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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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.

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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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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”.

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?

The Zombies Are Coming: Sphero + AR Will Change the Way You Play

Robots are slowing making their way into our home. We are still yet to see the Jetson’s Rosie the Robot but things like Roomba, the vacuum robot and Scooba, the mop robot, have become quite common for many people.

Outside of cleaning, another area robots are seeing success are in toys and games. Zoomer, the robotic pup and Furby are great examples of these. 

Sphero is not just a toy, its a robotic gaming system powered by iOS and Android. Sphero’s mission is to change the way you play. 

Sphero 2.0 is a robotic ball that rolls at speeds of up to 7 feet per second and pairs to your device via Bluetooth with a range of up to 100 feet. Powered by induction charging and an internal smart robot, Sphero 2.0 also glows in millions of colors and is pet proof, and waterproof. 

The main difference between the original Sphero and the 2.0 version is the distance it can roll and the range of Bluetooth connectivity as the original could only roll 3 feet with a range of over 50 feet for Bluetooth.

The ball itself is awesome but the best thing about Sphero are the games that it has to play. Many of them use augmented reality. Take for example Sphero’s The Rolling Dead where you use your ball to defeat Zombies that you can see crawling around your floor though your smartphone. There are about 30 games available for Sphero so far. 

The 2.0 is retailing at $129.99 and comes with a “nubby” cover for free. 

Hate Ironing? Love Pizza? This Robot Is For You

There is no chore I hate more in life than ironing. I say this while sitting here writing in an embarrassingly wrinkly shirt. Yeesh.

Well I may not have to worry about this much more and neither will you because the Robots Are Coming! And this one is straight out of a dream. Not only can it iron, but it will make you pizza too! 

Bloomberg’s Tom Gibson reports on a robot from the Italian Institute of Technology that can make pizzas in the video above. This robotic arm manipulator learns by imitating. The human guides the robot through an interaction and it learns and repeats this on demand. It can then use this skill in new situations later on in its lifecycle.  

According to their website, the Italian Institute of Technology is a centre of Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences organized in a number of different laboratories focusing on three main streams of research: the study of humans; the building of humanoids and the interaction and interfaces of brain machine devices in humans. Some pretty heavy stuff.

You can check out some of the other robots they are working on here.

Right now the pizza-making robot is meant for manufacturing processes. But it is only a matter of time when we start to see these types of machines in our homes. And I can’t wait!

Source: Bloomberg YouTube

Atlas Robot, Oclulus Rift and 3Doodler Make Up Time’s 25 Inventions of 2013

Time is known for their lists. This year’s Time Tech: 25 Best Inventions of the Year 2013 is chock full of robots, 3d printing, IoT and wearable devices.

You can check out the Top 25 on Time’s site. But here are three that I can’t wait to see in person

1. Atlas Robot 
This robot is built to imitate human rescuers in emergency situations and disaster response. 

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2. 3Doodler

This 3D printing pen lets you draw in 3-dimension instantly.

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3. Oculus Rift

This virtual reality headset is set to change the face of gaming. 

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