Archive for the ‘Robotics Industry News’ Category

STUDENTS FROM HOUSTON AND ARLINGTON TAKE TOP HONORS AT THE U.S. ARMY ALL-AMERICAN BOWL VEX ROBOTICS COMPETITION

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Five Texas High School Teams Qualify for the South Texas Regional VEX Robotics Competition

January 6, 2014 –Robot-bearing students from VRC team 2587Z, the DiscoBots, from Houston, Texas, VRC team 9090C, T-VEX from Arlington, Texas and VRC team 231Z from Pasadena ISD Robotics in Houston, Texas took home the coveted Winning Alliance trophies as Tournament Champions of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl VEX Robotics Competition in San Antonio this past week. VRC team 4080A, Silent Bot Deadly, from Ladonia, Texas was recognized with the Excellence award, the most prestigious award of the competition. VRC team 400X, team Xtreme, from Galveston, Texas went away with the Design award for their outstanding engineering and documentation. These middle and high school students competed with and against 54 teams from across Texas and Mexico.  The Tournament Champions, Excellence award winners, and Design award recipients all qualified for the chance to compete in the South Texas Regional VEX Robotics Competition and the U.S. Open VEX Robotics Championship in Omaha, Nebraska.

The action-packed day required middle and high school students to execute VEX Toss Up, a game that is played on a 12’x12’ square field. Two alliances – one “red” and one “blue” – composed of two teams each, compete in matches consisting of a fifteen-second autonomous period followed by one minute and forty-five seconds of driver-controlled play. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than your opponent alliance by scoring bucky balls and large balls in middle and goal zones, earning bonus points and doubling or negating goals.

“The Army is proud to be able to showcase the incredible talents of these winning teams and all of the students who took part in this competition,” said Col. John Keeter, deputy, Army Marketing and Research Group. “Science, technology, engineering and mathematics are critical not just to our Army’s success, but to the success of our nation, and we recognize the importance of encouraging STEM interest and excellence in today’s youth.”

High School senior Cedric Shy, Driver of VRC team 2587Z, the DiscoBots, from Houston, Texas, who was a part of the Winning Alliance commented, “The best moment of the day was making it to the finals. I’m so proud of the communication that we maintained with our alliance partners and our ability to play offense and defense against the tough competition. Our ultimate goal is to compete at the VEX World Championship alongside some of the most accomplished teams from around the world.”

Jason Morrella, president of the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, said, “The students participating in the VEX Robotics Competition consistently exhibit high levels of enthusiasm, teamwork, and a true passion for learning — gaining new appreciation for science, technology, engineering and mathematics through robotics.”  The REC Foundation manages the VEX Robotics Competition program that thousands of schools participate in around the world.

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl VEX Robotics Competition is one of a series of VEX Robotics Competitions taking place internationally throughout the year.  The VEX Robotics Competition is the world’s fastest growing competitive robotics program for elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges around the world, with more than 9,000 teams from 26 countries that participate in more than 400 VEX Robotics Competition events worldwide.

More information about The REC Foundation and VEX Robotics Competitions is available at robocticseducation.org and RobotEvents.com.

About the REC Foundation
The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, supports robotics and technology events and programs that aim to inspire and motivate students to advance in STEM education. In addition to operating and supporting competitions for some of the world’s leading robotics platforms and organizations including VEX, TSA and BEST Robotics Competitions, the Foundation also provides program support and workshops focused on technology and professional development for educators – including the RobotEvents.com community portal website which helps promote multiple high quality programs and provides online registration and event pages for hundreds of events around the world.

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U.S. ARMY VEX HOSTS ROBOTICS COMPETITION AT ALL-AMERICAN BOWL

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

WHAT: Middle and high school students from Alice, Austin, Cedar Park, Corpus Christi, Galveston, Greenville, Houston, Ingram, Ladonia, Richardson, San Antonio, Quinlan, Waco, and Mexico will descend upon San Antonio’s Sunset Station on Friday, January 3rd, for the VEX Robotics Competition presented by the U.S. Army at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Approximately 60 teams will come together for a non-stop, action-packed day of competition where they will compete with robots created from the VEX Robotics Design System.  Participants will square off playing the game Toss Up, developed by VEX Robotics, Inc. and the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation, leaders in educational and competitive robotics.

The VEX Robotics Competition is one of more than 400 tournaments supported by the REC Foundation and various national, regional and local sponsors.  The competition season culminates each spring, with the top performing teams from local and state VEX Robotics Competitions competing against each other at the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship, in Anaheim, CA. At the World Championship, these exemplary teams will have the opportunity to challenge their top-ranked peers from other countries around the world, including Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States of America.

SCHOOLS:

Alice High School Alice, TX
The Mandarin Chinese School Arlington, TX
Austin Middle School Austin, TX
Garza High School Austin, TX
McCallum High School Austin, TX
Hill Country Austin 4-H Austin, TX
Cedar Park High School Cedar Park, TX
Moody High School – Innovation Academy Corpus Christi, TX
Ball High School Galveston, TX
Lamar High School Houston, TX
Young Men’s College Preparatory Academy Houston, TX
Carnegie Vanguard High School Houston, TX
Tom Moore High School Ingram, TX
Heritage Academy Quinlan, TX
L.V. Berkner High School Richardson, TX
Richardson Berkner STEM Academy Richardson, TX
Roosevelt High School San Antonio, TX
Stacey High School San Antonio, TX

 

INTERVIEW / PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: 1:1 interviews with students, the U.S. Army, and the President of the REC Foundation will be available throughout the competition.  Photos of VEX Robots and teams interacting with their unique custom robots will be available upon request.

WHERE: Sunset Station 1174 East Commerce Street San Antonio, TX 78205

WHEN: Friday, January 3rd:

7:30 AM Open Registration, Begin Inspection, Practice Field Opens

8:45 AM Drivers Meeting

9:00 AM Opening Ceremonies

9:30 AM Qualification Matches Begin

10:00 AM Skills Challenges Open

12:30 PM Lunch Break

1:30 PM Qualification Matches Resume

3:30 PM Skills Challenges Close

4:00 PM Qualification Matches End

4:30 PM Alliance Selection Begins

5:00 PM Finals Tournament Begins

6:30 PM Awards Ceremony

7:00 PM Venue Closes

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REC FOUNDATION WELCOMES THE VEX ROBOTICS COMMUNITY BACK TO SCHOOL WITH NEW COMPETITIONS, GRANTS AND SCHOLARSHIPS

Friday, September 6th, 2013

ROCKWALL, TEXAS – September 5, 2013 – The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation today announced open registration for more than 350 competitions across three programs – VEX IQ, VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) and VEX U – at www.robotevents.com. In addition, the REC Foundation is pleased to share that the 2014 and 2015 VEX Robotics Competition World Championship, co-presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation and the REC Foundation, will once again take place at the Anaheim Convention Center in California on April 23-26, 2014 and April 22-25, 2015. This intense four-day annual robotics-engineering tournament will attract more than 800 teams and 15,000 students from over 25 countries to celebrate their accomplishments and further inspire their interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Due to the exponential growth of the VEX Robotics Competition over the past season, the REC Foundation will offer new State/Province Championships that will provide an opportunity to qualify for the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship. To learn more about the State/Province Championships please read the 2013/2014 VEX State Championship Qualifying Criteria. In addition, the REC Foundation is excited to announce a new location and date for the VEX Robotics Competition U.S. National Championship, which will move to a summer event in Honolulu, Hawaii on July 10-12, 2014 in partnership with the Friends of Hawaii Robotics. The CREATE Foundation will continue to hold a premier event in the spring which will also qualify US teams for the National Championship in Hawaii. Please stay tuned for more information about both events, coming soon. Finally, the REC Foundation Online Challenges are available for viewing and will officially open for submissions on September 17, 2013.

“The REC Foundation is pleased to support the recent expansion of the VEX Robotics suite of programs, spanning elementary school through college, with a number of new competitions, grants and scholarship opportunities, and new curriculum resources to support teachers in the classroom,” said Jason Morrella, President, REC Foundation. “We are particularly focused on assisting the growing community of students, educators, mentors, volunteers, partners and sponsors involved in robotics engineering programs to advance STEM education.”

The REC Foundation continues to expand the number and selection of college and university scholarships and is pleased to introduce a new online resource to provide information about new team grant opportunities. VEX Robotics has also recently introduced a number of VEX IQ curriculum resources, which are aligned to the Common Core education standards, to support the early integration of robotics into the classroom. More information about all of these new offerings can be found at: www.roboticseducation.org.

About the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation
The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, seeks to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by engaging students in hands-on, sustainable and affordable curriculum-based robotics engineering programs across the U.S. and internationally. The REC Foundation develops partnerships with K-12 education, higher education, government, industry and the nonprofit community to achieve this work. For more information, please visit www.roboticseducation.org or www.robotevents.com.

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Building Robots Just Got a Lot Cooler: The VEX Assembler powered by Autodesk 123D

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Autodesk’s  In the Fold blog discusses VEX IQ this week. Read on to learn more.

“What do you get when you combine robots with advanced 3D modeling and some really creative students? The VEX Robotics Competition! This year, Autodesk is teaming up with VEX Robotics to make the competition even better by giving students a cool new way to design, imagine and create their robots: The  VEX Assembler powered by Autodesk® 123D®.

The VEX Assembler powered by Autodesk® 123D® is a brand new, free 3D desktop design app made specifically for the VEX IQ robotics platform.  The desktop tool allows students to digitally access, assemble, share and test a library of VEX IQ mechanisms, gadgets and even entire robots!  Even better, there’s no CAD experience necessary to power up and use this app.  It is designed to introduce students to the modern principles of CAD while offering them a drag and drop environment where their creativity can go wild and hopefully inspire them to create some pretty great robots along the way.

Interested in learning more? Join us for the VEX Assembler Webcast on August 29th at 4:00 PM PT. A team from Autodesk and VEX Robotics will be walking through the features of the app and demonstrating the product in action. To register for the Webcast, click here. We hope to see you there!”

To read more about the VEX Assembler powered by Autodesk 123D, click here to be taken directly to the blog post.

NORTHROP GRUMMAN FOUNDATION EXTENDS PARTNERSHIP OF VEX ROBOTICS COMPETITION WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Robotics Education & Competition Foundation Announces 2014 and 2015 VEX Robotics Competition World Championship

August 13, 2013 –The Northrop Grumman Foundation and the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation today announced that the Northrop Grumman Foundation will be the presenting sponsor of the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship in 2014 and 2015. In addition, the REC Foundation today announced that the 2014 and the 2015 VEX Robotics Competition World Championships will once again take place at the Anaheim Convention Center in California on April 23-26, 2014 and April 22 – 25, 2015. This intense three-day annual robotics-engineering tournament will attract more than 800 teams and 15,000 students from over 25 countries to celebrate their accomplishments and further inspire their interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“The Northrop Grumman Foundation recognizes the importance of hands-on, sustainable and affordable robotics engineering programs to increase student interest in the STEM fields and we greatly appreciate their increased support of the VEX Robotics Competition,” said Jason Morrella, president, REC Foundation. “In addition, the Anaheim Convention Center has been a true partner in accommodating our growth and we look forward to two more years at this fantastic venue.”

“VEX Robotics is a tremendous program that creates great learning, team work and fun while exciting young minds in STEM,” said Sandra Evers-Manly, president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation. “As a global company, we are eager to support the expansion of VEX Robotics so more students worldwide have the opportunity to gain insight into the excitement of STEM and STEM careers and participate in this fun, yet challenging program.”

The newly expanded partnership with the Northrop Grumman Foundation will uniquely position the REC Foundation to respond to growing demand in communities in the U.S. and around the world with support for operational growth, competition events and new team grants.

“The Anaheim Convention Center is the ideal location for the 2015 VEX Robotics Competition World Championship, and we look forward to welcoming thousands of the world’s best and brightest young minds to Anaheim,” said Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait. ”There are many ways to impact current and future generations, and these young men and women are to be commended for their vision and dedication to excellence.”

The REC Foundation manages the VEX Robotics Competition, which provides student teams worldwide with hands-on, curriculum-based robotics engineering programs while also providing valuable teamwork and problem-solving experience. Teams compete year-round at more than 400 events that culminate in April at the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship.

The VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) is the largest middle and high school robotics program in the world with more than 7,300 teams in all 50 states and more than 25 countries. The VRC World Championship will include the introduction of VEX IQ, a new elementary robotics platform and competition, which combined with VEX U college and university level of competition, will enable students of all ages to have an opportunity to participate in robotics engineering concepts and advance their STEM knowledge. To learn more about the REC Foundation, please visit www.RoboticsEducation.org or to locate a competition event, please visit www.RobotEvents.com.

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STUDENTS FROM TEXAS & VIRGINIA TAKE TOP HONORS AT THE TSA NATIONAL VEX ROBOTICS COMPETITION

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Outranking 100 Other Teams L.V. Berkner High School and Holman Middle School Named Excellence Award Winners at TSA 2013 National Conference

ROCKWALL, Texas – July 2, 2013 – Students from L.V. Berkner High School, Team 136S, from Richardson, Texas secured top honors with the overall Excellence Award and the Tournament Champion Award for the High School Division, meanwhile students from Holman Middle School, Team 6740A, from Glen Allen, Virginia were recognized with the overall Excellence Award for the Middle School Division at the Technology Student Association (TSA) National VEX Robotics Competition that took place in Orlando, Florida.  The students took part in three full days of competition with more than 100 teams participating from across the United States in conjunction with the 2013 National TSA Conference.  The action-packed competition schedule required middle and high school students to execute VEX Sack Attack, a game that is played on a 12’x12’ square field. Teams compete in matches consisting of a twenty-second autonomous period followed by two minutes of driver-controlled play plus individual program skills and robot skills challenges. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than your opponent by scoring sacks in red and blue troughs, earning bonus points and doubling or negating goals.

“It’s wonderful to see the overall excitement, commitment to teamwork and robotics engineering design that the students displayed at the National TSA Conference,” said Jason Morrella, president of the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation. “The Technology Student Association has been a true partner in advancing STEM education with incredible robotics engineering and competition opportunities to students in their program and we are grateful for their continued support.”

To prepare for the competition, the groups worked together to design and build a robot using the VEX Robotics Design System, that could quickly and efficiently solve specific obstacles and challenges that come with playing the 2013/2014 game, VEX Sack Attack.

Each week, students apply what they’ve learned about science, technology, engineering and math in order to build the semiautonomous machines. An equally important set of skills is learned through the competition – design, communication, project management, teamwork, and the importance of composure, as students learn to deal with adversity in maximizing the design and performance of their robots wins and losses.

While Team 136S and Team 6740A won the event overall, many other teams also received esteemed awards. Award winners included:

  • Middle School Tournament Champions: Team 4377B, Purcell Junior High School, OK
  • High School Tournament Champions: Team 136S, L.V. Berkner High School, TX
  • Middle School Robot Skills Award: Team 4377B, Purcell Junior High School, OK
  • High School Robot Skills Award: Team 2131A, Davis High School, UT
  • Middle School Programming Skills Award: Team 4377B, Purcell Junior High School, OK
  • High School Programming Skills Award: Team 2131A, Davis High School, UT

The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation is pleased to organize and offer more than 400 VEX Robotics Competition events annually to reach well over 7,300 teams during the 2012-2013 season, which experienced 51% team growth year over year.

The TSA National VEX Robotics Competition is one of a series of VEX Robotics Competitions taking place internationally throughout the year.  VEX Robotics is the world’s fastest growing competitive robotics program for middle schools, high schools and colleges around the world, with more than 7,300 teams from 26 countries that participate in more than 400 VEX Robotics Competition events worldwide.

More information about The REC Foundation and VEX Robotics Competitions is available at robocticseducation.org and RobotEvents.com.

About the REC Foundation
The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, supports robotics and technology events and programs that aim to inspire and motivate students to advance in STEM education. In addition to operating and supporting competitions for some of the world’s leading robotics platforms and organizations including VEX, TSA and BEST Robotics Competitions, the Foundation also provides program support and workshops focused on technology and professional development for educators – including the RobotEvents.com community portal website which helps promote multiple high quality programs and provides online registration and event pages for hundreds of events around the world.

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Microchip Announces Sponsorship of 2013/2014 VEX® Robotics Competitions

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Microchip Offers Grants for 20 Rookie Arizona VEX Teams and Loans Fully-Equipped Gaming Trailer for Teams to Hold Local Tournaments

Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller, mixed-signal, analog and Flash-IP solutions announced support of several VEX® robotics tournaments in Arizona, providing opportunities for teams who were able to qualify for the 2013 VEX Robotics World Championship, which was held April 18-20, 2013 in Anaheim, CA presented by the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation.  The challenge, VEX “Sack Attack” pitted team alliances against each other to score points by dumping as many sacks into their alliance troughs during a two minute match.  As a result of Microchip sponsorship grants, 20 rookie teams were created in Arizona in 2013 and two new playing fields were donated, allowing more events and more teams to participate.  More than 700 teams from 24 countries and 15,000 students competed in Anaheim and teams from Cave Creek, Arizona, took home awards in the “Create” and the Autodesk Design Award categories.

Steve Sanghi, President and CEO of Microchip Technology Inc., was inducted into the STEM Heroes Hall of Fame for his work in promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math throughout the years with his involvement with various robotics programs, including VEX, FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and the Microchip Academic Program.  “I am honored to be included among this esteemed group of individuals who recognize that it is our responsibility to prepare the next generation of engineers, innovators and scientists so they can define new technology to create a stronger economy through education,” said Steve Sanghi, upon receiving this accolade.  VEX Robotics and the REC Foundation also announced a new program at the World Championship event, VEX IQ and the VEX IQ Challenge, will bring robotics to the elementary school level.  This makes VEX available to students in elementary school through college.

Microchip, in conjunction with the REC Foundation is expanding its support for 2013-2014 with an additional 20 grants that will be offered to rookie VEX teams in Arizona.  Additionally, Microchip will equip a portable VEX playing field system housed in a trailer that can be loaned out to Arizona teams who want to host scrimmages or qualifying tournaments in Arizona.  Two playing fields, electronics, and all gaming pieces will be included, allowing teams to put on their own VEX Robotics Competition events.  For more information or to get involved, contact Carol Popovich at carol.popovich@microchip.com or (480) 792-7938.

Resources
High-res VEX logo Available Through Flickr or Editorial Contact (feel free to publish): http://www.microchip.com/get/RCTC

Follow Microchip:

About Microchip Technology
Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:  MCHP) is a leading provider of microcontroller, mixed-signal analog and Flash-IP solutions, providing low-risk product development, lower total system cost and faster time to market for thousands of diverse customer applications worldwide.  Headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, Microchip offers outstanding technical support along with dependable delivery and quality.  For more information, visit the Microchip website at http://www.microchip.com/get/TNJ2.

About the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
The REC Foundation seeks to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by engaging students in hands-on, sustainable and affordable curriculum-based robotics engineering programs across the U.S. and internationally. The REC Foundation develops partnerships with K-12 education, higher education, government, industry and the nonprofit community to achieve this work.  For more information on REC Foundation, visit http://www.microchip.com/get/VRQE or http://www.microchip.com/get/KT3V.

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Northrop Grumman Foundation & REC Foundation to Create New Robotics Teams

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Northrop Grumman Foundation provides $2 million grant to support VEX Robotics Competition expansion in new locations worldwide

The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation and the Northrop Grumman Foundation today announced a partnership to establish 200 new VEX Robotics Competition teams in locations worldwide and support the program’s outreach. In addition, the partnership will support the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship in Anaheim, Calif., April 17-20, an event that will attract more than 700 teams and 15,000 students for three days of robotics engineering competition.

“Our partnership with the Northrop Grumman Foundation illustrates our shared objective to advance student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics [STEM] through accessible hands-on robotics engineering programs,” said Jason Morrella, president, REC Foundation. “We are grateful to the Northrop Grumman Foundation for its support and commitment to STEM, and we look forward to expanding our reach to students and schools in need across the United States and internationally.”

“We’re delighted with the continued growth of this program,” said Sandra Evers-Manly, president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation. “The competitions are fun and challenging, and they are generating increasing interest in STEM with our young people, which is our goal.”

The REC Foundation is on target to increase to 7,000 teams – a 30 percent growth this year alone. The partnership with the Northrop Grumman Foundation will uniquely position the REC Foundation to respond to growing demand in communities in the U.S. and around the world with support for operational growth, events and new team grants. Locations targeted for expansion include: Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Baltimore, New York, Dallas, Florida and Mississippi. The Northrop Grumman Foundation will provide a $2 million grant over two years beginning in 2013.

The REC Foundation manages the VEX Robotics Competition, which student teams worldwide with hands-on, curriculum-based robotics engineering programs while also providing valuable teamwork and problem-solving experience. Teams compete year-round at more than 350 events that culminate in April at the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship.

The VEX Robotics Competition is the largest middle and high school robotics program in the world and is expected to reach more than 85,000 students during the 2012-2013 season. To learn more about the REC Foundation, please visit www.RoboticsEducation.org.

About the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation

The REC Foundation seeks to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by engaging students in hands-on, sustainable and affordable curriculum-based robotics engineering programs across the U.S. and internationally. The REC Foundation develops partnerships with K-12 education, higher education, government, industry and the nonprofit community to achieve this work.

About the Northrop Grumman Foundation

The Northrop Grumman Foundation supports diverse and sustainable programs for students and teachers. These programs create innovative education experiences in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. For more information please visit www.northropgrumman.com/foundation.

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Tennessee hospital brings robotics into the operating room

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011
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Saint Francis Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, is the latest healthcare provider to adopt the da Vinci Surgical System SI – a robotic revolution transforming medicine.

The $1.6 million investment will make Saint Francis the sixth hospital in the region with a da Vinci system in place. According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, doctors have already performed 10 procedures with the equipment since its installation last month.

"It's just better for the patients," hospital vice president, Marilynn Robinson, told the news source. "We're finding without any question that the length of patients' stays are reduced, and complications have been reduced."

Since its debut in 1996, adoption rates for the da Vinci system have grown steadily, aided by its approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Much of its success can also be attributed to its utility in prostate surgery and hysterectomies. The minimally-invasive techniques provide a host of benefits to patients, including less blood loss, scarring and pain along with shorter recovery times. And according to the Business Review, the intuitive controls and high-definition magnification of the surgical area make it easier for surgeons to complete delicate procedures.

"The best feature of the robot is that it allows the surgeon to have the instruments, which are our hands, and the camera, which is our eyes, in the body at the same time without compromising the ability to perform the procedure," Dr. John Wilbanks of Alabama's Shelby Baptist Medical Center told MD News.

To coincide with the debut of the da Vinci system, Saint Francis will be hosting a prostate health forum alongside members of the American Urological Association Foundation and the National Football League. According to the Memphis Daily News, industry leading urologists will be in attendance to discuss the early warning signs of prostate cancer as well as potential treatment options. The event will conclude with a question and answer session as well as the opportunity to undergo a free prostate health screening.

The hospital's da Vinci system will also be on display as doctors explain the technology and its associated benefits.

"Men with prostate cancer are having phenomenal results with it, so we definitely wanted them to have the opportunity to see it and get the experience of what it looks like and how it operates," Robinson told the news source.

Although only 150 guests are expected at the event, its impact will extend far beyond the conference hall. As more hospitals and more patients recognize the clear benefits that robotics can bring to medicine, the technology should be poised for widespread adoption and future innovations.

Robot lines up for triathlon

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011
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Hawaii's Ironman Triathlon course has humbled thousands of men and women over the years, but Japanese researchers are curious to see if their newest robot is up to the challenge.

The developers behind Panasonic's Evolta have decided to take their robotic device out of the laboratory and into the wild. According to TG Daily, the miniature robot has already tried its hand navigating the walls of the Grand Canyon and riding around racetracks in Le Mans, France. But by taking on one of the world's most notoriously grueling triathlon courses, company officials know their creation has a tough task ahead of it.

"This is a very tough course for a sportsman, but I think it is worth a challenge," developer, Tomotaka Takahashi, told the news providers. "The robot will encounter a lot of hardships on its way, but I hope it will overcome them all and succeed in the end."

The Ironman course requires competitors to swim 2.4 miles and bike 112 miles before completing a 26.2 mile run. According to the event website, this legendary endurance challenge began as a friendly competition between Navy SEALs before evolving into one of the world's most recognizable sporting events. But although Evolta will be required to complete the same course, a few considerations have been taken into consideration to accommodate the bot.

As reported by Reuters, Evolta is just one-tenth the size of an adult human. To account for this inherent disadvantage, developers are giving their device one full week to complete the mission. The robot will also have a distinct advantage over human counterparts – it has three variable body configurations that will be altered throughout the competition.

"I had to think of the ways to make it waterproof and protect it from mold as much as possible," Takashi told the news outlet.

Although some robotic creations have difficulty translating their utility outside of the laboratory, the 20-inch tall device should be a versatile and reliable addition to the consumer electronics marketplace. According to Reuters, the battery pack can be recharged successfully up to 1,800 times, and Evolta is set to go on sale in Japan at the end of October.

It will be interesting to see how customers respond to this revelation in robotics. But, as is often the case, end-users may envision and create applications for the robot that developers could never have originally imagined.