68 SERVO 07.2014
MAKE MINE A DOUBLE
We've seen robot bartenders before, but now there's an open source
competitor in the mix.
Barobot recently launched on Kickstarter, pouring cocktails by mixing
alcohol, soft drinks, and sodas. Barobot features more than 1,000 cocktail
recipes to choose from, and it also includes an option to create one’s own
Barobot has a weight sensor that knows when to dispense liquids, but
Barobot doesn't shake the drinks, so certain recipes aren’t available. However,
its creators claim that the height from which the drinks are poured will allow
it to mix properly.
Barobot comes with a seven inch Android tablet to peruse through the
recipes and select a drink. There’s also a companion "sofa app" to remotely select drinks without
standing next to the machine. Barobot uses Arduino-compatible electronics for automation,
including 14 microprocessors, various sensors, motors, and a series of 104 LEDs that can be
adjusted to a user's music, mood, or color preference.
There's a DIY version of Barobot that users can assemble themselves for US$1,300. The fully
assembled version costs US$2,500. Go to http://barobot.com to pour over more details.
Surgeons at Boston Children's Hospital — using a new man-machine
interface — were able to successfully perform simulated robotic surgical
procedures using only their sense of touch.
Despite all of the advances in robotics, the ability to provide the
operator of a robotic system with a sense of touch (haptics) still remains a
significant issue. Some of the world's most advanced minimally invasive
surgical (MIS) robots still don't allow surgeons who operate them to feel
what they are doing through their robotic surrogates. As a result, these
robotic systems are used to perform only a small fraction of their overall
Cambridge Research & Development (CRD) has recently completed research
on a new haptic robotic interface which provides an enhanced level of tactile
feedback, allowing robotic operators to perform operations previously
problematic and dangerous. As a proof of capability, CRD — in cooperation with
surgeons in the Department of Urology at Boston Children's Hospital —
successfully simulated robotic surgical procedures using solely the surgeon's sense
"The development of haptic feedback is an essential milestone for robotic surgery.
Surgeons will be able to truly feel the instruments as if their hands were in the operative field. Haptic feedback
may help to reduce surgical errors and may allow for improved quality of surgery," says Boston Children's
Hospital Director of Robotic Surgery, Doctor Hiep T. Nguyen.
Scientific evolution in the area of man-machine interfaces opens up new capabilities for robotic operators in
medicine, space, public safety, exploration, and remote vehicle operations.
"The robotics industry understands that the true potential of robotics and cybernetics lies in the ability of
man and machine to meld," says Ken Steinberg, CEO of Cambridge Research & Development. "Full bio-compatibility is in our future, but advancements have to be made now if we are truly going to realize the
potential of our robotic counterparts. With this new haptic interface, we feel we are providing a solution which
will lead to new and exciting capabilities from the surgery room to space."
Watch the results on You Tube at http://youtu.be/aoxQ1Un5N5M.
Photos courtesy Cambridge R&D.
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