International Conference on Robotics and Automation 2009

IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2009) in Kobe, Japan, is presenting many interesting robots. [H/T Sander Olson]

A rapid pole climbing robot from the University of Pennsylvania.

Robot-Assisted Rapid Prototyping for Ice Structures

Video of ice sculpting robot at this link

McGill University researchers are currently developing experimental robotic systems for building ice structures: the [email protected], for building small-scale structures, and the Adept Cobra 600 robot, for building medium-scale structures. Further software and hardware development is needed for the Cobra, since it was not designed for rapid prototyping, and certainly not for rapid prototyping using ice as the working material. The authors have designed and built fluid delivery systems for each machine to permit the use of water as the building material. A signal-processing subsystem permits control of the water-delivery flow rate and synchronization with the robot motion. Additionally, we have developed a slicing algorithm to generate toolpaths for the Cobra using stereolithography (STL) files as the input. We also intend to develop a larger robotic system for producing ice sculptures and buildings at the architectural scale.

Safe platooning of vehicles without communication (would enable high traffic volume and lower fuel usage)

LORIA Researchers propose a novel near-to-near longitudinal platooning building a collision-free platooning whatever the number of vehicles. The model is derived from the study of the most dangerous interaction between two vehicles, i.e. considering the maximum acceptable acceleration when the previous vehicles brakes at maximum capacity. Collision avoidance of this model is proved. Finally, we show that this model can be combined to existing ones, keeping this collision-free property while allowing more various behaviors.

International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2009) website

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Joseph Friedlander

Your comment on if home and work are shelters then that is where we will be 80% of the time is spot on.
The reason the Hiroshima and Nagasaki strikes killed 50-100 x the number of dead of most conventional mass air raids of comparable yield is because people had time to be warned and leave.
The thing that cuts down recovery time for civilization has to be the availability of skilled people in good health. After Germany was flattened it essentially recovered in ~8-20 years (about 8 years to reach 1939 levels, about 20 years to start catching up to the UK which it passed in 1968)
Rebuild time is hugely less if people survive with skills and health--and there are places left to import parts etc from.


As a (possibly) simple first step in the construction enhancement process, I wonder if cellulose nanopaper could be incorporated into the current plywood layering technology? It remains unclear to me what process is envisioned to apply nanopaper to a surface. Any hope that it can be sprayed on like paint? If so, this would seem to lend itself well to an upgrade of existing structures too.