Carnegie Science Center to showcase world’s first programmable gaming robot

California University of Pennsylvania will host the unveiling of Roboni-i, a revolutionary robotics toy produced by Robonica, at Carnegie Science Center on Saturday, November 21. 

The toy is the world’s first programmable gaming robot and features 360-degree movement, 16 sensors, and four processors. Roboni-i navigates itself, avoids obstacles, plays games, does tricks, and interacts with its environment. Customizable and pre-loaded with games, kids and adults can play alone with the robot or against others, create their own games, and download ones that other people invent. 

“At the Science Center, and in particularly with roboworld™, we are committed to providing our visitors with tangible ways to learn more about robotics and the wide array of applications for these technologies,” said Co-Director Ron Baillie. “Roboni-i has the potential to make an impact on various fields of robotics, and this is a great opportunity for visitors to get up-close to the first robot toy of its kind.” 

Representatives from Robonica will be at the Science Center from 10 am to 4 pm, during which time visitors can learn more about the toy and try it out for themselves. Robonica is pioneering a new high-growth robotic gaming category in an attempt to redefine the entertainment robotics market. Roboni-i is the first in a series of products that will highlight advanced robotics technologies and interactive software. 

“Roboni-i is a fusion of interactive game-play and real-world robotics—a novel combination with instant mass appeal that will elevate robotic entertainment to a new dimension,” said Tom Dusenberry, president of Robonica. “We are excited to bring this new and unprecedented product to the hands of visitors at Carnegie Science Center.” 

Cal U has formed a relationship with Robonica in order to demonstrate its commitment to world class partnerships with global companies and its mission to explore and provide experiences in state-of-the-art robotics technology. 

“The Roboni-i robot is very cool both in function and appearance,” said Mike Amrhein, assistant director and outreach coordinator of Cal U’s National Center for Robotics Engineering Technology Education. “Its ‘edutainment’ concept allows the user to participate in virtual applications and simulations with folks from anywhere in the world. These kinds of applications are what our robotics students research while preparing to contribute to and take part of the exciting world of agile robotics, and it’s a great opportunity for Science Center visitors.” 

Roboni-i will be available in the Science Center’s XPLOR Store the day of the event. All Robonica products are CE- and FCC-certified and meet the U.S. voluntary toy safety standard ASTM F963 Standard Consumer Safety Specification on Toy Safety. More information about Roboni-i can be found at http://www.robonica.com/pdf/RoboniiSpecSheet1.3.pdf.

Wellspring Worldwide to Acquire Flintbox

Wellspring Worldwide, LLC and the Flintbox Innovation Network today announced that Wellspring will acquire Flintbox, the leading online global intellectual property exchange. Flintbox is being acquired from UBC Research Enterprise (UBCRE), a wholly owned, for-profit subsidiary of the University of British Columbia. Additional terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Flintbox, based in Vancouver, is a spin‐out of the University of British Columbia and represents a strategic addition to Wellspring’s existing online software product business. The acquisition will extend Wellspring’s Technology Gateway product, to encompass over 160 universities, government labs, and companies able to post, exchange, license, and purchase technologies online.

Wellspring announced plans to further develop the Flintbox platform into an “Open Innovation Network,” incorporating technology from other Wellspring software products to provide an enhanced system for universities and companies to collaborate on research and commercialization agreements.

The Open Innovation Network will enable partner organizations to manage online material transfer agreements, multi‐institution disclosures, and bundled marketing and licensing. “Combining Flintbox and Wellspring represents one of the most exciting advances to the business of technology transfer and research commercialization in a decade,” said Robert Lowe, Chief Executive Officer of Wellspring. “Our complimentary client bases create a network of the leading research organizations across Asia, Australia, North America, and Europe.”

“We are very excited about combining efforts with Wellspring. The two companies are strategically aligned and there are great synergies that will be realized going forward.” said Stephen Smith, President of the Flintbox Innovation Network.

Wellspring management said the combined business will continue under the Flintbox brand name and maintain operations based in Vancouver. Additional support will be provided for North America clients from Wellspring’s Pittsburgh headquarters and for Europe, Asia, and Australia clients from Wellspring’s Cambridge, UK offices.

Regional Case Competition sponsored by CA, Inc. to be held at Carnegie Mellon University

CA, Inc., The School of Business Administration at Oakland University, and the School of Information Systems and Management at Carnegie Mellon University’s H. John Heinz III College will hold a Regional Case Competition on Friday, November, 13, 2009. The winning student team will be invited to compete against teams from around the world at the second International Case Competition on the Strategic Value of IT Management, held in conjunction with CA’s user conference, CA World 2010 in Las Vegas, May 15-17, 2010.

Bringing together students from leading Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Information Systems (MIS) programs from local universities, the competition will enable students to evaluate and demonstrate the strategic value of IT management to contribute to the success of organizations. Prior to arriving at the competition venue, the teams will be provided with a case study of a company that is in the throes of change. They research and evaluate the organization’s challenges, and give recommendations on how to adapt and align technology to better support the changing business environment. 

Each team is comprised of three graduate students, with at least one student pursuing a degree in information technology (IT) or information systems.

• What:    Regional Case Competition will determine one finalist team to     participate at the second International Case Competition on the Strategic Value of IT Management, which will be held in conjunction with CA’s user conference, CA World 2010 in Las Vegas.  Teams from the following universities are registered for the Regional Case Competition: Carnegie Mellon, The College of William and Mary, Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Pittsburgh.

• When:   Friday, November 13, 2009, 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

• Where:  Holiday Inn University Center, Pittsburgh, PA.

The International Case Competition on the Strategic Value of IT Management brings together students from business and information technology disciplines to demonstrate and evaluate the strategic value of IT management for an organization. This competition is sponsored by CA, the School of Business Administration at Oakland University, Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona, and Indiana University.

About CA
CA, the world’s leading independent IT management software company, helps customers optimize IT for better business results. CA’s Enterprise IT Management solutions for mainframe and distributed computing enable Lean IT—empowering organizations to more effectively govern, manage and secure their IT operations. For more information, visit www.ca.com.

4CDesignWorks Wins MarCom’s Prestigious Gold Award

4CDesignWorks, an interactive marketing and communications division of 4CTechnologies, recently won MarCom’s Gold Award for their Spring 2009 technology event and creative package. 4CDesignWorks entry included direct mail, email blasts, press packages, PowerPoint presentations, a complete program “passport” and directional signs. All creative tactics utilized the flight/airline theme of the event – ONBOARD’09 – and the event was held high above Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers, at the prestigious Le Mont Restaurant. This marketing activity was developed for 4CTechnologies and sponsored by IBM and Ingram Micro.

MarCom is an international award competition for marketing and communication professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of marketing and communication programs, print, visual and audio materials.

4CDesignWorks offers professional creative services to clients elevating interests in marketing performance and gaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace.  4CTechnologies is a Pittsburgh-based business consulting and software engineering firm specializing in IT-based innovation, application development and application integration.

Shooting for the Moon: ANSYS Sponsors Astrobotic Technology

ANSYS, Inc., a global innovator of simulation software and technologies designed to optimize product development processes, said it has become an official sponsor of Astrobotic Technology Inc.’s Tranquility Trek™ mission, which involves developing a rocket-launched robot as part of the Google Lunar X PRIZE competition. As sponsor, ANSYS is providing its multiphysics engineering simulation software in the development of the robot, lander and payload adapter as the company races to become the first privately funded team to reach the Moon.

Through the use of tools from ANSYS, Astrobotic Technology is simulating the effectiveness of machinery and materials performance under extreme fluctuations in lunar conditions — all to be conducted prior to sending the robot to the Moon. The project will pave the way for human exploration and eventual tapping of lunar resources for export to Earth.

The Google Lunar X PRIZE is a $30 million competition to encourage privately funded teams to send a robot to the Moon, travel 500 meters, and transmit video, images and data back to the Earth. U.S.-based Astrobotic is one of 21 teams from around the world participating in the competition. The company, which has identified a 2011 launch date, already is field-testing prototype Moon robots.

“This is a race after all, so we are leveraging engineering simulation software from ANSYS to keep moving at warp speed,” said David Gump, president of Astrobotic Technology Inc. “We are applying the software to find the lowest-cost, lightest-weight designs for our robots and the deep-space transfer stages that will deliver them from Earth’s orbit to the Moon. ANSYS® technology enables us to examine alternative structures and materials to rapidly find the most effective combinations via simulation, before we build physical prototypes.”