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Friday, May 08, 2015

Workforce sit-in

Credit. noonee
Audi AG has begun testing its new “Chairless Chair®” technology in its factory in Neckarsulm in Germany. It is a light exoskeleton made of carbon fibre which allows employees to be supported while they stand, and to sit, anytime and anywhere, without having to have a conventional chair. The “Chairless Chair” has been developed in partnership with the Swiss start-up Noonee AG. The exoskeleton consists of a titanium structure which adjusts itself to the back part of a person’s legs and of a brace strapped to the torso. The chairless chair weighs 2.4 kg (5.3 lbs) and works with a hydraulic system controlled by buttons.
Chairless Chair® overcomes the ergonomic challenges faced on the production floor and fits in with existing ergonomic solutions and no need to change infrastructure. The Chairless Chair® is designed to follow the users body curvature and no ergonomic table is too high or too low for the wearable devise with its discrete and aesthetic design. Check the demo video below.

According to the market research firm TechNavio, the global exoskeleton systems market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 72.51% over the period 2014-2019. Medical and military uses – for substituting for human muscular activity or for rehabilitation – are, for now, the major target sectors for these devices.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Mobile robot platform wins 2015 EC Business Innovation Observatory Award

Swedish OpiFlex has been awarded the 2015 European Commission Business Innovation Observatory Award, Robotdalen reports. OpiFlex was selected based on the uniqueness of the technology, the ability of management , the potential to grow internationally as well as the size of the total addressable market.
OpiFlex has developed a mobile robot platform, which allows a robot cell that is typically fixed in its place to be moved in its entirety, either manually or by means of Autonomous Guided Vehicle (AGV) software. The platform provides the same high stability and precision operation as fixed robots, through its docking station.
As one of the first companies in the world, OpiFlex has developed a solution that makes automation economically feasible for small series production (and in the future perhaps even handicraft). 
Check ot the video below

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

ABB Robotics YuMi - World's first truly collaborative robot

ABB has developed YuMi, a collaborative, dual arm, small parts assembly robot solution that includes flexible hands, parts feeding systems, camera-based part location and state-of-the-art robot control. YuMi was officially introduced to the market at the Hannover Messe on Monday, April 13, 2015. Check out the video below to learn more about the future of robotic co-working. 


Monday, January 12, 2015

Rethink Robotics Announces $26.6 Million Series D Round of Financing

Credit: Rethink Robotics
Rethink Robotics today announced $26.6 million in Series D financing, led by GE Ventures, with additional participation from Goldman Sachs, both new investors. All of Rethink Robotics’ earlier investors are also participating in the round, including Bezos Expeditions, CRV, Highland Capital Partners, Sigma Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Two Sigma Ventures. The funding will be used to support the company’s continued innovation, growth, and international expansion, and reflects Rethink Robotics’ position as a leader in the emerging market of collaborative robotics. This new investment brings the company’s total funding to more than $100 million since its founding in 2008.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Self-driving concept car from Mercedes-Benz

At the CES 2015 in Las Vegas German Mercedes-Benz presented its self-driving research vehicle F015 Luxury in Motion. By 2030, the number of mega-cities with more than 10 million inhabitants will increase from about 30 to over 40. "The single most important luxury goods of the 21st century are private space and time," says Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. "Autonomously driving cars by Mercedes-Benz shall offer exactly that. With the F 015 Luxury in Motion, this revolutionary concept of mobility becomes tangible for the first time." Check out the promo video below.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Self-Driving Vehicles in Logistics

Credit: DHL
DHL, the world’s leading logistics company, has today published the new trend report ‘Self-Driving Vehicles in Logistics’, highlighting the key elements and significant potential of autonomous technologies in the logistic industry. As a first step in the self-driving journey, the trend report contains various best-practice applications from different industries and also examines concrete use cases of self-driving vehicles across the entire logistics value chain. Applications for self-driving vehicles that are discussed in the report include:

  • Autonomous transport and assisted picking in warehouses
  • Autonomous outdoor logistics like yard, harbor and airport operations
  • Assisted highway trucking and convoying in line-haul transportation
  • Last-mile delivery

The report lists a wide range of crucial benefits of self-drivingvehicles including improved road safety, greater fuel efficiency and reduced environmental impact. However, as the trend report explains, autonomous technologies still have some way to go before reaching full maturity. Considerable catching up is also required regarding regulations, public acceptance, and issues of liability. Despite these barriers, some compelling use cases have already emerged, clearly indicating that many organizations are willing to develop and deploy self-driving technologies.
Read the complete report here.

Friday, November 14, 2014

No Swedish UAVs to China

The Swedish Agency for Non-Proliferation and Export Controls (ISP) has rejected an application from Swedish CybAero, which develops and sells autonomous unmanned helicopters (VTOL UAVs), for a license to export to Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). CybAero is now in discussions with ISP and planning to submit a new application.

CybAero announced in July 2014 an order placed by AVIC guarantee worth SEK 700-800 million through an eight-year framework agreement. The major focus of AVIC is to efficiently develop indigenous military technologies and to eventually compete with Boeing and Airbus in the civilian airline industry. AVIC has over 400,000 employees.

CybAero signed a framework agreement with AVIC for delivery of at least 70 helicopter systems in total, with at least 20 in the first three years and at least 50 the following five years. CybAero applied for an export license from ISP on September 8th and supplemented its application on September 30th with a request for a license to deliver only the first 20 systems in the next two years.

CybAero was founded in 2003, but the foundation of its business were laid in 1992 through research collaboration between Linköping University and the Swedish Defense Research Agency (FOI). CybAero is now established as a global VTOL UAV leader. The Company's APID product attracts much attention globally for being user-friendly, robust and price-efficient. The company has over 40 employees and has been listed on the NASDAQ OMX First North since 2007.

Chinese Aviation interested in Swedish Defence Research 
Last month the Swedish television program Uppdrag Granskning revealed that the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) has had commercial research cooperation talks on parts of a unique Swedish research program, Edge, which may be used for military purposes, with Chinese Aeronautical Establishment (CAE), affiliated with AVIC, using the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) as a front. Since Sweden officially supports the EU weapons embargo against China and Sweden's official stance is not to have any military cooperation with the dictatorship, it is strictly forbidden for FOI to deal with China directly, and that is why KTH has been used as a middle man.
KTH officials claim that the research program contains generic knowledge only, but has not sought permission from Swedish authority ISP for its activities. The Director General of the FOI, Jan-Olov Linde, denies allegations of using KTH as a front, and blames his researchers for the set-up between the Swedish research institute and its Chinese counterpart.

Edge is a CFD flow solver for unstructured grids of arbitrary elements. Edge is available as a complete source package, subject to the FOI license agreement. A limited feature copy of Edge can be downloaded here.