Category: Research

Program analyzes Web images in a quest for common sense

Common sense, which gets its name because it comes so naturally to humans, is not so common among robots. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, however, are trying to change that with a computer program called the Never Ending Image Learner, or NEIL. NEIL is currently running 24 hours a day, searching the Web for images

Georgia Tech adds institute for robotics, intelligent machines

By its nature, robotics is a discipline that crosses academic boundaries; it can involve engineering, computer science, aeronautics, biology and more. Recognizing this, Georgia Tech has created a new interdisciplinary organization called the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines, which is designed to coordinate the university’s various colleges, departments and labs to promote advancement in

UAV developer CyPhy Works closes $7M financing round

CyPhy Works today reported the close of a $7 million financing round, which it will use to expand its surveying- and situational awareness-focused unmanned aerial vehicles into various commercial sectors. The round was led by Lux Capital and featured participation from General Catalyst Partners, Felicis Ventures and several undisclosed angel investors. CyPhy (pronounced “Sci-Fi”) Works is

NASA’s Curiosity completes first 2-day autonomous drive

NASA’s Curiosity rover has to be very, very careful when driving around Mars because if it gets stuck in a ditch, no friendly drivers will be passing by to tow it out. That’s essentially what happened to Curiosity’s predecessor Spirit, which NASA was forced to give up on in 2011. So it’s interesting to hear

Unmanned underwater vehicle makes Boston to New York trip

Bluefin Robotics and the Naval Research Laboratory recently sent a long-endurance unmanned underwater vehicle from Boston to New York, a trip that took more than 100 hours, the groups said today. The mission was completed by the Naval Research Lab’s Reliant “Heavyweight” UUV, an advanced version of the Bluefin-21 that, when loaded with a low-frequency broadband

Robotics Challenge represents learning experience for teams

The teams competing in the DARPA Robotics Challenge come from some of the most prestigious universities and technologically innovative organizations in the world — places like MIT, Carnegie Mellon and NASA. However, even for them, it represents uncharted territory. “It’s a huge learning experience,” admits Bill Borgia, director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory at Lockheed

National Robotics Initiative awards $38M in new funding

The National Robotics Initiative, which launched in 2011 and is spearheaded by the National Science Foundation, earlier this week announced $38 million in new investments in the program’s second round of funding. Along with its partner agencies — the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Agriculture and NASA — it said the funding was

Johns Hopkins launches master’s degree in robotics

The demand for roboticists is growing, and universities are starting to take notice. Johns Hopkins University, for one, says it sees an increasing need from industry for people who can design and deploy advanced robotics systems. In response the school has launched a Master of Science in Engineering in Robotics degree program. The program is

AeroVironment, Eurocopter evaluating joint opportunities

Unmanned aircraft systems leader AeroVironment and helicopter maker Eurocopter said today that they have signed a cooperative agreement to explore potential joint military and commercial business opportunities. The announcement occurred at the Association of the United States Army annual meeting in Washington. The majority of AeroVironment’s UAS are fixed-wing vehicles, though it does produce the Shrike

Latest Willow Garage spin-off Unbounded Robotics launches

The latest spin off from Willow Garage, a new company called Unbounded Robotics, today announced its first product, an ROS-based mobile manipulation platform called UBR-1. In the company’s inaugural blog post, the team behind UBR-1 acknowledges that it will inevitably receive comparisons to the Willow Garage PR2 robot. After all, the Unbounded founders are Willow alums