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Robo-guard: robotic prison guard from South Korea

South Korean Robo-guard

According to this recent Reuters video, South Korean prisons are testing robotic prison guards to patrol corridors and monitor the behavior of inmates. The robot, equipped with several cameras and microphones, moves around autonomously and thanks to the cameras and advanced human behavior recognition it can inform human guards about abnormal prisoner activity.

iRobot Roomba 790

iRobor Roomba 790

Leading French robotic website Kelrobot.fr has reported today that iRobot is planning to introduce two new robots in Europe.

iRobot Roomba 790

The more interesting model is the Roomba 790 that will represent the top of the 700 series. The robot itself is identical to the Roomba 780 (apart the color of the faceplate), but it will come with an even richer accessory bundle:

iRobot Scooba 230 goes worldwide

iRobot Scooba 390 vs Scooba 230

Besides the new iRobot Scooba 390, iRobot has announced today that they will start selling the Scooba 230 outside of North America. The two Scooba robots will arrive in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America during April and May. The Scooba 230 and the Scooba 390 will cost €329 and €499, respectively.

iRobot Scooba 390

iRobot Scooba 390

Just when you thought that the Scooba 300 series had reached the end of its lifetime, iRobot is announcing a new addition to the line. The iRobot Scooba 390 uses the latest iAdapt technology like the newer Scooba 230, and the Extended Power Life Management for 30 percent longer battery life. Although the shape and size of the robot seems to be unchanged since the Scooba 380/385 model, the new dark gray cover matches the elegant design of the Scooba 230.

TI OMAP processors to drive iRobot robots

Texas Instruments OMAP processor

iRobot Corp. and Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) has recently signed a partnership to use TI's well-known OMAP processor platform in iRobot's future robotic products. The ARM based OMAP multicore processors are widely used in mobile computing today, being the base of many of the well-known smart phones and tablets, including the Samsung Galaxy phones and the Amazon Kindle Fire. These processors combine outstanding computing power with very low power consumption, and often contain a dedicated graphics core for faster image processing.

Neato XV-21 announced

Neato XV-21

As I have predicted a few days ago, Neato Robotics has now announced the new Neato XV-21 Pet & Allergy autonomous cleaning robot. The XV-21 is a specially equipped version of the original Neato robot, now aimed at pet owners and allergy sufferers. The Neato XV-21 now includes a new bristle brush that is supposed to do a better job picking up pet hair, dander and fibers, and also lowers the noise of the robot significantly, especially on hard floors.

Three new business units at iRobot

iRobot announced a reorganization of its operations into three newly formed business units. Two of these units are not entirely new; they deal with the company's home and military robot offerings. The third unit, called Emerging Technologies Business Unit, was formed to support and build on the Ava platform, which could allow the company to get into the healthcare, retail and security business sectors. The new business structure will be supervised by Jeffrey Beck as chief operating officer (COO) who has been the president of the company's Home Robot Division up until now.

Neato XV-21

Neato XV-21

Earlier this month I mentioned here that Neato Robotics is probably preparing the announcement of a new robotic product at the 2012 International Home & Housewares Show in Chicago, IL on March 10. On February 15, the company teased its Facebook fans with this comment: "Two words... Pet & Allergy - stay tuned...".

Robotic lawn mower concepts from South Korea

PCM-401 robotic lawn mower concept

Advanced Technology Korea weblog published an article yesterday about the importance of industrial design. To prove her point the author cited several examples from the winners of the Korea Design Exhibition, and one of these was an automatic lawn mower concept. The robot concept, introduced and awarded at the 44th Korea Design Exhibition in 2009, had never passed the CAD rendering phase and was forgotten after the event.

What is Neato Robotics working on?

Neato XV-11

"The countdown is on.... We will be exhibiting at the 2012 Home & Housewares Show in Chicago! Cool stuff coming your way...” - says a post on the Facebook wall of Neato Robotics. The first commercial product of the company, the Neato XV-11 was announced a little over two years ago at CES 2010, and other than a few firmware upgrades they did not modify the robot since. The XV-12 sold in Target and the XV-15 available in Europe are essentially the same as the original model.

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