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Robotics

The Pan-Robotics project aims at using robots to improve supply warehouse operations (Phot...

No good deed goes unpunished and that goes double for robots. They may improve manufacturing efficiency, but an improvement in one place often shows up a glaring inefficiency somewhere else. In an effort to help supply logistics keep up with robotic manufacturing, the EU's Pan-Robots project is working to create warehouse robots that are faster, more efficient, and safer than both manual operations or current robotic systems.  Read More

The Cornell robot barista can learn how to use coffee machines it's never used before

If robots are going to become part of our everyday lives, they'll need to learn to work with everyday things. That means being able to read instruction manuals and figuring out how to use new machines. That's the plan of researchers at Cornell University, who have programmed a robot barista that can not only make a latte, but figure out how to use an unfamiliar espresso maker.  Read More

Moley Robotics' Automated Kitchen

It may sound like the stuff of futuristic science fiction, but a high-tech kitchen featuring a robot is set to become a commercial reality. The Automated Kitchen was recently unveiled to the public at Hanover Messe in Germany, a leading industrial products trade show. Created by UK-based Moley Robotics, the company claims the robot – the key component of the ensemble – can cook like a seasoned chef.  Read More

An artificial muscle developed by Lenore Rasmussen (pictured) will be tested aboard the IS...

When the Dragon spacecraft is propelled into space atop a Falcon 9 rocket this week on a resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS), it will be carrying an artificial muscle material developed by Lenore Rasmussen and her company RasLabs. In addition to better prosthetic devices, it is hoped the material could find applications in robots on deep space missions.  Read More

A GermFalcon prototype makes its way down an airliner's aisle (Photo: GermFalcon)

Airliner cabins can get pretty germy. They're packed full of people from all over the world, who spend hours doing things like coughing, sneezing and touching surfaces with their grubby li'l hands. It was with this in mind that Arthur Kreitenberg and his son Mo created the GermFalcon. It's a robot that kills germs on planes, using ultraviolet light.  Read More

Festo's eMotionButterflies are reported capable of collective behavior and are able to aut...

Designing a robot that can convincingly move like a member of the animal kingdom is a much more difficult prospect than merely building something that has the outward appearance of one. Some of the best examples of both have come from the engineers at Festo, including a herring gull named SmartBird and a bit of a bounder known as the BionicKangaroo. As a taste of things to come at next month's Hannover Messe trade show in Germany, the company has now revealed three more biomimetic creations: a small colony of ants, a gripper modeled on a chameleon's tongue and some fine flyers in the shape of some big blue butterflies.  Read More

A prototype robot has been developed that may help guide firefighters more safely and effi...

When firefighters need to enter smoke-filled buildings to conduct search or rescue, they frequently suffer from low visibility and often need to feel their way along walls or follow ropes reeled out by the lead firefighter. With a limited supply of oxygen carried by each firefighter, being slowed by the inability to see can severely limit their capacity to carry out duties in these environments. Now researchers from King’s College London and Sheffield Hallam University have developed a robot assistant for firefighters that can help guide them through even the thickest smoke.  Read More

Researchers have created a nanoscale biomicrorobot (or 'cytobot') that responds electrical...

By cladding a living cell with graphene quantum dots, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) claim to have created a nanoscale biomicrorobot (or cytobot) that responds electrically to changes in its environment. This work promises to lay the foundations for future generations of bio-derived nanobots, biomicrorobotic-mechanisms, and micromechanical actuation for a wide range of applications.  Read More

A robot being taught to distinguish between two objects (Photo: University of Plymouth)

It had to happen sooner or later; robots have replaced infants... at least, as subjects in psychological research being conducted by a team at the Indiana University (IU) Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences. The robots are being used to study how infants learn and have revealed that posture and body position are important factors in early learning.  Read More

Sawyer is designed to perform intricate tasks that are beyond the capabilities of other in...

It was three years ago that we first heard about Rethink Robotics' Baxter industrial robot. Priced at US$22,000 and requiring no programming expertise on the part of its users, it was intended to bring robotic automation to manufacturers who would otherwise not be able to afford it. Now, Rethink has announced the more compact and agile Sawyer robot.  Read More

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