Pittsburgh Robotics Events Dominate October

October might as well be dubbed “Pittsburgh Robotics Week” with the Robot Hall of Fame, RoboBusiness and the QoLT Summit 2012 all happening in perfect succession.

Here’s a quick rundown of all things robotics happening across Pittsburgh in October.

Pittsburgh Technology Council is proud to support The RoboBusiness Leadership Summit, coming to Pittsburgh October 22-24, 2012.

RoboBusiness Leadership Summit is the leading business development event for the global robotics industry, where executives come together to accelerate the commercial advancement of robotics.

Join PTC’s President and CEO, Audrey Russo, as she shares the strategies that have connected Pittsburgh’s tech-based companies with winning opportunities at RoboBusiness 2012. Russo speaks as a business advocate across the local, state and federal levels. Her session, “From Prototypes to Sales” will focus on how to build new business relationships and access capital in the greater Pittsburgh area and beyond.

AND as a member of Pittsburgh Technology Council, you’ll enjoy the EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION PRICE

– an exclusive savings of $500 – when you register by October 15th

You must use code PTC500 to activate this special savings during registration.

The RoboBusiness After-Party at Andy’s Wine Bar in downtownPittsburgh will bring you pure enjoyment and fun!  Don’t miss the only place on the planet where the robots dance like people and the people dance like robots.

Join the QoLT Center for its 2012 Summit as it celebrates recent accomplishments in early stage R&D for intelligent and adaptive systems that benefit older adults, people with disabilities, and ultimately, everyone!  Catch developments in basic and applied research, learn how QoLT collaborates with industry and practitioners, or support our students competing in the NSF’s Perfect Pitch Elevator Pitch Contest.

The highlight of October will be CMU’s Robot Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at theCarnegieScienceCenter on Oct. 23. Voting for the 2012 Robot Hall of Fame Inductees is now open to the public! Help determine this year’s winners by casting your vote online today.

In addition to inducting the newly elected robots, the ceremony also will honor five jury-selected robots from the 2010 induction class: NASA Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, iRobot’s Roomba vacuum cleaner, the da Vinci Surgical System, the characters Huey, Dewey, and Louie from the 1971 film “Silent Running,” and T-800, the character played by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger in “The Terminator” film series.



Blue Belt Technologies Receives CE Mark for Navio PFS System

Blue Belt Technologies, Inc., a medical device company focused on developing the  next generation of “smart” surgical instruments providing precise robotic control for use initially in orthopedic procedures and then for other surgical specialties including neurosurgery, spinal and otolaryngology (“ENT”), announced today that it has received CE Mark for the Navio™ PFS System.

The Company’s initial market application in Europe is for Unicondylar Knee Replacement (“UKR”) which is commonly known as partial knee replacement. A partial knee replacement is surgery to replace either the inside (medial) or outside (lateral) compartment of the knee with an implant. Partial knee replacements are bone-sparing and have been shown to provide better surgical outcomes for patients with cartilage damage contained to a single compartment when compared to total joint replacement. The majority of partial knee replacement surgeries are currently performed using instruments which can be inconsistent and lead to high revision and retreatment rates.

Blue Belt’s Navio PFS System incorporates patented technology to provide additional control to surgeons via an intelligent, handheld, cutting tool coupled with powerful surgical planning and navigation software. The Navio PFS System provides the surgeon with a layer of safety and enhanced accuracy while performing bone shaping tasks through less invasive incisions. Jess Lonner, M.D., who is an Associate Professor of Orthopedics at Thomas Jefferson University and Co- Chair of Blue Belt’s Scientific Advisory Board, said, “There is a growing role for partial knee replacement surgery as patterns of arthritis become better understood, particularly given the changing demographics and expectations of our patients. The capacity for pairing conservative unicondylar bone preparation with a unique level of precision sets the Navio PFS System apart from conventional technologies and should contribute to rapid functional recovery and enhanced durability.”

Eric B. Timko, President and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Belt Technologies went on to say, “We are very pleased to receive CE Mark for the Navio PFS System. This initial clearance represents a significant milestone for Blue Belt and our efforts to become a leader in the field of Unicondylar Knee Replacement by providing the physician with a robotic instrument that provides for an accurate and consistent placement of the UKR implant, leading to a better outcome for the patient. We are excited to begin executing on our commercialization strategy in Europe and introducing the Navio PFS System to the physician community.”

RedZone Robotics Nails $8.5 Million in Investments

RedZone Robotics, Inc., a designer and manufacturer of wastewater inspection technologies and related analytical solutions for municipalities, contractors and engineering companies, today announced  a $6.5 million investment by Waste Resources Fund L.P., a fund managed by FourWinds Capital Management, and a $2 million investment by Smithfield Trust Company, a privately owned financial institution chartered and regulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking.

RedZone will use the funds to continue to expand its product offering and geographic reach. As a result of the financing, FourWinds’ Valérie Daoud Henderson will join the Company’s board of directors.

Get all of the details right here.

RE2, Inc. Wins Phase II SBIR to Develop a Highly Dexterous Manipulation System

RE2, Inc. announced today that it has been competitively selected to develop a two-arm Highly Dexterous Manipulation System (HDMS) for the U.S. Army’s Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) under a Phase II Army Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) competitive contract.

Robotic systems for explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) currently include a single manipulator to perform critical tasks such as inspection, detection, and neutralization of explosive devices. These manipulators are often limited in their dexterity, reach and lifting capacity. The goal of the dual-arm HDMS technology is to provide the robot operator with capabilities that far exceed currently fielded single-manipulator robots. These capabilities include inspection in tight and cluttered spaces, manipulating wires, opening bags or packages, unscrewing lids on containers, and other abilities to provide access and information while operating at a safe distance.

“The direct benefit of the HDMS technology to Army personnel is significantly increased performance and capability over currently fielded manipulators for both teleoperated and semi-autonomous use on small unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs),” stated Jorgen Pedersen, president and CEO of RE2. “These manipulation improvements directly correlate to a reduction in time-on-target and overall mission time, resulting in increased safety of all mission personnel.”

Read the press release at http://www.resquared.com/PDFs/RE2-HDMS-FINAL-01-03-12.pdf

Seegrid Announces New Partnership with Cisco-Eagle

Seegrid,a leading robotics developer, announces its partnership with Cisco-Eagle, Inc., a materials handling solutions provider.  Seegrid and Cisco-Eagle are excited to bring robotic industrial truck solutions to Cisco-Eagle customers.

“In Cisco-Eagle’s continued drive toward delivering justifiable automation concepts for its customers, we are proud to have established a relationship with Seegrid. Seegrid provides automated robotic industrial trucks which we will incorporate into our customer’s operations to optimize workflow processes, increasing productivity and reducing the costs our customers experience on a per unit basis through their manufacturing and distribution processes,” said Steve Strifler, President and CEO of Cisco Eagle.

“Cisco-Eagle is a proven leader at delivering productivity and efficiency improvements to its customers.  Partnering with them to offer our robotic industrial trucks is an important milestone for Seegrid.  We know Cisco-Eagle will be an excellent partner, and help us expand our presence in the marketplace,” said Scott Friedman, CEO of Seegrid Corporation.

Companies in the food and beverage, consumer packaged goods, grocery, general manufacturing, pharmaceutical and warehousing and distribution markets have chosen Seegrid robots for their flexibility, affordability, ease of use and reliability. Better than expected returns on investment have been experienced by Seegrid’s customers.