Changing the Landscape of the Insurance Market

How UAVs benefit consumers through faster estimates, quicker response times and faster delivery of benefits Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), more commonly known as drones, are growing at a rapid rate for both consumer and professional markets. Market research firm IHS Markit forecasts the professional drone market will manage a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 77.1% through 2020 driven by industries such as agriculture, energy and construction using the technology for surveying, mapping, planning and more. Meanwhile, the consumer drone market will maintain a CAGR of 22.1% through 2020 with companies such as DJI, Parrot and 3D Robotics driving the market with a wide range of devices for photography, recreational use and racing. While these markets will be the main drivers for the next few years, one industry that isn’t discussed often as a main driver is the insurance market. However, according to professional services company PwC, the addressable market Continue reading Changing the Landscape of the Insurance Market

The Industrial Internet of Things

Creating intelligent solutions to solve real-world problems What is Industry 4.0 and Industrial IoT? Industry 4.0, Industrial IoT, and Industrial Internet are used interchangeably when talking about the new era of manufacturing. A digital ecosystem of connected machines, equipment and devices that communicate with one another, this cyber physical system with machine-to-machine (M2M) communication monitors and evaluates the physical processes in a manufacturing facility to ultimately make decentralized decisions. An evolution from Automation & Robotics, Industry 4.0 is the combination of computers and machine learning algorithms that gives equipment the ability to adjust and control processes based on data it collects. This is all done with very little human intervention. The Clear Benefits of IoT Solve Real Problems From energy usage and preventative maintenance to supply chain management and personnel scheduling, the Internet of Things helps you monitor, analyze, and act on real-time data. Stop overspending on energy or worrying Continue reading The Industrial Internet of Things

Robotic Raven Gains Altitude

Maryland student’s research advances pioneering micro air vehicle Inspired by the beauty and flying ability of birds, Leonardo da Vinci strived centuries ago to create a human-powered flapping-wing flying machine. But his designs, which da Vinci explored in his Codex on the Flight of Birds, were never developed in any practical way. Even today, mimicking bird flight still presents challenges due to the physiological complexity of a bird’s flapping wings. For years, researchers at the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering have been moving ever closer to faithfully imitating bird flight with Robo Raven, the first bird-inspired unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that has successfully flown with independent wing control. Robo Raven can also be programmed to perform any desired motion, enabling the UAV to perform aerobatic maneuvers. Lena Johnson, who is pursuing her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at the Clark School, is working on the current iteration Continue reading Robotic Raven Gains Altitude

Consolidate Robot and CNC Controllers in a Single Real-time Windows IPC

Demo video: How to consolidate robot and CNC controllers into a single real-time Windows IPC When it comes to machine automation, hardware costs and complexity add up fast. As your requirements expand, so does your ever-growing list of hardware: a controller for robot control. Another for CNC. Another for machine vision. You end up with a lot of controllers, perhaps even proprietary, ultimately end up being a lot of systems to manage – and a lot of dollars out of your pocket. Software-based machine control changes that paradigm. With the right software and a single real-time Windows PC, you can consolidate all of those controllers and their associated costs. Your Windows IPC becomes the only controller that you need. Simply by flipping a switch or moving an Ethernet cable, you can seamlessly switch from a robot controller to CNC controller to a GigE camera. No more separate infrastructure with separate Continue reading Consolidate Robot and CNC Controllers in a Single Real-time Windows IPC

Inspired by Nature: Autonomous Underwater Robotics

Maryland Researchers Develop Robots With the Same Capabilities as Fish Since he was a child, Derek Paley has been captivated by how shoals of fish move fluidly as a cohesive group, almost as if a single organism. As the Willis H. Young Jr. Professor of Aerospace Engineering Education and director of the Collective Dynamics and Control Laboratory at the University of Maryland, Paley is applying his long-standing source of inspiration to the cooperative control of autonomous vehicles. Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTxS19EofQ0 Fish are particularly interesting for Paley because of their sensory system. He explains that fish have a lateral line system, which is a series of sensors located on their exterior, sometimes appearing on their side as a stripe. With their lateral line sense, fish can perceive the direction and speed of nearby water flow, as well as predators and other obstacles. Paley is equally intrigued by the propulsion system of fish: flapping may be even Continue reading Inspired by Nature: Autonomous Underwater Robotics

New Engineering Journal from Annual Reviews

The inaugural volume of the Annual Review of Control, Robotics, and Autonomous Systems is now available online! The Annual Review of Control, Robotics, and Autonomous Systems highlights the theoretical and applied research in control and robotics that drives and enriches the engineering of autonomous systems. This new journal is the first of its kind to cover both the broad fields of control and robotics and their fundamental roles in the increasingly important area of autonomous systems. View the full Table of Contents for Volume 1 here: https://www.annualreviews.org/toc/control/1/1 Free online preview is available now. Topics in the first volume cover control and its connections to game theory, distributed optimization, Kalman filtering, geometric mechanics, privacy, data-driven strategies, and deep learning, together with robotics and its connections to manipulation, materials, mechanisms, planning, decision-making, and synthesis. Applications include artificial touch, soft micro and bio-inspired robotics, minimally invasive medical technologies, rehabilitative robotics, autonomous flight, airspace Continue reading New Engineering Journal from Annual Reviews

Why a Robot Can’t Yet Outjump a Flea

When it comes to things that are ultrafast and lightweight, robots can’t hold a candle to the fastest-jumping insects and other small-but-powerful creatures. A tiny robot designed by Associate Professor Sarah Bergbreiter of the A. James Clark School of Engineering. When it comes to things that are ultrafast and lightweight, robots can’t hold a candle to the fastest-jumping insects and other small-but-powerful creatures. New research published in the journal Science could help explain why nature still beats robots—and describes how machines might take the lead. The multi-institutional team of authors includes Associate Professor Sarah Bergbreiter, who studies microrobotics at the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering. Take the smashing mantis shrimp, a small crustacean not much bigger than a thumb. Its hammer-like mouthparts can repeatedly deliver 69-mile-per-hour wallops more than 100 times faster than the blink of an eye to break open hard snail shells. Or the Continue reading Why a Robot Can’t Yet Outjump a Flea

Spectral Monitoring for Drone Defense Applications

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as “drones,” have been gaining popularity in recent years. By:  Jeffrey Cuenco (with references to content generated by Balint Seeber) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as “drones,” have been gaining popularity in recent years, not just as a cool new toy for hobbyists seeking a pastime, but also as an invaluable utility in industries such as defense and security. One particular application that has gained popularity in the last few years has been the use of drones as mobile spectral monitoring nodes, i.e. equipping the UAV with a mobile radio device to gather signal intelligence (SIGINT) and relay that info back to the home base for further analysis. The use of Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology would allow the drone to be mounted with one radio device that can be programmed to perform multiple functions such as spectral monitoring, transmitting a live video Continue reading Spectral Monitoring for Drone Defense Applications