Ecoland International, Inc., has formed the "Robotics Research Group" (RRG) which aims to develop state-of-the-art
robotic solutions and partner with industry leaders to integrate those technologies, and to also provide innovative products
and services. RRG’s team of engineers and technicians will tackle some of the most difficult robotics and automation puzzles.
The modern robotics market has existed for nearly 30 years, but within the last decade substantial improvements in
overall functionality, levels of control, and cost structures have been achieved. While many of the advancements in robotics have
been in industrial markets where higher amounts of spending have allowed the development and commercialization of highly
technical — yet costly — robots, many of the lessons learned are quickly trickling down to other market segments, including
health care, business and commercial markets, and personal robotic devices.
Market researchers are forecasting a US$3.6 billion jump in the industrial robotics market by 2015, from US$6.4 billion last
year. The auto industry has traditionally been the largest single user of industrial robotics, but increasing use of robots in
sectors such as food handling and processing, clean technology, and energy, as well as pharmaceutical and general consumer
goods production will lead to increased demand for industrial robots as manufacturers look to improve the speed, quality, and
reliability of production through automation. According to Japanese Robot Association research, the personal robot industry
will be worth more than US$50 billion by 2025.
When a Canadian gets their hands on a robot, you can be sure that
one of two things will happen: Either they'll send it into space or they'll
teach it to play hockey.
Since Darwin-OP has yet to be officially certified against either the
harsh environment of outer space or guaranteed not to go crazy and
kill a bunch of astronauts, it looks like this particular robot (who lives
up at the Autonomous Agents Laboratory of the University of
Manitoba) will just have to learn how to play hockey instead. Her name
is Jennifer, and she might actually be the first autonomous humanoid
robot ice hockey player in the world.
Jennifer's just a beginner and she's got a ways to go before she'll be
able to convince anyone that hockey is a real sport. Getting a robot to skate isn't easy but it's certainly possible, and a pair of
customized aluminum roboskates (currently on order) should help. The other tricky bit is the aiming and shooting. Darwin
already comes with ball tracking and the ability to aim kicks at a goal, but using a hockey stick to aim a puck at a goal sideways
is an entirely different skill. Aside from being what looks like a lot of fun, this project is a submission to the Darwin-OP
Humanoid Application Challenge which is scheduled to take place at the 2012 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and
Automation (ICRA) in Minnesota this May.
The final exam in University of Pennsylvania’s Design of
Mechatronic Systems class has the students designing a
mechatronic system in the form of a small team of
autonomous hockey-playing robots. These teams of robots
face off against each other in a big tournament of "robockey"
(not robohockey, but robockey) where we’ll assume the
winning team gets an A+ and everyone else fails the course.
place in the dark,
cool results like
the photo here.
24 SERVO 04.2012