Monthly Archives: February 2016

New Atlas – The latest robot technology

The humanoid Atlas robot, which has been overhauled with a sleeker design, can be seen at the beginning of the video walking around untethered before it opens the front door to Boston Dynamics’ office and steps outside. The bot is then seen walking on uneven and snowy terrain, maneuvering around trees and correcting its balance several times. [Watch the Atlas Robot Video]

The new-and-improved robot is “designed to operate outdoors and inside buildings,” Boston Dynamics wrote in a description of the video posted on YouTube. “It is specialized for mobile manipulation. It is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. It uses sensors in its body and legs to balance and LIDAR and stereo sensors in its head to avoid obstacles, assess the terrain, help with navigation and manipulate objects.”

Indeed, the video goes on to show Atlas bending down to pick up 10-pound (4.5 kilograms) boxes and pivoting its torso to place each package on a shelf. In another instance, a human handler uses a hockey stick to push Atlas off balance. The robot stumbles backwards (but catches itself) before regaining its balance. Next, an employee pushes Atlas down from behind. The curled-up robot (lying flat on its robotic face) is able to push itself up — first to its “hands” and “knees,” before righting its torso and then pushing up on its feet— all without help from a human or a tether. [Robots on the Run! 5 Bots That Can Really Move]

Some commenters on the YouTube video expressed outrage at the guy pushing the robot with a hockey stick, with some saying they felt sad for the robot, some calling the guy a bully and even suggesting, perhaps with a grin, that he will be blamed for any robot uprisings.

“The guy who kicks the robot will be fully responsible [sic] from the forthcoming robot-human wars,” wrote Alper ALT.

Another commenter, jonelolguy, wrote: “Man, i actually feel bad for the robot.”

“Did anyone else feel pretty sad when they pushed it,” wrote Cris Loreto.

These commenters aren’t alone in attributing feelings to robots, particularly ones that look lifelike.

Researchers have found that when people watch a robot being harmed or snuggled they react in a similar way to those actions being done to a flesh-and-blood human. In one study, participants said they felt negative emotions when they watched a human hit or drop a small dinosaur robot, and their skin conductance also showed they were distressed at the “bot abuse.” When volunteers watched a robot being hugged their brain activity was the same as when they watched human-human affection; even so, brain activity was stronger for human-human abuse versus human-robot violence.

“We think that, in general, the robot stimuli elicit the same emotional processing as the human stimuli,” said Astrid Rosenthal-von der Pütten of the University of Duisburg Essen in Germany, who led that study. The research was presented in 2013 at the International Communication Association Conference in London.

Last summer, Boston Dynamics upgraded the Atlas robot for the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals, a competition hosted by the U.S. military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The most significant changes at that time were to Atlas’ power supply and hydraulic pump, which helps the robot stand, walk around and perform other tasks.

Boston Dynamics, which is owned by Google, said the new version of the Atlas robot now stands about 5 feet and 9 inches (1.7 meters) tall, which is about a head shorter than the version of Atlas used in the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals, and weighs 180 pounds (82 kg).

Source : http://www.livescience.com

Utilizing advances in environmental technology

Global Warming is one of the most adverse threats the Earth is facing today. It is taking its toll on the world through a whole lot of pollutants. It is high time we heed this alarming fact and take measures to battle the impending hazards.

With the globe becoming increasingly pollution-prone, all of us face the threat of a dark future devoid of the present beauties of the world. Globally, there is an alarming increase in environmental pollution. Considering the depletion of useful natural resources and the pollution of the environment, the predictions about the end of the Earth no more seem to be wild fantasies. In such a bleak scenario, only environment-friendly technologies can save us from environmental disasters.

Environmental Technologies are the only way to curb pollution and create a hazard-free environment. The main concept behind environmental technologies is to convert environmental beneficial material into value added products and services. The purpose of implementing environmental friendly technology is to minimise environmental pollution. Some of the beneficial factors are:

1. Minimum materials as input

2. High energy conservation.

3. Least pollution.

4. Minimum waste disposal.

5. Numerous valuable by-products are recovered.

Environmental Technology is the cleanest and most resource efficient technology. Corporations can gain competitive advantage using these technologies. Many companies utilise environmental technologies to produce common consumer products. Leading players like NTIC produces Polymer Energy with the help of environmental technology for economical and environmental gain. It is an alternative and effective method to recycle and dispose plastic wastes. The Polymer Energy system effectively converts plastics into crude oil with the use of catalytic pyrolysis. Every single ton of plastic waste is converted into 775 litres of crude oil.

Approximately 230 million tons of garbage is generated which is converted into Nature-Tec environmental friendly plastic. Bio-based or bio-degradable plastics are produced using environmental technology. These plastics are fully degradable and prevent the soil from getting polluted. Some of the useful applications of these plastics are carry-out bags, packaging films, trash bags. They can also be used as extrusion coat papers which are used in coated paper cups, trays and others.

NTIC is an extremely environment-friendly and eco-conscious organisation which has completely understood the concept of environmental technology. It is constantly striving to utilise environmental technology to its fullest extent and offer value-added products to consumers. NTIC stands in offering an environment-beneficial clean technology to the public.

History of Computer Aided Manufacturing ( CAM )

Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) is one of the software automation processes that directly convert the product drawing or the object into the code design that enables the machine to manufacture the product. It is used in various machines like lathes and milling machines for the product manufacturing purposes. It allows the computer work instructions to communicate directly to the manufacturing machines.

The mechanism of CAM developed from the Computer Numerical Machines (CNC) in the early 1950s. These systems were directed by a set of coded instructions in a punched paper tape. The proposal to develop the first numerically controlled machine was commissioned to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from the US Air Force in the year 1949. The entire proposed idea of developing this machine was demonstrated in the year 1952.

The motivation factor in developing these kinds of numerically automated machines involves the expensive costs in manufacturing the complex curved geometries in 2D or 3D constraints mechanically. The development of these machines considers the factors like easier programming in CAM and easy storage of programs. A program can be changed easily and avoid manual errors. Numerically controlled machines are safer to operate, and the complex geometry comes at a reasonable price.

James T. Parsons proposed the concept of the numerical control operations during the year of 1948. In 1950, the MIT servo mechanism lab developed the Numerical Control (NC) milling project. The remaining program parts were released in the later period of 1952 along with the first successful demo version. After 1955, major companies in the industry developed their own machine designs.

IBMs Automatic Tool Changer in the year 1955, G & Ls first production of the skin-miller in the year 1957, and the machining center developed by K & T have all been considered to be major developments to promote the technology with more benefits. CAD drafting and the sculptured surfaces were developed in the year 1965; 7,700 NCs were also installed during the same year.

During the year 1967, the concept of developing the CNC machine was proposed. The existence and the major development of the CAD/CAM machines evolved during the year 1972. 3D CAM/CAD systems were introduced in 1976. Expert CAM/CAD systems were developed in the year 1989. The major development of the CAM systems provides you with easier manufacturing of objects with high efficiency.