bots IN BRIEF
WHAT THE HAL?
Re Walk is UC Berkeley's motorized robotic device that is controlled by motion sensors that feel the user's movements and translates them to
motorized joints. The device goes outside clothing and consists of a harness,
crutches, and leg braces powered by a rechargeable battery.
Argo Medical Tech — who built the Re Walk and has been testing it for
the last several years — will soon be offering it to the public for ~$100,000.
Other companies seems to have the same idea. Japan's Cyberdyne has
produced an exoskeleton device called the Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL). It
anticipates the user's movements with sensors in a similar manner as
Re Walk. HAL can be used to assist health and construction workers and
firefighters, and is available for a rental fee of ~$1,600-1,800 per month.
HAMMING IT UP
At the Fourth Robot Awards held at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Technology, top prize in the Small Business
and Venture category went to HAMDAS-R — an automatic ham boning
robot developed by Mayekawa Electric. Until now, ham boning has
required the techniques of skilled workers, due to the variations in meat
form and bone size. However, Mayekawa has successfully incorporated
these techniques into the processing method, actions, and structure of
HAMDAS-R, automating the task of boning ham.
IAM-BRAIN (the Institute of
Machinery's Bio-oriented Technology
Research Advancement Institution) has created a robot
that can not only pick 60% of a strawberry crop, it can
target the ripest and pick and cut in nine seconds. This
berrybot's camera images the berries in 3D and uses
algorithms to detect the redness. Farmers in Japan are
now “field” testing the new technology.
Tin Woodsman flashback! Tony
Sale built George —
a six foot tall
humanoid — from a
crashed bomber in
1950. The former
RAF officer recently
brought his creation back to life with new batteries and
some oil. You can see George at his new permanent location
at the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park, UK
that Sale helped found.
20 SERVO 02.2011