Robotics

A Robot-Made Habitat for Mars Could Bring Sustainable Building Down to Earth

According to a 2018 report by the International Energy Agency and UN Environment, the global construction industry is responsible for 39% of energy-related carbon-dioxide emissions. That is a huge, scary number—but one that comes with an equally large opportunity to mitigate climate change. The 2015 Paris climate talks revealed that by using existing technology, construction could cut global carbon emissions by up to a third.

Such a reduction requires finding a new way for the industry to move forward, or as CEO and chief architect of New York–based AI SpaceFactory David Malott puts it, “a high-tech way of going backward.”

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/mars-habitat/.

Photo Credit: A hypothetical Martian neighborhood of Marsha dwellings. Rendering courtesy of AI SpaceFactory and Plomp.

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Children With Cerebral Palsy Get in Step With Trexo Robotics’ New Walking Device

Cerebral palsy (CP) affects 500,000 children in the United States alone and is the most common childhood motor disability, according to the CDC. One common side effect is limited walking ability. If children with CP don’t undergo regular physical therapy to make sure their muscles stay worked, painful muscle contractions and deformities can ensue. When one of his family members had a child diagnosed with CP, Manmeet Maggu was inspired to tackle this problem head-on with his friend and former classmate, Rahul Udasi. Together they formed Trexo Robotics to build a robotic walking device that is now being tested in homes with families. Watch the video to learn more about how Maggu and Udasi developed this groundbreaking device with the help of rapid prototyping.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/trexo-robotics/.
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Could a Synthetic Brain Make Manufacturing Automation Accessible for All?

Imagine a future in which anyone with a dream can easily turn it into a physical product. In that future, all you need to make the dream real is to communicate what you want through words. You don’t need an engineering degree or a background in industrial design or manufacturing, just an idea.

This can (and will) happen, but first, some things need to change—starting with access to manufacturing automation.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/synthetic-brain/.

Photo Credit: Image composite: Micke Tong

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5 Top Manufacturing Trends to Expect in 2019

Innovations such as drones, 3D printing, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) have been steadily maturing along their own trajectories. Insiders, pundits, and surveyed companies say that in 2019, these trends will continue their recent convergence into a tapestry of industrial tools that’s greater than the sum of its parts. The manufacturing sector’s digital transformation should continue to accelerate with this combined unlocked potential.

Meanwhile, blockchain technology is growing out of its infancy of cryptocurrency speculation, with widespread ramifications for manufacturing operations.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/manufacturing-trends-2019/.
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For These Kids, Turning a Limb Difference Into a Superpower Is a Matter of Tech

Superhero Boost is a weeklong program committed to helping kids reframe a limb difference as an opportunity to create cool prosthetics and other body mods.

Sponsored by Google, Autodesk, Born Just Right, and KIDmob, the program is open to kids age 11–17 who have upper-limb differences or who use wheelchairs. The workshop introduces kids to new technologies such as 3D printing, robotics, and artificial intelligence, which the kids use to create their own personal wearable devices designed to release their own inner superheroes. Watch this inspiring video to see what the kids came up with this year.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/limb-difference/.
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The Big Trends Shaping the Factory of the Future

While machinery has drastically changed since then, the factory itself hasn’t quite caught up. For example, the typical factory often lacks the functionality to synchronize advanced machines, fully exploit machine data, and control factory assets. But new technology is starting to come down the line in three key areas, which will help manufacturers transform how factories are run. Together, these three trends will form the backbone of the factory of the future.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/factory-of-the-future/.

Photo Credit: The typical factory often lacks the functionality to synchronize advanced machines, fully exploit machine data, and control factory assets—but that’s about to change.

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Dancing With Robots Shows the Real Power Dynamic Between Humans and Machines

Brooke Roberts-Islam apologizes—she has agreed to introduce Rose Alice Larkings, founder and principal dancer/choreographer for the London Contemporary Ballet Theatre, but there is a brief delay. “Rose will be on shortly,” Roberts-Islam says. “She’s with the robots at the moment.”

The robots—a pair of snakelike KUKA Robotics LBR iiwa industrial robots, to be exact—are her muses and dance partners.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/dancing-with-robots/.

Photo Credit: Image composite: MIcke Tong. iiwa image courtesy KUKA.

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A Bionic Man: Hugh Herr Strides Forward on Next-Generation Robotic Legs

You’ll likely hear Hugh Herr before you see him.

The charismatic leader of MIT’s biomechatronics research group wears two next-generation prosthetic legs, each barely visible under the cuff of his gray slacks, which produce a faint percussive buzz with each footfall, like the sound of a tiny electric drill. The sound serves almost as a leitmotif—you hear it, faintly, as he ascends the stairs to his office in the glass-and-metal MIT Media Lab or as he ambles across the stage during a lecture.

Among futurists, Herr’s story is the stuff of legend. In the early 1980s, after he lost both legs below the knees to frostbite in a climbing accident in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, a doctor told him he would never climb again. Defiant, Herr used a local machine shop to hack together custom prostheses from rubber, metal, and wood. He designed a set of small feet that could find a foothold where his old pair would have slipped and a spiked set he could use to ascend the steepest walls of ice. He went on to become as confident a climber after his accident as he’d ever been before.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/hugh-herr-robotic-legs/.

Photo Credit: Hugh Herr. Courtesy MIT Media Lab.

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Empathy Is Essential to the Future of Human-Robot Coexistence

The way humans interact with robots has served society well during the past 50 years: People tell robots what to do, and robots do it to maximum effect. This has led to unprecedented innovation and productivity in agriculture, medicine, and manufacturing.

However, an inflection point is on the horizon. Rapid advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence are making robotic systems smarter and more adaptable than ever—but these advancements also inherently weaken direct human control and relevance to autonomous machines. As such, robotic manufacturing, despite its benefits, is arriving at a great human cost: The World Economic Forum estimates that over the next four years, rapid growth of robotics in global manufacturing will put the livelihoods of 5 million people at risk, as those in manual-labor roles increasingly lose out to machines.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/human-robot-coexistence/.

Photo Credit: A child approaches Mimus’s enclosure at the Design Museum in London.

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Helper, Companion, Connector—How Health Care Robots Will Transform Elder Care

The world’s population is aging. In 2015, 901 million people were aged 60 and older. By 2050, that number is expected to more than double, reaching nearly 2.1 billion. According to the United Nations, this shift is poised to become one of the most significant social transformations of the 21st century.

To address the needs of this aging population—and a looming shortage of health care professionals—robots are making their way into homes, hospitals, and assisted-living facilities. The global market for elder-care technology products is expected to reach $10.3 billion by 2020, according to a report by Research and Markets. In fact, a quiet gold rush is emerging in the form of health care robots, particularly for the elderly who desire to “age in place” by remaining in their own homes. Whether industrial or humanoid, in homes or in assisted living facilities, these robots can serve as extensions of health care teams.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/health-care-robots/.
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