It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s a 3D Printed Drone!
Our skies may soon be filled with drones that we print ourselves. Engineers at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at the University of Sheffield have successfully printed a 1.5m-wide drone, and it can fly!
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The 2KG thermoplastic nine-part drone was made without supporting materials and was printed and assembled within 24 hours. Its success suggests that disposable drones (or UAVs: unmanned aerial vehicles) could someday be printed out and deployed in remote areas in as little as a day.
With its test flight under its wing (pun intended) the team are already looking to improve upon the 3D printed model to use a new nylon rather than polymer material and incorporate GPS and camera features that would allow operators wearing first person-view goggles to control the device.

Source Gizmodo via sUAS
Image & Video Source sUAS

It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s a 3D Printed Drone!

Our skies may soon be filled with drones that we print ourselves. Engineers at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at the University of Sheffield have successfully printed a 1.5m-wide drone, and it can fly!

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Hot Cake Sorting Robot Is Mesmerizing
Happy Monday Future Geeks! What better way to start the day than with coffee and pancakes or make that robots and pancakes. We’ve got a video of a hot cake sorting robot for you that will leave you dreaming of maple syrup for the rest of the day.
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The ABB IRB 360 Flexpicker robot is used to efficiently and quickly stack pancakes three high at Honeytop Specialty Foods Inc. It can stack a whopping 450 pancakes a minute and has helped the company achieve a 20% increase in cycle times. The robot has also helped with turnaround times, improved health and safety in the workplace and reduced waste.  

VIA Gizmodo

Hot Cake Sorting Robot Is Mesmerizing

Happy Monday Future Geeks! What better way to start the day than with coffee and pancakes or make that robots and pancakes. We’ve got a video of a hot cake sorting robot for you that will leave you dreaming of maple syrup for the rest of the day.

Read More

Are We Ready for Robots? (Video)

With brands like Amazon, UPS and even online flower shops starting to talk about drone delivery and companies like Google putting a lot of money behind various robots, the day when our lives will be filled with robots may not be too far away. This new PBSOffbook video tackles the impacts these robots may have on our society along with the questions and challenges this new technology raises as it enters our culture

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No Love for Drones This Valentines Day
A Michigan-based online flower delivery service looking to give this Valentine’s Day a futuristic edge by having drones deliver their flowers has had their plans shot down, and it wasn’t from Cupid’s arrow.
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According to CBS Detroit:
“FlowerDeliveryExpress.com said the FAA has informed them that commercial drone use is only allowed on a pre-authorized, case-by-case basis — and told the company to knock it off.”
The online floral delivery company recently launched a beta program to test alternative delivery services to their customers. To celebrate Valentines Day, the company had arranged for free rose bouquets to be delivered to their beta testers using drones. That is until the FAA grounded.
The company was able to film one delivery which took place in downtown Detroit on February 8 which we have posted below. 

No Love for Drones This Valentines Day

A Michigan-based online flower delivery service looking to give this Valentine’s Day a futuristic edge by having drones deliver their flowers has had their plans shot down, and it wasn’t from Cupid’s arrow.

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Turn Your 3D Printer Into The Ultimate Air Hockey Opponent
If you thought your 3D printer was just a tool to create iPhone cases and plastic Yoda heads you will want to get some inspiration from ultimate Maker Jose Julio. Julio turned his RepRap 3D printer into an Air Hockey Robot and it’s pretty awesome.
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Jose built the robot using parts from the RepRap 3D printer which included an Arduino board, motor cables and connectors and a PS3 Eye Camera. And when combined with a hand-made Air Hockey table, the result is magical!
If you are interested in learning how to go about building your own Air Hockey Robot out of a 3D printer head on over to Jose’s instructional Google Doc.
In the meantime, check out the robot’s wicked Air Hockey Defence in the video below. 

Turn Your 3D Printer Into The Ultimate Air Hockey Opponent

If you thought your 3D printer was just a tool to create iPhone cases and plastic Yoda heads you will want to get some inspiration from ultimate Maker Jose Julio. Julio turned his RepRap 3D printer into an Air Hockey Robot and it’s pretty awesome.

Read More

Six-Legged Monster Robot Crab To Crawl The Sea Floor For Treasures
Underwater robots are an important part of the marine research and deepwater exploration ecosystem. In the past we have covered cute little robots that look like sea turtles. Today we introduce you to a monster. The Crabster CR200. 
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Developed by the Korean Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST), Crabster is a whopping 1322 pounds and takes four people to operate. The robot is as big as a car coming in at 7.9 ft x 8 ft x 6.5 ft. 
The crustacean inspired-design was an important choice made by the researchers who required a robot that could dive deep to the bottom of the ocean and withstand the strong currents which exist on the sea floor. Like a crab, Crabster CR200 steadies itself with it’s six legs and positions its body to face the current head-on. Crabster can also use it’s two front legs like pinchers, grabbing at things it encounters with grippers that can extend to up to 6.6 feet. 
But the design and legs are where the similarities between the actual sea creature and this robotic beast end. Crabster has eleven cameras including an acoustic one that can see through poor visual conditions. And a scanning sonar which can create detailed 3D maps. 
The videos below show KIOST’s concept video of Crabster which was posted almost one year ago and then Crabster’s first underwater test which happened just last year.
  
Sources: IEEE, KIOST & Popular Science

Six-Legged Monster Robot Crab To Crawl The Sea Floor For Treasures

Underwater robots are an important part of the marine research and deepwater exploration ecosystem. In the past we have covered cute little robots that look like sea turtles. Today we introduce you to a monster. The Crabster CR200. 

Read More

Your Next Wedding Date May Be A Robot

Weddings are always a place where people try to pull out all the stops to set them apart. But if you are looking to go beyond an elaborately choreographed first dance you might just want to look at having a robot join your party.

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Google’s Recent Investments Paint A Picture Of Their Tomorrow

Robots, Home automation, Driverless cars - Bloomberg released a video last week summarizing the five most recent investments that Google has made which speak to their vision of the future.

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Google’s SCHAFT Takes Home Gold in DARPA Robot Olympics

The DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials 2013 completed this weekend in Florida with 16 teams all vying for the top prize of $2 million dollars. 

According to DARPA, “The DRC is a competition of robot systems and software teams vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and man-made disasters. Technologies resulting from the DRC will transform the field of robotics and catapult forward development of robots featuring task-level autonomy that can operate in the hazardous, degraded conditions common in disaster zones”.

All 16 robots were required to complete eight tasks as part of the challenge:

  • Task 1: Drive a Vehicle
  • Task 2: Walk on a mixed Terrain
  • Task 3: Climb a ladder
  • Task 4: Remove Debris
  • Task 5: Open and walk through doors
  • Task 6: Cut through a Wall
  • Task 7: Open a series of Valves
  • Task 8: Connect a Hose

Gizmodo reports that “with 27 out of a possible 32 points in eight challenges, SCHAFT pulled out a decisive victory”. 

SCHAFT is a 4ft 11 two-legged robot that was developed by a spin-off from the University of Tokyo’s Jouhou System Kougaku lab, which Google recently revealed it had acquired.

Watch this video and tell me you don’t want one! Robot Sea Turtle (VIDEO)

Ok I’ll start this off. I want one! I saw this video earlier this week and can’t get it out of my head.

Biomimetic robots (the name given to robots that imitate animal life) seem to be popping up everywhere. A lot of this work is coming out of Boston Dynamics (as I have posted before) which is working on imitating animal movements with their robots Big Dog, Wildcat and Cheetah. 

Tallinn Institute of Technology’s new U-CAT mapping robot was created to help explore shipwrecks but yet not be too disruptive to the underwater life around it. Tallinn Institute chose the sea turtle as the basis for the design since they are one of the more gentler creatures in the ocean.

According to Engadget: “The small machine uses flippers to get around instead of propellers, preventing it from kicking up silt (which would obscure its camera) and letting it turn on a dime. It’s also autonomous, which helps it venture deep into a wreck without worrying about cables”.

Amazon To Deliver Using Drones in 4-5 Years

The internet is a buzz with Amazon’s announcement that they intend to provide delivery services using Drones in the very near future. In fact, they are talking about 4-5 years out!

The Amazon team have been working on drone deliveries in R&D. Amazon says that this video is from a recent test flight.

The goal of Amazon Prime is to get packages into customers’ hands in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles.

Amazon says that “Putting Prime Air into commercial use will take some number of years as we advance technology and wait for the necessary FAA rules and regulations”.

According to the Amazon Prime Air FAQ page “The FAA is actively working on rules and an approach for unmanned aerial vehicles that will prioritize public safety”.

We have already seen concept videos for pizza delivery using Drones and news in Europe that Drones may soon deliver newspapers and the mail.

Looks like the air space above us is going to get really busy…and soon!

SkyCall Parrot AR Drone Will Guide You To Your Next Class

If you are new to campus, and sometimes even if you aren’t, finding your way to class can be a nightmare. 

Well in the future, all you have to do is call a Drone to help you find your way. This is the vision of SkyCall part of a larger development program that is currently underway at Senseable City Lab at MIT.

The premise for SkyCall is to use an autonomous flying quadcopter as a personal tour guide to operate in one of mankind’s most difficult and disorientating labyrinths: MIT campus. 

This is how it works:

  • You call the Drone using the smartphone app
  • The Drone Arrives
  • You Tell the Drone Where you are Going
  • The Drone Guides You
  • Along the way you can press pause or more information  on the app 
  • The Drone will even wait or you if you are too far behind
  • The Drone will successfully lead you to your destination

SkyCall may just be an experiment but I can totally see real-life applications in the tourism, navigation and travel sector leveraging SkyCall’s learnings.

What do you think? Would you call a Drone to help you find your way?