What’s New in Robotics? 05.08.2022

Information briefs for the week check out deep-diving aquatic humanoid robots that supply a way of contact, each multi-vehicle and single-vehicle retrofit techniques for industrial autonomy, breakthrough robotics for small gut endoscopy, and an inspection robotic for growing old and ailing dam infrastructure.

Undersea world of OceanOne

A humanoid type isn’t the most well-liked robotic construct on the subject of underwater exploration. In reality, one’s by no means been constructed, till now.

So, it got here as an enormous deal when a subsea humanoid robotic named OceanOne, whereas 500 meters down within the Mediterranean, allowed Stanford College’s Oussama Khatib, above on a analysis vessel, to expertise sight and contact because the robotic explored a sunken cruise ship.

oceanonebot500“You might be shifting very near this wonderful construction [the cruise ship] and one thing unimaginable occurs if you contact it: You really really feel it,” stated Khatib, which additionally had by no means been executed earlier than.

OceanOne, with a humanoid higher torso and a decrease half of eight multi-directional thrusters, has a haptic suggestions system in its palms and sees with stereoscopic imaginative and prescient, and gives “extremely practical sensations” of all the pieces it sees and touches.

In response to Khatib, director of the Stanford Robotics Lab, the mission of OceanOne has two functions: “to discover locations nobody has gone earlier than and to point out that human contact, imaginative and prescient, and interactivity could be introduced to those websites far-removed from the place individuals can function.”

“That is the primary time {that a} robotic has been able to going to such a depth, interacting with the atmosphere, and allowing the human operator to really feel that atmosphere,” stated Khatib.


Two views: retrofitting autos for autonomy

Multi-vehicle, multi-purpose autonomy

Recent out of stealth mode, San Francisco-based Polymath Robotics, mainly asks the query: Acquired an industrial automobile that you just need to automate? Any automobile, like an automatic robotic, forklift or tractor will do; so long as it’s to function in a managed atmosphere, resembling a warehouse, building website, farm, or work yard.

Automated tractorPolymath has developed a plug-and-play software program platform (plus SDK or System Growth Package) that enables corporations to shortly and cost-efficiently automate industrial autos.

The software program is {hardware} agnostic and supplies all the required management for path planning, hazard detection, habits timber, human detection, turning, and protected operation. Polymath claims that its primary generalizable autonomy software program has a market “of fifty million or so industrial autos which can be working in closed environments in the present day.” 

Polymath’s platform, says the startup, lets a warehouse proprietor, or builder, farmer or mining firm bypass “the often-long strategy of constructing out autonomy, a security layer and front-end app.”

In reality, Polymath does want a little bit of help make, say a tractor, autonomously function by itself; it wants a chunk of {hardware}, like a retrofit, put in on the automobile. “Polymath has partnered with Idaho-based startup Sygnal Applied sciences to assist on the {hardware} facet of issues by offering the required retrofit with its drive-by-wire package.

Single-purpose, single-vehicle autonomy

Brighton, Colorado-based Outrider, however, makes autonomy gear for single-purpose automation, i.e., automating autos for yard operations at logistics hubs.

Yard vehicles stay at a single location hitching as much as and shifting trailer-truck trailers from out and in of loading bays and/or different parking positions or slots.

automating vehicles for yard operations at logistics hubs“Distribution yards are harsh industrial environments with around-the-clock operations,” says Andrew Smith, Outrider founder and CEO, “that require rugged, easy-to-service and remotely supportable merchandise.”

Fitted atop the yard automobile, Outrider’s autonomy package consists of the “NVDIA Drive compute structure for notion system processing; Ouster’s high-resolution LiDAR sensors for notion; and Yaskawa’s industrial robotic arm for connecting and disconnecting trailer strains.” July of 2022, Outrider introduced its next-generation autonomy package for yard automation. “Supporting over-the-air software program updates and field-swappable items.”

Outrider has branched into an autonomy-ready electrical (EV) yard truck providing. Along with its prospects, it has bought 24 of those EV autos for expanded buyer pilot applications and take a look at operations with the newest autonomy package.

As well as, “Outrider automates different guide duties historically carried out within the yard, resembling autonomously hitching and unhitching trailers; connecting and disconnecting trailer strains; interacting safely with loading docks; monitoring trailer places; and integrating with provide chain administration techniques.”

Goodbye, small-bowel endoscopy!

In all probability nobody would lament ever having to forego an endoscope’s probing into their abdomen and small gut. What a aid! Nonetheless, some hospitals would possibly. The common cost for an endoscopy is $1500, and over there are 50 million carried out yearly in america.

Nicely then, within the curiosity of saving a lot of affected person stress and discomfort, whereas saving tens of millions of {dollars} in pointless endoscopic exams, say hiya to NaviCam from AnX Robotica (Plano, TX).

NaviCam capsuleThe NaviCam capsule (27mmx12mm) is swallowed by the affected person, which then travels from the abdomen and into the small bowel, all of the whereas relaying HD photos to the monitoring system.  “An exterior robotic management manipulates the capsule in all instructions and incorporates software program, which in the event that they select, can allow the doctor to acknowledge abnormalities.”

Apparently, the visible outcomes will not be solely seen by doctor and medical group conducting the examination however are additionally learn by AI, utilizing a system referred to as ProScan. The AI incorporates “Deep Neural Networks (DNN), resembling a Convolutional Neural Community (CNN), a deep studying algorithm that may differentiate one picture from one other, which allows ProScan to help with the identification of a number of subtypes of irregular lesions discovered within the small bowel.

“ProScan was skilled to distinguish irregular from regular photos utilizing over 150 thousand photos collected from 1,970 sufferers with an accuracy of 99.88% in per-patient evaluation over typical evaluation.”

Right here’s the way it works:


DamBot inspections can save lives

Sometimes, inspecting dams entails getting into big outlet tunnels and spillways, which is all the time dangerous for inspection groups, and could be made even riskier if the group must view and analyze a identified drawback or bother spot.

The U.S. Military Corps of Engineers (USACE) operates and maintains extra than 700 massive dams throughout the nation, and because the Corps tells it: “a lot of them are previous their anticipated design life and in deteriorating situations, and inspectors should make common assessments to make sure protected and continued operations. That is no small process, significantly on the subject of earth dams.”

Automated inspection vehicleAgeing and ailing infrastructure inspections is a chief alternative for a robotic to tackle the dangers. The U.S. Military Engineer Analysis and Growth Heart (ERDC) has developed DamBot for simply such duties.

The DamBot a robotic platform permits engineers to hold out inspections safely with the “means to function heavy equipment past visible line of sight.” DamBot is supplied with high-resolution cameras and LiDAR, which gives an especially detailed mannequin of your entire outlet works system.

ERDC’s Dr. Anton Netchaev stated “DamBot’s 17-foot robotic arm will enable us to stand up near some very challenging-to-reach locations. We’re additionally engaged on collaborative process execution between robotic platforms and can quickly arise an Edge Computing Facility, which can give us some extra house to work on these very advanced and difficult issues for the Corps.”

Automated inspection vehicle