Ambulance Drone Travels 60 mph To Delivery Medical Help, Increases Survival Rate From 8% To 80%

Image source: alecmomont.com

When suffering from cardiac arrest, time is critical and could mean the difference between life or death. 8% survive because of quick response times from medical assistance and services. With TU Delft's new ambulance drone, the percentage of survivors could sky rocket up to 80%.


The drone is part of an ongoing project to create a network of drones to deliver quick and reliable medical help. The drone seen in the video above is amazingly fast and uses the GPS coordinates of the caller's phone to reach its destination within minutes. Traveling at 60 mph to any destination within 4.6 miles, it bumps the survival rate from "eight to 80 percent." The foldable drone then serves as a medical toolkit upon arrival. It also has a live webcam so a medical team on the backend can provide instructions and assistance to near bystanders helping the injured.

‘Currently, only 20% of untrained people are able to successfully apply a defibrillator,’ says Momont. ‘This rate can be increased to 90% if people are provided with instructions at the scene. Moreover, the presence of the emergency operator via the drone's loudspeaker helps to reduce the panic of the situation.'

Image source: alecmomont.com

Developer Alec Momont had to design a new type of drone frame to house all the necessary medical equipment. By allowing the drone to fold up, it can be carried as a portable toolkit. Sockets in the drone house equipment.

However, these types of ambulance drones aren't anything new. The german-made Defikopter is capable of delivering defibrillators at 40 mph speeds (20 mph slower than the one we've seen today) but has an increased range of 6 miles. One important feature it lacks is that theres no webcam link between the emergency operators and those in need of medical assistance.

There are still legal obstacles to overcome. It's currently illegal for drones to be flying around countries in Europe. Hopefully this type of emergency drone will be used in the near future.




Source: TU Delft

MegaBots Inc. Looks To Raise $1,800,000 To Build Giant Battle Mech Robots

Image source: Kickstarter, MegaBots Inc.

Your fantasy of watching (or piloting) live-action, giant mech robot combat is just around the corner. MegaBots Inc. recently started a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for building giant fighting robot mechs. The catch? They're going to need $1,800,000 to build two mechs and launch a full-fledged tournament system.


The team at MegaBots Inc. consists of 20 engineers, scientists, designers, artists, fabricators, and producers dedicated to building 15-foot-tall, 7 1/2 ton walking mech robots. More specifically, human-piloted, walking mechs that wield around giant paintball guns. The games consists of driver and gunner piloted MegaBots, other vehicles, defense systems, and obstacles. The combat is all live-action and is reminiscent of a kick-ass battle scene from Titanfall. Each bot is covered in customized armor that breaks off with each hit from the opponent. Weapons jam, the robot breaks down, and joints freeze as the hits accumulate. If a robot becomes too damaged, its arms will be blown off!

Image source: Kickstarter, MegaBots Inc.

As crazy as this whole idea sounds, MegaBots Inc. already has some experience building mech robots under their belt. They've managed to build a working prototype that includes a movable torso, cockpit, and weaponized arm. Though the startup is still in need of some serious money, there's great reward for those who back their project. Here's the specs.

Image source: Kickstarter, MegaBots Inc.

Each MegaBot is made by using the same technology found in construction equipment like bulldozers and excavators. Unlike construction equipment, they use algorithms and computers to balance on two legs.

If the MegaBots Inc. falls short of $1,800,000, they'll use the remaining money to have a fight-to-the-death match between two mechs. If more funds are received, then more MegaBots will be made. Game types such as capture the flag and king of the hill will be played by the MegaBots.

If you're in need of a mech robot but aren't looking to build one, you can pay MegaBots $999,999 and they'll make you a 15-foot one. With 48 colors to choose from, complimentary ammo, and a cup holder, it's a pretty good bargain.



Source: Kickstarter

Startup Creates Exoskeleton Glove That Allows Wearers To Control Robots

Image source: YouTube, Dexta Robotics

Dexta is bridging the gap between man and machine with their new wearable called 'Dexmo'. It's a wearable, exoskeleton glove that gives users the ability to control virtual hands and robot hands. The Dexmo is currently on Kickstarter and has raised $40,000 out of its $200,000 goal.



The wearable glove, Dexmo, is an input device that captures the movement in the wearer's hand. By capturing the bends in the wearer's fingers, algorithms and sensors are able to relay x, y, z axis feedback back to a robotic hand and manipulate it in real-time. But this type of exoskeleton glove can also be used as an output device for VR. The Dexmo F2 glove is capable of breaking the motion of the wearer's fingers. This allows the wearer to (sort of) feel the virtual object that they see on screen.

Remember that robotic arm called uArm that we covered a few months back? Dexmo allows wearers to control those types of robotic arms just by moving their fingers around. Wearing two Dexmo's offers enhanced control such as operating robots that perform bomb disposal.



The big picture I see behind this wearable control system is that it allows people to control robots in a more natural way. It allows people to control robots with more organic movement rather than a restrictive control system like the joystick. It bridges the gap between man and machine. But this is just the beginning of exoskeleton, human to robot control. We may, in the future, have full-body systems in which we could control humanoid robots as humans did in the movie Surrogates.



Via Engadget Source: Dexta Robotics

Dutch Artist Attaches Taxidermy Ostrich To Drone, Names It "OstrichCopter"


Reminder: The artist behind the OstrichCopter states that the animals used in his drones died of natural causes. He had nothing to do with their deaths. We recommend not viewing the video if you find the idea of taxidermy animal drones disturbing.

Cat-drones are a thing of the past thanks to Dutch artist Bart Jansen.

For the first time, the African-native bird can soar in the skies. But "OstrichCopter" isn't the first controversial drone Jansen has made. Back in 2012, he attached his taxidermy cat named Orville to a quadcopter and named it "OrvilleCopter." He's even made a drone using a rat. Though, in this case, it took Jansen a year of hard work to put together a 9-foot, 46-pound drone.

What are your views on taxidermy animals being attached to drones? Cruel? Disturbing? Comical?



Via The Huffington Post

New Robotic Gripper Uses Electrostatic Attraction To Grasp Objects


​That static attraction that you feel between a balloon and your hand may someday enable robots to grasp and pick up objects. A California-based company named Grabit recently showed off their new electrostatic gripper at the RoboBusiness conference held in Boston. Their new flexible gripper utilizes electrostatic attraction to grasp objects. But not only is this method more versatile than other grippers, it’s a cheaper alternative to other gripper methods.

The gripper is comprised of a flexible, film-looking material lined with thin wires that induce a charge. When the wires run electricity through the gripper, the flexible bands bend inward and literally "stick" or attract to the object. The grippers prevent foreign particles like dust from collecting by switching the polarities back and forth. The company points out that this type of gripper can withstand repetitive factory use because of its durable and flexible material.

MIT Technology Review pointed out that this technology is already being used in factories. For example, electrostatic grippers work with holding microchip wafers. But unlike the robotic gripper, these grippers are flat.

We've seen unconventional grippers in the past. Some have been made with balloons filled with coffee grounds and other soft materials. It's a trend that has a goal of making robot dexterity more effective while maintaining a low cost. In the future, we could see this type of electrostatic gripper being used to handle small, delicate objects. Perhaps small semiconductors for solar cells?



Source: MIT Technology Review

Image source: YouTube

J-Deite Quarter Is A 4-Foot Transformer Robot Made By The Japanese

Image source: Project J-deite

Leave it to Japan to build a decent-sized, working Transformer robot. J-deite is an ongoing engineering project led by Japanese companies Brave Robotics, Asratec Corp., and Tomy Co. Ltd. The project, which is led by Brave Robotics' Kenji Ishida and Asratec Corp.'s Watur Yoshizaki, aims at creating a 16-foot-tall transforming car by 2020.

Their most recent development milestone is J-deite Quarter. It's a fully-functional transforming car robot that measures in at 4 feet (1.3 meters) and makes it 1/4th of the way towards the project's ultimate goal.


The robot isn't just another mock-up project, it's the real deal. J-deite Quarter runs on custom, Asratec Corp. software called "V-Sido." Powerful Futaba-made servos allow the 77 pounds of mass to morph from a walking robot into a driving 2 seat car. Though it's able to transform, the speed isn't too impressive. Walking speeds clock in at around .6 mph while the max car speed is a measly 6 mph. But who cares? It's a transforming robot!

Image source: Project J-deite

For developer Kenji Ishida (left), building transforming robots isn't a first. He actually made a working tabletop transformer back in 2012. Just think J-deite accept smaller and made to roll parking on desktops. You can view it on Mashable.

If all goes to plan, the developers will follow up with a scaled up version. The 8-foot J-deite Half will be introduced in 2016. J-deite King is set to be the final installment in this project and it's planned to tower over humans at 16-feet in height. Robots truly are transforming and rolling out.



Source: Project J-deite

Guy Creates Scaled Down Version Of Boston Dynamics' Quadruped Robot


It’s likely you’ve seen the famous Boston Dynamics quadruped robots that can hurdle over obstacles and carry heavy payloads. Robot maker and hobbyist, Max, recently shared on his robotics blog about his latest robotics project aimed at making a cheap and easy-to-build quadruped.

Max explains on his blog.
“For a long time I have been fascinated by walking robots, especially the awesome creations from Boston Dynamics. Their 26km/h wildcat made the headlines last year. But quadruped robots like that are something you can’t build by yourself. They require a huge amount of money and programming skills. Or do they?”
Using nothing but hobby electronics and some precision-cut parts, Max was able to construct a walking quadruped robot closely resembling one of Boston Dynamics’ robots. Here’s a couple of videos of the ‘baby quadruped’ learning how to move around for the first time.




The robot's chassis is comprised of cut acrylic designed to look like Boston Dynamics' LS3 robot. You can view some photos of that robot here. Max decided to use custom-cut 5mm acrylic glass for the robot's main body material. To bring all the pieces together, threaded nuts and bolts were used alongside the plastic pieces. You can see that 3 servos make up each leg and are mounted to the plastic plates. The electronics are embedded on top in the middle of the foam bumpers. Below is a photo showing just how small this robot is.


The internals of the robot include hobby servos (around $40 for all of them), an Arduino MEGA, a Bluetooth module, a rechargeable battery, and an ultrasonic sensor. The Arduino MEGA is capable of controlling all 12 servos while the Bluetooth module allows the robot to be controlled via an Android app. The sensor on the front acts as the robot's "eyes."

This is definitely one of the most unique and original homemade robots I've seen in a while. Perhaps you have your own robot project you'd like to share? Email us at contact[at]simplebotics.com to share your robotics project.



Via Hackaday

SenseFly's eXom Drone Offers Situational Awareness, Self-Adjusting Head, And Thermal Optics



Drone company SenseFly (a subsidiary of Parrot) is about to unveil their ultra-sophisticated and sensor-driven eXom. The eXom is a quadcopter that "offers professional users unprecedented situational awareness."

The real kicker behind this drone is that its amount of sensors and ability to navigate autonomously is unmatched when compared to other drones. Yes, I know, there are drones like AirDog and HEXO+ that offer autonomous flying. However, these drones don't really have any sort of obstacle avoidance technology. They're just built to follow their user around hoping they won't hit anything along the way. eXom, on the other hand, uses a full range of sensors to understand its surrounding environment.



We've contacted SenseFly to get some specifics on how eXom is capable of avoiding obstacles mid-flight. Here's what they told us. eXom is equipped with five "vision" sensors that allow the pilot to see in five different directions. Working in harmony with the vision sensors, five ultra-sonic sensors give distance feedback to the pilot. This allows the pilot to have an understand of how close eXom is to nearby objects and to see what's going on.

In addition to those sensors, eXom has built in proximity warnings that alert the pilot of nearby danger. eXom is also equipped with carbon-fiber prop protectors to absorb impact if there's any surface contact.

Now lets dig into the what this drone really has to offer. An onboard auto-pilot head houses an HD camera for taking video and ultra-HD stills. Thermal data can also be recorded with the drone's thermal camera. eXom's front-facing head also self-stabilizes when in close contact with objects. 270 degrees of motion also allow for the head to tilt completely upwards. SenseFly states that this is "crucial for challenging tasks such as inspecting underside of a bridge."

It's already clear that this drone may not appeal to those looking to shoot some action footage. Instead, this drone is targeted more towards professional and field use. I'm digging the nature-inspired features!

Judging by the teaser, we estimate that this drone will release in a couple of months. Its price tag is still unknown but we project it to be well over $1,000.



Source: SenseFly