Software-based virtual robots help businesses add efficiency

Since the 1960s, robots have been used to automate tedious manufacturing tasks, but they have largely stayed out of the backrooms of white collar businesses. However, U.K.-based Blue Prism Ltd. is working to change that — if you expand your definition of “robots” to include software-based helpers. Blue Prism’s founders call what their product does

New system aims to make robot mind control simple

It sounds funny to say it, but mind control is nothing new in the world of robotics. Researchers have been working on brain-controlled prosthetics for years, and lately we’ve been starting to see some impressive results. However, Dean Aslam, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Michigan State University and IEEE Senior Member, has

Clearpath Robotics provides base for minesweeper robot

Canadian robot maker Clearpath Robotics recently provided The University of Coimbra’s Institute of Systems and Robotics with a mobile robotic base as part of a grant program, and the Portuguese researchers put it to good use, converting the platform into a minesweeping robot. “Minesweeping is an extremely dangerous and time-intensive process,” Lino Marques, academic liaison

NASA receives instrument proposals for next Mars rover

NASA reported yesterday that it has received 58 proposals for science and exploration technology instruments to fly aboard its next Mars rover, which is scheduled to launch in 2020. That is twice the number submitted for other recent instrument competitions, the agency said. NASA opened the competition for Mars 2020 research proposals in September and

A3 forum for robotics leaders runs through Friday in Orlando

The Association for Advancing Automation (A3) Business Forum, which seeks to explore how robotics is changing businesses for the better, begins today at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek in Orlando. More than 400 attendees are expected at this 21st annual event. “A3 has been at the forefront of robotics industry for more than 30 years,

Robot security guard maker releases statement on privacy

Knightscope, which has been in the news a lot lately because of its first product, a robot security guard, today directly addressed one of the concerns people have about the robot: privacy. In a post on the company’s blog, the Knightscope notes that while some privacy advocates are uncomfortable with the way the robot collects data,

Robotic exoskeleton maker goes public, raises $20.6M

Ekso Bionics Holdings Inc. yesterday completed an alternative public offering in which Ekso Bionics Inc. became a wholly owned subsidiary of the company and simultaneously completed a $20.6 million private placement offering. The alternative public offering was structured as a reverse merger. Ekso Bionics builds battery-powered robotic exoskeletons that have applications in medical, military, industrial and

Willow Garage transfers PR2 support to Clearpath Robotics

Willow Garage, the company that developed both the open-source robot operating system ROS and the PR2 robot, reported today that support and services responsibilities for PR2 have been transferred to Clearpath Robotics, effective immediately. Willow Garage created eight companies from 2011-2013, but Willow itself basically shut down this summer when most of its employees moved

Rethink Robotics rolls out research robot Down Under

Rethink Robotics reported today that its Baxter Research Robot is now available to academic and corporate researchers in Australia and New Zealand thanks to a new distribution partnership. Rethink has entered into an exclusive partnership to distribute the robot with Training Systems Australia, which supplies technology-related products and training systems to universities and technical colleges in

Intuitive Surgical down in Q4, sees 4% growth year-over-year

Intuitive Surgical today announced preliminary fourth quarter and full year 2013 financial results, which showed that following a year in which the company faced mounting criticism over aggressive marketing tactics and under-reported complications, it still made a lot of money. Intuitive expects fourth-quarter revenue of approximately $576 million, down about 5 percent from $609 million