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Showing posts from November, 2015

5 Fascinating Facts about the Booming Robot Market

Taken from: An analyst report explains why the robot industry is booming.The robot industry is experiencing a boom period that’s not likely to slow anytime soon.Bank of America Merrill Lynch BAC released a report this week that said that annual global sales of robots reached a record $10.7 billion in 2014. The authors valued the overall market for robotic technologies, which also includes related software and sensors, at $32 billion for the same year. By 2020, the authors expect the robot market to be worth $83 billion. To read more go to:

'via Blog this'

All opinions in this blog are the Author's and should not in any way be seen as reflecting the views of any organisation the Author has any association with.

Robot Software

In the previous blog posts for this 'series' "It is a good time...." 

Post 1 looked at the hardware unpinning some of this positive rise in robots;Post 2 looked at social robots;Post 3 looked at a collection of small robots;Post 4 looked at further examples of small robots
Robots, such as the forthcoming Buddy and JIBO, will be based some established open sourceand other technologies. Jibo will be based around various technologies including Electron and JavaScript (for more details see: Buddy is expected to be developed around tools for Unity3d, Arduino and OpenCV, and support Python, C++, C#, Java and JavaScript (for more details see This post continues with some of the software being used with the smaller robots. 

A number of these robots are being programmed via …

It is a good time to play with robots

In the previous blog posts for this 'series' "It is a good time...." 

Post 1 looked at the hardware unpinning some of this positive rise in robots;Post 2 looked at social robots;Post 3 looked at a collection of small robots;
This post continues with small robot idea a bit more, looking at some of the other robots I have been fortunate to be able to play with. The opinions are from a personal point of view of playing with them, but comments are very welcome.


The kilobots ( designed to be relatively low-cost devices specifically designed for work on swarm/collective intelligence experiments. Developed at Harvard University as a scalable system to program groups of robots (now into the thousands) (

Individually these are quite simple units, they move by vibration. The real advantage, in my opinion, of the system though is you can program lots of them…

Impact of research

A recently released kickstarter project website has quoted research from the University of Northampton. This is an interesting product designed to teach children programming . In essence programming robots is good way to develop problem-solving skills.

The publication mentioned can be found at

Robots in problem-solving and programming (Scott J Turner, Gary Hill), In Proceedings of 8th Annual Conference of the Subject Centre for Information and Computer Sciences, Higher Education Academy Information and Computer Sciences Centre, Ulster, pp. 82--85, 2007. [paper]
With example related paper :
Problems first second and third (Gary Hill, Scott J Turner), In International Journal of Quality Assurance in Engineering and Technology Education (IJQAETE), volume 3, pp. 88--109, 2014. [paper]Robotics within the teaching of problem-solving (Scott J Turner, Gary Hill), In ITALICS, volume 7, pp. 108--119, 2008.[paper]
To read more about the research by the team in the…

Robotics within the Teaching of Problem-Solving

Robotics within the teaching of Problem-Solving

Volume/Issue:  Vol 7, Issue 1Date:Sunday, 1 June, 2008Journal Name: ITALICSAuthor(s)Scott Turner Gary Hill
This paper considers the experiences of teaching on a module where problem-solving is taught first, then programming. The main tools for the problem-solving part, alongside two problem-solving approaches, are tasks using Mindstorm (LEGO, Denmark) robot kits. This is being done as a foundation step before the syntax of a language (Java) is taught to enable a Graphical User Interface (GUI) emulation of a previous robot problem. Results of student evaluation and feedback will be presented and the use of two simulators will be considered.

Full paper available at: or PDF version

All opinions in this blog are the Author's and should not in any way be seen as reflecting the views of any organisation the…

It is a good time to play with little robots

In the previous two posts, mentioned the low-cost small devices are opening up new opportunities for robotics ( and the rise of social robots in the home ( was considered.

In this post and the next, 'small' robots (my phrase), relatively low cost robots, are considered. A few examples are discussed.


One of the most interesting small robots on the market is the PicoBot from 4Tronix ( 

These are small, relatively low-cost robots with a good range of basic sensors based around Arduino. A nice feature is they are quick to put together (5-10 minutes each for the two above).  The size, time to build and the radio modules make them an interesting option for playing with swarm robotics - if only I had the money.

Don't let the swarm robot idea put you off…