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Robotics

The Brain-Computer Interface allows control a robotic arm

Researchers at the University of South Florida have designed a system that uses an Electroencephalograph (EEG) to read the brain waves of wheelchair-bound people and allows them to control a robotic arm with their thoughts. The Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) captures P300 brain wave responses, the consistently detectable brain waves associated with decision making, and transmits instructions to the robo-arm “without the user moving a muscle.”  Read More

The Precise Path RG3

February 10, 2009 No-one likes mowing the lawn. It’s a boring, repetitive, time-consuming job. Now imagine if you had 18 lawns, all requiring immaculate care on a very regular basis. Even less fun, right? That’s the prospect those responsible for keeping golf greens in pristine condition face and, since repetitive jobs are perfect for robots, Indianapolis-based Precise Path Robotics has created the RG3 robotic greens mower - the first fully automated robotic golf course conditioning and maintenance mower.  Read More

Geoffrey D. Bennett aboard his DIY robotic transport

"Segway" slipped into the lexicon as the commonly used term for a self-balancing ride-on robot soon after the launch of Dean Kamen's famous invention in 2001. The Segway is certainly a unique way to get around and to the casual observer, the way the device operates might seem to defy gravity. There are quite a few DIY projects around the Internet including standard two-wheeled upright versions, unicycles and one wheeled skate boards that operate on the same self-balancing principle. Now a kind soul named Geoffrey Bennett has released an open source version of the firmware required to operate a ride on robot free, allowing anyone with basic mechanical ability and some electronics skills to build their very own self-balancing transport.  Read More

Gizmag's Dave Weinstein with the QA telepresence robot

As a race we humans probably only have a few years to make good use of robots before they become self aware and take over the world, so we need to get in while we can. One of these good uses is through robotic telepresence, which lets a user move and interact with a remote environment through a robotic proxy that serves as the user's eyes and ears and follows their commands. Judging by the impressive show put on at CES 2009 by the QA telepresence robot from California based company Anybots, life-sized robot surrogates are definitely starting to reach a level of technological feasibility that could make rushing to a plane to reach that important meeting a thing of the past.  Read More

Igarashi Design's riderless robotically controlled motorcycle

We're familiar with the soccer playing exploits of intelligent machines in Robocup and have been treated to a taste of what autonomous robotic systems are capable of in events like the DARPA Urban Challenge, but could a rider-less motorcycle robot compete with the speed demons of MotoGP? That's the vision of Japanese computer graphics designer Yutaka Igarashi who has conceived a new robotically controlled motorcycle design aimed at beating the lap time of a MotoGP bike around a circuit.  Read More

Your robotic twin can connect to the Internet and recite your RSS feeds

A Japanese company called Little Island will manufacture your own custom-made robotic doppelganger. The pint-sized bot is produced based on a picture you send in and at USD$2,215, it definitely overshoots the “novelty buy” demographic, aiming for the true-believer market that is really, really into robotics.  Read More

The Mars Organic Analyzer
 Image: Wikimedia Commons

The Mars Organic Analyzer, fresh from seeking evidence of life on the red planet, has taken a new job to assist life on Earth. The MOA has been modified by researchers in California to detect potentially carcinogenic molecules, providing valuable information in environmental cleanup sites.  Read More

K-9 the robot dog circa 2009

The latest winner in this round of the Trossen Robotics competition combines both of man's best friends - dogs and computers. Despite its high tech capabilities, the autonomous pooch dubbed K-9 looks suitably low-budget from the exterior in-line with its namesake from the original Dr. Who television series.  Read More

Roofus can be fitted with attachments to sweep, clean, or mow.

Here's an interesting idea for those readers out there facing bleak winter conditions to ponder. The Roofus robot concept will diligently wipe snow from rooftops, carting loads of up to 250kg to the edge and dumping it over the side. And though the concept designed by Michal Glogowski is primarily intended for work on icy surfaces, it can also be fitted with lawn mowing blades and sweeping attachments, making it a useful design throughout the whole year.  Read More

RIWEA hoists itself up the rotor blade of a wind turbine

Wind turbines, predominantly constructed from glass fiber reinforced plastics, are vulnerable to fractures and flaws that can be impossible for the human eye to detect - and even the cracks visible to humans can often only be spotted in a time-consuming and dangerous examination. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute say that their latest robot creation, RIWEA, can solve both problems to increase the overall efficiency of the wind energy system.  Read More

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