Bedford’s iRobot Corp. said Wednesday that it has been awarded contracts totaling $7.2 million from the Brazilian government for robots that can help provide security as Brazil gears up for a World Cup soccer tournament, a scheduled papal visit this summer, and the 2016 Olympics.
The company makes several kinds of robots. Some, such as the Roomba vacuum-cleaning robot, are designed for home use by consumers. Another line is designed to let doctors interact with patients remotely. The company’s military and law-enforcement robots, meanwhile, can perform such tasks as battlefield reconnaissance and detecting explosive devices.
After big cuts in Pentagon spending, iRobot has generally been putting more emphasis on its nonmilitary robots.
"Funded by DARPA, the central research and development organization for the Department of Defense, SWARM robots allow one user to easily control many robots. The user issues commands to just one robot; the robot disseminates the commands throughout the SWARM. Each robot carries out its individual mission autonomously, communicating with fellow SWARM members as needed to accomplish the collective goal, such as room mapping, object location and other coordinated tasks. ’ Source
Dirty Thoughts: The Healing Qualities of Dirt 2013 12 19 Recently I’ve been enjoying dirty thoughts. I spend my days in a sterile 8×10 room practicing family medicine and yet my mind is in the soil. This is because I’m discovering just how much this rich, dark substance influences the day-to-day health of my patients. I’m even beginning to wonder whether Hippocrates was wrong, or at least somewhat misguided, when ...
Texas judge: Search warrants can be obtained based on predictions of future crimes 2013 12 19
Police in Texas may now obtain a search warrant based on “a prediction of a future crime,” according to a dissenting judge on the state’s criminal appeals court.
The ruling by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals came last week, ending a controversial case in which police searched a house before obtaining a warrant but were still able to present the ...
Study links BP oil spill to dolphin deaths 2013 12 19
US government scientists have for the first time found direct evidence of toxic exposure in the Gulf of Mexico
US government scientists have for the first time connected the BP oil disaster to dolphin deaths in the Gulf of Mexico, in a study finding direct evidence of toxic exposure.
The study, led by scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, found ...
Chinese Army’s secret of success? European engineering 2013 12 19 If the People’s Liberation Army went to war tomorrow, it would field an arsenal bristling with hardware from some of America’s closest allies: Germany, France and Britain.
Most of China’s advanced surface warships are powered by German and French-designed diesel engines. Chinese destroyers have French sonar, anti-submarine-warfare helicopters and surface-to-air missiles.
China’s first aircraft carrier, which was renovated from an old aircraft ...
The looting of a 16th Century library 2013 12 19
Book-lovers around the world have been helping investigators trace thousands of rare volumes looted from one of Italy’s oldest libraries by a gang of thieves including the librarian himself. While most have been recovered, a number of invaluable 15th and 16th Century books are still missing.
Inside a 16th Century church complex in the heart of Naples, the Biblioteca Girolamini’s wooden ...