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SolidCon highlights IoT innovations

26 May 2014  | Jessica Lipsky

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 Xandem is developing a plug-in sensor system

Salt Lake City-based start-up Xandem is developing a plug-in sensor system.

Soft robots

Working out of Otherlabs robotics, a team at Pneubotics and Orthotics is creating lightweight lower-cost robots for medical devices, safety equipment, prostheses, and human-augmentation. The manual arms and devices on display were made with "ballistic nylon"—the same material in Jansport backpacks.

Otherlab's Tim Swift said the average robot requires a 30kg arm to lift a 6kg load; Pneubotics' bots can lift the same load with a tenth of the arm weight.

Plug-in security

Hardware start-up Xandem has developed a set of radio frequency motion sensors for home security; a set of 10 will cover a 2,000ft2 home. When installed, the motion sensors create a virtual fabric throughout the home to sense motion as well as location of people within the home, and information can be sent to a smartphone. The sensors operate at 2.4GHz and cover about a metre of space.

Because the sensors need to be installed inside walls, Xandem is developing a sensor that can be plugged into an outlet.

Hardcore bots

Boston Dynamics, which builds advanced and agile robots, drove one of its older models around the show floor.

RHex is a six-legged robot with independently controlled legs for specialised gaits, including tough terrain in Afghanistan. RHex is controlled remotely from an operator control unit at distances up to 700m. Visible/IR cameras and illuminators provide front and rear views.

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