DARPA to Spearhead New Robotic Hand Initiative

February 19, 2010

(I saw this information on National Defense, NDIA’s Business and Technology magazine) Brian Huse, Director, Marketing & PR, Robotic Industries Association

Robotic hand, prothesisThe Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced a major new initiative to create robotic autonomous manipulators that mimic the human hands, an agency program manager said.

For the past several decades, the research agency and the robotics community have concentrated their efforts on programming ground robots to get from point A to point B, said Robert Mandelbaum, a DARPA program manager who focuses on robotics and autonomous systems. That challenge has for the most part been tackled, he said.

The autonomous robotics manipulation program will take on a new goal, creating an inexpensive hand-like device that is as adaptable as a human appendage.

See the rest on their site…


Meet Lockheed Martin – a New Member of RIA

February 18, 2010

You can get to know new members of RIA any time from the “Meet New Members” section of Robotics Online. Recently the Association was honored to be selected by Lockheed Martin as an association of choice for their budget dollars. 

Lockheed Martin has a number of value statements that sets them apart and allows customers to understand their position in the marketplace. This approach is worthy of consideration by any of us and I thought I would share a bit more about them. 

Having their business spelled out in terms of mission and core values allows Lockheed Martin to be more involved in the perceptions people may have about them. Perhaps others who read this blog will pull some important takeaway from the approach taken by such a highly successful company. 

Here for your consideration is some of what Lockheed Martin says to manage its image and identify. They say Lockheed Martin is organized around core business areas of Aeronautics, Electronic Systems, Information Systems & Global Services, and Space Systems. Their values include… 

Do What’s Right

We are committed to the highest standards of ethical conduct in all that we do. We believe that honesty and integrity engender trust, which is the cornerstoneof our business. We abide by the laws of the United States and other countries in which we do business, we strive to be good citizens and we take responsibility for our actions. 

Respect Others

We recognize that our success as an enterprise depends on the talent, skills and expertise of our people and our ability to function as a tightly integrated team. We appreciate our diversity and believe that respect – for our colleagues, customers, partners, and all those with whom we interact – is an essential element of all positive and productive business relationships. 

Perform With Excellence

We understand the importance of our missions and the trust our customers place in us. With this in mind, we strive to excel in every aspect of our business and approach every challenge with a determination to succeed. 

Thank you, Lockheed Martin, for choosing to include RIA membership in your business strategy.


Now Robotic Industries Association offer

February 17, 2010

Now Robotic Industries Association offers the ability for members to see statistics for activity on their content and ads http://ow.ly/18fht

RIA Member KTS Marketing Solutions Helps You Find Valued Customers (and so does RIA)

February 15, 2010

By Brian Huse, Director, Marketing & PR, Robotic Industries Association

RIA Consultant member, Tim DeRossett of KTS Marketing Solutions, started a LinkedIn discussion group for “Discover, Develop and Deliver VALUE.” No doubt this relates to customer value mapping, something Tim has fine-tuned and offers as a service. He is best qualified to present that issue, and we are glad he does that as a member of RIA so we can honor him for his credentials (and because he is such a good ambassador for the Association).

Robotics Online statistics for members; dashboard monitors traffic on www.robotics.org

New! My Company Traffic is a 24/7 statistics package available to RIA members.

At RIA, we look to deliver value by providing tools that give you new ways to take advantage of our network of industry leaders with material you already have. Our newest benefit for members is access to real-time stats for their company traffic on Robotics Online which is a great metric when it comes to finding valued customers. Members can see which pages get the most attention and maybe draw conclusions about leveraging that.

Whatever we do, customers are developing opinions about us for reasons we may not always know. Some of our members prefer word-of-mouth as their main sales and marketing tactic. Nothing wrong with that, but don’t forget that what others say about us may not reach our ears and might even be contrary to what we want our customers to think about us.

If we do not occupy space in the areas where our customers live, online or on the street, we may lose control of the message related to our value statement as an institution. This applies whether you are an association or a business; big or small. 

One way to influence your customer base is to ensure your information is consistent. One way to be consistent is to have a mission statement or a written marketing plan. These can help you calibrate your customer relationships in ways that eliminate wasted time on those not really in need of a service offered and to focus on those who are ideal customers. 

If I could make a suggestion: take a key word or two from your mission statement or from a marketing plan and think about how you address it. Put it in writing and post it on your website and on Robotics Online as a service or product or news or editorial or all those things. This exercise is one we can consider as a way to find our best customers. I’m sure Tim goes beyond this kind of simple exercise and can help you with meaningful help on value mapping, so please seek him out for your prospecting needs. 

If you are interested in controlling your message more by using Robotics Online let me know. We have easy-to-use solutions that are available in the Member Control Panel, newest of which is a stats function for members (“My Company Traffic).” 

Questions? My office number is 734/994-6088. Thanks!

Parker Hannifin’s new embedded piezoele

February 15, 2010

Parker Hannifin’s new embedded piezoelectric solutions for fluid power & electromechanical applications (Actuator device) http://ow.ly/17AXV

SmartCart is low-cost alternative to AGV

February 15, 2010

SmartCart is low-cost alternative to AGV’s with many of the same capabilities. RIA member Motion Controls Robotics has it http://ow.ly/17yzi

Intel Labs May Help Bring Personal Robots to Your Home Soon

February 5, 2010

By Brian Huse, Director, Marketing & PR, Robotic Industries Association

If you missed the Robotics Industry Forum presentation by Dieter Fox of Intel Labs you missed what may have been the most humorous and provocative session of the week. He predicts that low-cost sensors will be commercially available in 2010 that will enable affordable robots that can operate in unstructured environments like your home and safely share space with humans. Much research has been done in this area, and robots are available now that can roam hospitals and other places while performing useful work, however cost remains a barrier to widespread consumer applications.

Watch for new RGB-D cameras, says Mr. Fox. They offer depth perception and will be less than $100 he says. Laser mapping is the current state-of-the-art for mobile robots and comes with a price tag in the $60,000 range. He referenced displays at the Consumer Electronics Show where 3D laser mapping was demonstrated as a new form of automotive telematics.

He emphasized that another key driver is an expected shift from mechanics to algorithms as a way to achieve autonomous robots. This, of course, is why Intel Labs is so interested and doing so much research on robotics.

All the hype about “there’s an app for that” certainly applies in the robotics field. Mr. Fox sees an opportunity for “natural human-robot interfaces” based on existing work such as Google SketchUp and 3D Warehouse.

Another way robots can work more independently is with the aid of electric sensors on grippers that provide feedback so a gripper can grasp and pick up random objects. In one case, a Barrett Arm equipped with such sensors picks up coffee cups and places them in kitchen cupboards that it opens and closes.

Eventually, he sees robots incorporated into gaming applications where children and adults play in concert with a robot.  No doubt that would open up profitable possibilities for Intel.

Mr. Fox’s session was a perfect wrap to a well attended (more than 250 people) Association event in Florida that combined technology talks from Automated Imaging Association, Motion Control Association and Robotic Industries Association. Insight about the economy, state-of-the-industry, trends and near-term developments all came to life within the context of this session.