RoadNarrows Announces Distributorship Agreement with CoroWare
LOVELAND, COLORADO, 29 December 2007 -
RoadNarrows LLC is the first domestic US distributor for CoroWare's CoroBot product line. CoroWare designs and develops robotics software and hardware supporting both Microsoft Robotics Studio and Linux-based systems and provides related integration services.
CoroWare's CoroBot is a mobile robot that includes an on-board PC-class processor and hard-disk, wheel encoders, a color camera, and an optional four degrees-of-freedom gripper arm with sensors. CoroBot was created to minimize the complexity of robot development by providing a ready-to-use robot platform. Think of it as a "PC on wheels". By combining a powerful PC-class platform with a robust, object-oriented software development system, the CoroBot platform empowers rapid deployment and development of robotics solutions. CoroBot assists the robotics developer by having additional payload mounting space, extra USB and other PC ports, sensors and communication devices.
“The CoroBot product line fills a much-needed niche for research and academic robots. Many of our customers have been asking for an affordable, mobile platform supporting a PC-class processor and a standard interface. By supporting both Linux with the open-source software Player/Stage, and Windows XP with Microsoft Robotics Studio, the CoroBot line provides a powerful platform for robotics development as well as education and related research”, said Kim Wheeler, CEO and co-founder of RoadNarrows LLC. “Furthermore the CoroBot can be pre-implemented with software that's compliant with JAUS reference architecture version 3.2 (Joint Architecture for Unmanned Systems) at an affordable price point for our military customer”. JAUS is a DoD standard in the Joint Ground Robotics Enterprise (JGRE) to promote interoperability of unmanned systems.
RoadNarrows LLC is a privately held robotics and technologies company founded in 2002 based in Loveland, Colorado. The retail business division of RoadNarrows LLC is RoadNarrows Robotics which sells and provides technical support for some of the most popular robotic product lines used by the academic and research community world-wide. RoadNarrows has an active research and development division designing robot peripherals, intelligent cameras, mobile sensor architectures, and open-source software.
RoadNarrows Robotics New Webpages & New Look
LOVELAND, COLORADO, 27 December 2007 -
RoadNarrows has redesigned its webpages to better serve its customers for 2008. RoadNarrows has incorporated suggestions and feedback from distribution partners and customers for improved navigation, product information, and support.
RoadNarrows was founded in 2002 in the field of robots with an emphasis on education, academics and art. The original web pages were hand-crafted to have a fun edge to the products and research areas that RoadNarrows support. The new webpages have a crisper and a more professional look for RoadNarrows customers. As RoadNarrows moves into 2008, professional mobile robots, research-capable legged robots, and intelligent peripherals such as smart cameras targetting a wide audience of academic, research, and industrial customers will be emphasized.
RoadNarrows Robotics prior webpages featured robots moving down a narrow road and a road images as a backdrop.
RoadNarrows Robotics new webpages emphasize a cleaner, simpler look and easier navigation.
RoadNarrows Announces Distributorship Agreement with Kondo Kagaku
LOVELAND, COLORADO, 1 December 2007 -
RoadNarrows LLC and Kondo Kagaku CO., Ltd. has announced a distribution agreement for the Kondo Robot product line. Kondo Kagaku is one of the leaders in the Japanese market for educational and hobbyist robotics. The company name is known as KO PROPO and has its roots dating back from 1945 in the remote control hobby industry.
Kondo's KHR-2HV humanoid has 19-degrees-of-freedom that is driven by high-end digital servos and controller board developed by Kondo Kagaku. The Kondo robots are widely used in robot competitions all over the world.
“The Kondo KHR1 and KHR2 product lines are high-quality legged robots that are very interesting for hobbyists, students, and researchers studying robotics, kinematics and control. In addition, Kondo Kagaku supports educational programs such as the football tournament called the "Kondo Cup" and funds a robotics school in Akihabara, Tokyo”, said Kim Wheeler, CEO and co-founder of RoadNarrows LLC. “RoadNarrows promotes platforms for academics and research, and the Kondo line of humanoid robots is a world-wide recognized legged platform that we would like to bring to schools to promote educational robots. Legged robots have a great appeal for students and help promote increased interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.”
RoadNarrows LLC is a privately held robotics and technologies company founded in 2002 based in Loveland, Colorado. The retail business division of RoadNarrows LLC is RoadNarrows Robotics which sells and provides technical support for some of the most popular robotic product lines used by the academic and research community world-wide. RoadNarrows has an active research and development division designing robot peripherals, intelligent cameras, mobile sensor architectures, and open-source educational software.
RoadNarrows Exhibits at IEEE IROS 2007 Conference
LOVELAND, COLORADO, 1 November 2007 -
RoadNarrows had an exhibit table at the IEEE Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) conference in San Diego from October 30 to November 1st. Approximately 1000 roboticists attend this academic conference from around the world. RoadNarrows had the first public demonstration in the U.S. of two new products: the CogniMem Silicon Neural Network ASICs manufactured by Recognetics, and the Brain-and-Sensor Pack for legged robots, developed by RoadNarrows.
The CogniMem Silicon Neural Network Image Recognition Board, manufactured by Recognetics, was setup to recognize visitors and small objects on-the-fly by training only a few neurons as needed. The CogniMem Neural Network chips and boards are now available for ordering. The interest from attendees of the conference was overwhelming, and it promises to be an excellent product for intelligent robotics.
RoadNarrows was able to give researchers an early preview of the Brain-and-Sensor Pack which is part of a National Science Foundation funded SBIR/STTR project in cooperation with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. A Kondo KHR-2HV was used to demonstrate the system. It consisted of a KorebotLE linux stack interfaced to specially-designed I2C processor boards laden with sensors mounted in an industrial-designed "sole" housing attached to the robot's feet. The data from the foot sensors were streamed over an 802.11b network via the KorebotLE to a laptop running visualization software howing the values of the sensors and a computed center-of-weight on each foot. There was a lot of enthusiasm with RoadNarrows' work. RoadNarrows-designed small 3-axis I2C Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) for humanoid robots also was of interest to roboticists attending the conference.
Khepera III, the latest professional mobile robot from K-Team, S.A. of Switzerland was demonstrated and received very good attention from researchers doing multi-robot systems. The Khepera III (K3) is a small, wheeled robot with the KorebotLE linux stack as an option. The KorebotLE is an embedded linux board that can support many peripherals, for example, compact flash, USB devices, I2C, analog and digital I/O. RoadNarrows is the exclusive U.S. distributor of K-Team's products.
The epuck, designed by the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) and manufactured by GCTronic of Switzerland was demonstrated as an advanced educational or research robot. It is a small hockey-puck size robot with many features that is very popular for swarm robotic research and education.
The POB-Bot robot with POB-Eye camera was also shown. The out-of-the box vision recognition system using the POB-Eye was very impressive to robot educators. One of the features that robot educators are demanding in a robot platform is cross-compatibility with other popular robot platforms. The POB-Bridge is a new board developed by POB-Technology of France that provides an interface to Lego® Mindstorm™ systems. POB-Technology's POB-Bot and POB-Eye are very popular with robot educators around the world.
RoadNarrows Becomes Authorized Distributor for Recognetics
LOVELAND, COLORADO, 6 September 2007 -
Recognetics, a manufacturer and developer of Silicon Neural Network products headquartered in Suzhou, China, and RoadNarrows LLC of Colorado, U.S.A. form a distribution agreement for the global sale of Recognetics products.
Recognetics' recent release of the CogniMem 1K chip is extremely exciting for artificial intelligent applications such as mobile robotics and smart vision systems.
The CogniMem 1K chip is a high-performance pattern recognition chip featuring a network of 1024 neurons arranged in parallel and capable of classifying an input vector of 256 bytes in up to 10 microseconds. It is both a powerful model generator and non-linear classifier and the unique parallel architecture of its neurons offers two technological breakthroughs: recognition time independent of the number of neurons in use and the ability to cascade multiple CogniMem chips to size the network at will. Chip control can be made through a parallel or I2C port.
RoadNarrows is designing open robotic components based on Recognetics products, providing their customers with more research and education options. In addition, RoadNarrows is encouraging and supporting other OEM robot partners in the development of new applications based on CogniMem. Please contact RoadNarrows for more information.
NSF Grant Press Release
LOVELAND, COLORADO, 22 May 2007 -
These Robots Were Made For Walking
RoadNarrows LLC Receives Phase I STTR NSF Grant.
CO – May 22nd, 2007 - RoadNarrows LLC based in Loveland, Colorado in partnership with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE), has received a $150,000 Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to create a “Brain Pack” for walking robots. The grant, titled “General Robot Controller for Legged Mobile Robots with Integrated Open Source Software”, is to develop a brain and sensor augmentation pack for two-, four-, and six-legged robots for teaching science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses. The "Brain Pack" will provide an easy to program computer controller that connects sensors, such as foot and hand touch sensors to give the robot the feeling of walking and grasping, inertial measurement sensors to provide balance, and a color camera to give the robot eyesight. The "Brain Pack" will be a generalized system that can be used on many legged robots, providing them with sensors and computing power that walking robots on the market currently do not have.
Wheeler, the Principle Investigator of the grant, and Robin Knight of RoadNarrows LLC will be working in collaboration with Jerry Weinberg, the Co-Principle Investigator, and William Yu from SIUE. Dr. Weinberg is the Chair of the Department of Computer Science, and Dr. Yu is an Associate Professor of Computer Science.
Hands-on robotics projects have become useful educational tools across a variety of subjects. Robots are integrated systems comprised of interdependent electrical, mechanical, and computational components. Because of their multidisciplinary nature, the study of robotics in the classroom has become a valuable tool for the practical, hands-on application of concepts in various STEM topics at the K-12 and undergraduate educational levels. While there are wheeled robots that are easy to use for K-12 and undergraduate educators, there are not any legged robot platforms with easy to use hardware and software. The "Brain Pack" will have plug-and-play sensors with straightforward software modules developed specifically for use in the classroom.
The grant enables RoadNarrows to grow the company's research and development efforts and to expand their relationships with community schools and universities.
LLC is a Colorado company founded by Kim Wheeler and Robin Knight in 2002 and is located in downtown Loveland. Ms. Wheeler is the CEO of RoadNarrows. Her academic background is in computer vision and engineering physics. Ms. Wheeler has extensive experience leading high-tech projects and managing engineering teams. Mr. Knight is the CTO of the company. He has experience in software development and system architectures. Both have over 20 years of industry experience in Information Technologies. RoadNarrows' customers are academic researchers and educators who use small autonomous robots and related software as tools in their research or course work. RoadNarrows' primary business focus is robotic research and development. The company generates revenue through retail sales and support of educational robots and software made by several manufacturers, most notably robots by K-Team of Switzerland, a recognized leader in the small intelligent robot industry. RoadNarrows has built a large academic customer base in their five years of operation.
To learn more about RoadNarrows LLC visit: www.roadnarrows.com
Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE) has been using robots in classrooms and outreach programs since 1999. Both Drs. Weinberg and Yu use robotics to teach computer science and engineering courses. In addition Dr. Weinberg conducts middle and high school robot demonstrations, workshops, and competitions to help get students interested in pursuing careers in computer science and engineering. The SIUE department web site is: www.cs.siue.edu
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of $5.91 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 1,700 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 40,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes nearly 10,000 new funding awards. The NSF also awards over $400 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
"Brain Pack" Phase I grant is supported by the National
Science Foundation Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR)
Program under Grant No. 0711909. For more information, go to:
POB Technology Distributorship
LOVELAND, COLORADO, 10 March 2007 -
POB Technology, of Chassieu, France is a leading manufacturer of robot kits and components for the educational and hobby robotics market. RoadNarrows LLC and POB Technology are excited to announce a new distribution agreement. The POB-Bot Golden Pack is an easy-to-configure kit containing a mechanical base, a POB-Eye intelligent camera, an I/O module, and motorized gripper for educational robot experiments. POB components can easily be integrated onto other robot platforms. The intelligent camera system the POB-Eye can be used with the Lego NXT.
RoadNarrows looks forward to its new relationship with POB Technology. There will now be more choices in the U.S. for students, educators, and robot hobbyists.
RoadNarrows New Office
LOVELAND, COLORADO, 2 January 2007 -
RoadNarrows LLC has a new office for our expanding company. We estimate it will take a full month to fully move in. Until that time, we will maintain full operations from our current location.
RoadNarrows LLC New Office
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Our new office is located at:
308 East 5th Street
Loveland, CO 80537
Kim Wheeler Presents at AAAI 2007 Spring Symposia on March 26th
Announcement: 1 March 2007
Kim Wheeler from RoadNarrows will present a paper titled "RoadNarrows Presents General Purpose Brain-Packs, Controller Boards, and Robots for Education and Research". This is part of the AAAI Spring Symposium "Robots and Robot Venues: Resources for AI Education", held at Stanford University from March 26th to March 28th.
The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) is an international, non-profit organization promoting education and research in the field of Artificial Intelligence.
RoadNarrows Presents at Northern Colorado Technology Round Table on March 20th
Announcement: 9 March 2007
Kim Wheeler from RoadNarrows will speak at Fort Collins Technology Incubator program called the Northern Colorado Technology Round Table, at 8:00 AM on March 20th. Kim will talk about RoadNarrows' business and their research and development efforts in the field of educational robotics. Also presenting will be Solix Biofuels of Fort Collins. The event is being held at Home State Bank Community Room, 303 E. Mountain Ave. in Fort Collins.
Doug Webster Joins RoadNarrows
Announcement: 30 January 2007
Mr. Doug Webster has joined RoadNarrows' Research and Development team as a part-time employee for the position of Mechanical Engineer. Doug brings solid mechanical and electronics design experience to RoadNarrows. Prior experience includes Los Alamos National Laboratories, and robotics design at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. He is currently studying a Masters degree in motorsports engineering at Colorado State University. Doug will be responsible for mechanical design and robot integration. RoadNarrows is excited to welcome Doug to the team.
Kent Gneiting Joins RoadNarrows
Announcement: 4 January 2007
RoadNarrows LLC has hired Mr. Kent Gneiting as a part-time employee for the position of Operations Manager. Kent brings a variety of experience to RoadNarrows, having served on Fort Collin's Technology incubator program, and the Economic Development Office with the Idaho Department of Commerce and Labor, Office of Science and Technology. Mr. Gneiting will coordinate business operations and productization strategies for RoadNarrows' software and hardware products.
RoadNarrows Sponsors CSU's RoboCup Search & Rescue Team
Announcement: 3 January 2007
RoadNarrows is again supporting the Colorado State University team working on the Good Samaritan robot that will compete at the RoboCup 2007 in the Search and Rescue League in Atlanta, Georgia from July 1st to July 10th. RoadNarrows has donated a KorebotLE, Korebot Base, and KoreIO boards for their development. In addition, RoadNarrows donated an Orc5 robot controller board and OrcPad. Best of luck to the CSU team in July!
RoadNarrows Sponsors MIT's Maslab with Equipment Discount
Announcement: 1 January 2007
MIT's Maslab is a student-run autonomous robotics competition in its 7th year. It is open to all MIT students. RoadNarrows was very happy to work with Maslab to provide high-end robotic controller boards called the Orc5 for this competition. The Orc5 robot controller board (OrcBoard) was designed and developed by Edwin Olson of MIT. RoadNarrows developed a modified version of this board, and manufactured a batch of the boards for the student competition.
Please contact RoadNarrows for further information about the features and availability of the OrcBoard for academic institutions. The software and hardware are open-source.
RoadNarrows Sponsors Loveland High School FIRST Team
Announcement: 1 January 2007
RoadNarrows is happy to be one of the corporate sponsors of the Loveland High School FIRST Team "Virtual Commandos" for their second year. The regional FIRST robotics competition is being held in Denver from March 29 to 31st. Best of luck to the team.