The First Laboratory of Anthropomorphic Robotic Systems Opened in Russia

On the 18th of April, 2013, Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University and Android Technics Scientific Production Association have jointly established “Intelligent Robotics” – the R&D laboratory of anthropomorphic robotic systems – the first of the kind in Russia.

The laboratory provides opportunities for advanced scientific researches in the field of robotics. The basis of the laboratory is an anthropomorphic robot AR-600 with additional modules, namely “Mechatronics” (learning the operation of the robot’s mechatronic systems), “3D Modeling” (creation of new movements library) and “Polygon” (a testing platform). The anthropomorphic robot is one of the products developed by Android Technics and is currently involved in international educational projects of Russia, Canada and Germany.

This challenging project implemented by Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University covers the use of high-tech equipment to create R&D environment for developers with further training of specialists and obtaining new results of intellectual activities.

“Our main objective is to develop software. We have a certain scientific basis, patents and ideas. We only need to bring them to life,” says Oleg Tolstel, the chief of Intelligent Robotics laboratory.

Once established, the Intelligent Robotics laboratory will promote Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University to one of the national leaders in the field of robotics. It offers significant opportunities for attracting foreign and Russian students to the university, for developing research activities on future-oriented topics, collaborating with foreign universities, creating its own commercial curricula and implementing the R&D efforts pursuant to Russian Federation Government Resolution No. 218, in cooperation with industrial sector.

On this occasion, Timur Gareev, the University’s Pro-Rector for Development and Innovation, said: “Opening of the laboratory is a new milestone in the history of our university which will allow students and teachers to work at the forefront of science and technology. We have received a unique focus for efforts of all those who are interested in IT-technologies and advanced engineering systems. Particularly, it is important for the university in terms of stimulating the development of interdisciplinary science and engineering fields of training.”

This event gave the green light to build a professional environment for research workers and developers in the area of innovative technologies.

Toshiba unveils four-legged robot for Fukushima cleanup, far from ready for use

Japan’s Toshiba showed off a new four-legged robot that is designed to venture into highly radioactive areas and assist with the cleanup efforts at the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant. The irony here is that Toshiba is one of the country’s larger developers of nuclear reactor technologies. Also that the robot is in such a pre-production state, filled with errors and malfunctions, that it probably shouldn’t have been unveiled at this point in development.

With its four legs, the new unnamed robot is intended to be able to climb over debris and other hazards that would be dangerous for humans, as well as recognize when the levels ofradiation are so high that it will interfere with its wireless network used for control, and then move to areas with better reception. In reality, the robot, which looks like a white box attached to four shaky metal legs, took nearly a minute to go up each step on a flight of stairs, lifting one leg at a time. And then it froze with one leg in the air, requiring a repositioning and reboot by developers. Toshiba admits that it could take as long as 10 minutes for the machine to analyze a piece of debris at the nuclear plant and how to move it. Oh, and should the robot ever topple over, it is unable to stand up on its own.

It is still unknown when this advanced tool will be completed, and there are no firm decisions on if it will be used at the Fukushima nuclear plant, however, utility company Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has expressed an interest in possibly using the robot to inspect parts of the reactors. To this day, no human has been able to enter the radiation-heavy suppression chamber where the meltdown occurred since the March 2011 disaster. Goro Yanase, a senior manager with Toshiba, said he hopes the technology they displayed could be used to go into the dangerous areas first and see what’s there.

While certain aspects of the robot are advantageous, most notably the fact that it can go into dangerous areas in place of a human, for work other than inside the meltdown chamber, a much better and more practical solution sounds like the recently unveiled robotic suit, which, controlled by brainwaves, allows a wearer to multiply their strength to lift objects.

Source: http://japandailypress.com/toshiba-unveils-four-legged-robot-for-fukushima-cleanup-far-from-ready-for-use-2118756

RSLSteeper launches third version of its bebionic myoelectric hand

Nigel Ackland could be mistaken for a cyborg. He has a high-tech robotic hand that looks like it started life as a Formula 1 car and its movements are alarmingly lifelike. It’s called the “bebonic3” and is the latest version of bebonic series of artificial hands produced by RSLSteeper of Leeds, U.K. The myoelectric hand has been under development for a couple of years now, but the bebonic3 is moving prosthetic limbs from Captain Hook to Luke Skywalker territory.

Artificial hands have come a long way in recent years, but it turns out the human hand is amazingly complex. With about 29 bones, 34 muscles, 48 nerves and 123 ligaments to operate it, the hand is a piece of engineering that is still streets ahead of current technology.

Patient Nigel Ackland

Patient Nigel Ackland

While there have been a lot of advances over the past fifty years (as evidenced by the i-LIMBProDigits and SmartHand), many artificial hands are little more than powered hooks or pincers that often require a great deal of effort to work. Worse, patients are often caught between the choice of hands that look realistic, but don’t do much, or ones that are functional, but look like something worn by a Bond villain.

The bebionic3 is designed to not only look human, but also to provide the wearer with a large degree of natural movement. Being myoelectric means that the hand is controlled by electrical impulses from the patient’s remaining forearm muscles rather than by wires and harnesses. This makes the hand less tiring to use, though it also makes it heavier and dependent on batteries.

The bebionic3 hand's silicone glove

The bebionic3 hand’s silicone glove

Each finger is controlled by an individual motor controlled by microprocessors that allow the wearer to operate 14 “grip patterns” and hand positions. The hand can automatically adjust its grip to match the task or if it senses that an object is slipping and the fingers fold away realistically when brushing against people or objects. The wrist joint also comes in a variety of forms to suit individual patient needs. This customization extends to the controlling software, which allows the bebionic3 to be wirelessly monitored and configured by a physician.

One possible drawback of the bebionic3 is that its appearance is a bit dramatic, but a realistic-looking silicone glove is available to slip over it. The glove comes in 19 lifelike shades and jet black for those who prefer to keep the cyborg look.

Available wrist configurations for the bebionic3 hand

Available wrist configurations for the bebionic3 hand

Though the bebionic3 is impressive, there is still a long way to go. Using some grips require the patient to move the mechanical thumb manually into a new position and the hand still lacks a sense of touch or proper haptic feedback. Also, the price hasn’t been made public, but it’s likely to at the premium end of the market.

Sourse: http://www.gizmag.com/bebionic3/24899/

Return visit to Germany

For further development of the Russian-German relations in the area of robotics the representatives of  JSC SPA “Android Technics” and  Federal State Unitary   Enterprise  “ TsNIIMash”  returned a visit to Research Centre for intelligent robotics DFKI in Germany, Bremen during 15.10-20.10.2012.

During the meeting the parties continued to discuss the possible arrangement and the prospective for joint international space experiment with the use of current technical developments such as a vision system, local and global navigation, sensory system designed by German partners and the Russian anthropomorphic robotic system SAR-400 with an interactive control system. The representative of German Space Agency DLR Mr. Rainer Scharenberg also participated in the discussions.

Russian specialists were acquainted with the technical capacity of German partners in the area of robotics.

“That is good for us to meet again our colleagues and likeminded people to discuss both the highly-specialized and general practical arrangements concerning our collaboration” – Mr. Vladislav Sychkov (SPA) said. “It is always useful to meet with people who show, except their operational excellence, the unabated enthusiasms and the dominant position in their field of activity”, he added.

Within the context of a meeting two parties gained understanding of the discussed robotic system configuration for further development of its concept formulation and the work breakdown of their collaboration.

The outcomes of this meeting were the signing of a protocol and Memorandum of cooperation.   

The responsible executives of SPA

 

“Android technics” and DFKI considered also possible steps to implement their joint commercial projects in the area of robotics.

Two parties expressed their satisfaction at the agreements which have been reached between them and they believe they have made a good beginning for the future-oriented space experiment being important for the world community.

 

New round of cooperation between russia and germany in space robotics

The working meeting of Russian and German companies SPA “Android technics”, FGUP TsNIIMash and DFKI took place last week.  The primal question appeared on the agenda was the Russian-German joint space experiment for usability of an anthropomorphic robot to give the cosmonauts the in-flight operational support in the ISS.

The possibilities of carrying out the joint space experiment based on German capacities in robotics and Russian anthropomorphic robotic system SAR-400 with an interactive control system had been discussed during the meeting.

The specialists of the two countries told over the matter related to their collaboration for the purpose of this experiment.

Two parties noted that the realization of this project is of mutual interest.

A return visit by Russian specialists to Germanyis projected for the 15th of October 2012.

The presentation of the first Russian anthropomorphic robot to the worldwide space community


The first Russian anthropomorphic robot was presented to the worldwide space community at the Global Space Exploration conference that took place on the 22-24 May inWashington.

The anthropomorphic robotic system SA400 is a development of the Scientific development andProductionCenter“Android technique” designed to be used in space activities and to solve certain problems of the Russian manned astronautics:

–   Transport, mounting, inspection and other technological operations both in IV and EV activities.

–   Rescue and salvage operations in cases when the human presence is undesirable or he is  personally an object of salvation;

–   Informational and psychological supporting of the orbital space station crew.

The high performance of gripper is a distinct advantage of the Russian robot over its foreign analogues. Besides due to force-torque reflection the SAR-400 operator could “feel” the objects which whom he interacts.

The parties interested in the global space exploration could be acquainted with this development at the exhibition stand of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise Central R & D Institute (Russian Space agency), which is the main institute for development and planning of the space programs in the Russian Federation.  They were also commented on the particularities, main performance data and test results achieved.

The representatives of international space agencies, industrial enterprises of the participating countries in space programs displayed a keen interest in this Russian development – an innovative concept of the basic technology for the solution of long-range space objectives. “The high priority was given to the issues of integration of the current developments with SAR-4000, for example, with extravehicular manipulators. The synergism achieved based on such integration of technologies and engineering development allows increasing several times the efficiency in EV activities” – Mr.Vladislav Sychkov, Technical Director of the development company commented.

 

Contact name at the Conference

Mr. Oleg Alekseevich Saprykin

Chief of Manned Space Programs Department,

FederalStateUnitary Enterprise Central R & D Institute

Tel. No. 8 916 327 55 91

Mr. Vladislav Borisovich Sychkov

Technical Director

SPA “Android technique”

Tel. No. 8 963 094 99 88

 

123317,Moscow, “Moskva-City”, Severnaya Bashnya,Testovskaya street, 10

OGRN 1097746741894, INN/KPP 7723738378/772301001

Tel.: +7(495) 226 02 99, +7(495) 226 12 99

ICRA Robot Challenge 2012

At the annual scientific ICRA 2012 conference the latest robotics and the most interesting robots from all over the world will be presented. A subject of this conference will be «Robots and automation: innovations for needs of the future». Last conference on a robotics of ICRA 2011 took place in Shanghai. There light learned about such interesting development as, for example, PR2, learned to sort clothes and to put it in places. “Lingodroida’s” which are thinking out cartographical names too the robots were presented on ICRA 2011.

 ICRA Robot Challenge 2012

As the part of the program of conference on a robotics this year will take place ICRA Robot Challenge 2012. Where will pass tests for robots on categories «Mobile manipulations», «A modular robotics», «A mobile microrobotics», «A production call» and competition of appendices for an android of DARwIn-OP. ICRA 2012 will pass from May 14 to May 18 in the USA, in the State of Minnesota, will accept its city of Saint Paul.

www.robonovosti.ru

From February 20 to February 24 “Android technics” took part in the International Seminar on Space Robotics in Germany

From February 20 to February 24 “Android technics” took part in the International Seminar on Space Robotics in Germany (Stuttgart http://www.bw-internationalscience.com/spacerobotics/index_ru.php), which were shown the results ofoperations, conducted by the company in cooperation with the Federal State Unitary Enterprise TsNIIMash research and training center for cosmonauts named after Yuri Gagarin, the project creation anthropomorphic robot for space station ISS as an assistantastronaut.There was made a presentation  and shown a video about the new development of SAR-400 experiment at the seminar, held in November 2011 in the laboratories of the CPC, whose purpose was to investigate the possibilities of interaction between the astronauts andanthropomorphic robot.Press center of the “Androidnye Technology”

December 7, 2011 representatives of the group «Harmonic Drive AG» (www.harmonicdrive.de) and JSC “AVITON” (www.aviton.spb.ru) visited the Research and Production Association “Androidnye technique” to get acquainted with productsDrive », in the organization , which uses the wave gear concern «Harmonic particular – with anthropomorphic robotic systems« AR-601. “After visiting the laboratory and learn about current projects of NGOs, “AT” have been held tripartite talks between representatives of the NGO “Androidnye technique», «Harmonic Drive AG» and CJSC «AVITON.” At the talks, agreements were reached further long-term cooperation in the supply of electric motors, servo drives and motors for the wave of robotic systems.

Presentation of an anthropomorphic robot SAR – 400 in the Center for Cosmonaut Training named after JA Gagarin.

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