Autonomous

  • ​Back in 2016, we wrote about the Agerris SwagBot farming robot and its abilities in crop inspection, weed removal and yield counting. Now, having raised US$4.6 million for commercialization, the company is looking to get an AI version of the robot onto the market within a year.
  • ESA has now detailed the side mission it’s planning for the asteroid-visiting spacecraft Hera. After the main work is complete, the probe will test out some new autonomous navigation systems, which should help future spacecraft get around without relying on ground control all the way back on Earth.
  • ​Driven into the ground, interlocking metal plates known as sheet piles can keep soil from eroding after rainfall, they can serve as retaining walls on slopes, or perform other functions. Installing them is a laborious process, though, which is why scientists have created a robot to do the job.
  • ​Phytoplankton aren't just evenly distributed throughout the ocean. Instead, they occur in three-dimensional concentrated patches. A new autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) is able to find and map those patches, potentially helping to preserve wildlife such as seabirds.
  • Readers will likely be well aware of Amazon's air and ground autonomous delivery robots, and you may have seen Starship's electric six-wheeled bot trundling around hundreds of cities. Now FedEx has joined the ranks with the development of the SameDay Bot.​​
  • ​If there's one thing that many North American cities need this winter, it's help in snow removal. That's likely why Colorado-based Left Hand Robotics is currently sold out of its SnowBot Pro, which autonomously brushes snow off of sidewalks while avoiding pedestrians.
  • Airport parking sucks, but a little French robot parking valet wants to make it better for everyone. After successful trials in Paris and Lyon, the Stan autonomous parking system is on its way to Gatwick, London – and it looks like a terrific idea.
  • ​They’re almost cute, these little seatless quadbikes, and they can be programmed to perform a bunch of handy tasks outdoors. Honda has been testing them in search and rescue, firefighting, construction, agriculture, landscaping and snow removal applications.
  • Rolls-Royce has made some pretty solid steps toward an autonomous shipping future since first unveiling its vision of a robotic cargo ship in 2014. Now it is teaming up with Intel to accelerate the development of autonomous shipping systems to make operations safer and more efficient. ​
  • We’re a step closer to having high-altitude, long-endurance, autonomous aircraft soaring through the skies. UAVOS has now announced that a prototype of the company’s High Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS) ApusDuo aircraft has completed the first stage of flight tests.
  • ​When we last heard about Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, it was making deliveries-by-drone and developing a vending machine for cars. Now, Alibaba A.I. Labs has announced an artificially-intelligent wheeled robot that will be tending to the needs of hotel guests.
  • ​Back in 2015, we heard about a prototype vineyard-monitoring robot known appropriately enough as VineRobot. Now, its successor has been unveiled in Portugal. Developed via a European Union research consortium, it's called VineScout.