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FAA Green-Lights UAV Test Sites
01/02/14 — Are drones the engine of the next economic boom?  Officials in the six states selected Monday to develop drone test sites certainly seem to think so. Despite concern about government surveillance dominating the headlines this year, those behind the successful bids ended 2013 cheering over the possibility of a new…

Lockheed Martin Welcomed to “Elite Eight” in DARPA Challenge
12/24/13 — HOMESTEAD, Fla., Dec. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) Advanced Technology Laboratories (ATL) recently completed the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge trials at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Lockheed Martin-led team, which includes the University of Pennsylvania and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, guided an Atlas humanoid robot through a number of tasks designed to…

Robots Gear up for Coming DARPA Challenge
12/18/13 — The current state of robotics will be put to a serious test this weekend as 17 robots and software teams take their autonomous unmanned systems to Florida for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Robotics Challenge. They might look like Robocop or some kind of praying mantis, but they all have the same mission: assisting…

Google Goes on Military Robot Buying Spree
12/18/13 — Google may have just entered Skynet territory with its acquisition of Boston Dynamics, an engineering company that has designed robots for the Pentagon and has close ties to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Google (GOOG)has been aggressively buying robot makers over the past year, and its larger autonomous-machine strategy is overseen by Andy Rubin, the Google executive…

Meet Valkyrie, NASA’s DARPA Challenge Contender
12/12/13 — DARPA has been hosting a Robotics Challenge since last year that challenged some participants to create robots that can be used in the real world. The official name for the Valkyrie robot given to it by NASA is R5. The bot stands 1.9 meters tall and weighs in at 125…

USMC Tests Black Jack Drone
12/04/13 — The Marine Corps is testing a new 135-pound, catapult-launched drone that can take off from an amphibious assault ship and climb to 15,000 feet with multi-intelligence sensors mounted onboard, service officials said. The RQ-21A, or “Black Jack” UAS, can fly for up to 16 hours at ranges out to 100…

Mine-Hunting AUV Sets Endurance Record
11/27/13 — The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory's (NRL) Acoustics Division, with Bluefin Robotics, executed a record setting 507 kilometer (315 mile), long-endurance autonomy research mission using its heavyweight-class mine countermeasures autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), Reliant. NRL's Reliant AUV, when equipped with a low frequency broadband (LFBB) sonar system, is perhaps best known…

In 10 Years, 10:1 Robot-Soldier Ratio in U.S. Military
11/20/13 — American soldiers patrolling dangerous streets will soon be accompanied by autonomous robots programmed to scan the area with thermal imaging and send live images back to the command center. Likewise, squads of infantrymen hiking through mountains will be helped by a wagon train of robots carrying extra water, ammo and protective gear.…

Fighting Fire with 3D-Mapping Robots
11/13/13 — Researchers develop novel robotic scouts that can help firefighters to assist in residential and commercial blazes. The robots will map and photograph the interior of burning buildings by using stereo vision. Working together both collaboratively and autonomously, a number of such vehicles would quickly develop an accurate augmented virtual reality…

Next Gen Unmanned Helicopter Takes First Flight
11/07/13 — The next-generation MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter has taken to the air for the first time at Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) in California. Built by Northrop Grumman around a Bell 407 helicopter, the MQ-8C is designed to boast twice the endurance and three times the payload capacity of the MQ-8B…

100 FirstLook Robot Helps First Responders in Emergencies
10/30/13 — Last week brought us another milestone in the world of robotics via the launch of Willow Garage’s newest spin off, Unbounded Robotics and its new mid-range one-armed lab robot UBR-1. At the other end of the robotics pendulum, we saw an upgraded defense and law enforcement robot from iRobot IRBT -2.56%. iRobot’s defense and security team recently unveiled new…

The Umbilical Link of Man to Robot
10/24/13 — WORCESTER, Mass. — Atlas doesn’t shrug. But he teeters, loses his grip, stutters and staggers. His task one afternoon is to clear a debris field. After many agonizing moments, in a set of abrupt and jerky movements, he crouches and with painstaking precision manages to grasp a two-by-four board and…

Weaponized Robots Flex Their Muscle for Army Officials
10/16/13 — The U.S. Army, looking to use more robots on the battlefield, this week is getting a peek at just how ready robots are to become trusted parts of the military. Commercial companies are demonstrating robots at a four-day event at the Fort Benning Army post in Georgia this week. The robotic…

Embry-Riddle Tries Out Autonomous Airport Security System
10/09/13 — Last month, a student-faculty team from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University used a Ford Escape hybrid car equipped with a GrayMatter Autonomous Vehicle system, GPS and 64 lasers to successfully guide the vehicle around the perimeter of Florida’s Daytona Beach International Airport on a pre-determined track. The event is believed to be the first…

Emergency Response Robots Compete at euRathlon
10/02/13 — Everyone loves a good “Battle of the ‘Bots” throw down, even if the competitors are programmed for preserving lives, rather than destroying them. Last week, Berchtesgaden, Germany played host to the euRathlon, an outdoor robotics competition where 14 teams tested the intelligence, autonomy and grit of their robots that competed…

Military Drags Its Feet in Push for Robotic Ground Vehicles
09/25/13 — WASHINGTON — Cars that can park, brake at a sign of danger and navigate in traffic are on their way to dealers’ showrooms, turning science-fiction fantasies of consumer-owned self-driving vehicles into a new reality. But as private investors have been pushing ahead to develop the systems needed for these new…

FEMA Stops UAVs Mapping Disaster Area After Colorado Flood
09/18/13 — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) threatened to arrest anyone flying drones over the Colorado flood damage over the weekend, even those volunteering with the relief effort. On Saturday, FEMA grounded Colorado company Falcon UAV — a drone manufacturer that had been helping local authorities map the disaster area in near-real time…

Can Emotional Attachment to a Robot be a Bad Thing?
09/18/13 — It's becoming more common to have robots sub in for humans to do dirty or sometimes dangerous work. But researchers are finding that in some cases, people have started to treat robots like pets, friends, or even as an extension of themselves. That raises the question, if a soldier attaches…




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