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Robotics

Cheaper, transparent smart skin powers itself

Flexible, wearable sensors open the door for everything from more effective health monitoring to robots with a sense of touch that can respond to stimuli like humans. While numerous electronic skin technologies have been developed, getting costs down has remained a problem. A Chinese team of scientists has now developed a new transparent smart skin that they claim is not only cheaper to produce, but is also able to harvest mechanical energy to power itself from movement.Read More

Hitachi robot can lend shoppers a helping hand

Hitachi has unveiled the latest iteration of its humanoid customer service robot. Designed to identify and assist customers who look like they need help, EMIEW3 can pass sales information on to other robots, and even stand up if it's knocked over in the hustle and bustle of a sales environment. Read More

Robot researcher to delve the depths of Lake Yellowstone

Millions of visitors make the trek to Yellowstone National Park each year, drawn in by the breathtaking views on offer. But a group of scientists is keen to look beyond the regular sights by building a deep-diving robot that's designed to investigate the ecosystem of microbes thriving beneath the surface of Lake Yellowstone.Read More

Robots simultaneously 3D-printed from both solids and liquids

Robots have a tremendous potential, but if a way can't be found to manufacture them quickly, cheaply, and in large numbers, that potential may remain exactly that. To that end, MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) has come up with a new way to make soft, hydraulically-powered robots in one step using commercial 3D printers that can print solid and liquid parts simultaneously.Read More

Flying gripper sphere picks up and drops off on its own

Ahead of this month's Hannover Messe trade show in Germany, Festo's Bionic Learning Network has today previewed a new helium-filled flyer that merges two previous projects into a single future concept. The FreeMotionHandling project combines the eMotionSphere from 2 years ago and last year's FlexShapeGripper for an autonomous gripping sphere that's able to take hold of an object, pick it up and fly it to another location for drop off.Read More

Robot climbs up pipes to clean power station boiler tube walls

Cleaning power station boiler tube walls is a dirty and troublesome job that is not only hazardous, but can generally only be done during station down times to minimize the risk to human cleaners. To help address this problem, a new robot has been developed that is specifically designed to climb and clean boiler tube walls, even in confined spaces and at elevated particulate levels.Read More

Furry educational robot tweaks its approach in response to emotions

Keeping large groups of young minds engaged in the classroom can be a tall order for educational staff, because what motivates one student might not necessarily motivate the next. Working towards a future where each and every student benefits from personalized attention, MIT researchers have built an educational robot that interacts with kids and learns how to motivate them individually over time.Read More

Light used to steer muscle-powered bio-bots

It was just a couple of years ago that we heard about how scientists at the University of Illinois were using electrical fields to activate tiny muscle-powered "walking" biological robots – or "bio-bots." Ultimately, it was hoped that such devices could be used for applications such as targeted drug delivery within the body. Recently, however, the researchers made an improvement: the bio-bots can now be steered using light.Read More

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