Robotics News

Robots Podcast, episode #99: Manipulators & Morphogenesis

robots.net - 12 March, 2012 - 02:43



While attending SCHUNK Expert Days, the symposium on service robotics, Amanda took advantage of the opportunity to interview Bruno Siciliano, Professor of Control and Robotics, and Director of the PRISMA Lab, in the Department of Computer and Systems Engineering at the University of Naples Federico II, and Rolf Pfiefer Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in the Department of Informatics at the University of Zurich, Switzerland.

Read On or Tune In

Categories: Robotics News

Microsoft Robotics Studio 4 Ships

robots.net - 11 March, 2012 - 02:10

Microsoft Robotics Studio 4 is no longer beta. The above video shows Follow Me and glimpses of other demo applications created using MSRS4 running on the MSRS Reference Platform.

Categories: Robotics News

40 Years of Fukushima Cleanup: Timeline

Popular Mechanics - 9 March, 2012 - 16:30
Last March a tsunami damaged the reactor cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, causing the leak of high levels of radiation. Owner Tokyo Electric Power Company recently released its 40-year cleanup plan.


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5 High-Tech Space-Junk Solutions

Popular Mechanics - 8 March, 2012 - 11:30
It's a mess up there. Earth orbit is crowded with not only working satellites but also defunct orbiters, pieces of old rockets, and other miscellany. How will we clean up the refuse of the Space Age?


Categories: Robotics News

SK Telecom Smart Learning robots add twist to interactive learning, we go hands-on (video)

Robots@Engadget - 8 March, 2012 - 00:03
They aren't quite up to Johnny Number Five's level of fame and stature, but SK Telecom's new "Smart Learning" robots have something it (he?) never could have dreamed of: the power of a smartphone. The mechanical critters are designed to be next-gen educational tools for our posterity, and only function thanks to a Bluetooth-connected Android handset which serves as both the brains of the operation and the interactive display. We saw the robots in action last week at Mobile World Congress in a few different scenarios: a board game, a reading comprehension tool and other clever learning activities. This is just scraping the surface, because an SDK is in the works that will allow developers to find plenty of ways to take advantage of the tech. The robots are still prototypes for now, but we should expect to see them arrive in Korea within the next six months. Check out a video of the little guys in action after the break.

Continue reading SK Telecom Smart Learning robots add twist to interactive learning, we go hands-on (video)

SK Telecom Smart Learning robots add twist to interactive learning, we go hands-on (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 07 Mar 2012 19:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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A Fuel Cell That Cleans Water and Makes Electricity—Simultaneously

Popular Mechanics - 6 March, 2012 - 09:10
The new design devised by a team of Penn State graduate researchers opens up a future of sustainable wastewater treatment.


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2012 Tornado Season Off to Explosive Start

Popular Mechanics - 6 March, 2012 - 06:00
On Friday, deadly tornadoes ripped through Indiana, Kentucky, Alabama, and many other states. How bad was the outbreak, historically, and is the U.S. about to endure an extreme tornado season?


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Popular Mechanics - 6 March, 2012 - 06:00


Categories: Robotics News

Rodney Brooks Keynote at Robotdalen

robots.net - 5 March, 2012 - 23:07

It's been a while since we've heard from Rodney Brooks, so we were pleased to hear from Robotdalen communications manager, Jessica Karlsson, about a recent keynote presentation he gave at their event.

Robotdalen is a Swedish robotics cluster enabling commercial success of new ideas and research within robotics and automation. On February 9 we arranged the event Robotics Innovation Challenge. One of the key note speakers at the event was Rodney Brooks, one of the world's foremost roboticists and founder of the robot companies iRobot and Heartland Robotics.

It's a short video but packed with good stuff. He discusses why the world needs robots. He offers advice to academics on adapting from expensive, one-off research to the turn-key, mass produced robot technologies that attract venture capital. He suggests robots today are about where the PC was in 1973, right on the verge of taking off. He points out that talking to venture capitalists about "killer apps" when discussing a robot business plan may not be a good idea. He gives a quick overview of the 14 failed business models iRobot went through before it was successful. And he offers the advice that historically in robotics, the intuitive solution is almost always wrong. You can see more video from the conference on the Robotdalen YouTube channel.

Categories: Robotics News

DARPA's 'Cheetah' record breaking legged robot

robots.net - 5 March, 2012 - 16:58

This is the first video showing the ‘Cheetah’ robot, created by Boston Dynamics under DARPA’s M3 (maximum mobility and manipulation) program. The robot broke the previous speed record for legged robots by demonstrating its ability to run at a speed of 18mph (~30km/h). The robot uses flexible legs that provide it with the fast reaction time necessary to follow the terrain at such speed and the record-breaking performance was displayed on a treadmill with the robot powered by an external hydraulic pump. The patterns used for its motion are similar to those of fast-running animals in nature. It certainly looks less imposing than the preview released before and although it is inspired by its nature analogs its legs are quite dissimilar in structure. A prosthetic leg also named 'Cheetah' performs under the same principal by flexing and un-flexing its back at every step in order to quickly react to fast running. Athletes are using it with great results. DARPA’s ‘cheetah’ is expecting to run without an external power source later this year. For more information you can read the full press release here.

Categories: Robotics News

CatBot: an Automated Cat Laser Toy

robots.net - 5 March, 2012 - 16:34

Keep your cat engaged long after you can no longer lift your arm to aim the laser. CatBot is an automated cat laser toy with an Arduino controller. (via Laughing Squid)

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Can Human Consciousness be Transferred to a Machine?

robots.net - 5 March, 2012 - 04:26

The blog Homo Artificialis has posted a three-part series on the potential for creating artificial bodies into which human minds might be transfered. The series begins with Russian media entrepreneur Dmitry Itskov discussing a stepwise approach, then continues with MIT Professor of Computational Neuroscience, Sebastian Seung talking about his work mapping the neurons in a human brain and the connections between them. Finally, Henry Markram of the Blue Brain Project explains his efforts to create a computer model of the human brain.

Categories: Robotics News

James Bond Theme Song via Quadrotors

robots.net - 5 March, 2012 - 04:06


University of Pennsylvania's General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab has a cool video of Quadrotor robotic copters playing various instruments to the tune of the James Bond Theme Song! To accomplish this the quadrotors have little reflectors and room has infrared lights and cameras to track their movements. The tracking information is then relayed wirelessly back to the quadrotors to help time and position them. So in essence the entire room and the quadrotors are the robot. Enjoy the video!
Categories: Robotics News

How Powerful Was a <em>T. rex</em> Bite?

Popular Mechanics - 4 March, 2012 - 14:30
The jaws of a Tyrannosaurus could have been able to match the force of an elephant’s weight, according to new research from England.


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Restoration Robotics tops VC funding for 2011

robots.net - 2 March, 2012 - 17:26

Hizook has been tracking VC investment in robotics firms for about two years, and has a list of the top companies for 2011, as determined by the scale of the capital infusions they've received. Topping the list, at $43 Million (US), is Restoration Robotics, which makes robots that automate the process of hair follicle harvesting for use in hair transplantation. (Currently implantation is still done manually.)

Categories: Robotics News

DARPA's ARM program shows progress

robots.net - 2 March, 2012 - 06:20

DARPA's Autonomous Robotic Manipulation (ARM) program is developing software to perform human-level tasks quickly and with minimal direction. The robotic arm in the video was built from commercial components and performs the tasks shown using vision, force, and tactile sensing, without active human control.

Categories: Robotics News

TED talk: Robots that fly ... and cooperate by Vijay Kumar

robots.net - 1 March, 2012 - 21:59


In one of the most impressive TED talks, Professor Vijay Kumar from GRASP Lab of University of Pennsylvania explains the dynamics of flying quadcopters robots. He show some of the already viral videos produced by the lab and explains some of the math that make them possible concluding with an extraordinary musical performance! - via DIYdrones.

Categories: Robotics News

Google Android booth at MWC 2012: smoothies, robots, slides, oh my! (video)

Robots@Engadget - 1 March, 2012 - 11:53
Want a taste of Mobile World Congress whimsy? You've come to the right place. Like every year, Google's Android booth is the closest you'll get to experiencing Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory in real life here at Fira, and we're gonna take you on a tour. Join us as we enjoy smoothies and ice cream sandwiches, robots and Swarovski crystals, plus a trip down the rabbit hole -- in our video after the break.

Continue reading Google Android booth at MWC 2012: smoothies, robots, slides, oh my! (video)

Google Android booth at MWC 2012: smoothies, robots, slides, oh my! (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 01 Mar 2012 06:53:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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iRobot reorganizes, forms new unit focused on Ava and other emerging technologies

Robots@Engadget - 1 March, 2012 - 00:19
iRobot has been branching out from its traditional household and military robots for quite a while, and it looks like it's now officially embracing those activities as a core part of its business. The company announced a reorganization (or "strategic realignment") today that will see it comprised of three different business units: Home Robots, Military Robots and Emerging Technologies. That last group includes things like the Ava mobile robotics platform, which iRobot hopes will eventually be used in everything from healthcare to retail to security applications. Alongside that news, the company also announced a bit of an exec shakeup, with Home Robots President Jeffrey Beck being named Chief Operating Officer, and former COO Joseph Dyer switching roles to become Chief Strategy Officer. The company's official announcement can be found after the break.

Continue reading iRobot reorganizes, forms new unit focused on Ava and other emerging technologies

iRobot reorganizes, forms new unit focused on Ava and other emerging technologies originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 29 Feb 2012 19:19:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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