What’s New in Robotics This Week – Aug 25

– Manufacturing & cobot roundup
– Experts call for robot weapons ban
– Pepper champions robot rites
– On being rude to robots.. and much more.

We hope that the news we have selected will interest and amuse you. Enjoy!


Manufacturing & Cobot Roundup 

Two European Union-funded projects designed to improve human-robot collaboration in industrial scenarios were profiled in Horizon this week. The An.Dy Project is examining ways that cobots can anticipate their human colleagues’ actions:

‘Ideally robots should be able to sense interactional forces, like carrying a table with someone,’ said Francesco Nori, who coordinates the EU-funded An.Dy project which aims to advance human-robot collaboration. ‘(Robots) need to know what the human is about to do and what they can do to help.’

The second project, called SecondHands and led by the UK’s Ocado Technology, is designed support the work of human support technicians:

Duncan Russell, research coordinator at Ocado Technology explained: ‘Parts need to be cleaned and parts need replacing. The robot system is being designed to help the technicians with those tasks.’ […]

‘The robot will understand instructions in regular language – it will be cleverer than you might expect,’ said Russell. ‘Ask it to pass the screw driver, and it will respond asking whether you meant the one on the table or in the toolbox.’


Japan wants to use automation, not immigration in response the problem of its aging demographics, says Bloomberg. South Korea is now the country with the highest robot density.


The Manufacturer explored the “three main misconceptions about cobots”:

1. Cobots are the only collaborative robots
2. Cobots can always work without safety caging
3. Cobots operate faster and are more productive than human workers


ROBO, the Exchange Traded Fund that tracks the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index, has surpassed $1 billion in assets under management in less than 4 years since its launch.


The World Robotics Conference is being held this week in Beijing. I’ll have more next week, but in the meantime…