bots IN BRIEF
iRobot is now offering a brand new pool cleaning robot:
the Mirra 530.
The Mirra 530 is actually the third model that they've
come out with, after the Verro 300 and the Verro 500. At
$1,300, it's also the most expensive. If you can afford it, it
looks like this robot will probably keep your pool squeaky
clean without you having to lift much more than a finger
Features and benefits include:
• Dual top-load filter canisters for easier and faster
emptying of debris.
• Self-contained vacuum, pump, and filter system works
without suction lines or other modifications to existing
• Pumps and filters 70 gallons of pool water per minute.
• Reduces heated hot spots and keeps chlorinated water
• PVC active scrubbing brush lifts dirt, algae, and bacteria
off the pool floor and walls, including the water line where
oils and bacteria can build up. Fine filters capture debris as
tiny as two microns.
Whatever one may think of the military's pronounced interest in
robots, it does end up paying for all kinds of things, and here is one
amazing example that's funded by DARPA (among others): a seven DoF
brain-controlled robotic arm and hand that has allowed this woman to
take a bite of chocolate unassisted for the first time in a decade.
Jan Scheuermann has had quadriplegia for the last 10 years, which
means that she can move her head and neck, but nothing lower down.
She's part of a program at the University of Pittsburgh School of
Medicine which involved implanting electrodes directly into her brain,
and then using them to intercept brain signals that Jan can use them to
control a robotic arm.
"I used to have to think,'up, clockwise, down, forward, back ...' Now, I just look at the target,
and Hector [the arm is called Hector] goes there."
22 SERVO 02.2013