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Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.2.1 | Award Amount: 11.09M | Year: 2013

Using a proven-in-practice user-centric design methodology, TRADR develops novel S&T for human-robot teams to assist in disaster response efforts, over multiple missions: The novel S&T makes experience persistent. Various kinds of robots collaborate with human team members to explore the environment, and gather physical samples. Throughout this collaborative effort, TRADR enables the team to gradually develop its understanding of the disaster area over, multiple possibly asynchronous missions (persistent environment models), to improve team members understanding of how to work in the area (persistent multi-robot action models), and to improve team-work (persistent human-robot teaming).


News Article | January 4, 2016
Site: phys.org

The annual CES gadget show that officially kicks off Wednesday is expecting between 150,000 attendees and last year's record 176,000, after the host organization took measures to cap attendance. The Consumer Technology Association made getting passes tougher and charged early registration fees of $100 to $300 to people who hadn't attended shows in the past two years. It's an attempt to rein in the sprawling show and ensure attendees have a good experience. But exhibitor square footage continues to grow, to over 2.4 million square feet, up from last year's 2.23 million. That's fueled by the growth in space devoted to autos, health and fitness wearables, virtual reality, 3-D printing and drones. There are also over 500 startups at the show, up from around 375 last year. Can you really walk away from your oven? Whirlpool hopes so with its new smart oven. With a smartphone, you can start, stop and adjust the temperature from another room. You get alerts when pre-heating or cooking is done so you won't have to keep checking. And if you leave home, the app will alert you if the oven is still on—if you also have a Nest thermostat, which can detect when you're away. It isn't immediately known, though, whether there are any mechanisms to prevent you from accidentally turning the oven on while away. Manufacturers like Whirlpool are using this week's CES gadget show in Las Vegas to showcase the latest technologies in everyday appliances. As these appliances connect to the Internet and to each other, people will be able to perform many basic functions from another room with a smartphone. Whirlpool is also unveiling a dishwasher that can alert you when your dishes are done and estimate how much detergent you have left. It'll even automatically order more supplies if you've set up re-ordering through Amazon's Dash program. The CES show starts Wednesday, though companies typically unveil new products earlier. A new floor-cleaning robot from LG will respond to its owner telling it: "You missed a spot." The South Korean company's HOM-BOT Turbo+ makes use of cameras that record where it's already cleaned. If it didn't do a good job, augmented reality will come to the rescue. Using any smartphone screen, the owner can point to a still-dusty area and the robot will go there to tidy up. And unlike a human, it probably doesn't mind being bossed around. Pricing and availability weren't announced. This and other gadgets are set to be on display at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas, which opens Wednesday. Fiat Chrysler is joining the parade of automakers incorporating Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto into their infotainment services. The company says both smartphone systems will be available on some unspecified models worldwide starting later in 2016. They will be part of the fourth generation of Fiat Chrysler's Uconnect touch-screen system. Fiat Chrysler says the new Uconnect system will start faster with quicker and more vivid touch screens. Automakers have gradually been adding the Apple and Google systems to their infotainment systems, largely because customers want the screens to mimic their familiar smartphones and perform tasks the same way. On Monday, Ford also announced plans to add the systems to its Sync infotainment centers. General Motors is rolling the systems out on select models, and others are also moving in that direction. At the same time, automakers are developing their own systems to control car functions. Among the holdouts: Toyota says it has no plans yet to add Apple's or Google's system yet to its Toyota and Lexus infotainment services. The announcements come as the CES show in Las Vegas is set to open Wednesday. The move is part of Intel CEO Brian Krzanich's broader strategy to promote the use of Intel chips for new technologies—including drones, robots and a variety of sensor-equipped devices. This comes as sales decline for makers of personal computers, which are traditionally among Intel's biggest customers. The German company, Ascending Technologies, already uses some Intel gear in its flying devices. At last year's CES gadget show in Las Vegas, Krzanich showed how Ascending Technologies is using Intel's RealSense three-dimensional optical sensors to help its drones navigate. Intel has recently invested in several drone makers, including Ascending, China's Yuneec and California-based Airware. Now Intel is buying Ascending outright. Intel wouldn't disclose the sales price, but says Ascending's 75 or so employees will be offered jobs at Intel. Krzanich is scheduled to give the opening keynote at CES on Tuesday evening. Toyota will link all of its new vehicles to cellular networks starting with 2017 models in the U.S. Driver and passengers get access to selected Internet data, but Toyota's "Data Communication Module" won't be a wireless hotspot just yet. Drivers will get improved navigation and get updates on vehicle health and service. They'll be able to locate, lock, unlock and start their vehicles from a smartphone. The system will notify authorities if air bags are inflated in a crash. Eventually passengers will be able to get broader wireless access, but Toyota had no details on timing or fees. The company also plans to set up a data center to communicate with the cars, and it's joining Ford and Livio to develop the bones to link smartphone devices and apps to vehicles. Toyota says it has no plans yet to add Apple's CarPlay or Google's Android Auto to Toyota and Lexus infotainment systems. Smart TVs running Roku's streaming TV software will display better pictures this spring as Roku introduces sharper, 4K resolution and an emerging technology known as HDR. With HDR, or high-dynamic range, TVs will be able to display a greater range of color and contrast. It's a feature expected in many TV models to be unveiled this week at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas. Roku said Monday that Chinese manufacturer TCL will be the first to offer 4K, HDR sets using Roku's system. Like other Roku TVs, the new sets will not only display traditional TV channels, but also thousands of streaming services including Netflix and Hulu. It's largely the same software used in Roku's stand-alone streaming devices. Although CES doesn't open until Wednesday, many companies are unveiling their new products and services earlier. Oculus says it will start taking orders for its much-hyped Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset at 11 a.m. ET on Wednesday. The company says this is the final product that will go on sale, not a developers' kit. However, it is staying mum for now on the price or shipping date of the headset. More details are expected to emerge Wednesday. Oculus founder Palmer Luckey will also do a Q&A on social media site Reddit on Wednesday. The company, which was bought by Facebook in 2014 for $2 billion, says the headsets will come with two video games, "Lucky's Tale" by Playful and CCP's "EVE: Valkyrie." The Rift will require a fairly powerful computer. Oculus plans a certification program so consumers can look for a sticker on PCs that support the Rift. Asus, Dell and Alienware will have certified models that cost less than $1,000. Oculus was also behind a $100 Samsung VR headset. It is less powerful than the Rift and works with a Samsung phone rather than a PC. Microsoft says Windows 10 is now running on more than 200 million computers and other devices, five months after the new software was released. The company says Windows 10 is seeing faster adoption than earlier Windows versions, with 40 percent of Windows 10 devices activated since the holiday shopping season started after Thanksgiving. Microsoft made the announcement in a blog post as PC makers prepare to unveil new Windows 10 products at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas this week. Microsoft is hoping the new software—which runs on personal computers, tablets, game consoles and other gadgets—will help it regain ground as it battles Apple and Google for consumer loyalty. It hopes to have Windows 10 on a billion devices in three years. But it has a way to go. Analysts say the most common PC operating system is still Windows 7, which was released more than six years ago and lacks capabilities of newer releases. Ford is joining several other automakers and adding Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto to its Sync touch-screen infotainment system. The automaker also plans to install a 4G LTE wireless connection to its vehicles starting with the 2017 model year. The familiar Apple and Google systems will be mimicked on the car's screen, with voice commands available. Ford said Monday that owners of Sync 3-equipped 2016 models in North America will get a chance to update software later this year, and the systems will appear on all Sync-equipped 2017 models. Initially the wireless modem will let drivers find their cars in parking lots, unlock and start them from smart phones, and check the gas level and tire pressure. While the car is moving, smartphones will still be needed for Internet access. But spokesman Alan Hall says eventually the modems will be available for use as wireless hot spots. He says there won't be any recurring service fee for the first five years. Ford also will announce additional apps that will be compatible with Sync. Hall wouldn't comment on reports that Ford and Google will announce an autonomous car partnership at the gadget show. But he says Ford will have an autonomous car announcement. Explore further: Apple dials up effort to meld iPhone with cars


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: FoF-ICT-2013.7.1 | Award Amount: 22.24M | Year: 2014

The European manufacturing industry needs competitive solutions to keep global leadership in products and services. Exploiting synergies across application experts, technology suppliers, system integrators and service providers will speed up the process of bringing innovative technologies from research labs to industrial end-users. As an enabler in this context, the EuRoC initiative proposes to launch three industry-relevant challenges: 1) Reconfigurable Interactive Manufacturing Cell, 2) Shop Floor Logistics and Manipulation, 3) Plant Servicing and Inspection. It aims at sharpening the focus of European manufacturing through a number of application experiments, while adopting an innovative approach which ensures comparative performance evaluation. Each challenge is launched via an open call and is structured in 3 stages. 45 Contestants are selected using a challenge in a simulation environment: the low barrier of entry allows new players to compete with established robotics teams. Matching up the best Contestants with industrial end users, 15 Challenger teams are admitted to the second stage, where the typical team is formed by research experts, technology suppliers, system integrators, plus end users. Teams are required to benchmark use cases on standard robotic platforms empowered by this consortium. After a mid-term evaluation with public competition, the teams advance to showcasing the use case in a realistic environment. After an open judging process, 6 Challenge Finalists are admitted to run pilot experiments in a real environment at end-user sites to determine the final EuRoC Winner. A number of challenge advisors and independent experts decide about access to the subsequent stages. A challenge-based approach with multiple stages of increasing complexity and financial support for competing teams will level the playing field for new contestants, attract new developers and new end users toward customisable robot applications, and provide sustainable solutions to carry out future challenges.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-23-2014 | Award Amount: 5.91M | Year: 2015

With aging infrastructure in developing-and-developed countries, and with the gradual expansion of distributed installations, the costs of inspection and repair tasks have been growing vastly and incessantly. To address this reality, a major paradigm shift is required, in order to procure the highly automated, efficient, and reliable solutions that will not only reduce costs, but will also minimize risks to personnel and asset safety. AEROWORKS envisions a novel aerial robotic team that possesses the capability to autonomously conduct infrastructure inspection and maintenance tasks, while additionally providing intuitive and user-friendly interfaces to human-operators. The AEROWORKS robotic team will consist of multiple heterogeneous collaborative Aerial Robotic Workers, a new class of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles equipped with dexterous manipulators, novel physical interaction and co-manipulation control strategies, perception systems, and planning intelligence. This new generation of worker-robots will be capable of autonomously executing infrastructure inspection and maintenance works. The AEROWORKS multi-robot team will operate in a decentralized fashion, and will be characterized by unprecedented levels of reconfigurability, mission dependability, mapping fidelity, and manipulation dexterity, integrated in robust and reliable systems that are rapidly deployable and ready-to-use as an integral part of infrastructure service operations. As the project aims for direct exploitation in the infrastructure services market, its results will be demonstrated and evaluated in realistic and real infrastructure environments, with a clear focus on increased Technology Readiness Levels. The accomplishment of the envisaged scenarios will boost the European infrastructure sector, contribute to the goal of retaining Europes competitiveness, and particularly impact our service and industrial robotics sector, drastically changing the landscape of how robots are utilized.


News Article | January 4, 2016
Site: www.techtimes.com

Intel has announced the acquisition of German drone manufacturer Ascending Technologies, following Qualcomm into the drone market. Ascending Technologies both builds drones and develops the software used to power them. Details of the agreement have not been announced just yet, however, each of the 75 employees of Ascending Technologies will receive job offers at Intel, according to a report from TechCrunch. The announcement comes at a time where there is growing concern over the safety of drones and their use, and Ascend has developed its own technology that it hopes will help avoid drone-related accidents, using light to track objects. While Intel hasn't previously invested in Ascending Technologies, it has partnered with the company before, integrating its RealSense technology with the Ascend "sense-and-avoid" technology. It even demonstrated that new integration at CES last year. Intel will reportedly not divulge its future with drones at this point, however, the company will continue to support current Ascending Technologies customers. "We plan for the Ascending Technologies team to continue supporting their current customers while also collaborating with Intel's Perceptual Computing team to develop UAV technology that can help drones fly with more awareness of their environments," said Ascending Technologies in a statement.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.2.2 | Award Amount: 3.36M | Year: 2009

Autonomous micro helicopters are about to play major roles in tasks like reconnaissance for search and rescue, environment monitoring, security surveillance, inspection, law enforcement, etc. The ability to fly allows easily avoiding obstacles on the ground and to have an excellent birds eye view. Therefore flying robots are the logical heir of ground based mobile robots. Its navigational and hovering advantages make them the ideal platform for exploration, mapping and monitoring tasks. If they are further realized in small scale, they can also be used in narrow out- and indoor environment and they represent only a limited risk for the environment and people living in it. However, for such operations todays systems navigating on GPS information only are not sufficient any more. Fully autonomous operation in cities or other dense environments requires the micro helicopter to fly at low altitude or indoors where GPS signals are often shadowed and to actively explore unknown environments while avoiding collisions and creating maps. This involves a number of challenges on all levels of helicopter design, perception, actuation, control, navigation and power supply that have yet to be solved.\nOur S and T endeavor proposed in this project will therefore focus on micro helicopter design, visual 3D mapping and navigation, low power communication including range estimation and multi-robot control under environmental constraints. It shall lead to novel micro flying robots that are:\n Inherently safe due to very low weight (around 500g) and appropriate propeller design;\n capable of vision-based fully autonomous navigation and mapping;\n able of coordinated flight in small swarms in constrained and dense environments.


Intel joined forces with Ars Electronica Futurelab to set the Guinness World Record for having the most number of unmanned aerial vehicles in the air at the same time, but that's just skimming the surface. Intel is very enthusiastic about drones. In fact, Intel's boss Brian Krzanich said at the 2016 CES in Las Vegas that drones will light up the skies to replace fireworks down the road. "I see a future where fireworks and all their risks of smoke and dirt are a thing of the past, and they're replaced by shows that have unlimited creativity and potential – and powered by drones," he said. Back in August last year, the company invested $60 million in Chinese drone maker Yuneec Holding. German drone maker Ascending Technologies also moved under Intel's umbrella on Jan. 4, 2016. The company likewise made an undisclosed investment in Airware of San Francisco. "Intel gains expertise and technology to accelerate the deployment of Intel RealSense technology into the fast growing drone market segment," Intel says in a blog post about having Ascending Technologies on board. The company will continue to work with the Ascending Technologies team to keep on providing support for its present customers while also working hand-in-hand with Intel's Perceptual Computing team to come up with a UAV technology that will soon "help drones fly with more awareness of their environments." On Nov. 4, 2015, Intel and Futurelab pre-programmed 100 drones and launched them in the sky to show off a spectacular light show synchronized with Beethoven's Fifth Symphony played by a live orchestra. Albeit the show was filmed last year, the video was initially showcased during the keynote speech of Krzanich at the 2016 CES on Jan. 5. These drones, which were fitted with LEDs, concurrently lit up the skies over Ahrenlohe Airfield near Hamburg, Germany for seven minutes. They climbed as high as 328 feet to show off their choreographed routines. The light show ended with the drones forming the 250-meter wide (820 feet) logo of Intel. A Guiness World Record judge was present during the show to verify and award the new record to the two companies. Horst Hörtner, Ars Electronica Futurelab's director, said the new record is a result of the companies' years of hard work. "Drone 100 was a crazy idea that came out of a hallway conversation inside Intel, and now it has become a reality," said Anil Nanduri, the general manager of New Markets in Intel's Perceptual Computing Group. "Working with Ars Electronica Futurelab, we were able to create a formation of 100 UAVs in the sky, creating amazing images and ending with the Intel logo." Weighing 700 grams (1.5 pounds) each, the quadcopters were built by Ascending Technologies. Futurelab member Andreas Jalsovec said Intel developed the ground controls software, which required a powerful computer to make the show possible. Chief pilot Martin Morth said that drones do not always look at people, "sometimes, it's the drones that you should be looking at." You can watch the video below.


News Article | January 4, 2016
Site: techcrunch.com

Intel has made yet another hardware acquisition to build up its business of integrating its processors and RealSense imaging technology into the next wave of connected devices beyond PCs. Today the company announced it has purchased Ascending Technologies, a Germany-based startup that makes small drones and the software used to fly them. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed but Intel described it to me as a “small company”. All 75 employees will be getting offers to join Intel, she added. At a time when there is increasing regulatory and public scrutiny over drone safety and how they will be used, Ascend has touted its own software for its accuracy of movement, using LED-based “light painting” and long-exposure photography to show just how this works. Intel Capital had invested in Ascending Technologies and it partnered with the startup last year, integrating its RealSense image and depth-recognition technology with Ascend’s own “sense-and-avoid” algorithms that are used in its own devices and also sold to other drone makers. It actually demonstrated the integration at last year’s CES event. Tomorrow CEO Brian Krzanich is delivering a keynote once more and may well be talking drones once again. A spokesperson says that Intel will not be discussing and future product roadmap at this time. However, a blog post from Josh Walden, Intel’s SVP for new technologies, noted that Intel will continue to support existing customers. “We plan for the Ascending Technologies team to continue supporting their current customers while also collaborating with Intel’s Perceptual Computing team to develop UAV technology that can help drones fly with more awareness of their environments.” Ascend says that there are “well over 1,000 of our unique aircraft solutions are in frequent operation worldwide.” Intel has been making a number of investments and acquisitions in newer areas of technology beyond basic PCs as it continues to keep its eye on how to continue growing its business as more legacy forms of hardware continue to decline in sales and overall importance. Other areas have included activity trackers and smart eyewear. More to come.


Trademark
Ascending Technologies | Date: 2015-12-14

Scientific, surveying, photographic, cinematographic, optical, weighing, measuring, signalling, checking (supervision), life-saving and teaching apparatus and instruments; computer software and computer hardware, in particular for controlling model aeroplanes and multicopters, and for measuring and recording apparatus; computer operating system software; recording carriers; printed circuits; speed meters; surveillance apparatus; recording machines, accumulators; battery chargers; batteries; testing apparatus not for medical purposes; anemometers; barometers; meters; pressure measuring apparatus; surveying apparatus and instruments; remote control mechanisms; altimeters; cameras; camcorders; lenses; surveying instruments; measuring apparatus for inertial sensor systems. Vehicles; apparatus for locomotion by land or water; apparatus for locomotion by air, in particular flying apparatus, including remote-controlled, in particular rotary wing aircraft with multiple rotors, in particular airborne camera and sensor platforms, included in this class, and apparatus, machines and equipment for aviation; screw-propellers for boats. Games and playthings; scale model aeroplanes; toy aeroplanes; flying apparatus, including remote-controlled, in particular rotary wing aircraft with multiple rotors, in particular airborne camera and sensor platforms, included in this class (toys). Wholesale and retail services in relation to flight models; wholesale and retail services in relation to aeroplanes and aircraft; advertising; EDP consultancy. Repair of model aircraft, drones, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), multicopters, aircraft and aeroplanes; maintenance and servicing and repair of aeroplanes and air vehicles; computer hardware (installation, maintenance and repair of -). Rental of aeroplanes and aircraft, in particular rotary wing aircraft with multiple rotors. Education; providing of training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities; video film and film production, in particular from the air; photography, in particular from the air; rental of movie projectors and accessories. Scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto; industrial analysis and research services; design and development of computer hardware and software, design, installation, maintenance and updating of software. Guarding, inspection and monitoring of persons, buildings and other material assets.


Trademark
Ascending Technologies | Date: 2015-12-14

Scientific, surveying, photographic, cinematographic, optical, weighing, measuring, signalling, checking (supervision), life-saving and teaching apparatus and instruments; computer software and computer hardware, in particular for controlling model aeroplanes and multicopters, and for measuring and recording apparatus; computer operating system software; recording carriers; printed circuits; speed meters; surveillance apparatus; recording machines, accumulators; battery chargers; batteries; testing apparatus not for medical purposes; anemometers; barometers; meters; pressure measuring apparatus; surveying apparatus and instruments; remote control mechanisms; altimeters; cameras; camcorders; lenses; surveying instruments; measuring apparatus for inertial sensor systems. Vehicles; apparatus for locomotion by land or water; apparatus for locomotion by air, in particular flying apparatus, including remote-controlled, in particular rotary wing aircraft with multiple rotors, in particular airborne camera and sensor platforms, included in this class, and apparatus, machines and equipment for aviation; screw-propellers for boats. Games and playthings; scale model aeroplanes; toy aeroplanes; flying apparatus, including remote-controlled, in particular rotary wing aircraft with multiple rotors, in particular airborne camera and sensor platforms, included in this class (toys). Wholesale and retail services in relation to flight models; wholesale and retail services in relation to aeroplanes and aircraft; advertising; EDP consultancy. Repair of model aircraft, drones, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), multicopters, aircraft and aeroplanes; maintenance and servicing and repair of aeroplanes and air vehicles; computer hardware (installation, maintenance and repair of -). Rental of aeroplanes and aircraft, in particular rotary wing aircraft with multiple rotors. Education; providing of training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities; video film and film production, in particular from the air; photography, in particular from the air; rental of movie projectors and accessories. Scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto; industrial analysis and research services; design and development of computer hardware and software, design, installation, maintenance and updating of software. Guarding, inspection and monitoring of persons, buildings and other material assets.

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