Greg Galitzine : Robotics
Greg Galitzine

January 2010

You are browsing the archive for January 2010.

Honda to Show Documentary at Sundance Film Festival

January 14, 2010

Honda announced it will unveil "Living With Robots," a short documentary film, at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, Jan. 22, followed by a live 10-minute demonstration of its humanoid robot, ASIMO.

The documentary is actually the sixth film release in Honda's Dream the Impossible Documentary Series. The film addresses the issue of life with robots such as ASIMO, along with perspectives from science-fiction screenwriters, academics, philosophers, engineers and other thinkers.

Sundance Film Festival attendees also will get a sneak-peek at the all-new 2011 Honda CR-Z sport hybrid coupe, months before it goes on sale in late-summer 2010 and the zero-emissions hydrogen-powered Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle.

FANUC Expands Assembly Robot Line

January 14, 2010

FANUC Robotics America, Inc., has introduced a new robot for assembly, small part handling and picking applications.


According to FANUC Robotics, the M-3iA robot is a larger version of the company's previously introduced M-1iA robot. Available in a four- or six-axis model, the M-3iA offers the same The robot features a work envelope measuring 1,350mm x 500mm.


The company explained the M-3iA six-axis model features a three-axis wrist designed to enable the robot to pick up and insert parts at simple or compound angles, and twist parts into place, similar to the flexibility offered by a manual operator.

Harvest Automation, Inc., Raises Capital

January 14, 2010

Groton, MA-based Harvest Automation, Inc., a robotics company developing solutions for material handling, announced this week that it has secured $4.0M in Series A financing.

Charlie Grinnell, founder and CEO of HarvestAI is excited by the prospect of bringing a different approach to the material handling robotics space.

"Our expertise is in applying practical robotics to improve worker productivity with a focus on harsh, manual labor tasks," he said. "Traditional material handling robots have been associated with fixed-function factory automation, which generally operate in indoor, tightly controlled work spaces. We have a very different solution that uses teams of small, agile, mobile robots (AMR's) designed to work flexibly with human workers in a broad range of uncontrolled environments making them suitable for many market applications."

Life Sciences Partners (LSP), the Midpoint Food & Ag Fund, and Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation provided the funding.

The HarvestAI engineering and executive team has links to other robotics and technology firms such as iRobot Corporation, DEKA R&D, Draper Labs, Vitesse Semiconductor and Bear River Associates.

MQ-8B Fire Scout Interoperates with Army Remote Video Terminal

January 14, 2010

Northrop Grumman, developer of the land-based MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) announced interoperability with the Army's One System Remote Video Terminal (OSRVT) at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona.
Designed and produced by AAI Corporation, the OSRVT provides direct receipt of full-motion video and targeting metadata by capturing the Omni broadcast from UAS that are within a unit's area of operations. The Fire Scout will play a big role in the upcoming Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment (AEWE) at Fort Benning, Ga. During AEWE, Fire Scout will perform many important Army UAS missions in support of the Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

The OSRVT video and data system enables warfighters to remotely downlink live surveillance images and critical geospatial data.

Army Awards $577 Million Command System Contract

January 14, 2010

The U.S. Army has awarded a contract to Northrop Grumman to develop the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS) under a $577 million, five-year, cost-plus-incentive-fee/cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for system design and development.

According to the Northrop Grumman Web site, IBCS is based on a non-proprietary, open architecture approach that establishes a network-centric system-of-systems solution for integrating sensors, weapons, and battle management command, control, communications and intelligence systems.

IBCS will integrate current and future air and missile defense systems in an open-architecture environment. Systems that will be integrated via IBCS include Patriot, Surface-Launched Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (SLAMRAAM), Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor (JLENS), Improved Sentinel radar, among others.

Northrop Grumman is leading a team that includes The Boeing Company; Lockheed Martin Corporation; Harris Corporation; Schafer Corporation; nLogic Inc.; Numerica; Applied Data Trends; Colsa Corp.; Space and Missile Defense Technologies (SMDT); Cohesion Force Inc.; Millennium Engineering and Integration Company; RhinoCorp Ltd.; and Tobyhanna Army Depot.

In a separate announcement, Boeing announced it would provide systems design, development and testing services for the IBCS.

IBCS is expected to be fielded by 2014.

Luna and Intuitive Expand Relationship

January 11, 2010

Luna Innovations announced that it will be extending its development and supply agreement with Intuitive Surgical to continue integrating Luna's shape sensing technology into Intuitive's products.

The announcement builds on an existing agreement dating to June 2007, whereby the companies inked a multi-year development and supply agreement in which Luna would supply its fiber optic based shape sensing system for integration into Intuitive's medical robotics products. Luna and Intuitive will extend their development and supply agreement to further develop Luna's technology for its products.

Intuitive Surgical is the maker of the da Vinci Surgical System.

Serbia to Unveil UAV

January 11, 2010

According to EMportal, Serbian Minister of Defense Dragan Sutanovac announced that in spring his country will unveil a new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), manufactured at the Military-Technical Institute in Belgrade. Sutanovac told media the UAV will further improve the international rating of Serbia's defense system.

Sutanovac announced that later this month, Montenegrin Defense Minister Boro Vucinic will visit Serbia, He also said that a flight simulator, which Serbia received from Montenegro, will then be put in operation.  

National Instruments Introduces LabVIEW Robotics 2009

January 11, 2010

National Instruments recently announced LabVIEW Robotics 2009, a new version of its graphical system design software that provides a standard development platform for designing robotic and autonomous control systems. 

The new offering provides developers with an extensive robotics library with connectivity to standard robotic sensors and actuators, foundational algorithms for intelligent operations and perception and motion functions for robots and autonomous vehicles.

LabVIEW Robotics 2009 can import code from other languages including C/C++, .m files and VHDL, and communicate with a wide variety of sensors using built-in drivers for everything from LIDAR, IR, sonar and GPS devices.

According to the company, LabVIEW Robotics 2009 is ideal for designing and prototyping applications including the following:

  • Autonomous and semiautonomous ground vehicle
  • Robot rescue platforms
  • Personal and service robots
  • Medical robotic devices
  • Academic and research robots
  • Agricultural and mining systems

Nissan Selects AeroVironment for LEAF Home-Charging Stations

January 11, 2010

Nissan North America announced it has selected AeroVironment to supply electric vehicle home-charging stations and installation services supporting the introduction of the company's zero-emission, all-electric Nissan LEAF later this year.

AeroVironment designs, develops, produces, and supports an advanced portfolio of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and efficient electric energy systems.

The LEAF is a five-passenger lithium-ion battery powered electric car that will offer drivers a range of 100 miles on a full charge. According to an official company statement, the Nissan-branded charging stations will be available at the sale of each Nissan LEAF as part of the vehicle's total driving system.
The home-charging stations must be connected to a 220-volt line, and it will reportedly take eight hours to fully charge the Nissan LEAF from a fully discharged state.

AeroVironment electricians will offer pre-installation home assessment services prior to vehicle delivery, and will install the charging stations.

Evolution Robotics Introduces Mint, Wins Award

January 11, 2010

Evolution Robotics, Inc., had quite a week at CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, introducing Mint, a new automatic hard surface floor cleaning appliance, and announcing that the product was honored with a Popular Mechanics' Editor's Choice award for best new product at the Las Vegas event.

Mint is an automated appliance designed to dust and wet mop hard surface floors using popular cleaning cloths, such as Swiffer brand Dry and Wet Cloths and other similar products.

Evolution Robotics partnered with industrial designer Yves Behar and his team at fuseproject to create a device that merges a sleek design in addition to the technical capabilities of the Mint. 

According to Behar, "The defined geometric shapes of Mint, clear color breaks, low-profile and very few visible buttons hint at great technology under the hood while giving a sense of simplicity and ease of use.

iRobot Sets Consumer Robotics Milestone

January 5, 2010

Bedford, Mass.-based iRobot Corp. announced that it has achieved an industry milestone in the home robot market, saying it has sold over five million home robots since launching the iRobot Roomba vacuum cleaning robot in 2002.

iRobot chairman and CEO Colin Angle was quoted as saying, "This achievement represents a huge milestone for iRobot and for the robotics industry as a whole. With over five million home robots sold, we have seen a widespread acceptance of this technology. This further fuels our drive to innovate and provide solutions that make a difference in people's lives."


AirStar, Altitude to Supply UAVs, Services for Mining Industry

January 5, 2010

Vancouver, Canada-based Altitude, Inc., has announced the development of 3D analysis software for geological surveys that has been written for Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) that provide an enhanced detail of stratification, faults and rock formations that are unattainable with fixed wing seismic surveys.

The company is collaborating with Mundus Group subsidiary AirStar and the firms have agreed on their strategic common goals to provide Aerial Imagery & Data collection technologies to geological survey companies in search of natural resources in the Mining of minerals, gemstones, precious metals and natural gas & oil industries.

Boeing Says Increment 1 to Enter Production

January 5, 2010

Boeing recently announced that Increment 1 of the U.S. Army's Brigade Combat Team Modernization program was approved to begin Low-Rate Initial Production early in 2010 as a result of the Milestone C production review by the Defense Acquisition Board (DAB).

The DAB Milestone C review culminated an intensive series of reviews by the Department of Defense and the Army, as well as a rigorous testing cycle of Increment 1 capabilities. The Army and its industry partners also conducted numerous design and production capability reviews.

Increment 1 will provide soldiers with enhanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities, as well as increased survivability and lethality.

AAI Nets Order for Unmanned Aircraft Systems

January 5, 2010

An operating unit of Textron Systems announced today that it has received a $39 million production order for Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems (TUAS), bringing the total number of TUAS units ordered by various agencies to 116. 

AAI Corporation will deliver two units for the U.S. Army and one for the Marine Corps.

Of the 116 Shadow TUAS ordered, AAI has already delivered 91 to the Army, Army National Guard, Army Special Forces and Marine Corps.

Each Shadow system includes four Shadow aircraft; two One System ground control stations and ground data terminals; four One System Remote Video Terminals, or OSRVTs; a One System portable ground control station; and associated components and support equipment.