Monday, April 19, 2010

India's first robot-assisted surgery at AIIMS.......

NEW DELHI: The country's first robot- assisted urological surgery was conducted on Monday at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here.

The operation was carried out by Dr P N Dogra, Professor and Head, Department of Urology, on a 50-year-old woman who was suffering from cancer of urethra and urinary bladder last week.

The surgery called the 'Anterior Pelvic Exenteration' involved removal of the urinary bladder, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, anterior vaginal wall, urethra and pelvic lymph nodes of the patient, the hospital said in a statement today.

This kind of surgery was done for the first time in the country by the Department of Urology at AIIMS, it said.

AIIMS officials said that the hospital has initiated a drive to maximise the use of Robot so that maximum number of patients can be benefited.

Facilities and programmes are being developed to do the advance robotic surgery on prostate, urinary bladder and kidney besides other robotic operations to offer state-of-the art surgical technology to patients suffering from various urological diseases.

Robotic surgery at AIIMS is being done on a regular basis and now its use has been extended in a wide spectrum of diseases in the field of Urology and other specialities.

The officials said that the department of Urology is developing a training programme in robotic surgery, including the virtual simulation system for imparting this skill to future robotic surgeons.

Monday, April 5, 2010

How to Build a Robot out of Recycled Material

n this day and age, recycling is more important than it has ever been before. It is your responsibility to teach your kids the importance of re-using old items instead of throwing them in the trash. Building a robot from junk is also a great science fair project!They will love learning about taking care of the environment while learning how to build a robot out of recycled material. Just use a few things around the house and a lot of imagination to get started.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Things You'll Need:

* Old coffee cans
* Nuts and bolts
* Old soup cans, vegetable cans, etc.
* A larger can (bigger than a soup can, smaller than a coffee can)
* Cardboard or construction paper
* A hammer and nails
* String or yarn
* Hot glue gun
* Adult supervision for children

Step 1

Sketch it out. If you are going to build a robot out of recycled junk or high tech materials, both will require a sketch beforehand. If you don't know what you want take a few minutes to create a drawing of the type of robot you want to create.
Step 2

Organize your materials. Figure out what of your materials you will use for each robot body part. Consider the fact that you will need a torso, a head, arms, legs, and accessories. It is recommended that you use a coffee can for the torso, a larger vegetable or soup can for the head, four small soup cans for the arms and legs, and various odds and ends around the home to add personality.
Step 3

Drill holes to string everything together. Glue the plastic top to the coffee can so that it won't come loose. Drill one hole through the top and bottom of the coffee can. The same goes with the bottoms of the other cans. This is what you will use to simulate joints in the robot.
Step 4

String it all together. Tie a large bead onto the end of a piece of string to hold it on; an extra large knot will also do fine. String two soup cans onto each side of the large coffee can to simulate arms. Do the same with the remaining two soup cans to simulate legs on the bottom of the coffee can. If you string them tightly, it won't allow for much movement. If you string them on loosely, the arms and legs can move about.
Step 5

Decorate! Using your hot glue gun, decorate your robot the best way that you see fit. Use your imagination! Nuts and bolts make great eyes. Find other items around your home that might have normally gone to the trash and glue them on to give your robot a little bit of personality.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Carbon Fibre Robotics

Industrial Automation - Help your Robotic Project Succeed

Investing in robotic equipment can be a big leap for a small business. Industrial robots have been automating tasks since 1961. The first industrial robot, the Unimate, worked with the die casting machines at a General Motors plant. In the last decade there has been a surge of robots being integrated into mid-sized and smaller companies. One reason is the growth and affordability of the used robot market. With the leaps made in controls technology, companies are upgrading robots before the current model has finished its life-span. However, the overall functionality of the six-axis articulated arm has not changed in the last decade. As companies consolidate and reorganize, the factory surplus is sold.

Automation benefits include saving money and reducing production time. Automation also leads to an increase in part quality and reliability. These are some tips to help you get started implementing automation onto your factory floor.


Involve the Shop Floor Workers Consulting the workers that currently produce the part is a good starting point. This is the person who has the experience to know what works and what had not worked in the past. They often have helpful insight into the process that you can not gain by simply watching. Requesting their participation in the robotic welding project will help it be more successful. The workers who manually perform the process can provide advice on the configuration and specifications of the equipment up front, avoiding the possibility that the equipment is not as ergonomically friendly or productive as it could be. Failure to involve them disregards the insight they have gained though experience with the process.
2. Choose your Robot Operators and Robotic Programmers Carefully Most industrial robots are controlled by the use of teach pendants. Several of these pendants now are programmed with an interface that resembles a personal computer. An individual that is computer-literate will have less trouble learning how to instruct the robot and moving it to accomplish the desired tasks such as welding or material handling.# For instance, the challenge of transforming a manual welding process to a robotic welding process is best handled by someone with a solid background in manual welding. This would be an ideal person to select for programming or operating the robotic welder. When choosing robot operators, programmers, and technicians, special consideration should be given to motivated employees that are willing to learn and advance their skills. Make Training a Priority It is important when purchasing a robot integrator to choose one that provides training on the robotic system. This allows your company to be able to fully utilize the robot and minimize later down-time due to mechanical problems. Ideally the person chosen to receive the training should be the future programmer or operator. With the proper training, the programmer should be able to reliably produce efficient and effective robot programs. Basic groundwork training is a minimum, with the real learning happening on the shop floor. Generally your robotic integrator will program your robotic system to interact with your current equipment and leave you with a turnkey solution that requires only a push of a button. It is still ideal to have trained personnel on hand should a future problem arise. Routine maintenance, such as an annual grease replenishment and battery replacement, is also an issue that you will want a trained individual to perform. Many robotic systems have been destroyed by well-meaning maintenance by individuals that do not understand the complex nature of the robotic system.
# Watch Part Fit-Up and Repeatability The most problematical issue with welding robots is part quality. Robotic systems are designed to repeat the same sequence of events. If the robot system has been damaged, repeatability can become an issue. Robotics systems sold feature a repeatability measurement and that should be taken into account along with payload and reach requirements. Used robots should be tested for accuracy and repeatability during the reconditioning process. When performing properly, robotic systems are more reliable and produce parts far superior in quality than manually welded parts. Touch sensing and seam tracking can be used to compensate for weld joints that are not static, but robots are limited by the laws of physics. The use of quality equipment in conjunction with robots improves the part fit-up. Attention should be paid to lasers, welding and cutting torches, welding power supplies, raw consumables, and other variables that could lead to a loss of quality in the finished product. Calculate Estimated ROI There has been a steady growth in the robot industry over the past decade. Experts predict that this growth trend will continue in future years. Welding robots are still the majority of the market, but many applications can be handled by robots. The general rule-of-thumb is that a robotic welder can do the work of four manual welders. Therefore when production is increasing, the choice to add robotic welders is easily justified. It will also improve efficiency, productivity, and part quality. Higher quality leads to a greater demand for your product. Improved efficiency will enable you to be more competitive in your market. The improved productivity will allow you to meet your production demands without a larger workforce.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What is Simbad ?

Simbad is a Java 3d robot simulator for scientific and educationnal purposes. It is mainly dedicated to researchers/programmers who want a simple basis for studying Situated Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and more generally AI algorithms, in the context of Autonomous Robotics and Autonomous Agents. It is not intented to provide a real world simulation and is kept voluntarily readable and simple.

Simbad enables programmers to write their own robot controller, modify the environment and use the available sensors. Don't think of it as a finite product but merely as an opened framework to test your own ideas.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Solar Powered Robot – A different endeavor in the robotic spree

Robots aren’t new, off course not, courtesy- Japan! Take a look at this robot – a solar powered one that walks on four legs. These legs are arranged in a way that; the front one is up while the opposite rear one is “pushing” the body and making it to advance. The other front leg is on the floor and pulling the body. The rear leg is just going forward together with the opposite front leg. Is kind of hard to understand but basically it is a sequence.

Walking robot IV (the name), is an all terrain, four legged robot with no RCX and no sensors. Just one motor, gears, solar cell and the insect based green robot is ready to walk as long as the sun is there. Walking robot IV is a better version of it’s part III, better as in – the latter uses the legs but it uses the gears to be stable whereas the former ( the improved version) is much faster with rear legs longer than the front ones that enables it to move faster and the stability clause is also given due recognition. The best part is that it can walk anywhere, ranging from flat surfaces to rough terrains.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Robo-Bats With Metal Muscles May Be Next Generation Of Remote Control Flyers

Tiny flying machines can be used for everything from indoor surveillance to exploring collapsed buildings, but simply making smaller versions of planes and helicopters doesn't work very well. Instead, researchers at North Carolina State University are mimicking nature's small flyers – and developing robotic bats that offer increased maneuverability and performance.

Small flyers, or micro-aerial vehicles (MAVs), have garnered a great deal of interest due to their potential applications where maneuverability in tight spaces is necessary, says researcher Gheorghe Bunget. For example, Bunget says, "due to the availability of small sensors, MAVs can be used for detection missions of biological, chemical and nuclear agents." But, due to their size, devices using a traditional fixed-wing or rotary-wing design have low maneuverability and aerodynamic efficiency.

So Bunget, a doctoral student in mechanical engineering at NC State, and his advisor Dr. Stefan Seelecke looked to nature. "We are trying to mimic nature as closely as possible," Seelecke says, "because it is very efficient. And, at the MAV scale, nature tells us that flapping flight – like that of the bat – is the most effective."

The researchers did extensive analysis of bats' skeletal and muscular systems before developing a "robo-bat" skeleton using rapid prototyping technologies. The fully assembled skeleton rests easily in the palm of your hand and, at less than 6 grams, feels as light as a feather. The researchers are currently completing fabrication and assembly of the joints, muscular system and wing membrane for the robo-bat, which should allow it to fly with the same efficient flapping motion used by real bats.

"The key concept here is the use of smart materials," Seelecke says. "We are using a shape-memory metal alloy that is super-elastic for the joints. The material provides a full range of motion, but will always return to its original position – a function performed by many tiny bones, cartilage and tendons in real bats."

Seelecke explains that the research team is also using smart materials for the muscular system. "We're using an alloy that responds to the heat from an electric current. That heat actuates micro-scale wires the size of a human hair, making them contract like 'metal muscles.' During the contraction, the powerful muscle wires also change their electric resistance, which can be easily measured, thus providing simultaneous action and sensory input. This dual functionality will help cut down on the robo-bat's weight, and allow the robot to respond quickly to changing conditions – such as a gust of wind – as perfectly as a real bat."

In addition to creating a surveillance tool with very real practical applications, Seelecke says the robo-bat could also help expand our understanding of aerodynamics. "It will allow us to do tests where we can control all of the variables – and finally give us the opportunity to fully understand the aerodynamics of flapping flight," Seelecke says.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Miniature Autonomous Robotic Vehicle (MARV)

The miniaturization of electronic circuits revolutionized computers and consumer electronics and led to the dawn of the information age. Similarly, the miniaturization of mechanical systems is expected to launch revolutions in areas such as medicine, space exploration, and surveillance. Small mobile machines could one day perform noninvasive microsurgery, miniaturized rovers could greatly reduce the cost of planetary missions, and tiny surveillance vehicles could carry equipment undetected.

One of the developments at sandia national lab directed towards mechanical system miniaturization is the Miniature Autonomous Robotic Vehicle (MARV). MARV is the first vehicle of its kind built at Sandia and is one of the world's smallest autonomous vehicles, meaning that it contains all necessary power, sensors, computers, and controls on board. MARV is one cubic inch in size and is made primarily from commercial parts using ordinary machining techniques.

MARV employs two on-board sensors developed at Sandia to locate and track buried wires containing radio frequency signals. By measuring the relative strength of the signal at the two side-by-side sensors, MARV's on-board computer makes decisions and directs the two drive motors to steer towards the signal. Using these sensors and making a series of control decisions, MARV can sense a buried wire, home in on it, and follow the wire. MARV can easily carry other types of sensors as well.

Although MARV is built of commercial parts (except for the Sandia-designed sensor) and has limited maneuverability, it is a starting point in the development of miniature autonomous vehicles. In this capacity MARV has served as a testbed for evaluating critical subsystems of future miniature autonomous vehicles. This has led in part to the development and production of autonomous vehicles with greatly enhanced mobility, more intelligence, on board navigation and communication, the ability to act cooperatively and smaller size. This ongoing work at Sandia involves many of Sandia's areas of technical expertise and is directed towards the development of swarms of miniature autonomous vehicles capable of performing tasks that are difficult or impossible to do today such as locating and disabling land mines, detecting chemical and biological weapons, and verifying treaties.


* Fully self-contained operation
* Volume of one cubic inch
* On-board computers, sensors, and control
* Ability to locate and track electrical fields
* Can carry a variety of sensors
* Built primarily from commercial parts