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Robotics

Hyundai beefs up robotic exoskeleton

Following on from a small, discreet mobility exoskeleton it unveiled last year, Korean auto giant Hyundai has revealed images of a much beefier, tougher looking robotic exoskeleton aimed at the transportation, industrial and military markets. The suit, which is still in its pre-production form, would let you lift and manipulate objects weighing over 60 kg (132 lb) with no stress to your legs, arms or back.Read More

New hybrid system gives robot arms human-like grace and precision

Disney Research has come up with a glockenspiel-playing robot that can indulge in balloon toss ... when it isn't safely picking up fresh eggs. The telepresence robot uses a new type of hydrostatic transmission that combines hydraulic and air lines to provide more degrees of freedom, as well as greater precision and delicacy of touch in a lighter, simpler design.Read More

Reusable microbots make meal of toxic metals

Researchers have developed a tube-shaped microbot that offers a cheaper and more effective way of removing heavy metals than previous methods. The self-propelled microbots use an outer layer of graphene that binds to lead ions it comes in contact with. The scientists found that they can remove 95 percent of lead from polluted water in one hour, and once they have a full payload, they can be cleaned and reused multiple times.Read More

Plans to bring Eric, the UK's first walking, talking robot, back to life

Back in 1928, a robot that could speak and move around was pretty impressive, so it's no surprise that Eric the aluminum-clad automaton was a sensation when he did just that in front of crowds across Europe and the United States. However, just as suddenly as Eric the robot shuffled onto the world stage, he disappeared. Now the British Science Museum is looking to rebuild Eric for new generations to enjoy, using information contained in original photographs and drawings.
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Autonomous learning puts human-like dexterity within robotic reach

Although humans perform intricate hand movements like rolling, pivoting, bending and grabbing different shaped objects without a second thought, such dexterity is still beyond the grasp of most robots. But a team of computer scientists at the University of Washington has upped the dexterity stat of a five-fingered robotic hand that can ape human movements and learn to improve on its own.Read More

Bipedal robot conquers uneven ground

Getting a robot to walk is one thing, getting it to walk without tripping on the first obstacle it encounters is quite another. Engineers at the University of Michigan are developing a set of algorithms that allow an unsupported bipedal robot named MARLO to negotiate steep slopes, thin layers of snow, and uneven, unstable ground without toppling over. Designed as a general purpose robotic system, the algorithms may also have applications in advanced prosthetics.Read More

Roach-inspired robots buddy up to climb stairs

If you've ever watched a war or adventure movie, you're well familiar with the "no man left behind" ethic. Now, thanks to an advance involving their VelociRoACH, researchers at University of California at Berkeley's Biomimetic Millisystems Lab have figured out a way to create machines that will have a "no robot left behind" sense of duty – at least when it comes to climbing stairs.Read More

Robot artists compete for cash

While people sometimes worry about robots taking away human jobs by automating and executing various tasks, it's been generally accepted that in the realm of creative endeavors like art and music, the machines will always lose to the man (or woman, of course). But, as we reported last year, robots paired with ever-more advanced algorithms are starting to become quite the painters. A robot even created a brand-new Rembrandt work earlier this year. To recognize this burgeoning field of robot art, a new contest has been launched by website RobotArt.org, and you can help determine which mechanical painter will win.Read More

"Robo-mermaid" combs ocean depths for shipwreck treasure

Even with bottled oxygen and elite training, there are underwater locations that lie well beyond our physical capabilities. But via haptic feedback technology and artificial intelligence, Stanford University's humanoid diving robot is now putting the ocean's depths within human reach. In its maiden expedition, the OceanOne droid has just scoured an untouched shipwreck off the coast of France and returned with a delicate, 17th century vase in its grip. Researchers are now eyeing future voyages to coral reefs, oil rigs and underwater disaster zones.Read More

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