Articles

Robot cowboys

Robots could be used in the future to round up cows on dairy farms, according to researchers from Sydney University's Centre for Field Robotics. A four-wheeled device, known as Rover, was tested by the team and used to move a herd of cows from a field to a dairy. The researchers were amazed at how easily cows accepted the presence of the robot. Because the robot moved in a steady...
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Robot swappage scheme for UK manufacturers

A new robot swappage scheme is seeking to promote greater use of the latest robotic automation technology. It’s being i mplemented by leading automation technology supplier ABB and enables UK operators to get up to £4,000 off the purchase cost of a new ABB robot when they trade in an existing robot from any manufacturer installed 12 or more years ago.

 The scheme launched at the end...
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£3-million Future Railway Competition Seeks Innovative Solutions for Remote Condition Monitoring

£3-million Future Railway Competition Seeks Innovative Solutions for Remote Condition Monitoring A 30 year vision for the GB railway , envisages intelligent ‘self-monitoring’ systems, which will enable targeted, risk-based, maintenance and repair of rail infrastructure assets delivering improved reliability, fewer delays, increased capacity, resilience, safety and all-round...
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Robot Farmers

Robots are perfect for a variety of manual jobs which take place on a farm. Weeding is a prime example. Employing robots to do this most onerous of tasks would mean that the use of pesticides could be decreased. Robots can already recognise weeds which are dangerous or place small amounts of weed killer; they can work continuously, in all weather, and even at night.    ...
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Fellowships for Growth: Building UK Leadership in Engineering

Fellowships for Growth: Building UK Leadership in Engineering EPSRC invites Expressions of Interest for targeted fellowships to build Engineering leadership in three of the eight great British Technologies. This is a targeted and time-bound call for early and established career fellowships. The focus is on the engineering research capabilities needed to advance knowledge and build UK...
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The co-bots are coming!

The industrial era of robotics is over, according to a feature published in the New York Times last week, and robots are beginning to move around in our world. To provide useful assistance, robots will need not only to take care of our chores but also to collaborate with us, which has led to the label co-bots. Take Romeo, a five-foot humanoid robot, which will soon be introduced by...
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Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in Broadcasting Event

Thursday 31 st October was an excellent day for flying and Hangar’s 1 and 2 at Sywell Aerodrome were the ideal spaces to hold the much anticipated Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in Broadcasting event. The aim of the event was to bring together those in the industry, whether that was technologists, engineers, operators, software developers or end users to explore a wide range of...
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Japanese Robot Can Beat Humans At Rock-Paper-Scissors Every Single Time

Researchers at the University of Tokyo have developed a janken robot. The robot analyses the shape of an opponent’s hand mid-play using high speed video processing and counters in 1 millisecond with the winning move. The system works by identifying the angle of the human opponent’s wrist joint, which is differentiated enough for each of the three moves to accurately make the prediction. ...
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Integrated Transport - In-field Solutions

Integrated Transport - In-field Solutions The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) is to invest up to £10m to stimulate innovation in the transportation sector. The economic and environmental cost of traffic congestion means that there is a significant opportunity for a new approach to transportation though integration, to boost the economy, reduce environmental impact and provide more...
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£70m Agri-Tech Catalyst Competition

£70m Agri-Tech Catalyst Competition Do you have an idea for a collaborative project which could improve the agri-tech sector? Accelerate your idea towards commercialisation with phased funding from Agri-Tech Catalyst... Background The Government is supporting the commercialisation of UK Agricultural Innovation with a £60m investment through the Technology Strategy Board...
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IFR: Breathtaking advanced and innovative technological developments taking place in robotics

Despite falling sales of industrial robots in the UK, Germany and Japan to the end of 2013, according to the latest analysis by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), the organisation is confident that worldwide sales will climb by an average of around 6% per year between 2014 and 2016, creating a market for more than 190,000 robots by 2016. The slowdown in key markets during...
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£70m Agri-Tech Catalyst Competition

  Do you have an idea for a collaborative project which could improve the agri-tech sector?   Accelerate your idea towards commercialisation with phased funding from Agri-Tech Catalyst...   Background   The Government is supporting the commercialisation of UK Agricultural Innovation with a £60m investment through the Technology Strategy...
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Intelligent Transport Systems in Qatar: Pre-qualification for Procurement of Contractors

As many of you will be aware, the Qatari government is undertaking massive investment in construction and infrastructure in Qatar.  What you may not be aware of yet is that the Public Works Authority in Qatar (Ashghal) has recently announced a pre-qualification for procurement of contractors for the design, manufacture, supply and instalation of Intelligent Transport Systems in...
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Could you write a software app that makes life easier?

  Funds for Software Technologies for Autonomous Systems – GAMMA Webinar   Could you write a software app that makes life easier? Can you make it identify a crime, patrol inside a nuclear reactor or tell a fighter jet where to go?   GAMMA is intended to grow the UK’s industrial base by supporting the development of novel ‘software applications’ for...
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Is this the must-have tech device of 2014?

For around £350, by this time next year, you could have your very own pet robot. The idea of futurist and Intel researcher Brian David Johnson, Jimmy was unveiled at New York’s Maker Faire last month, the poster-bot result of a marriage between 3D printing and AI.  A gizmo like no other, the idea is that Jimmy comes to life in your home (assuming you have a 3D printer…); he has...
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Engineering solutions to enhance agri-food production - Competition for collaborative R&D funding

Engineering solutions to enhance agri-food production - Competition for collaborative R&D funding The Technology Strategy Board, together with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), and Scottish Government, is offering up to £13m for businesses to develop engineering solutions across the...
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The human face of robotics

Robots designed to live with and assist humans was the subject of a report in the Observer this weekend. The inaugural edition of the UK paper’s tech monthly supplement featured an accessible and comprehensive account of developments in this field, including the ground breaking work of the EU funded project CHRIS (Co-operative Human Robot Interactive Systems) and the Bristol Robotics...
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A 3D printed robot that can squeeze under your door

Researchers at UC Berkeley’s Biomimetic Millisystems Lab have introduced a new 3D printed robot designed to be flexible enough to manoeuver under a door. Named the Sprawl Tuned Autonoumous Robot (STAR), the segmented robot has two natural positions: in its default posture, its body is raised between two ski-like legs, giving it a higher profile. When it encounters a tight passage,...
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UK public believes robots are OK for use by military but shouldn’t care for young or elderly

Support for the use of robots and autonomous systems by the military is stronger in the UK than anywhere in Europe but more than sixty per cent of citizens polled believe that robots should be banned from caring for children, the elderly and disabled. The findings emerged in a report published in June, by   Sciencewise , the UK’s centre for public dialogue in policymaking for science...
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EU consortium develops robot companion

A consortium of European researchers has developed a customizable robot companion for people with memory or mobility problems. The robot, a mobile wheeled semi-humanoid figure equipped with cameras, sensors, audio and a touch screen interface, can remind users to take their medicine, suggest they have their favorite drink or prompt them to go for a walk or visit friends if they...
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Robot suit to aid walking ready to hit the market

The Hybrid Assisted Limb (HAL) robotic suit, to help rehabilitate disabled people, has passed safety tests, which means it may soon be on sale in the UK. Worn as an exoskeleton, it responds to signals sent from a wearer's brain, enabling those who has lost the use of their legs to walk again HAL was designed by Japanese robotics firm Cyberdene. It has a continuous operating time of...
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TakeAIM: Describe your mathematics research for a chance to win a MacBook Air

The Industrial Mathematics KTN, enabled by the generous sponsorship of Cobham, BT, Dyson, NAG, Tessella and ARM is offering two Apple MacBook Airs as prizes for the best examples of articulat- ing the importance and influence of mathematical re- search to a wider audience. The next few decades will see fundamental changes in the ways we live, work and communicate. Mathematics will have...
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Autonomous Systems Technology and Trade Mission to Canada, November 2013 - Register Your Interest Now!

Register Now To Visit One of North America’s Most Prestigious Autonomous Systems Conferences! The Aerospace, Aviation & Defence KTN is working with the Canadian High Commission and UKTI to scope and implement an important technology-and-trade-focussed mission centred upon autonomous systems and UAS capabilities. The mission will take place in Vancouver, British Columbia, from the...
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Experts unite in London to determine future ‘Living Machines’

Scientists and technologists from around the globe have been meeting in London this week to explore the future of biomimetic and biohybrid technologies. The “Living Machines” week has focused on future life-like robots and has been taking place at the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum with leading international academics showcasing the latest advances in their field and...
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The robotics of Wimbledon

A new fast action robotics system was trialled by professional photographer Bob Martin at this year's Wimbledon tennis tournament. The system was developed by Nikon, in collaboration with Mark Roberts Motion Control (MRMC), a UK-based developer of motion control systems for film and television. Using Nikon’s D4 digital SLR cameras mounted on MRMC’s robotic heads, Mr Roberts could...
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