Greg Galitzine : Robotics
Greg Galitzine

March 2012

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Amazon Buys Robot Maker Kiva Systems for $775 Million

March 21, 2012

Earlier this week, announced it was following through on plans to acquire Kiva Systems, Inc., a maker of robots and robotic platforms used in warehouses and shipping operations. Terms of the agreement indicate that Amazon will acquire all shares of Kiva for approximately $775 million in cash, and the deal is slated to close in Q2.

Dave Clark,’s vice president, global customer fulfillment, pointed to the fact that Kiva shares Amazon’s passion for invention as a key ingredient to the new partnership.

Liquid Robotics Gliders Set World Record for Unmanned Ocean Travel

March 13, 2012

On November 17th, 2011, Liquid Robotics launched four Wave Gliders from San Francisco’s St. Francis Yacht Club. The Wave Gliders’ goal? To journey across the Pacific Ocean, covering the longest distance ever attempted by an unmanned ocean vehicle.

Well today, the gliders have achieved a significant milestone, arriving in Hawaii, completing the first leg of their trans-Pacific trek. The distance covered to date is over 3,200 nautical miles, which handily beats the old Guinness Book World record of 2,500 nautical miles.

TI, iRobot Announce Tech Partnership

March 12, 2012

Texas Instruments and iRobot Corp. announced a partnership today, whereby the latter will develop robotic technologies atop the former’s smart multicore OMAP platform.

According to an official press release hailing the news, OMAP is a:

…high-performing, ultra-power-efficient system-on-chip (SOC) that’s smaller than a dime… and …the platform’s smart multicore architecture sends processing tasks to cores and engines that can best do the job using the least amount of power possible.

Texas Instruments provides several advanced features on the platform, such as sophisticated image and video accelerators.

iRobot Nets Order for FirstLook Robots

March 6, 2012

iRobot Corp. announced a $1.5 million order for more than 100 of the company’s model 110 FirstLook robots. The order was funded by the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO).

Last April, we described the FirstLook as an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) designed to assist its operator with observation and investigation of confined spaces.

According to iRobot, the device is ideal for a wide range of infantry and special operations missions, including building clearing, raids and other close-in scenarios.

Swarming Flying Robots at TED 2012

March 6, 2012

Last month, we told you about some exciting and innovative things occurring at GRASP, the University of Pennsylvania’s General Robotics, Automation, Sensing, and Perception (GRASP) lab.

Vijay Kumar, Deputy Dean for Education in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at UPenn, recently gave a talk at the TED 2012 conference that held the audience spellbound, as he explained the potential of his group’s current research in robotics, specifically relating to the flying nano quadrotor robots that they are working on now.

Kumar’s discussion is just a shade under 17 minutes long, and is a must-see for anyone interested in the current state-of-the-art of robotics.

The real fun starts at around the 15-minute mark.