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This little robot dog has a personality all its own

Future Tech: Featuring Winnipeg chicken robotics & auto plant exoskeletons.

Sony’s new AI pet comes with a hefty price tag

Sony’s new AI pet comes with a hefty price tagFrom The Verge:

Sony recently announced that it’s going to release its robot dog Aibo in the US, following the brand’s relaunch in Japan last year. The new edition will be available to purchase for $2,899 and will be bundled with three years of Sony’s AI Cloud service as well as a variety of toys, including a pink ball, an “Aibone,” paw pads and a charging station.

The AI Cloud allows Aibo to send its daily activity back to Sony’s servers, which the company claims help shape the robot’s personality and let owners stay connected with their Aibo over Wi-Fi. The dog likely won’t ship until closer to the holidays, however, so prepare for a long wait.

The US version doesn’t sound or look much different from the one Sony showed off at CES this year. It incorporates a bunch of sensors, cameras and actuators to activate the pup and keep it interactive. There’s a camera on its back to help it navigate to its charging pad, and its nose camera helps it find its Aibone and identify family members through facial recognition. It also responds to voice commands, and you can add tricks to its knowledge base through the companion Android / iOS Aibo app.

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DARE to DO: Winnipeg Technology Event on September 19

UKKO Robotics

DARE: Raise hundreds of healthy, free-range chickens without human labour.

DO: Engineer a solar-powered, autonomous barn that feeds, monitors and protects the brood.

Successful startup businesses often come out of truly understanding a real problem, knowing the problem first hand with real experiences and having evidence that the solution has true demand. This is exactly how Ukkö Robotics came to be.

Manitoba farmers and engineers, Daniel Badiou and Katrina Jean-Laflamme, co-founded their startup company with a passion for technology and innovation — and realized an opportunity for adding automation to raising livestock.

Enter ROVA…

Their autonomous chicken coop design concept is not only scalable but can be adapted to apply to other livestock for a complete line of automated farm products — not only for raising chickens. The duo is now putting on a live public demonstration on September 19 (see details below) where you can get a first-hand view of the tech in action.

Having grown up on a dairy farm in Manitoba, Daniel studied mechatronics engineering at Polytechnique Montréal. That’s where he met Katrina, originally from Quebec City, who is also an engineer and a managing partner of Ukkö Robotics here in Manitoba. With an aptitude for tech development and the vision to grow their company, this is one burgeoning company to keep an eye on.

Q. Why did you develop Ukkö Robotics?

Daniel: Most of today’s automated barn systems are made for large to extra-large farms due to their cost and the infrastructure needed to make those systems work. Ukkö Robotics is here for the small to medium farms that wish to automate their farming tasks. If a lot more people can raise their own food easily, we will be able to get more local products easier and possibly at a lower cost.

Q. How can businesses help and benefit from being involved?

Daniel: Ukkö Robotics already has plans to expand in various markets using its innovative approach to problems. We are seeking strategic partners that will be able to help in both the manufacturing and distribution of our products but also to get us our Series A funding to continue developing the future of farming.

If you would like to see the ROVA in action, featuring a field demonstration, come out to the upcoming technology launch event. See for yourself why we Dare to Do.

  • WHEN: Wednesday, September 19, between 3 pm – 6:30 pm
  • WHERE: 1770 Dawson Road South (Bordering Winnipeg and the RM of Springfield)
  • RSVP here by using the password: UKKO LAUNCH

Ukkö Robotics is part of North Forge Technology Exchange Startup Program. Read more about Ukkö Robotics here.


Ford equips plant workers with mechanical exoskeletons

Ford equips plant workers with mechanical exoskeletons

From Popular Mechanics:

In fifteen Ford assembly plants around the world, human workers will be equipped with mechanical exoskeletons that will make their work a little easier. The EksoVests are built by Ekso Bionics and are designed to offer passive arm support for workers whose jobs require them to reach overhead multiple times a day.

Human workers that have to perform repetitive overhand motions can lead to potential shoulder injuries. The vests offer additional support as the worker reaches higher, from five to up to 15 pounds. The vest doesn’t enhance a wearer’s strength, but is supposed to enhance endurance, Marty Smets, Ford’s technical expert of human systems and virtual manufacturing, told Engadget.

Ford has been testing the exoskeleton vests at two plants in Michigan for the past 16 months. Employees liked the mechanical support — using the vest during 86 percent of their shift, according to Ford, which has expanded exoskeletons to 15 plants around the world. Ford will issue a total of 75 exoskeletons to employees, which is a teeny, tiny sample size to Ford’s massive employee population.

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The Editors

The Editorial Team develops articles, company profiles and resources for the Business Hub to bring IT, tech and innovation stories to the Manitoba business community.

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