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Robotics

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

Sweep sensor adds affordable autonomy and laser mapping to drones and robots

If you're a car manufacturer, you likely have a sizable budget to openly experiment with sensor technology and vehicular autonomy. Companies such as Ford, Kia, and others have been busy designing and testing fleets on city streets and roadways. But a new startup is looking to create a consumer-affordable scanning LiDAR, ideal for makers, enthusiasts, and students. The Scanse Sweep is designed to provide 360 degree sensing capabilities to drones, robots, and more.Read More

iRobot's Braava jet Mopping Robot doesn't mind getting its feet wet

iRobot has added to its robotic cleaning crew with the new Braava jet Mopping Robot. Designed for cleaning hard floors in high-traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms, the jet is a more advanced and compact version of iRobot's Braava 300 series and boasts a number of automatic cleaning modes, including wet mopping, damp sweeping, and simple dusting.Read More

Scorpion Hexapod has a sting in its tail

Students from Ghent University in Belgium have developed a six-legged floor crawler that's sure to leave its mark on those it comes into contact with. The Scorpion Hexapod, which wouldn't look too out of place in the robotic menagerie of German automation technology company Festo, fires its stinger at the hand of anyone covering its eyes, leaving a red mark as a reminder of the encounter.Read More

Underwater robot can make its own snap decisions

Two marine scientists have shown that autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) can be programmed to make independent decisions and trigger new missions in real time based on data coming from multiple sensors. They believe this could reveal much about the life of squid and other marine creatures.Read More

Ibex extreme mobility agribot goes where no farm robot has gone before

Farms tend to conjure up images of flat prairies crammed with corn, but a surprising amount of farmland is situated on hillsides that are difficult to get to or maintain. To help keep these high fields clear for livestock, UK-based technology firm Ibex Automation is starting fully autonomous field trials in England's Peak District of its extreme mobility agricultural robot that can maneuver around steep dairy and sheep pastures as it identifies and destroys weeds.Read More

Customizable papercraft robot teaches kids coding while having fun

If you try talking to young children about the joys of programming, you may witness eyes glazing over faster than ever. But mention robots and smartphone control, and see how laser-focused their attention can be. That's the premise behind the latest tech designed to encourage learning through play. The Arduino-based Kamibot teaches kids how to code using Scratch, while offering fun customization with papercraft skins.Read More

Wearable third arm gives drummers extra robotic rhythm

Thumping out as many drum beats in 60 seconds may get you a podium spot at the annual World's Fastest Drummer competition, but we'll take the full kit virtuoso playing of Cozy Powell, Philthy Animal Taylor or Mitch Mitchell any day of the week. When trying to emulate the fastest or the greatest on your bedroom bin-bashers, though, you'd be forgiven for wishing you had a third arm. Georgia Tech Professor Gil Weinberg and his research team may have the answer to your prayers. They've developed a drumstick-wielding wearable robotic limb that's able to respond to both the music being played and the movements of the player.Read More

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