fruitcore robotics expands its online services with a new webshop and robotics portal

Discover the cosmos of HORST

fruitcore robotics adds two new digital services to its online offering: The Constance-based company is launching its fruitcore store and the digital robotics portal horstCOSMOS. Both digital services complement the existing services and offer users a large range of new options.

Constance, 24.09.2020 – fruitcore robotics has supplemented and expanded its online offering by introducing the fruitcore store. In the well-arranged store (https://fruitcore-robotics.com/shop/), users and prospective users can obtain detailed informations about HORST600, HORST600lab, HORST900 and HORST1400 and discover the fruitcore robot family. Fans of HORST also have the opportunity to order the affordable and easy-to-use industrial robot for their particular applications directly and quickly – with just a few clicks straight from your desk. This simplifies the entry into the world of automation even more.

At the same time the Constance-based company has launched its online robotics portal horstCOSMOS. The robotics portal is designed as an interface for an easy interaction between HORST users, partners and fruitcore robotics. For the launch of the portal, interested customers can try out the software horstFX Web for free for a period of 15 days at https://horstcosmos.com/ and discover the advantages offered by the intuitive operation of HORST. On horstCOSMOS, users also have the opportunity to download data sheets and technical documentation, watch videos and tutorials and learn about all aspects of straightforward automation using industrial robot HORST. fruitcore robotics will further expand horstCOSMOS in the future: a chat function, additional apps and practical services will be added to horstCOSMOS.

webshop: https://fruitcore-robotics.com/shop/

horstCOSMOS: https://horstcosmos.com/

Spin Master’s Latest Toy Innovation, Present Pets™ Puppies, Unbox Themselves in the Most Heartwarming Way this Holiday Season

With Only Limited Quantities in North America, Presents Pets Puppies Are Already Topping Toy Wish Lists

TORONTO, Sept. 24, 2020 /CNW/ – Spin Master Corp. (TSX: TOY; www.spinmaster.com), a leading global children’s entertainment company, revealed today its newest, imaginative toy packed with innovation, love and excitement – introducing Present Pets puppies, the interactive pets so excited to meet their new owners they unbox themselves.

Inspired by the childhood dream of being gifted an adorable puppy in a bow-topped box, these soft interactive puppies are wrapped in a truly magical unboxing experience the whole family will love. Anticipation for these furry friends is already building with Amazon naming Present Pets puppies one of the top 25 toys this holiday, earning the 8th spot on its „Toys We Love List“ and landing a coveted spot on The Toy Insider’s Hot 20 list.

The magic of Presents Pets puppies is revealed when the child pulls the oversized gift tag, sparking the pup inside to bark and paw its way out of the box and into their heart. After about two minutes of box shaking anticipation and heart bursting excitement the front of the box will topple down revealing a new pup and forever best friend. Early toy testers were blown away by the experience declaring that, „the unboxing is genius!“

With two themes to choose from, Fancy Pups and Glitter Pups, there are one of two possible pups in every box, an additional layer of surprise and delight to this must-have toy. Quantities for the North American market are limited, igniting pre-sale orders on numerous online retailer sites including Amazon, Walmart and Target.

„We cannot wait to surprise the whole family with the magical experience of unboxing their very own Present Pet puppy,“ said Jean Gomez, Spin Master’s VP Marketing & Global Business Unit Lead. „It’s a dream come true for children to unwrap a surprise puppy, and we are delighted to bring that joy to families this holiday season. We hope to see lots of exciting reactions when children open their Present Pets toys.“

Present Pets puppies are available now at major retailers for a suggested retail price of $49.99, recommended for children ages 4+. For more information on Present Pets toys visit http://www.presentpetstoy.com/en_us.

Record 2.7 Million Robots Work in Factories Around the Globe

IFR presents World Robotics 2020 – #WorldRobotics2020

Frankfurt, Sep 24, 2020 — The new World Robotics 2020 Industrial Robots report shows a record of 2.7 million industrial robots operating in factories around the world – an increase of 12%. Sales of new robots remain on a high level with 373,000 units shipped globally in 2019. This is 12% less compared to 2018, but still the 3rd highest sales volume ever recorded.

“The stock of industrial robots operating in factories around the world today marks the highest level in history,” says Milton Guerry, President of the International Federation of Robotics. “Driven by the success story of smart production and automation this is a worldwide increase of about 85% within five years (2014-2019). The recent slowdown in sales by 12% reflects the difficult times the two main customer industries, automotive and electrical/electronics, have experienced.”

“In addition to that, the consequences from the coronavirus pandemic for the global economy cannot be fully assessed yet,” proceeds Milton Guerry. “The remaining months of 2020 will be shaped by adaption to the ´new normal´. Robot suppliers adjust to the demand for new applications and developing solutions. A major stimulus from large-scale orders is unlikely this year. China might be an exception, because the coronavirus was first identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019 and the country already started its recovery in the second quarter. Other economies report to be at the turning point right now. But it will take a few months until this translates into automation projects and robot demand. 2021 will see recovery, but it may take until 2022 or 2023 to reach the pre-crisis level.”

Asia, Europe and the Americas – overview

Asia remains the strongest market for industrial robots – operational stock for the region´s largest adopter China rose by 21% and reached about 783,000 units in 2019. Japan ranks second with about 355,000 units – plus 12 %. A runner-up is India with a new record of about 26,300 units – plus 15%. Within five years, India has doubled the number of industrial robots operating in the country´s factories.

The share of newly installed robots in Asia was about two thirds of global supply. Sales of almost 140,500 new robots in China is below the record years of 2018 and 2017 but still more than double the numbers sold five years ago (2014: 57,000 units). Installations of top Asian markets slowed down – in China (minus 9%) and Japan (minus 10%).

Annual installations of industrial robots TOP 15 countries © World Robotics 2020 Report

In China, the broad majority of 71% of new robots was shipped in from foreign suppliers. Chinese manufacturers still mainly cater to the domestic market, where they gain increasing market shares. Foreign suppliers deliver some 29% of their units to the automotive industry, while it is only around 12% for Chinese suppliers. Therefore, foreign suppliers are more affected by the decline of business in the Chinese automotive industry than the domestic suppliers.

Europe

Europe reached an operational stock of 580,000 units in 2019 – plus 7%. Germany remains the main user with an operational stock of about 221,500 units – this is about three times the stock of Italy (74,400 units), five times the stock of France (42,000 units) and about ten times the stock of the UK (21,700 units).

Robot sales show a differentiated picture for the largest markets within the European Union: About 20,500 robots were installed in Germany. This is below the record year 2018 (minus 23%) but on the same level as 2014-2016. Sales in France (+15%), Italy (+13%) and the Netherlands (+8%) went up. Robotics in the United Kingdom remains on a low level – new installations slowed down by 16%. The newly installed 2,000 units in the UK are about ten times less than the shipments in Germany (20,500 units), about five times less than in Italy (11,100 units) and about three times less than in France (6,700 units).

Americas

The USA is the largest industrial robot user in the Americas, reaching a new operational stock record of about 293.200 units – up 7%. Mexico comes second with 40,300 units, which is a plus of 11% followed by Canada with about 28,600 units – plus 2%.

New installations in the United States slowed down by 17% in 2019 compared to the record year of 2018. Although, with 33,300 shipped units, sales remain on a very high level representing the second strongest result of all time. Most of the robots in the USA are imported from Japan and Europe. Although, there are not many North American robot manufacturers, there are numerous important robot system integrators. Mexico ranks second in North America with almost 4,600 units – a slowdown of 20%. Sales in Canada are 1% up to a new record of about 3,600 shipped units.

South America´s number one operational stock is in Brazil with almost 15,300 units – plus 8%. Sales slowed down by 17% with about 1,800 installations – still one of the best results ever – only beaten by record shipments in 2018.

Worldwide trend in human-robot collaboration

The adoption of human-robot collaboration is on the rise. We saw cobot installations grew by 11%. This dynamic sales performance was in contrast to the overall trend with traditional industrial robots in 2019. As more and more suppliers offer collaborative robots and the range of applications becomes bigger, the market share reached 4.8% of the total of 373,000 industrial robots installed in 2019. Although this market is growing rapidly, it is still in its infancy.

Collaborative and traditional industrial robots © IFR International Federation of Robotics

Outlook

Globally, COVID-19 has a strong impact on 2020 – but also offers a chance for modernization and digitalization of production on the way to recovery. In the long run, the benefits of increasing robot installations remain the same: Rapid production and delivery of customized products at competitive prices are the main incentives. Automation enables manufacturers to keep production in developed economies – or reshore it – without sacrificing cost efficiency. The range of industrial robots continues to expand – from traditional caged robots capable of handling all payloads quickly and precisely to new collaborative robots that work safely alongside humans, fully integrated into workbenches.

Orders

Orders for World Robotics 2020 Industrial Robots and Service Robots reports can be placed online and grant immediate access to the 2019 figures.

The Robots Are Coming… to Combat Sports Training

STRYK is Launching the Next Evolution of Combat Sports Training with its Unique Robotic Fighting Coach, RXT-1

Created by a U.S. Army Special Forces Veteran, the company’s innovative robot trainer is designed with four foam arms, a head target, and a torso pad option to help improve fighters‘ reaction time, mental processing speed, and hand-eye coordination.

SEATTLE, Sept. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The robots are coming to combat sports training with a new company, STRYK, https://www.strykusa.com/, launching its unique robotic fighting coach, RXT-1, promising the next evolution in fight training.

Created by a former U.S. Army Special Forces Explosives Specialist and a long-time combat sports participant, the company’s innovative RXT-1 robot is designed with four foam arms, a head target, and a torso pad option, and offers three different training mode options: Practice, Spar, and Combinations. The RXT-1 is not intended to replace human sparring partners but to complement such training through improving the users‘ reaction time, mental processing speed, and hand-eye coordination.

Think of it as man vs. machine to enable you to enhance your fighting skills. Or a sparring partner that never gets tired. The RXT-1 allows you to get in extra sparring rounds without risking injury while training at variable tempos, speeds, and attack stimuli you wouldn’t easily experience with comparable human partners.

„It’s truly a unique product. The RXT-1 strikes at fighters in a realistic yet unpredictable fashion. There has never been a striking pad system that hits back. There is only one robot fight coach in the world — RXT-1,“ said Brent Verdialez, founder and CEO of STRYK and inventor of the RXT-1. „If practiced with daily, users will notice results within a week. We offer the first physical human and robot interactive coach in the sports industry. The future of fight training is here today with our innovative robot coach.“

Top benefits of the RXT-1 include:

  • A human interactive training robot
  • Workout without feeling like its hard work
  • Learn to defend oneself
  • Improve cognitive processing, reaction time, reflexes, hand-eye coordination, memory, and visual processing speed, etc.
  • Get in shape

Additional RXT-1 product features include:

  • Ease of use anywhere – RXT-1 can be used at home, at the gym, in your garage, in a dojo, at schools, or anywhere it can be mounted indoors.
  • Three training modes — The RXT-1 has three training modes: Practice, Spar, and Combinations. In Practice mode, strikes are predictable and come every two seconds. In Spar mode, the robot strikes randomly according to the preselected level. In Combinations mode, RXT-1 will strike according to the combinations the user selects and the order they are selected. You can set the robot trainer to run for 1-12 rounds, and 1 to 3-minute rounds.
  • Adjustable speeds – Speeds for the RXT-1 can be adjusted from 20%-100%. The RXT-1 can strike up to five times a second, which means the robotic arm travels at a speed of approximately 40 mph.
  • Durable — As long as the body and the joints are not directly struck, the RXT-1 can potentially outlast a fighter’s career.
  • Affordable — When compared to costly and outdated training products currently on the market, RXT-1 is affordable and starts at $699.

STRYK has launched a Kickstarter campaign, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/stryk/in-home-mma-striking-and-agility-trainer-the-rxt-1-robot?ref=4ozhzi, to spread awareness about the company’s affordable and revolutionary robot fighting coach, RXT-1.

ABOUT STRYK

Created by a former 10-year U.S. Army Special Forces Explosives Specialist and long-time combat sports participant, STRYK, https://www.strykusa.com/, is launching its unique robotic fighting coach, RXT-1, promising the next evolution in fight training.

The Robo Wunderkind Explorer Kits are finally available for pre-order

The wait is over! The Robo Wunderkind Explorer Kits are finally available for pre-order  In this blog post, find out what makes our newest robotics kits lineup so special, and why it is bound to become a highlight of this Christmas for your child.

Redesigned building blocks, extended functionally, and even more room for fun and learning – all you can think of in STEM represented in the Robo Wunderkind Explorer Kits. Besides the awesome perks you get by pre-ordering early, you and your child will benefit from the unique play and learning experiences these kits bring along. Ready to find out about the coolest features?

LED Display

This new, cube-shaped block offers so many possibilities for kids to be creative! Draw pictures and emotions, display them on the 16*16 resolution screen, and add some artistry to your coding creations. This building block supports animations, so your kid can create projects with short cartoons or text scroll.

Line Follower

Another new feature that our community has been looking forward to: the Line Follower block is our newest addition to the array of building pieces! With this block, your child’s robots can detect and follow lines drawn on the floor. Besides providing many ideas for super fun activities and games, this block is also an essential element of robotics – plenty of learning outcomes guaranteed!

Accelerometer

This sensor will help Robo to find its way around: it can recognize which way is up, down, left, and right! You can measure gravitational forces with an accelerometer, just like an astronaut in space. Programmed with our Python API, this sensor will also allow you to calculate your robot’s orientation in 3D space. 

Smart Motors

Each Robo Wunderkind Explorer Kit is now equipped with our new Smart Motors! Besides driving to a precise distance and turning, they now support relative angular positioning of anything you place on top of them.

Project Sharing

The coolest feature is coming to Robo Wunderkind apps: they will be even more fun to play with having our brand new project sharing functionality. Soon, you’ll be able to not only create your own code but also share it with friends and send them to other devices you have at home. Sharing is caring!

Excited for your little inventor to have fun and learn coding with these cool features? Pre-order Robo Wunderkind today, and get a 15% discount on any kit, a free t-shirt for your child, a possibility to upgrade your purchase, and even win an iPad mini! Delivery: end of September 2020.
Pre-order now!

Bionic Flower: a bionically inspired robot flower

Another step for the integral didactic concept of Bionics4Education

Festo Didactic presents a new product for the bionics didactic concept of Bionics4Education. What is new: the orientation towards the maker movement approach and the 4Cs. The aim is inspiring learners, finding new ways and solutions, dealing creatively with provided materials, and sharing these experiences with others to prepare them for the digital world of tomorrow.

Inspired by the plant world

The Bionic Flower is a construction kit inspired by the plant world. Festo Didactic developed the Bionic Flower following the models of mimosa plants and water lilies in cooperation with SkySpirit. The Bionic Flower opens and closes its petals as a reaction to external influences such as touch, proximity or light. These mechanisms can be discovered in a playful way by pupils in the classroom using sensors and control technology integrated in the Bionic Flower. The design, as well as the transfer of principles from the plant world, rounds off the teaching of curriculum topics in STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths). The topic of biodiversity can also be discussed in class.

Bionic work didactically prepared

One Bionic Flower can be used by up to three students at a recommended age of 10 and over. The petals contain the first bionic topic: the folding technique. The petals gain the necessary mechanical stiffness by folding. The mechanism for opening and closing the petals is electrically actuated with a stepper motor which opens and closes the petals one after the other. The movement and the light effects are controlled via Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones, tablets or PCs. If required, the microcontroller can be programmed with the graphic coding interface „Open Roberta“. Experienced students can also program their Bionic Flower in C++. The code is open source. This enables teachers to teach technical content via a new, interdisciplinary educational path. Accompanying teaching material, as well as the assembly manual, can be downloaded free of charge from our website www.bionics4education.com.

An expanded approach to promoting valuable skills

Students learn different aspects of STEM with the Bionic Flower – in a digital, creative and interdisciplinary way. The Bionic Flower combines bionics and technical education and is thus based on the competencies of the 4Cs: collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity to empower learners for the digital world of tomorrow.
In addition, soft skills such as working in a team are reinforced.

New in the concept: the maker movement approach

The maker movement is based on the DIY (do it yourself) culture and the idea of finding new ways and solutions, dealing creatively with materials, and sharing these experiences with others. The Bionic Flower takes this approach and combines Maker Education and STEM Education. In addition to assembling the Bionic Flower, learners can customize and expand on the Bionic Flower by using 3D printers, other materials, hardware and software.

iRobot Introduces the Roomba® i3+, Expanding Its Intelligent, Self-Emptying Product Lineup

With intelligent navigation, Clean Base® Automatic Dirt Disposal, personalized cleaning and a new look, the Roomba® i3+ robot vacuum fits into your life

BEDFORD, Mass., Sept. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — iRobot Corp. (NASDAQ: IRBT), the leader in consumer robots, today expanded its Roomba® robot vacuum lineup with the launch of the new Roomba® i3+, a stylish new Roomba vacuum packed with advanced features. Starting at $599 USD, the Roomba i3+ offers intelligent navigation, self-emptying capability with Clean Base® Automatic Dirt Disposal, and an expanded range of personalized cleaning features powered by the recently launched iRobot Genius Home Intelligence

Experience the interactive Multichannel News Release here: https://www.multivu.com/players/English/8620652-irobot-roomba-i3-plus-vacuum/

„Innovative cleaning experiences have been, and always will be, foundational to our product offerings,“ said Keith Hartsfield, executive vice president and chief product officer at iRobot. „We have a proven track record of delivering products that make consumers‘ lives easier. The Roomba i3+ expands our lineup to offer not only exceptional cleaning performance and value, but greater personalization and control delivered by iRobot Genius. The iRobot Genius platform also allows the Roomba i3+ to evolve and get smarter over time, providing new ways for customers to clean their unique homes.“

Take vacuuming off your plate
Similar to the iRobot Roomba i7+ and Roomba s9+ robot vacuums, the Roomba i3+ comes equipped with the Clean Base® Automatic Dirt Disposal. With Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal, the robot empties debris on its own, with no intervention from the user. Consumers don’t have to think about emptying the bin for months at a time or worrying the robot won’t finish the job due to a full bin. The Roomba i3+ automatically empties up to 60 days‘ worth of dirt and debris into the Clean Base, which doubles as the robot’s charging station. The debris is then locked away in the Clean Base’s enclosed AllergenLock™ bag that uses four layers of allergen blocking material to trap 99 percent of pollen and mold.

The Roomba i3+ purposefully and logically cleans in neat rows to navigate multiple rooms within the home, across hard floors and carpet. If the robot’s battery runs low, the Roomba i3+ will automatically recharge and resume cleaning until the job is complete.

The Roomba i3+ is also equipped with a High-Efficiency Filter that captures 99 percent of pollen, mold, dust mites, and cat and dog allergens. The robot’s 3-Stage Cleaning System consists of Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes that work together to effectively clean, a specially designed Edge-Sweeping Brush to get into corners, and 10X the Power-Lifting Suction as compared to Roomba 600 Series. Using patented Dirt Detect™ technology, the Roomba i3+ knows where dirt builds up and focuses cleaning in those specific areas.

Adapts to your life, listens to your voice
The Roomba i3+ brings a thoughtful new design that fits well into consumers‘ homes, with a durable, woven texture that minimizes fingerprints and collects less dust. The hidden-until-lit light ring helps the robot blend into the background, only lighting up to communicate robot behaviors or notifications when the robot is actively cleaning.

Users can also get more out of their Roomba i3+ with the newly redesigned iRobot Home App, powered by iRobot Genius™, which takes users beyond standard app control to give them a personalized cleaning experience. Available for iOS and Android devices, iRobot’s state-of-the-art artificial intelligence and home understanding capabilities enable the Roomba i3+ to learn how you like to clean. The Roomba i3+ will offer personalized suggestions via the iRobot Home App, such as recommended cleaning schedules based on past cleaning jobs and helpful cleaning suggestions during pet-shedding or allergy seasons.

Event-based automations can be set up directly within the iRobot Home App, an exclusive capability for iRobot customers that is powered by iRobot Genius™ and IFTTT Connect. Whether you’re heading off to work or going for a hike, the Roomba i3+ can begin cleaning when prompted by location-based services like Life360 or from smart home devices, like the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock. When paired with Alexa enabled devices or the Google Assistant, users can control the Roomba i3+ with just the sound of their voice. The Roomba i3+ also supports Imprint Link™ Technology so that it can team up with the iRobot Braava jet® m6 mopping robot to deliver an extra level of clean.

Pricing and Availability
The Roomba i3+ robot vacuum is available immediately for purchase online in the U.S. ($599 USD) and Canada ($749 CAD) on www.irobot.com and www.irobot.ca, and in retailers later this September. The Roomba i3 robot vacuum can also be purchased without the Clean Base® starting at $399 USD and $499 CAD. The Roomba i3+ is expected to be available in other international markets beginning in Q1 2021.

Autonomous UVC disinfection robot scales up the fight against viruses

St-Sulpice Switzerland/Sezana, Slovenia, September 16, 2020 – Based on proven mobile robot and UVC lamp technologies the mini UVC, jointly developed by BlueBotics and Engmotion, can be used alone or in a connected fleet to autonomously disinfect hospitals and other public buildings such as airports, hotels, and commercial/industrial sites. The robot combines the reliability and fleet management capabilities of BlueBotics’ mobile robot and navigation technologies with Engmotion’s powerful Steril-ONE UVC disinfection lamp.
 

“As COVID-19 forces facility managers to improve the depth and frequency of their cleaning operations at a time when fewer staff may be available, this robot provides a new and efficient way to achieve these goals,” Dr Nicola Tomatis, the CEO of BlueBotics, said. “Using our industry-proven ANTsoftware it is simple to generate a map, set disinfection points and your autonomous robot will do the rest. The robot easily and efficiently disinfects any type of indoor public space, from hotel rooms to hospitals, airports and more.”

Disinfecting a restroom with UVC light

With businesses around the world taking tentative steps towards reopening, attention has turned to how public facilities such as hospitals, airports and hotels can ensure they remain safe for visitors. The public are increasingly seeking reassurances of venue safety before visiting or passing through, and at the core of organizations’ responses is enhanced disinfecting policies and practices.

With the pressure that the COVID-19 pandemic has put on hospitals and nursing homes, there is an increased focus on ensuring they are a safe location for patients, medical staff, and visitors. In a study last year published in the American Journal of Infection Control, examined the effects of an ultraviolet (UV) light technology designed to defeat superbugs in hospitals and found that it eliminated almost 98 per cent of pathogens. These infections cost billions of dollars, and some estimates state that they cause almost 100,000 deaths each year in the United States alone.

mini UVC robot with ultraviolet lights

“When it comes to disinfection technology, UVC light is proven to destroy up to 99% of viruses on surfaces, including the SARS family of viruses, and vegetative bacteria,” said Enrico Merlani, the CEO of Engmotion. “However, static lamps require trained staff to place and move them. An autonomous mobile robot that can move and position itself at every required location really is the optimal solution. The robot allows facility managers to do more with less, systematically disinfecting more areas, more deeply and more often using either one or several connected robots, and all without the need for additional human resources.”


Safe and reliable disinfection
BlueBotics, working in combination with Engmotion, developed the mini UVC robot to enable operations teams to disinfect sites safely and autonomously. It features safety laser scanners at the front and rear of the robot, which allow it to detect obstacles and people when in transit, and a high-sensitivity movement sensor on top, which automatically shuts down UVC operations if a human is detected.

If an operator needs to disinfect an area more quickly, disinfect a larger site, or clean multiple areas at the same time, the robot’s ANT server software makes it easy to create a full fleet of connected mini UVC robots. Other ANT driven vehicles can also be included in the fleet, such as Cleanfix’s floor cleaning robots or other logistics vehicles. Additionally, ANT server’s built-in simulator allows an operator to verify a project before activation.

Deployed thousands of times in the field, BlueBotics’ ANT technology and Engmotion’s Steril-ONE UVC disinfection lamp ensure the system disinfects exactly as planned, time and time again. 

The BlueBotics mini UVC is quick to set up and easy to use: just drive the robot with a joystick manually around the site to generate a map, create routes and set disinfection points using the system’s ANT lab software, and the BlueBotics mini UVC — or fleet of mini UVCs — does the rest. The solution can be operated 100 per cent autonomously, semi-autonomously (if staff need to open doors), or manually via a wired controller (personal protective equipment required).


The power of ultraviolet cleaning

Scientists have known for over a century about UV’s ability to disinfect. And for many years, UVC lamps have been used for sterilisation in medical settings, food production and a number of other places. The properties of UV rays are also known to be effective at killing viral particles, including other coronaviruses like MERS.


Pilot Project

The BlueBotics mini UVC was recently deployed at an international airport in Italy as part of a pilot project carried out by Software Design (A SITA Company). 

“In this COVID-19 era, airport operators need to keep their sites cleaner, with more disinfection cycles every day,” explained Marco Pici, who is Head of Business Development & Business Transformation at Software Design (a SITA Company). “The BlueBotics mini UVC can be a great help. It can be used to run more cycles with the same resources, helping sites to do more with less. With the ANT server an operator can easily manage and operate a number of different robot types, like our reception robot, and use these as they see fit, or even have them triggered by the airport’s operation system.”

Mayflower Autonomous Ship Launches

PLYMOUTH, England, Sept. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Ocean research non-profit ProMare and IBM (NYSE:IBM) have announced the completion and launch of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) – an AI and solar powered marine research vessel which will traverse oceans gathering vital environmental data.

Following two years of design, construction and training of its AI models, the new fully-autonomous trimaran was today lifted into the waters off the coast of Plymouth, England ahead of its official launch tomorrow.

Designed to provide a safe, flexible and cost-effective way of gathering data about the ocean, the new-generation Mayflower promises to transform oceanography by working in tandem with scientists and other autonomous vessels to help understand critical issues such as global warming, micro-plastic pollution and marine mammal conservation. ProMare is co-ordinating the scientific studies working with IBM Research and a number of leading scientific organizations.

MAS features an AI Captain built by ProMare and IBM developers which gives MAS the ability to sense, think and make decisions at sea with no human captain or onboard crew. The new class of marine AI is underpinned by IBM’s latest advanced edge computing systems, automation software, computer vision technology and Red Hat Open Source software.

„Able to scan the horizon for possible hazards, make informed decisions and change its course based on a fusion of live data, the Mayflower Autonomous Ship has more in common with a modern bank than its 17th century namesake,“ said Andy Stanford-Clark, Chief Technology Officer, IBM UK & Ireland. „With its ability to keep running in the face of the most challenging conditions, this small ship is a microcosm for every aspiring 21st century business.“

To enable followers around the world to stay updated with MAS as it undertakes its various missions, IBM and ProMare have today launched a new interactive web portal. Built by IBM iX, the business design arm of IBM Services, the MAS400 portal is designed to provide real-time updates about the ship’s location, environmental conditions and data from its various research projects. Live weather data will be streamed from The Weather Company, as MAS is receiving forecast data and insight from the new IBM Weather Operations Center.

The portal even features a seven-armed, stowaway octopus chatbot called Artie, who claims to be hitching a ride on the ship. Powered by IBM Watson Assistant technology and created in partnership with European start-up Chatbotbay, Artie has been trained to provide information about MAS and its adventures in a lively, and accessible format.

„MAS400.com is one of the most advanced ocean mission web portals ever built,“ says Fredrik Soreide, Scientific Director of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship project and Board Member of ProMare. „Protecting the ocean depends on our ability to engage the public in important matters affecting its health. This MAS400 portal is designed to do exactly that and tell people where the ship is, what speed it’s travelling at, what conditions it’s operating in and what science we are conducting. Users can even help Artie the Octopus fish out surgical masks, cigarette butts and other increasingly common forms of ocean litter from a virtual ocean of facts and data.“

MAS will spend the next six months in sea trials and undertake various research missions and voyages before attempting to cross the Atlantic in Spring 2021. MAS’s transatlantic voyage will be based on a similar route and pioneering spirit to the 1620 Mayflower which made the same crossing 400 years ago.

MAS Facts:

Name: Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS)
Organizations and
companies behind it:   
ProMare, IBM and a global consortium of partners 
Mission:MAS and other autonomous ships and drones working in tandem with human scientists to collect vital oceanographic data
Humans on board:0
Autonomy level5 (can operate independently with no human intervention)
Sensors on board:30+
AI Cameras on board:   6
Octopuses on board:1
Science projects:Marine mammals, micro plastics, sea level height & wave patterns, oceanographic and environmental data collection
Length:15M
Width:6.2M
Max speed:10 knots
Weight:5 tons/4535KG
Equipment capacity:    0.7 tons/700KG
Hull design:Trimaran (central hull with two outrigger wings)
Power:Solar-driven hybrid electric motor
Software:IBM Visual Insights computer vision technology, IBM edge systems, IBM Operational Decision Manager automation software, IBM Maximo asset management software, data from The Weather Company        
Hardware:IBM Power Systems AC922, 6 Jetson AGX Xavier, 2 Jetson Xavier NX, 4+ Intel-based computers, 4+ custom microprocessor systems
Navigation equipment:Precision GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System), IMU (Inertial Measurement Units), radar, weather station, SATCOM, AIS
Live mission portal:https://mas400.com
More information:https://newsroom.ibm.com/then-and-now
B-roll:  https://newsroom.ibm.com/mayflower-b-roll
Images:https://newsroom.ibm.com/mayflower-images