and dispose of waste paper. As part of the collaborative project 'Plug and Play for Automation Systems' (AutoPnP), scientists at Fraunhofer IPA have developed the necessary software components for such applications.
It can localize components, automatically generate programs, learn from the worker and collaborate with him. For the European research initiative SMErobotics, scientists are developing a cognitive and collaborative welding robot assistant called CoWeldRob.
Robots, and autonomous systems in general, can cause anxiety and uncertainty, particularly as their use in everyday tasks becomes a more immediate possibility. In order to lessen at least some of that anxiety, we should shift our focus from the decisions robots could make on our behalf to how they actually make them in the first place. In some ways, they may be more trustworthy than a human.
NASA has successfully concluded a remotely controlled test of new technologies that would empower future space robots to transfer hazardous oxidizer - a type of propellant - into the tanks of satellites in space today.
Two companies receiving support from the Business Incubator in Universidad Carlos III in Madrid's Science Park are innovating the field of fashion by using technology based in robotics. Samsamia is launching a mobile application - Dresscovery - that identifies a bag just by taking a photo of it, while beMee is creating a system, called Proximus, that locates people visiting a shopping mall in order to better serve them.
Inspired by termites' resilience and collective intelligence, a team of computer scientists and engineers has created an autonomous robotic construction crew. The system needs no supervisor, no eye in the sky, and no communication: just simple robots - any number of robots - that cooperate by modifying their environment.