Ubiquity Robotics Launches Beefy ROS Development Platform

There are any number of robotics development platforms out there, and we’ve written about most of them TurtleBots, iRobot Creates, and more recently robots like Misty. Generally, these platforms are intended to be used for experimenting with sensors and software, or for more socially-oriented applications that don’t involve much in the way of lifting or moving stuff.

A Silicon Valley startup called Ubiquity Robotics believes that there’s an opportunity here, and they’re crowdfunding a robot called Magni that’s specifically designed to handle large payloads for long durations. It comes with sensing and computing out of the box, and Ubiquity hopes it’ll enable hobbyists to create a new generation of practical robotic solutions.In addition, Ubiquity is offering Loki, a small and more or less affordable learning platform that you can use to develop applications for Magni.

 

Ubiquity Robotics' Loki mobile robot ROS-based platform

 

It’s important to note that Magni  are not for novice programmers, and they’re probably not for people who are interested in learning about robotics and ROS. There are tutorials for Magni, but they assume that you have a working knowledge of ROS already.

 

This strikes us as an optimistic vision for a robotic development platform. Not that there’s anything wrong with optimism, but as we mentioned above, people have been making development platforms for years, and they’ve remained a niche product, mostly used by researchers or hobbyists.

Ubiquity believes that there’s a market out there of people who want to do practical things with robots, but who are restricted more by platform availability than anything else. It’s certainly true that most mobile bases that can handle large payloads tend to be on the expensive side, but it remains to be seen whether there’s enough demand out there to sustain even relatively low volume production of a robot like Magni.

Ubiquity is crowdfunding the version of Magni that most people probably want for US $1,000, not including a 3D vision system, meaning that they’ll probably need to sell between one and two hundred Magnis (of varying specs) to reach their fixed goal of $200k.

 

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https://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/diy/ubiquity-robotics-launches-beefy-ros-development-platform


Robo-logistics company Magazino raises $25M for its warehouse bots

German robotics firm Magazino, creator of robots meant to work alongside people in warehouses and the like, has raised $24.8 million to continue development and deployment of its TORU and SOTO robots.

The bots are made for the kind of repetitive fetching and transport work that is so common in e-commerce distribution and storage facilities. They’re considerably larger than people, but are designed to move about and interact with the same spaces — ordinary shelves, lanes and tables.

The heavy-duty SOTO, which was just recently introduced, can handle boxes of more than 20 pounds and two feet across. TORU was recently redesigned but is intended for smaller payloads (think shoe boxes). The two robots load multiple target boxes into their internal storage, then navigate to their destinations to drop them off. It’s the kind of thing human warehouse workers tend to get really tired of doing.

It’s also done autonomously with 3D imaging in real time — not a simple by-wire system where it might grab at empty air and then plow through people in its path. Magazino is investing heavily into the sensing and real-time operation stack, which it calls ACROS(Advanced Cooperative Robotic Operating System).

The company was started in 2014, and by 2016 had landed major clients like Fiege, which now uses Magazino robots for some of its warehouse work, and recently ordered 30 more.

 

 

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source:

Robo-logistics company Magazino raises $25M for its warehouse bots

 


Custom carpentry with help from Robots

Every year thousands of carpenters injure their hands and fingers doing dangerous tasks such as sawing.

In an effort to minimize injury and let carpenters focus on design and other bigger-picture tasks, a team from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has created AutoSaw, a system that lets nonexperts customize different items that can then be constructed with the help of robots.

 

Users can choose from a range of carpenter-designed templates for chairs, desks, and other furniture. The team says that AutoSaw could eventually be used for projects as large as a deck or a porch.

“If you’re building a deck, you have to cut large sections of lumber to length, and that’s often done on site,” says CSAIL postdoc Jeffrey Lipton, who was a lead author on a related paper about the system. “Every time you put a hand near a blade, you’re at risk. To avoid that, we’ve largely automated the process using a chop-saw and jigsaw.

How it works

Software isn’t a foreign concept for some carpenters. “Computer Numerical Control” (CNC) can convert designs into numbers that are fed to specially programmed tools to execute. However, the machines used for CNC fabrication are usually large and cumbersome, and users are limited to the size of the existing CNC tool.

 

As a result, many carpenters continue to use chop-saws, jigsaws, and other hand tools that are low cost, easy to move, and simple to use. These tools, while useful for customization, still put people at a high risk of injury.

AutoSaw draws on expert knowledge for designing, and robotics for the more risky cutting tasks. Using the existing CAD system OnShape with an interface of design templates, users can customize their furniture for things like size, sturdiness, and aesthetics. Once the design is finalized, it’s sent to the robots to assist in the cutting process using the jigsaw and chop-saw.

To cut lumber the team used motion-tracking software and small mobile robots — an approach that takes up less space and is more cost-effective than large robotic arms.

 

Specifically, the team used a modified Roomba with a jigsaw attached to cut lumber of any shape on a plank. For the chopping, the team used two Kuka youBots to lift the beam, place it on the chop saw, and cut.

“We added soft grippers to the robots to give them more flexibility, like that of a human carpenter,” says Lipton. “This meant we could rely on the accuracy of the power tools instead of the rigid-bodied robots.”

After the robots finish with cutting, the user then assembles the new piece of furniture using step-by-step directions from the system.

Image result for Custom carpentry with help from robots

 

#LITTLEBOTZACADEMY#

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Source: http://news.mit.edu/2018/custom-carpentry-help-robots-autosaw-0228

 

 


21-Year-Old Malaysian Graduate Named No. 1 World Prize Winner in ACCA Exam

Article by Ling Kwan.

For the longest time, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants or ACCA exam has been the worst nightmare for accounting students, because the papers are notoriously difficult and they have to pass the exams in order to become a chartered accountant. No short cuts! Which is why we’re extremely delighted to announce that Wan Nur Mafudah from Kampung Tok Raja, Terengganu has recently emerged as the world prize winner for the ACCA Financial Reporting paper! Congrats!

In fact, she is the first Malay to nab the number one world-ranking by passing the exam with 95 per cent!

“I was told that before this, the highest ranking that Malay students ever achieved in ACCA exams were second, fifth, and sixth from 2015 until last year,” the 21-year-old student said.

When interviewed by reporters, the graduate from Intec Education College said that she has always been interested in accountancy and that she aspires to become an accounting lecturer one day. Although she was advised to give up on accountancy earlier, Wan Mafudah persevered and refused to listen to the naysayers.

After smashing her SPM exam with 8A1s and 1B, the former MRSM Besut student then furthered her studies in accountancy at Poly-Tech Mara College before receiving a scholarship from Permodalan Nasional Berhad to study at her former college. Not only has her success made her folks in the kampung proud, but it also proves that anyone can master this field, so long as you put your mind to it!

What’s her secret?

Well, she said that sharing her knowledge with others is the best way to revise her knowledge as it helped strengthen her understanding about certain topics. Remember, sharing is caring guys! Don’t kedekut ilmu!  When asked about her next move, Wan Mafudah said she plans to work as an accountant first before she works towards being a lecturer. “I want to become a role model to my younger siblings so that they would study hard for their exams,” she said.  Wan Mafudah’s inspiring journey has proven that nothing is impossible if you work hard enough for it, and we’d like to wish her all the best in her future endeavours!

Source: http://www.worldofbuzz.com/21-year-old-malaysian-graduate-named-no-1-world-prize-winner-acca-exam/


Lego’s new robotics set lets kids program a cat to play the harmonica

|An article by Adi Robertson|

 

Lots of people are already familiar with Mindstorms, the Lego robotics platform capable of building clever tools like this automatic card-signing machine. Some might also remember Lego WeDo, the simpler educational tool for teaching kids coding basics. This year at CES, Lego is bridging the gap with Boost, a basic robotics- and programming-oriented kit that’s supposed to be more playful than didactic.

Boost is built around a motorized block called a Move Hub, powered by six AAA batteries and equipped with a tilt sensor. The $159.99 Boost kit includes another motor and a combination color and distance sensor, plus 843 more traditional Lego parts. One of the most important pieces, though, isn’t included: an iOS or Android tablet for using the accompanying app, which is both a building guide and a drag-and-drop programming tool.

 

The Autobuilder (left), Guitar 4000, Vernie the Robot, and Frankie the Cat

Once kids have launched the app, they can pick from five major building projects. The most complex is a foot-high anthropomorphic robot called Vernie, but there’s also a slightly terrifying mechanical cat named Frankie; a colorful guitar; a rugged, tractor-like vehicle; and the “Autobuilder,” a 3D printer-like machine that can be programmed to put Lego together.

During the construction process, the app introduces builders to the simple programming interface: a series of puzzle pieces representing different actions, which can be chained together and triggered by a tap of the screen or a real-world action. This works a lot like Lego WeDo, but it’s specifically meant to feel like a toy. “The goal isn’t to teach them anything,” says Lego design lead Simon Kent. “But they will actually learn just by tinkering with it.”

You can program Vernie, for example, to dance and shake maracas (which can be built with parts in the set), to shoot a small projectile at a target, or to hold a conversation using preset lines. It can’t recognize what you’re saying, but it can tell when sound is coming through the iPad microphone.

Vernie’s facial expressions are programmable

Some of these interactions get complex enough that they’re almost games in themselves. Frankie “plays” a Lego harmonica by detecting when different colors hit the sensor over its mouth, then playing a sound that’s linked to that color, including recorded audio. This same method, this time with a slider that moves over different-colored frets, makes the Lego guitar playable. We’ve tried both these things, and they’re weirdly entertaining, even for adults. The Autobuilder is an actual manufacturing device composed in miniature, although it didn’t work perfectly when we tried it. Since Lego bricks are pretty easy to pull apart, it also feels unsurprisingly fragile.

The programming options we saw are heavily geared toward getting kids to play with specific objects in specific ways, not come up with their own robots. But there’s a more open-ended app feature that shows them how to make the skeleton of a vehicle, a four-legged animal, or a building. They can then use these frames to build whatever they want, using either the included Lego or their own sets.

 

A four-legged walking animal frame

Boost isn’t meant to take Mindstorms’ place, but it’s an approachable toy for younger Lego fans — and seriously, the guitar is pretty cool. The set is going on sale in the second half of 2017, and it’ll be on display at CES later this week.

source: https://www.theverge.com/ces/2017/1/4/13920762/lego-boost-robotics-programming-set-robot-cat-guitar


Children learn coding at their parents’ workplace|The Star Online

An Accenture employee mentoring young children through the AI-inspired coding tutorial.

MORE than 100 children of Accenture employees took part in the Malaysian office’s Bring Your Kid To Code Day.

The initiative is part of the company’s commitment to help children build science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and computer skills.

A coding tutorial was conducted for both children and adults with a special focus on artificial intelligence (AI).

“It may seem premature to encourage coding in children below 10 years but we have seen how their agile minds grasp coding concepts, sometimes faster than their parents,” said Accenture Malaysia technology lead Janet Yap.

“It was also a great way to let the children explore their parent’s or family’s workplace.”

The activity was part of Accenture’s global Hour of Code initiative in conjunction with Computer Science Education Week.

This follows Accenture’s pledge of US$10mil (RM41mil) to support initiatives to expand STEM and computer science education through Internet Association, a group that represents global Internet companies on matters of public policy.

“Technology is creating jobs that didn’t exist five years ago and learning to code can transform the trajectory of a student’s life and career,” said Accenture chief technology and innovation officer and chief coder Paul Daugherty.

“We’ve seen the impact that Code.org is having on students and this year we’re doing more to support that.”

For the third straight year, Accenture is teaming with Code.org, that launched Hour of Code in 2013 and other STEM-related educational initiatives.

This year, Accenture Technology harnessed its internal expertise to create a coding tutorial that gives students a better understanding of AI.

Students discover how various AI techniques can teach a robot to explore a new planet — including recognising animals and plants, understanding a new language, and conversing with inhabitants.

Copied from The Star Online.

Read more: https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/metro-news/2017/12/15/children-learn-coding-at-their-parents-workplace/

 


News : IISSA School Trip

18 students from Integrated Islamic School Shah Alam (IISSA) creatively embracing the 21st century learning by taking part in our Lego Mindstorm EV3 workshop at Little Botz Academy Atria Branch

Let’s bring technology and 21st century learning environment to the classroom together !

For any inquiries:

1.   Call: 03-77322373
2.   Whatsapp / SMS: 018-3580232
3.   Email: atria@littlebotz.com

 


What you need to know about LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Core Set

This set contains everything you need to start teaching STEM and computer science using the exciting LEGO® MINDSTORMS® concept. It offers full teacher support, including STEM and computing teaching materials, and a comprehensive eLearning program.

The system includes the EV3 Intelligent Brick, a compact and powerful programmable computer that makes it possible to control motors and collect sensor feedback using the intuitive icon-based programming and data logging software that is delivered with the set.

The set is delivered in a sturdy storage bin with a sorting tray, three Servo Motors, five Sensors (Gyro, Ultrasonic, Color and 2x Touch), a EV3 Rechargeable DC Battery, connecting cables, and building instructions.

  • Bricks

Includes 541 elements that can be used for teaching science, technology, engineering, math, and computer science.

  • Curriculum

The LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Core Set comes with a curriculum pack and includes 48 tutorials to help you and your students learn the basics of LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3.

The 48 step-by-step tutorials are designed to help educators and students master basic and advanced programming as well as hardware and data logging functions.

  • Software and apps

The easy-to-learn, easy-to-use EV3 Software and the EV3 Programming app are optimized for classroom use. Programming is done by dragging and dropping icons into a line to form commands allowing students to uild simple programs, and then easily and intuitively build on their skills until they are developing complex algorithms.

The data logging feature inside the EV3 Software is a powerful science tool for carrying out experiments. It is easy to predict, collect, view, analyze and manipulate data from sensors and see the data in interactive graphs. The software is based on LabVIEW, the industry-leading graphical programming language, and is optimized for classroom usage.

The LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 software lets your students:

  1. Program robots and other creations
  2. Document and track progress using the documentation tool
  3. Create and edit content
  4. Access the Robot Educator tutorials
  5. Log real-time data and calculate data sets (not available on the tablet app)

The software is Windows, Mac, Chromebook and iOS compatible.

Join us at Little Botz Academy as our member (6 or 12 months)  or enroll your self exclusively for LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Course only!! Grab our Chinese New Year Promo to earn great discount!

View Class Calendar Here

Each new intake subject consists of:

  • 3-month Development Program
  • 12 sessions
  • 2 hours each session except for WeDo (1 hours)
  • Class capacity : 12 pax

How to register for class:
1.   Call: 03-77322373
2.   Whatsapp / SMS: 018-3580232
3.   Email: atria@littlebotz.com
4.   Walk-in: Little Botz Academy, Atria Shopping Gallery


New Intake for Atria Technology Class 2017

STEM education is an integration of science, technology, engineering, and math which emphasized on the application of knowledge to real-life situations.  STEM education help in shaping future of our country and the future of our children. Let’s together build  our children for the future by infused them with technology-learning environment by engaging them with our fun and enthusiastic teachers using hands-on and minds-on activities.

Let’s explore the world of science and math in attractive and exciting ways with us !!

Click here to view our Activites and Programs

Register at Little Botz Academy today and enjoy our Chinese New Year Promotion !!

To register/enquiry kindly call/sms/whatsapp : +6018 358 0232 / 03 7732 2373 or email us at atria@littlebotz.com

 

 


Chinese New Year 2017 Promo !

In line with the vision and transformation of 21st century learning to implement the four C’s vital skills: critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration. Little Botz™ have discovered that the most effective ways to develop these skills are through technology-infused learning environment.  Hence, we believe by putting technology into the hands of students and trusting them with more progressive technology is a way forward to 21st century learning.

Our class-ready teaching solutions support  in creating an engaging and inspiring learning environment with syllables design specifically to stimulate critical thinking and encourage creative problem solving skills across a variety of real-world themes.

Check Out our activities and programs here and new intake for 2017!

 

LET’S GRAB THIS OPPORTUNITY. SIGN UP NOW !

LIMITED TIME OFFER FROM 12 January – 12 February 2017

CALL/EMAIL US AT ANYTIME .

LOOKING FORWARD TO SEE YOU !