Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Industrial Robot Sales Fall In 2006

The Robotics Industry Association reports that sales of industrial robot units declined by 30% in 2006. The revenue from robot sales fell 22%

The decline was due to the falloff in robot sales to automotive manufacturers. 2005 was a particularly good year for sales to the auto industry so demand was expected to slump.

The deliveries to non-automotive factories continues to increase year after year. Donald A. Vincent, Executive Vice President of RIA states, "We saw very strong growth in industries such as beverages and tobacco, apparel, wood products, paper manufacturing, printing, machinery manufacturing, and furniture. We also saw growth in food and consumer goods, life sciences/pharmaceuticals/biomedical, and plastics and rubber."

Totals for 2006 were:
North America Sales: 12,765 robots, $904.2 million
Total Sales: 13,791 robots, $958.4 million

2005 numbers

Non-Automotive Orders for Robots Rise in 2006, But Overall Sales Fall 30% in North America - Robotics Online

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Robot Reptile To Go Undercover

I recently posted about a female robot sage-grouse to be used to lure unsuspecting males like the FBI on Myspace.

Now here is another case of robots being used to surreptitiously spy on the males of another species.

Jennifer Moore from Victoria University School of Biological Science has made a robot tuatara to mingle with the real monsters in the wild. She says, "If we can better understand how male tuatara establish their dominance, we may be better able to select individuals to start new populations in the future."

She was helped by artists from the special effects lab Weta Workshop to craft the robot. The body was cast from from one of the lab's tuataras, Oliver, who had passed away. He is now immortalized - reincarnated with the personality of a biology researcher.

Oliver the tuatara lives on - as a robot - 22 Feb 2007 - National News - New Zealand Herald

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Anybots Walking Robot Dexter

Dexter, a walking robot that is dynamically balanced like a person. He won't fall over when pushed.
Monty is on segway wheels and has a working hand.

They are being designed to work around the home.

From anybots:

Dexter balances dynamically, walks and will be able to run. Monty has one fully articulated hand driven by 18 motors and one gripper. Dexter's legs and Monty's arms are driven by compressed air. Driven remotely by a human operator, they can perform a wide range of industrial and household tasks.

The video says, "Walking improves with practice." I'll bet it does. so do their evil designs on world domination. Looks the most like a Cylon of any robots I have seen lately.
see the video here:

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Hospital Helpers Track Equipment

A new robot team from Aethon Inc. of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania is designed to track and deliver equipment around a hospital.

The TUG robot is in used successfully in many hospitals already - deliverng samples and medication. Now with a new partner, HOMER, and RFID tags on the equiptment, they work together to keep things in order.

HOMER roams the hospital searching for loose equipment like wheelchairs, beds, IV pumps. It identifies each unit by pinging for the RFID tags.
In the meantime a TUG can be chasing down the assets and returning them to where they will be needed or retrieving them on call.

Aethon expects that hospitals will need less equipment once they know where it all is. And HOMER and TUG will save all kinds of aggravation over lost devices.


Aethon gets Investors


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Monday, February 26, 2007

Abu Dhabi UAV Investment Company Launched

The government of Abu Dhabi announced last week the creation of the Abu Dhabi UAV Investment Company, AD UAV.
The company will design, develop, manufacture and integrate unmanned aerial vehicles for both civilian and military customers.
They will have fixed wing and vertical take off type vehicles.

AD UAV is an offshoot from the UAE military's UAV Research and Technology Center based in Abu Dhabi.
The largest client for AD UAV is expected to be UAE's military forces.

UAE has had an active interest in producing domestic UAV technology for a few years. The US declined to sell them Predator UAV's in 2002.

They currently operate two models of VTOL aircraft for patrolling their borders. The APID 55 was built in partnership wiuth Swedish company CybAero. The Al-Sber was made with Austrian company Schielbel. The ground control systems for both aircraft were developed cooperatively with the Korean company Ucon System. Locally, Gulf Aircraft Maintenence Company, GAMCO, provides ground support.

Abu Dhabi UAV Investment will help to kick-start the local manufacture of UAV's by providing an incubator for new UAV businesses as well as a matchmaker for international cooperative efforts. They hope to grow a worldwide client base with a globally recognized brand. middle east news information::The Abu Dhabi Government launches Abu Dhabi Uav INVESTMENT Company IN Abu Dhabi: "Abu Dhabi Uav INVESTMENT Company"

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Australian UAV Challenge

The Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation, ARCAA, has launched a competition for students and hobbyists. The UAV Challenge - Ouback Rescue will be held in Queensland, Australia in September 2007.

The contest will have prize money up to $40,000 (US $30000) in categories of airborne delivery and search and rescue. There will also be a category for the best documentary film on how the participating team created their contest entry.

The judging for the contest will be based on the performance of the unmanned flyer through a course as well as a report and presentation of the design.

The vehicles will be limited in size to weigh no more than 100 kg (rotary) or 150kg (fixed wing) in the competition configuration.

The contest is open to high school students only from the state of Queensland but to university students or hobbyists worldwide.

more info...
ARCAA | UAV Outback Challenge 2007

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Mini Robot Navigates Inside Body

Researchers in Japan are experimenting with a robot to help surgeons get deep inside the human body without cutting it open.
The small robot is only 2 cm ong by 1 cm wide - about the size of a large cockroach. The robot is released into the body through a small opening in the skin and is moved around by a magnetic field. Doctors navigate with a map created by magnetic resonance imaging.

The robot can be outfitted with a camera, drug delivery system or tiny cutters for taking samples or minor repair jobs. Comunications with the robot are through a thin wire, which can also help recover it if it gets lost.

The research is being performed by scientists from Ritsumeikan University and the Shiga University of Medical Science. They report that they have had success in tests on aimals.

Tiny robot reduces need for surgery ::: Pink Tentacle

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Anti Robot Action Planned

An olde time civil disobedience action is planned for Pittsburg on March 2.
The organizers, Pittsburg Organizing Group, plan to shut down the National Robotics Engineering Center, at Carnegie Mellon University with a blockade. Uh oh.

They chose ths target because, "The military research done by CMU and NREC is a glaring example of the increasing militarization of academia; students and faculty are knowing, and often unknowing, cogs in an expanding and terrifying war machine."

The schedule so far:
7:00am: Gather in Friendship Park (Friendship Ave and Mathilda St in Bloomfield)
7:30am: March to barricade NREC facility (40th and Willow St in Lawrenceville)

But there will be some surprises in store.
"Alongside large marches, there is a need for actions that are direct and compelling: actions that speak to public refusal of the war, that are demands -- not requests, that directly confront militarism itself rather than one particular manifestation of it."

They seem like they are planning for a loud event. The webpage even includes tips on how to prepare - like dressing in layers and bringing quarters for a phone call after you are arrested.

I applaud their efforts. Someone needs to raise the ethical issues and force engineers and scientists to confront them.
However, unless they bring some robots of their own, they won't stand a chance.

Barricade the War Machine in Pittsburgh

See more information at Infoshop News

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Robot Space Sets The Mood

When do you hold your meetings inside a robot?

When the robot is a conference room, of course.
But is it a robot?

Hiroshi Otsuka, SGI Japan's vice president for strategic business development explains, "Actually, it doesn't belong to the category of conventional industrial robots," he begins. "Also, this is different from two-legged robots. We do not want to cling to the definition. We want to use technology to develop something useful in our life."

"Without having such new types of robot, it will be difficult for the robot market in Japan to continue growing."

The robot he is talking about is the robot that senses the mood in a room and adjusts itself - the environment of the room that is - to match the occasion.
Spatial robot RoomRender.
If a meeting is too boring then the room pumps in fresh air and brightens the lights. If the discussion are getting too heated, the robot room softens the lights and sweetens the air with puffs of lavender as it plays calming music.

The room uses SGI Japan's sensibility technology (ST) to read the mood of the humans.
It can understand verbal commands. For example, when you say, "Let's begin the meeting," the room may close the shades and turn on the projector. But there is much more to understanding than just the words. Otsuka, "If the space robot was programmed to respond only to the meaning of words, communication between it and users would be limited."

It uses the rhythm and tone of the voices as well as the content to figure out what is going on. It distinguishes a spectrum of six basic human feelings: laughter, calmness, sorrow, anger, joy and excitement -- and the current mix of each.
Spatial robot is not limited to conference rooms. Otsuka sees homes and hospitals also turning into space robots.

For those who speak Japanese there is even an ST SDK available.

TIRED OR EMOTIONAL: A space robot knows | The Japan Times Online

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UAV Deployed for Naxalite Control

Just posting this because when I first read it I didn't know if it was from planet Earth or Stargate SG1.

word for word:

UAV to hover over eastern Maha skies to counter Naxalism

Nagpur, Feb 20: Unmanned Ariel Vehicle (UAV) is all set to be deployed in eastern Maharashtra to trace the movements of Naxals, a senior police official of Anti-Naxalite Operation (ANO) said today.

The UAV over Naxal-infested Gadchiroli district is likely to be operational sometime next week, said inspector general of police, anti-Naxal operations, Pankaj Gupta.

Gupta told reporters that UAV's operation in Chhattisgarh was quite successful and the authorities have received photo and video images both from cameras fitted in the flying machine.

It has traced movement of Naxalites near the hilly terrain of Abuzmadd in Bastar district which is a virtual den of the outlawed extremists.

The images of Naxal training camps, organised in thick and dense forests in Abuzmadd area of Bastar region of Chhattisgarh are very clear and reveal a lot of things which the official declined to mention.

Bureau Report

Zee News - UAV to hover over eastern Maha skies to counter Naxalism


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Order Your Pleo Now. Not!

Well it seems that there was some confusion with Ugobe. (see the comment to this post) They are not allowing any pre-orders yet. They are not quite sure of the price, maybe, or possibly they do not really have a firm date for deliveries, or maybe, they have not figured out why anyone would want to buy this thing anyway.
They have been taking a huge risk by making all kinds of fantastic claims about the wonder of their robot Life Form and the potential market for it.
The hype was more for the benefit of investors rather than users of the product but now they have painted themselves into a corner by trying to perform up to the expectations that they created. We shall see.

Matt Trossen has announced that Ugobe has given Trossen Robotics permission to start taking pre-orders for the wildly hyped dinosaur robot Pleo.

The cute little monster will set you back US $350 and has an 'estimated' ship date of July 2007. (My guess is that they may trickle out in August and September but they will not be widely available until Q4)
This may be your best opportunity to be the first on your block to have a Ugobe Life Form pet.

Here are some of mechanics behind the magic:
- 32 bit Atmel ARM 7 microprocessor - The main processor for Pleo
- 16 bit sub processor - The processor dedicated to the camera system
- (4) 8 bit processors that provide the low-level motor control for the servos
- (35) Sensors including a camera custom designed to fit into Pleo's very compact body.
- (4) foot-switches to detect footfalls and being picked up - assists with spatial orientation.
- (12) capacitive touch sensors (4) legs, (4) feet, back, shoulder, head, chin
- (2) microphones for directional sound detection
- (14) "Force" sensors, one per servo, to recognize abuse through force feedback joints.
- Orientation/tilt sensor
- IR transceiver for bidirectional data communication with other Pleos.
- IR interrupter for detection of objects in Pleo's mouth
- (14) motors. Standard low voltage DC motors
- (150) gears and clutches
- Rechargeable NiMH battery pack
- USB port with mini USB connector
- SD/MMC memory card slot

---All kinds of cute and cuddly built in all over the place

order it here:

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Human Immobilizer Light on UAV

US Army researchers are working on fitting a high powered human-immobilizing spotlight onto an autonomous flying robot.

The light is a modified Maxa Beam light from Peak Beam Systems Inc. The high intensity xenon light is already available in a handheld and remote perimeter security models.
The powerful light can shine up to 7,500,000 candlepower and switch from spotlight, floodlight or stobe mode. By varying the frequency of the strobe the light can be used to disable and disorient enemies.

The army plans to use the unmanned autonomous non-lethal weapon as a "immobilization / deterrent device."

It could also be used to goof on people into thinking they were abducted by a UFO. That would be fun.

PRESOL | A | Design and fabricate a light-based immobilization / deterrent device and integrate it with an UAS. | 11-Feb-07 - FBO#1903

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Robot Jockeys Amuse the Rich

A good article in Christian Science Monitor about the revitalized sport of camel racing by the introduction of robot jockeys.
Before oil, the article says, the owners of the camels would race them. After the money began pouring into the Middle East, the landowners could no longer afford to go outside of their air-conditioned homes. They began buying and selling young boy slaves to ride the camels while they cheered from the sidelines.

Finally someone from the UN told them, look, jockeys are not like camels, you are not allowed to buy and sell them. The sport went into a decline after it was forced underground.

Along came robot jockeys and to bring new life to the pastime. The sheiks can run their jockeys from the luxury of their air-conditioned SUV without the UN breathing down their necks. It turns out that the robot jockeys are much cheaper to maintain too.

From the article:
Races today – typically six miles long – feature parallel tracks. The camels – with robots dressed up in colorful cotton jerseys and jockey caps strapped on – run on the inside racetrack. And the sheikhs , owners, and trainers – piled into four-wheel drive vehicles – follow the races on an outside, paved lane, screeching instructions into the remote controls and pressing the "whip on behind" button like there was no tomorrow.

In other Middle East news...
Foster-Miller and iRobot were showing off the latest models of hazardous duty robots this month. Both the Talon and the Packbot are continuing to get improved skills in finding and disarming bombs and detecting Weapons of Mass Destruction, WMD's.

I think we should just sell the robots to sheiks instead of sending our soldiers. Let them fight their own wars. It would probably be a lot more fun for them anyway. They could chase the robots around in their Mercedes and fight their own battles without ever having to get out of their plush leather interior.

Backstory: Rein of the robo-jockey |

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Become Robot Master At Home

Japanese company DeAgostini has launched a way for everyone to get into the japanese robot craze piece by piece.
Each week the subscriber to Robozak will get a magazine with lessons and instructions and parts to build a portion of their own humanoid robot slave.

When finished in 80 weeks, the robot RZ-1 will be able to play soccer, wrestle, do gymnastics or any other favorite robot trick. And, presumably, the human assembler will be an expert in 'future' robot technology.

The cost spread out over 80 weeks will be a total of around US $1400.
According to one one google translation, "Performance of the surprise is drawn out!"

Can't wait that long? For a limited time get $100 off HiTec Robonova 1 kit at Roboteria!

ROBOZAK RZ-1 Japanese Robot in your home | Weird Asia News

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Unmanned Aerial Cargo Delivery

Ottawa, Canada company Mist Mobility Integrated Systems Technology Inc. (MMIST) and Technology Partnerships Canada, TCP, have announced that TCP will be making a $30 million investment in development of MMIST's unmanned cargo delivery aircraft.

The improved designed will be based on MMIST's SnowGoose UAV to improve range and payload capacity.

The SnowGoose is a parafoil winged UAV that can be launched from the ground or dropped out an airplane.

It has a cargo capacity of up to 600 pounds and an endurance range of up to 20 hours, depending on the cargo. The guidance system is based on MMIST's GPS guided SHERPA system.

Currently, the largest customer for the unmanned fliers is the US military. The TCP
announcement says the delivery robots also "can be used to deliver
medical assistance and emergency food aid to remote communities."


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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Questioning High Dollar Medical Robots

An article in the Minnesota Medicine Online raises the issue of when medical robots and expensive medical scanners can become too much of a good thing.

According to the article, "The complaint coming from a number of quarters is that the proliferation of high-priced technology is driving up health care costs to crippling levels with insufficient evidence of corresponding benefits to patients—and no regard at all for cost-effectiveness."

The problem is described by Former U.S. Senator David Durenberger, chair of the National Institute of Health Policy (NIHP) at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, as the "medical arms race syndrome."

The problem stems from the fact that there is really no free market in medical technology. Patients follow the advice of their doctors and their insurance pays for their medical services. That makes the doctors the actual deciding customer.
Doctors may have the incentive to recommend high tech treatments because they can have higher margins and be more attractive to patients who want the latest and greatest.

Durenburger singled out Intuitive Surgical's $1 million minimum Da Vinci robot and Accuray's $3.5 mllion CyberKnife system as examples of technology that may be over capacity for Minnesota.

They cannot say for sure that the robots are unnecessarily increasing medical costs because they have no measurements of capacity and need. But the system appears to be encouraging unchecked growth.

Minnesota Medical Association - Publications


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Robot Has Baby and Teaches Bible

I am not making this up. From a US patent application:

The Bot and Baby Bot are Robots. Bot is the bigger Robot and Baby Bot is the smaller Robot. There will be a switch on the Bot That will let the Baby Bot come out of Bots stomach. The wiring and The computer system will be located in the arms of both BOTS. Both Bots will be computerized, to contain the 66 books of the Bible. The Old Testamont and the New Testamont, and they will have buttons, To coincide with the name,chapter,page, and verse.

The Bot will be 5'8'' and the Baby Bot will be 3'5''. They both will be able to perform the same thing.


United States Patent Application: 0070032165

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Hospital Delivery Robot

A hospital near Willmington, Delaware has a new tireless employee dedicated to delivering critical biological samples from patients to the analysis lab.

The Speci-Minder robot - who employees have named Frances - automonously completes its rounds through the hospital to the central lab stopping along the way to collect the samples. The robot navigates down the halls and around obstacles without the need for lines on the floor or markers on the walls. It has a card-access sample compartment to control who can access the cargo.

Speci-Minder is the product of CCS Robotics. It was built on PatrolBot base made by MobileRobots Inc.

CCS Robotics - SpeciMinder™ - Secure Specimen Transporter

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VEXplorer Robot Kit

Model kit maker Revell Monogram and VEX robot supplier Innovation First announced more details of their new consumer robot kit today.

The VEXplorer robot kit is an direct descendent of the VEX robot kit that is the basis for student robot design competitions. It designed and marketed to "bring robotics creation outside the classroom taking the consumer robotics category to new heights."

VEXplorer includes all the parts, motors and wheels to make a remote controlled rolling robot with a webcam and a claw arm strong enough to pick up a can of soda. The kit, of course, can be used to build any kind of robot imaginable.

VEXplorer is the product of a partnership between the two companies that was announced last year. Revell will handle the marketing while Innovation First will provide the engineering and technical design.

The VEXplorer kit is expected to be in stores by September 2007 and will sell for US $250. leader in replica plastic kits since 1945.

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Fembot Sage-Grouse Lures Males

In sting operation worthy of prime time television, scientists at University of California Davis are using a female sage-grouse robot to study the behavior of males with mating on their mind.

Dr. Gail Patricelli has used robots in bird research before to fool Australian satin bowerbirds for her thesis. Now she is using a female sage-grouse on the open fields of Wyoming to tempt male birds into showing off for the camera.

The robot is a stuffed bird that moves along toy railroad tracks. The robot can turn her head, turn around, crouch and bob her head up and down when she moves. She has a microphine and hidden camera to record the conduct of the males. The robot, which must look really hot to the male birds, is secretly controlled by the researchers who are off-screen somewhere totally cracking up.

See the lurid sex video here.

The Patricalli Lab

The Davis Enterprise, Love Bird?

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Tin Can Robot

Turn trash into a robot. A new kit from 4M Kidz Labs is due out in March to make a robot bug from an empty soda can. No word on the price yet.

I did not know that they made soda cans with those pop tops anymore. Maybe they still use them in Hong Kong where 4M is located.

Kidz Labs from 4M includes kits for kids to explore crafts and science.

4M - Powered by Source Technology Limited

Taiwan Selects Standard Robot Software

Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute, ITRI, has annonced that they have chosen Evolution Robotics Sofware Platform,ESRP, for a standard software kit for robot development in Taiwan.

The software development kit will be offered by ITRI to help standardize robot development in Taiwan and help them to get ahead of rapid developments coming from other countries. They expect the market for robots to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars within ten years and they want to make sure that Taiwan stays up with the trend.

"We believe this coordinated approach using our SDK and the ERSP architecture will lead to much more rapid innovation of new technologies, faster time to market for new products, and overall, a stronger competitive position for Taiwan in robotics," said Mr. Chan An Pao of ITRI.

Evolution Robotics is a California based company that provides OEM support for robot software development. In the past they have announced close partnerships with other high profile robot projects. The new home telepresence robot from Bandai, NetTansor, uses Evolution's software.
Evolution has also announced partnerships with robot toymaker WowWee and Korea's URC developer Yujin Robotics. They have also announced that they will be working with Sharper Image on a new vacuum robot.

ERSP provides the basic functioning software for robots as well as the ability to integrate decisionmaking, navigation, vision and custom behaviors.

I can't help but notice that this is not Microsoft Robotics Studio. It appears that there would be no need for the MS Robotics Studio with this software. ERSP runs with MS windows and Visual Studio .NET or Linux.
Evolution, so far, has chosen a very different plan for marketing their software. While MS gives theirs away free for now, ESRP starts in the US $7500 range for educational-use-only kit.

If I had as much money as Microsoft I might consider investing in or owning a company like Evolution Robotics.

Evolution Robotics


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Infanoid and Keepon

Professor Hideki Kozima of Japan's National Institute of Communications and Technology, NiCT, presented a paper at the Robotics for Society conference in Vancouver, Canada, on two robots designed for studying child development and interactions with robots.

The two robots, Infanoid and Keepon, interact with people through movement, emotional expressions and voice.

Infanoid is a small humanoid upper torso. Infanoid can gesture with his arms and hands, make facial expressions and repeat back what is spoken to him. His two eye-cameras allow him to 'pay attention' and make eye contact.

Keepon is much simpler, looking like not much more than a marshmallow peep, but still has enough motion to appear engaged with a human. Keepon is a small soft rubber creature with no arms. It can twist to focus its attention and rock or bob up and down to express delight.

The researchers found that children will interact with the robots. They found the at first the children are a little scared of the robots. then they start to explore by poking them or waving objects at them. Eventually the children begin playing with the robots in a closed-loop relationship. The robots were allowed to play with normally developing kids and autistic children.

They expect to be able to use the robots for a better understanding of social development of both humans and robots.

Using Robots for the Study of Human Social Development (PDF)

Infanoid Project (Robotic Platforms)

via Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

Monday, February 05, 2007

Unmanned Helicopter for Everest Rescues

The founders of a helicopter manufacturer in New Zealand have launched a project to bring high altitude rescue to Nepal. Trevor and Glenda Rogers are the founders of TGR Helicorp and of the Everest Rescue Trust. They have launched a new initiative, The Rescue on Everest Challenge:
Through innovation, design and technology, to challenge the science of aviation at extreme altitude and conquer new frontiers on Mt Everest and in Nepal.

Their goal is to operate a self-funding rescue operation based near Mt. Everest. The rescue operation would be for service to mountaineers and also any other high altitude medical emergency in Nepal. They expect that the technology and improved standards for healthcare would benefit the people of Nepal.

The rescue vehicle, dubbed the Alpine Wasp, is an unmanned high altitude full sized rescue helicopter designed by TGR. It is a capable of autonomous flight up to 30,000 feet.
Generally helicopters cannot operate much above 14,000 feet. The base camp for Mt.Everest climbers is at 17,600 feet (5364m)and the summit is at 29,035 feet (8850m).

Why an unmanned rescue vehicle? For high altitude rescues a pilot actually gets in the way. The pilot is not acclimated for the altutude or prepared for the extreme cold so they must stay inside the aircraft and cannot help in the rescue efforts. Also, the elimination of the pilot-support equipment leaves room for more rescue gear.

The Alpine Wasp is powered by a special diesel engine designed by American company DeltaHawk Diesel Engines. It operates on Jet-A1 fuel which is available in Nepal.

The Alpine Wasp will be donated to the foundation later this year after it undergoes extensive testing in the mountains in New Zealnd.

Helicopter Rescue on Everest: Saving lives on Nepal's mountains

Friday, February 02, 2007

Intuitive Surgical Posts Profit Surge

Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) stock was up 17 percent today on the announcement of a 56 percent increase in their forth quarter revenues.

The increase was due to continuing increase in sales of the DaVinci surgery robots but also substantial increases in recurring supplies and services. This is a good indication that the robots are being used successfully.

For 2006 their revenues were:
Systems sales: $206 million
Instruments/accessories: $112 million
Service/Training: $ 55 million

Total: $373 million

This, to me, seems like a fairly small number considering the size of the surgery industry. They will have competitors moving in on them but their early entry has given them an advantage. They are in a position where they can define the standards for the next decade and sell the service and instruments for the machines that they have installed.

Robot assisted surgery is creating new capabilities for minimally invasive surgery techniques and opening the door for totally new procedures. It may also allow a lower skill level to be required for some operations that had been considered extremely risky.

There will be some bumps in the road, but this technology will eventually completely transform the medical field.

Surgery On A Beating Heart May Be Safer
Surgical Robot in patent dispute
Surgical Robot Revenues Rocket 2005
Robot Surgery Legal Questions

Intuitive Surgical - Press Release

Kuka WiiBot

Robotics industry leader Kuka Robotics will be demonstrating a robot arm controlled by a Wii game controller at the ATX West Expo during February.

Using their industrial KR-16 robot with bluetooth to a Wii controller, the robot can mimic the actions of the Wii master. The interface was designed by SEIS Group, Inc.

Kevin Kozuszek, director of marketing for KUKA Robotics Corporation, says, "The development of more intelligent and easy to operate robots will begin to drive the development of more capable service robots for applications such as medical and ultimately for consumer use in individuals' homes."

Kuka WiiBot

While renowned for their industrial robots, Kuka also has been known to occasionally let their robots out of the factory for a little fun: RoboCoaster, Robot DJ