Home Robotics What’s New in Robotics? 20.10.2023

What’s New in Robotics? 20.10.2023

What’s New in Robotics? 20.10.2023


Information briefs for the week check out breaking information from logistics leaders in U.S., with Symbotic and SoftBank partnering to create a WaaS referred to as GreenBox, with SoftBank moreover launching its Undertaking R, and Amazon launching its Sequoia robotic/AI overhaul in Houston, then it’s grippers evolving into fingers for industrial robots and cobots, and eventually, the first-ever connecting of a robotic prosthetic hand on to the mind.

Lastly, tech assist for SME warehouses

U.S.-based Symbotic and Tokyo-based SoftBank are becoming a member of forces to create low-cost, AI-based logistics automation providers for small-to-medium (SME) warehouses, which the pair say is a $500 billion trade. The joint enterprise is known as GreenBox Techniques LLC and was initially capitalized 65% by Softbank and 35% by Symbotic, for a complete of $100 million.

symbotic-softbank-featuredIn keeping with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are “over 21,000 warehouse institutions within the US (as of 2023).” 80% of which have ZERO automation. With almost 15,000 of these warehouses within the SME class and unable to pay the reported $25 million it takes to automate, GreenBox will provide a warehouse as a service mannequin (WaaS).

Symbotic, which already generated “market warmth promoting AI-powered robotic warehouse administration methods” to mega-size shoppers, together with Walmart, Goal, and Albertson’s, will now provide a WaaS month-to-month service to warehouses that “don’t have the cash to purchase them outright.”

“I’ve seen numerous robotics tech and I’ve by no means seen something prefer it in my life,” TD Cowen analyst Joseph Giordano mentioned. “In comparison with what it replaces, it’s like day and evening.”

“GreenBox faucets into the highly effective potential of AI and different enabling applied sciences in provide chains, whereas additionally making the advantages of automation accessible to extra companies by means of an ‘as-a-service’ providing,” SoftBank’s Vikas Parekh mentioned in a launch.

“In partnership with Symbotic, GreenBox will equip prospects with extra clever, streamlined, and scalable warehousing options whereas eliminating the burden of main capital expenditures.”

Tech watch: SoftBank’s secret “Undertaking R”

Appears to be like just like the $100 million Symbotic-SoftBank hookup as GreenBox Techniques could be just the start of a brand new run at buying extra rising applied sciences. What SoftBank calls “Undertaking R”.

a11446a0-7b35-462a-be52-d1804c1b0822-S7E3JnUndertaking R is a tightly-held secret enterprise, however SoftBank Chairman Masayoshi Son, in line with latest leaked stories, “has met with a number of high-profile buyers and entrepreneurs to debate potential investments in areas equivalent to synthetic intelligence, robotics, and autonomous autos.”

Regardless of the remaining investments, look to AI to be the driving force. Son-san mentioned he believes synthetic intelligence will surpass human intelligence inside a decade, and the businesses and those that work with AI would be the leaders within the subsequent 10 to twenty years.

As for logistics, SoftBank already has investments in Boston Dynamics, AutoStore, Berkshire Gray (acquired in 2023), along with its latest joint ‘Warehouse as a Service’ (WaaS) enterprise with Symbotic, referred to as GreenBox Techniques (see above).

“Undertaking R is seen as a manner for SoftBank to diversify its funding portfolio and to put new bets on rising applied sciences. The corporate has been dealing with growing scrutiny in recent times over its investments within the Imaginative and prescient Fund, which has misplaced billions of {dollars}.”

Amazon overhauls with new robotics & AI: Sequoia

AMAZON-SEQUOIA-1Amazon introduced a brand new logistics overhaul for its operations utilizing superior robotics and AI that it calls Sequoia (reference to large, historical timber). Amazon launched the system this week at certainly one of its warehouses in Houston.

Sequoia, mentioned David Guerin, the corporate’s director of robotic storage expertise, helps to place gadgets on the market on-line a lot sooner and makes it simpler to foretell supply estimates. The brand new program reduces the time it takes to satisfy an order by as much as 25%, added Guerin, and might determine and retailer stock as much as 75% sooner.

“The sooner we will course of stock, the better the likelihood that we’re going to have the ability to ship after we mentioned we may,” Guerin mentioned. He expects the brand new system to make up a good portion of the corporate’s operations within the subsequent three to 5 years.

Confronted with elevated competitors, Amazon has labored to change into sooner at delivering its merchandise. The corporate beforehand reworked its operations to a regionally targeted mannequin meant to retailer gadgets nearer to prospects. Executives see a connection between supply speeds and development.

From grippers to fingers for industrial robots

Palms for humanoids? Subtle hand expertise designed for medical prosthetics may find yourself on industrial robots and cobots in factories and warehouses…and really most likely as all-purpose fingers for humanoid robots.

a-human-inspired-robotAt MIT, in what’s being referred to as “more and more subtle robotic methods designed to imitate each the construction and performance of the human physique,” a robotic hand has been developed that might effectively serve each a medical and industrial operate.

Robotic fingers for medical functions are costly to construct and troublesome to scale into mass manufacturing, subsequently making them ill-suited as grippers for industrial robotics. Till now.

“Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Expertise (MIT) not too long ago created a new extremely exact robotic hand that may very well be simpler to upscale, as its elements could be crafted utilizing generally employed strategies, equivalent to 3D printing and laser chopping.”

“This work presents a hybrid bio-inspired robotic hand that mixes mushy supplies and inflexible components,” wrote Chao Liu, Andrea Moncada and their colleagues. “Sensing is built-in into the inflexible our bodies leading to a easy manner for pose estimation with excessive sensitivity.”

Finally, say the researchers, their new design may very well be built-in with different robotic limbs to create scalable humanoid robots which can be higher at manipulating objects.

Launched in a paper A Modular Bio-inspired Robotic Hand with Excessive Sensitivity printed within the journal IEEE Worldwide Convention on Smooth Robotics (RoboSoft, 2023), the MIT hand relies on a so-called modular construction, that means that it contains a number of constructing blocks that may be rearranged to attain completely different actions (see video).


Actual “thoughts management” for robotic hand

In a first-ever for medical prosthetic {hardware}, a robotic hand has been made to attach instantly with the mind and combine with the nervous and skeletal methods…giving actual management and actual bodily sensations to the recipient.

133603136c5023a899da7b877dda236cBeforehand, the prevailing method for a robotic limb was myoelectric, which is a motor and battery on board the robotic hand that reacts to electrical alerts by means of sensors on the outside pores and skin which can be generated by muscle mass within the residual limb.

Nonetheless, “myoelectric alerts recorded by floor electrodes are liable to disturbance and interference, thus rendering prosthetic management in every day life unreliable,” say researchers.

Osseointegration, however, is the method that connects bones to the electrodes implanted within the nerves and muscle mass. For Karin, her first operation in 2018 connected an MIA Hand from Italy-based Prensilia, which now, 5 years on, a joint medical crew has additional endowed with 80% of her former hand management and sensation.

The surgical procedure, referred to as “focused muscle reinnervation” re-arranges nerves and muscle mass within the residual limb and hyperlinks them to the remaining muscle mass. This enables the mind to ship alerts to the prosthesis by means of the nerves, similar to it will do with a pure limb (see video).

To develop Karin’s new bionic limb, “a multidisciplinary group of engineers and surgeons from Sweden, Australia and Italy created what they’re calling a revolution for these struggling limb loss, fusing surgical procedure, implants and AI.”

Rickard Brånemark, an MIT researcher on the challenge says: “By combining osseointegration with reconstructive surgical procedure, implanted electrodes, and AI, we will restore human operate in an unprecedented manner.”

For the over 50 million limb amputees worldwide, that information is one thing to smile about. And for hundreds of thousands extra, right here’s proof that robotics can create new jobs!







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