Robots for industry | Tiny flying robots to give ISS astronauts a hand | Pittsburgh engineer researching robotics for O&P patients
September 13, 2019
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ASME Quiz
Robots for industry

These robots are best known for lending an arm to heavy-duty jobs like assembly and arc welding. What are they?

Credit: Robotics Industry Association

○ Gantry robots
○ SCARA robots
○ Articulated robots
○ Iron Giants
ASME (9/2019) 
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Today's Tech Buzz
Tiny flying robots to give ISS astronauts a hand
NASA engineers used 3D printing to produce three tiny robots designed to fly autonomously around the International Space Station and help astronauts with routine tasks, such as transporting objects from one spot to another. The so-called Astrobees, still in a trial stage, are each equipped with cameras, a touchscreen, speaker, microphone and laser pointer and maneuver with with the use of two centrifugal impellers channeling air through 12 adjustable nozzles.
ASME (9/2019) 
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Spotlight on Biotechnology
Pittsburgh engineer researching robotics for O&P patients
Josh Caputo, PhD, became interested in using robotics in orthotics and prosthetics before starting his doctorate degree at Carnegie Mellon University and working in the university's Experimental Biomechatronics Laboratory. He now runs Humotech, which is researching a prosthetic foot emulator in conjunction with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense to evaluate a system to improve the process of prescribing prosthetic feet.
O&P Almanac (Adobe Flash required) (9/2019) 
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VR, reinforcement learning could improve prosthesis fitting times
Researchers in North Carolina and Arizona are using virtual reality and reinforcement learning to reduce the amount of time it takes to fit a prosthesis. Patients used digitized virtual reality to imagine moving a prosthetic hand, and sensors placed on the forearms measured muscle activity to determine how the limbs could replicate prosthetic hand movements.
Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry (9/2019) 
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AI analysis of electrocardiograms could improve diagnosis of heart failure
An artificial intelligence algorithm can detect severe congestive heart failure by analyzing a single beat on an electrocardiogram, researchers reported in Biomedical Signal Processing and Control. The model, which was 100% accurate in studies, applies advanced signal processing and machine learning to raw ECG signals in 5-minute excerpts.
Forbes (9/12) 
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New Culture gains funding for animal-free cheese
San Francisco-based New Culture received $3.5 million in funding for its animal-free dairy cheese. The startup is working to combine biotech casein micelles with traditional fermentation methods to make dairy cheese.
FoodBev (9/11) 
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Innovations & Trends
Engineers validate San Francisco plan to support sinking tower
Engineers validate San Francisco plan to support sinking tower
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
An independent engineering review team approved plans by the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection to shore up the sinking Millennium Tower. Pending permits, work is expected to start early next year on the $100 million proposal, which calls for a perimeter pile upgrade that will shift some of the building's weight to bedrock from its existing foundation.
Engineering News-Record (9/11) 
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System enables remote piloting of GA aircraft
DZYNE Technologies and the Air Force Research Laboratory recently demonstrated the capabilities of the ROBOpilot system. "Imagine being able to rapidly and affordably convert a general aviation aircraft, like a Cessna or Piper, into an unmanned aerial vehicle, having it fly a mission autonomously and then returning it back to its original manned configuration," Alok Das of AFRL's Center for Rapid Innovation says.
GCN (9/11) 
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Agtech: A literal greenfield of channel opportunity
Agtech: A literal greenfield of channel opportunity
(Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images)
Low-power WAN technologies, satellite vendors and other communication options are poised to spark substantial growth in the largely untapped agricultural technology market. The "smart farming" channel includes rural broadband providers and wireless carriers whose infrastructure enables the collection of data from sensors and related technology to analyze soil nutrients and other conditions.
ChannelPro Network (9/11) 
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Leadership & Development
Ind. middle-schoolers build their own bikes
Students at John Young Middle School in Indiana got a hands-on STEM lesson this week in which they built bicycles from scratch. Workers at local small business Cummins Sales and Service helped the middle-schoolers assemble the bikes, which the students got to take home along with helmets, gloves and bike locks.
WBND-TV (South Bend, Ind.) (9/11) 
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ASME News
New VR demo added to Visualize MED Program
University of Minnesota will share an augmented and virtual reality demonstration at ASME’s Visualize MED event on October 22. AR/VR have been shown to have potential in understanding patient anatomy, device performance and enhance communication between clinicians, engineers, and patients. However, there are some limitations in capabilities. The Earl E. Bakken Medical Devices Center proposes a system where VR geographic and systematic boundaries can break wherever collaborators have an internet connection. Read more
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