05 Dec 13. The SeaExplorer underwater glider breaks World Record. ACSA announced that the SeaExplorer glider, developed by ACSA in partnership with ACRI, CNRS and IFREMER, successfully completed a two-month record mission in collaboration with the Laboratoire d’Océanographie de Villefranche (LOV) of National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC). Although all gliders on the market traditionally use alkaline or primary Lithium batteries, ACSA is the first glider’s manufacturer to introduce rechargeable Li-Ion batteries as an effective, reliable and affordable solution for the market. The LOV team is now planning in the coming weeks the next deployment of this new sensing platform with additional biogeochemical sensors (e.g. Chlorophyll fluorescence, backscattering). Launched on September 5th 2013, LOV scientists recovered their glider on Tuesday the 5th of November at 11:30 at Bay of Angels on the French Riviera. Completing a two-month mission, the SeaExplorer glider became the first glider to break a double world record for multi-sensors Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) with rechargeable batteries.
05 Dec 13. Google has quietly acquired seven US and Japanese robotics firms in the past six months ahead of the launch of a new project that’s being led by Andy Rubin, the former head of Android who vacated that role in March.While Google hasn’t been shy of letting the world know about its investments in outlandish projects, like driverless cars, Google Glass and air balloon broadband, it’s been keeping its Google X robotics efforts a little more under wraps. In an interview with the New York Times, Rubin said he had convinced Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page that now was the time to make a move into robotics, even though such a plan might not deliver results in the short term. The seven companies Rubin has helped Google acquire recently include Japan-based Schaft, a maker of humanoids, and Industrial Perception, which makes robotic 3D vision. US firms it has acquired include Meka, a MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab spinoff, and Redword Robotics. Both make humanoid robots and robot arms. Robotic camera system maker Bot & Dolly has also joined Google, as well as design firm Autofuss, and Holomni, a design firm that makes wheels. The robotics efforts will not be aimed at consumers, but rather industrial applications with Rubin pointing to opportunities in manufacturing and logistics, highlighting frustrations with the complexity of the consumer electronics industry, which is dominated by labour-intensive assembly. The robotics unit will be based in Palo Alto with offices in Japan, although it’s not known yet whether it will operate as a group inside Google or as a separate subsidiary.
05 Dec 13. As a result of ongoing conversations with law enforcement personnel, the Unmanned Systems & Security Product (USPD) Division of ARA recently had the opportunity to demonstrate the usefulness of the Nighthawk IV Micro Unmanned Air System (UAS) to the Vermont State Police search-and-rescue and accident reconstruction teams and an Army Civil Support Team (CST).Although members of the public have cited privacy concerns regarding micro-UAS technology, use in national airspace, search-and-rescue and accident reconstruction missions could provide benefits far outweighing these concerns. The Vermont State Police specifically created a training scenario using military airspace at an Army training facility to take an initial look at Nighthawk performing these two missions. The demonstration started by having a State Police vehicle drive away to a hidden location from the Nighthawk launch and recovery area. Once at the hidden location, the officers used a cell phone to call 911 to simulate a lost person calling for help. The dispatcher then contacted the State Police officers at the launch and recovery site, providing the latitude and longitude coordinates of the hidden St