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Robotics

RoboCup's TeenSize League gets champion open-source robot

RoboCup soccer provides a fascinating window into the current state-of-the-art in robotics and artificial intelligence. However, building robots much taller than a garden gnome has proven a daunting requirement for university labs with limited budgets and experience. Just five teams qualified to compete in the mid-range TeenSize category this year, for robots three to four feet (95-120 cm) tall. A new open-source hardware platform from the University of Bonn's Team NimbRo fills the gap for newcomers and veterans alike. Read More

Thermite fire-fighting robot removes firefighters from harm's way

Howe and Howe Technologies of Waterboro, Maine, has unveiled the firefighter of tomorrow called the Thermite RS1-T2. Based on technology developed for the U.S. Army, this squat little modular robot on tank treads is a small, powerful fire fighting machine that provides crews with a means for remote reconnaissance and fighting fires in hazardous areas safely.Read More

Autonomous swimming robot inspired by the sea turtle

Well, we shouldn’t be surprised. Scientists have created swimming robotic versions of the cow-nosed ray, the jellyfish, the sunfish, the tuna, and just the generic “fish,” so why not the sea turtle? That’s what a group of scientists from the ETH Zurich research group are in the process of doing, and they’ve named it naro - tartaruga (the original naro was another robotic tuna). As it turns out, a couple of the sea turtle’s natural features make for a pretty good robot.Read More

Scientists hope to put artificial bee brains in flying robots

Honey bees are fascinating creatures. They live harmoniously in large communities, divided into different castes, with some of the worker bees heading out on daily expeditions to gather nectar and pollen from flowers. Already, a study has suggested that the efficient method in which bees visit those flowers could inspire the improvement of human endeavors such as the building of faster computer networks. Now, scientists from the Universities of Sheffield and Sussex hope to build a computer model of the honey bee’s brain, with the ultimate hope of using it to control tiny autonomous flying robots.Read More

ROBOHELPER robots promise relief for caregivers

Japan's super-aging society may be able to live a little longer at home thanks to a couple of new robotic devices introduced last week. The new robot lifter and bodily waste removal systems were demonstrated at Japan's 39th Home Care & Rehabilitation Exhibition. Designed to provide relief for stressed caregivers, the devices will be available to rent to private residences on a monthly basis. Read More

The first Robocop could be a telepresence robot

Telepresence robots are already making their way into space and operating rooms and onto the battlefield, but Jeremy Robbins, a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves, wants to get telepresence robots (or telebots) on the mean streets to combat crime. He’s enlisted the help of researchers at Florida International University (FIU) to develop telerobotics systems that would let disabled law enforcement officers get back onto the beat using robots originally conceived for military applications.Read More

Flying robots cooperate to play catch

Swiss researchers have published a new video showcasing the impressive aerial cooperation capabilities of robotic quadrocopters. In the demonstration, a trio of quadrocopters tethered to a net fly in formation to catch balls tossed at them. Once they've caught the ball in the net, they are able to launch it upwards by stretching the net at each end.Read More

Helios transforms your iPhone into a telepresence robot

Telepresence robots are beginning to connect people in new ways in businesses, hospitals, and even classrooms. They're essentially webcams on wheels, serving as simple avatars that allow you to chat and explore another place. Now inexpensive versions that connect with your smartphone are beginning to appear for use at home. The latest of these comes is Helios from Hello Labs.Read More

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