Everything important from the robot world13. October 2021
Everything important from the robot world
MIT – Robot creates order
San Francisco, 10/13/2021
MIT researchers have developed a robotic system that quickly digs through clutter to find hidden items.
The “Roomba on steroids” uses a camera and radio frequency antenna to find and retrieve lost items.
Called RFusion, the robotic arm uses machine learning to find the exact location of the item, move objects that are hiding it, and grab the correct item. Reinforcement learning was used to train a neural network to “optimize the trajectory of the robot to the object.”
The system was 96% successful at finding objects completely hidden under a pile. Once the system becomes faster, it could help install factory components and fulfill warehouse orders, among other tasks.
Singapore has completed a test of its robot Xavier, which is designed to detect “undesirable social behavior” in public places. Two of the AI robots patrolled a shopping mall and a housing estate during a three-week test in September.
Xavier is equipped with autonomous navigation sensors, seven cameras and an interactive dashboard. It is designed to detect behaviors such as inappropriate social behavior, smoking in prohibited areas, illegal peddling and motorcycles on sidewalks.
It was jointly developed by Singapore’s Home Team Science and Technology Agency and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research.
Project leader Michael Lim said the machines will increase safety, although critics fear they could become intrusive and usher in a “dystopian” future for the city-state.
Fruitcore Robotics, an industrial robotics company, has raised a $20 million Series A led by UVC Partners. The company plans to use the funds to expand operations in Europe.
Fruitcore manufactures industrial robot arms. The Horst600 model has a reach of ~23 inches and can lift ~7 lbs. The robots are operated via HorstFX, a tablet with a graphical user interface that allows users to move the robots without code.
Fruitcore uses its robots in areas such as metal and plastics processing, medical technology, and education.
AgTech robotics company Burro announced that it has received $10.9 million in Series A funding led by Toyota Ventures and S2G Ventures. The startup makes autonomous robots for transporting crops.
F-Prime, ADM Capital, Radicle Growth and ffVC also participated in the round.
Burro aims to build and deliver 500 robotic carts by 2021. So far, the company has delivered 90 carts.
The robot uses high-precision GPS and image processing with 12 cameras to move from point A to point B. It has 256 GB of memory and a 4G LTE modem. Each robot weighs 190 pounds and has a maximum payload of 226 pounds. Full charge time is 12 hours and the batteries are replaceable.
Tortoise, a startup for semi-autonomous delivery robots, has signed an agreement with King Retail Solutions to purchase 500 vehicles. The POS company is paying $5,000 per robot and plans to deploy them in grocery stores.
Tortoise is focusing on remote-controlled carts for last-mile delivery.
In September, delivery company AxelHire launched a test program with 100 Tortoise robot carts in a three-mile radius in Los Angeles.
Tortoise had previously conducted pilot programs with charging station and docking provider Swiftmile for remote-controlled e-scooters. According to Edison Trends, online convenience store deliveries grew 346% in 2020.