Greg Galitzine : Robotics
Greg Galitzine

October 2010

You are browsing the archive for October 2010.

Discovery Set to Carry Robonaut 2 to ISS

October 27, 2010

As we reported in April, Robonaut 2 is headed to the International Space Station (ISS). The NASA and General Motors (GM)-designed humanoid robot is packed and ready for the scheduled November 1 launch aboard the space shuttle Discovery.   Robonaut 2 weighs 300 pounds and consists of a head, torso and two arms and two hands. The robot was designed to work alongside astronauts to complete chores and repairs aboard the International Space Station.   "This project exemplifies the promise that a future generation of robots can have both in space and on Earth, not as replacements for humans but as companions that can carry out key supporting roles," said John Olson, director of NASA's Exploration Systems Integration Office at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "The combined potential of humans and robots is a perfect example of the sum equaling more than the parts.

iRobot Receives a Pair of Contracts from the U.S. Navy

October 27, 2010

Bedford, MA-based iRobot Corp. announced this week that it had received two contracts from the Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) at NASA's Stennis Space Center, in southern Mississippi, related to its iRobot Seaglider Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV).   The first contract, valued at up to $920,000 is for the delivery of the Seaglider UUVs. The second contract is for the upkeep and support of NAVOCEANO's existing fleet of Seaglider systems. This contract is reported to be valued at approximately $900,000.   According to the company, the iRobot Seaglider is a deep-diving UUV that is suitable for missions lasting many months and covering thousands of miles. The UUVs can be piloted from anywhere in the world.   The iRobot UUV was recently in the news for its role in data collection during the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

All Robotic Surgical Team Operates on Prostate Cancer Patient

October 20, 2010

Better McSleepy than McSneezy or McDopey, no?   The Montreal Gazette is reporting that doctors have successfully operated on a prostate cancer patient using two separate medical robotic solutions at once. Medical practitioners at Montreal General Hospital used the da Vinci surgical system developed by Intuitive Surgical in conjunction with an anesthesia robot developed and patented by the hospital's own medical staff, dubbed McSleepy.   The successful all-robotic surgery, which was overseen by a surgeon and an anesthesiologist, took place last week.   According to anesthesiologist Thomas Hemmerling, "The advantage to using these two robots together is that you can provide surgery and anesthesia with a higher degree of precision." Hemmerling directed McSleepy during the operation. The solution delivers "a much more stable anesthesia than you could do yourself," Hemmerling explained.

Aerosonde UAV Tested With Heavy Fuel Engine

October 20, 2010

AAI Corporation has successfully demonstrated its Aerosonde Mark 4.7 small unmanned aircraft system (SUAS) with a heavy fuel engine (HFE) at Fort Pickett in Virginia. AAI is a unit of Textron Systems.   According to Stephen Flach, Division Vice President, Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems at AAI, "Our integration of a heavy fuel propulsion system onto the Aerosonde Mark 4.7 SUAS promises users increased performance, mission flexibility and convenience."   Based on information provided by the company, a heavy fuel propulsion system is critical for military forces for safety reasons and offers a logistical incentive as well. Kerosene-based fuels are less flammable than gasoline in shipboard environments, and by standardizing on a single type of heavy fuel for multiple assets (air and land based missions), the forces can achieve operational and cost savings.   The Aerosonde Mark 4.7 SUAS is described as a high-endurance platform designed for fast, easy launch and recovery from shipboard or small clearings

Accuray Lands at 113 on Deloitte's Technology Fast 500

October 20, 2010

Accuray, Inc., announced today that it received a ranking of number 113 on Technology Fast 500™, Deloitte's ranking of 500 of the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies in North America.   Accuray is the company that develops and markets the CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System, The system is used to treat a variety of extracranial tumors, including those in the spine, lung, prostate, liver and pancreas. To date, the CyberKnife System has been used to deliver more than 100,000 treatments worldwide and more than 206 systems have been installed in hospitals around the globe.   "Accuray ... forged ahead in a challenging economic environment to realize exceptional growth," said Phil Asmundson, vice chairman and Deloitte's U.S. technology, media and telecommunications leader.

Toyota Developing Robot Assist Technology for Stroke Victims

October 19, 2010

A recent Japan Times article describes how Toyota Motor Corp. and Fujita Health University are working together to develop a robot that may one day help stroke victims paralyzed on one side of their bodies to walk again. According to the article: People with one-sided paralysis tend to walk with an awkward gait because they keep their legs locked out of fear of tumbling if they flex their knees. The goal of the Toyota robot is to help by sensing leg movements and by supporting the knee with a motor. Toyota has been increasing their efforts in the space of robotics and robotics technology over the past several years.

Piranha Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) Hits The Waves

October 19, 2010

Zyvex Technologies announced that its Piranha USV, or unmanned surface vessel, has started a series of sea trials. The Piranha USV has a length of 54 feet and weighs less than 9,000 lbs. With a normal cruise speed of 25 knots (maximum cruising speed of over 45 knots) the Piranha is expected to offer on-station endurance of over 40 days.   The vessel is being developed with a number of missions in mind, including, search and rescue operations (SAR); anti piracy deployment; anti-submarine warfare (ASW); and other jobs as well.   The Piranha is built using Zyvex Technologies' Arovex carbon nanotube-reinforced carbon fiber prepreg. According to the firm, the lightweight Piranha offers 10 times the range, three times the payload, and a 75% increase in fuel efficiency compared to vessels built from heavier materials such as aluminium.   Click here to view a video showing the Piranha USV slicing through the waves of Puget Sound off the coast of Washington State.