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Robotics

PatrolBot Mark II surveys your backyard and sprays unwanted visitors

Steve Norris, a software engineer with a knack for robotics, has built himself a remote-controlled robot in his spare time that could give professional bots a run for their money. The aptly titled PatrolBot Mark II trundles around on wheels and sends its operator a live video feed from its night vision camera. Of course, being a hobby project it isn't designed to be dangerous – but its 100-db car horn and water gun might put a scare into trespassing raccoons.Read More

Soft squishy robots could replace pill cameras and invasive endoscopes

Carnegie Mellon University's (CMU's) Nanorobotics Laboratory has received US$787,000 in funding from the National Institutes of Health, which will be matched by CMU, to develop a squishy robotic capsule that can be controlled while inside the body. The capsule could replace invasive endoscopes by performing camera imaging, drug injection, tissue sampling, and more.Read More

Vanderbilt University steps into the exoskeleton market

For people who are unable to walk under their own power, exoskeletons offer what is perhaps the next-best thing. Essentially “wearable robots,” the devices not only let their users stand, but they also move their legs for them, allowing them to walk. While groups such as Berkeley Bionics, NASA, Rex Bionics, and ReWalk are all working on systems, Nashville’s Vanderbilt University has just announced the development of its own exoskeleton. It is claimed to offer some important advantages over its competitors.Read More

Korea shows off salad-tossing robot at Robot World 2012

Researchers from the Korean Institute of Science and Technology's (KIST) Center for Intelligent Robotics (CIR) demonstrated their household service robot, CIROS, at Robot World 2012. CIROS, the third version of the robot since development began in 2005, is intended to help out around the home by performing simple chores. You can watch it prepare a salad by slicing a cucumber and adding dressing in the video after the break.Read More

Bossa Nova Robotics unveils mObi personal ballbot

Bossa Nova Robotics, a spin-off of Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute, has announced a new research platform called mObi. The mObi platform is based on a design by Professor Ralph Hollis, who developed a robot that balanced and moved on a ball instead of wheels, called the Ballbot. Thanks to its unique form of locomotion, mObi moves gracefully in any direction and could be put to work as a telepresence robot in the future.Read More

DARPA's Robotics Challenge gives birth to new humanoid robots

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has published concept artwork depicting the robots that will compete in its ambitious DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC). The DRC will require robots to drive a car, travel through rubble, open doors, climb ladders, manipulate tools, and more. However, due to the current limitations in artificial intelligence, the robots will be teleoperated by a team of people behind the scenes. The idea is to advance robotics technology so that humans won't have to put their lives at risk in future disaster scenarios.Read More

Russia builds its first realistic female android

A few months ago, the 2045 Initiative movement (previously known as Russia 2045) unveiled the first realistic Russian android head, based on its founder Dmitry Itskov. He's a big believer in the prophetic technological singularity, and claims that by 2045 we will have developed the means to transplant our minds into computers and android bodies. His android surrogate, built and programmed by Moscow-based Neurobotics, has been dismantled and turned into the country's first female android.Read More

Bipedal hobby robot walks a tightrope

A Japanese roboticist that goes by the handle Dr. Guero, famous for programming his hobby robots to ride a miniature bicycle and walk on stilts, has managed to get his robot to balance on a tightrope. His Primer-V4 robot is based on the Kondo KHR-3HV hobby kit (which can be purchased for around US$1,800), but features a few modifications that give it the ability to inch its way along a steel wire just over an eighth of an inch (4 mm) thick.Read More

Virginia Tech's CHARLI-2 robot dances Gangnam Style

Just in case you haven't had your fill of PSY's viral K-POP sensation, the researchers at Virginia Tech's Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory (RoMeLa) have put out a new video of their robot dancing Gangnam Style. While the robot named CHARLI-2 doesn't display any fancy footwork in the video, some of its walking and balancing technology is being implemented in the Navy's Autonomous Shipboard Humanoid (ASH). Read More

Japanese first responders to wear robotic exoskeletons

Since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in March 2011, the Japanese government has been testing robotics technologies to help deal with future accidents. The Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL) exoskeleton, developed by the University of Tsukuba spin-off Cyberdyne, is being considered for first responders.Read More

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