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Robotics

Double- and triple-delta robots are light and flexible, but take up little volume (Photo: ...

The design of a standard robot arm is, more or less, a mechanized representation of an idealized human arm, replete with elbow and wrist joints. Such designs tend to be unwieldy in confined spaces, and unsuitable for many industrial production line processes. As a result, delta arms – a series of interconnected parallelograms which restrict movement to the X, Y or Z directions and do not rotate – have become popular for use in tight workspaces. But, when faced with a requirement for both flexibility and compactness, a design that incorporates the best of both types is required. That's where the double-delta robot comes in.  Read More

Hector the stick insect-inspired robot traversing an obstacle course (Photo: Bielefeld Uni...

Hector, the stick insect-inspired robot built by a research team at Bielefeld University in Germany that we first covered in 2011, could be forgiven for feeling lonely as the only one of its kind in world, but has lately been too busy learning to walk to worry on its unique status. It is hoped that Hector, which stands for Hexapod Cognitive autonomously Operating Robot, will benefit not only roboticists but also biologists interested in animal movement.  Read More

The GhostSwimmer cruises the waters of Virginia Beach

Should you be swimming in the ocean sometime soon and spot a shark-like dorsal fin cutting through the water towards you, just relax – it might simply be a military robot, that's made to look like a shark. A US Navy team has recently been testing just such a device at its Joint Expeditionary Base East, in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Known as the GhostSwimmer, the robot was developed by Boston Engineering as part of the Navy's Silent NEMO project, which is aimed at creating nature-inspired unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs).  Read More

Quadriplegic Jan Scheuermann gave the mind-controlled robotic arm a big thumbs up at the e...

In 2012, a quadriplegic woman managed to move a robotic arm, using only her thoughts, to a level of proficiency that allowed her to eat a chocolate bar using said arm. The University of Pittsburgh team behind the study didn't stop there, though. By improving the technology in the arm and working more closely with test subject Jan Scheuermann, they have since enabled her to replace the simple pincer grip of before with four new hand shapes – fingers spread, pinch, scoop, and thumb up – that allow for more complicated object manipulation.  Read More

The MOS/AUV approaches a target at Okayama University

Although it's tempting to refer to vehicle in the photo above as an ROV – a Remote-Operated Vehicle – the whole idea behind it is that it doesn't require an operator. Created by a team at Japan's Okayama University, the MOS/AUV (Move on Sensing/Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) is designed to find its own way along the bottom of the sea or a lake, performing various tasks as it does so.  Read More

The iRobot Create 2, ready to be hacked

Seven years ago, iRobot unveiled the Create – an educational robot based around the platform of the company's existing Roomba vacuum-cleaning robot. Both robotics in general and the Roomba specifically have advanced since then, so it only makes sense that iRobot has now announced the Create 2.  Read More

SINTEF researchers Elling Ruud Øye, Ekrem Misimi and Aleksander Eilertsen (left to right) ...

Pulling chicken breasts off the bone can be a fiddly process, and often results in flesh being wasted by getting left behind. In a factory setting, that means slower processing times, and less meat to sell. That's why the Norwegian CYCLE project is developing an industrial robot to do the job.  Read More

Inventas' Fredrik Lund (left) and SINTEF's Gorm Johansen with the new robot (Photo: Invent...

When it comes to robots that perform internal inspections of water pipes, virtually all of them move along on rubber tires or treads. As that rubber grips against the inside of the pipe, however, it dislodges rust particles that ultimately end up coming out of peoples' taps. In an effort to address that problem, the European Union TRACT project is developing a propeller-driven inspection robot that keeps the pipe-touching to a minimum.  Read More

The autonomous flying robot will soon be capable of independent navigation and inventory a...

Inventories are a necessary evil that need to be carried out at least once a year. Despite their necessity, they are also tedious, time consuming, labor intensive, and often involve businesses shutting their doors for whole days as they count how many unsold widgets are in the back room. The Fraunhofer Institute's InventAIRy Project plans to change that by developing a new flying robotic drone that not only takes over the drudgery of stock taking, but also acts as a new tool for record keeping and streamlining warehouse operations.  Read More

Amazon uses Kiva autonomous robots to bring the items required for an order to a staff mem...

From 1-Click shopping to the Fire phone, Amazon is known for its culture of innovation. Even its order fulfillment and logistics processes are highly refined, with talk of deliveries eventually being made by drones. Today, the firm has revealed how an army of robots runs its fulfillment centers.  Read More

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