New Products Highlight Advances in Robotics, Drone Technology

Posted On October 4, 2018 By Protolabs
LG recently introduced its wearable robot product.

LG recently introduced its wearable robot product.
Image Courtesy: LG Newsroom

Our hunt for innovation this month leads us to the world of robotics, to a drone that’s perfect for an air selfie, and to a self-riding motorcycle.

LG’s New Robot Pants

Exoskeletons are of interest to us at Protolabs because we recently worked with Parker Hannifin on its Indego product, a robotic exoskeleton designed to help individuals with lower limb paralysis walk again. Plus, two years ago, we partnered with the University of Houston on its exoskeleton research, providing custom-machined aluminum-joint housings for a powered exoskeleton. So we were intrigued to read about LG’s new robot pants.

The CLIOi SuitBot is a wearable exoskeleton meant for the lower half of your body to take away some of the strain from standing and walking for long periods. It’s geared for folks like factory workers who do a lot of lifting and moving around, which can wear out your joints. LG developed the machine in collaboration with SG Robotics, a startup that’s been studying how wearable robots can improve quality of life.

Robot Museum Guide

Speaking of all things robotics, the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. is using a robot museum guide that turns art into sound for the visually impaired. The museum has programmed one of its robotic tour guides, Pepper, into a multimedia installation that transforms paintings into ambient synthesizer music.

BMW has developed a self-riding motorcycle designed to be used for safety research.
BMW has developed a self-riding motorcycle designed to be used for safety research.
Image Courtesy: BMW

AirSelfie Drone Takes Off

Given we’ve also worked on drones, we’re also always interested in advances in the drone market, like the recent launch of AirSelfie2, an aluminum drone that clips to your phone case, so it’s always with you should you encounter those perfect conditions for taking a selfie from the sky—and who doesn’t want an aerial selfie? You control the drone via a phone app, and you can fly it up to 60 feet away and snap 12-megapixel stills. As the company states on its website, “AirSelfie is a revolutionary pocket-size flying camera that connects to your smartphone to let you take boundless HD photos of you, your friends, and your life from the sky.” It sells for about $299.

A Self-Riding Motorcycle? What?

Researchers at BMW have devised a self-riding motorcycle that can start from a stop, negotiate curves and corners, and come back to a stop, all without a human operator. Cool, sure, but why? The fun of having a motorcycle is actually riding and driving it, right?

Well, as Road & Track reports, it’s all in the name of science and safer riding. The ConnectedRide self-driving motorcycle is meant as a testing vehicle for advanced motorcycle safety equipment, helping researchers and engineers integrate safety systems and make them operational with a human rider.