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Robotics

 The Cyclops mobile robotic platform is designed to be used as a surrogate for blind perso...

Scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have created a remote-controlled robot to help test the effectiveness of visual prostheses, such as an artificial retina, which are implanted into visually-impaired patients. Cyclops the robot - or, rather, the mobile robotic platform, or rover - lets scientists “see” the results that human patients could expect without having to test the device on them first. It is hoped that this approach may spare them some unnecessary procedures and one day lead to giving blind people the freedom of independence.  Read More

The ChemBot in semi-deflated and inflated modes

We’ve looked at robots that use a variety of ways to get around, from caterpillar treads, to wheels, legs, wings and even combustion-driven pistons. But the title of weirdest (not to mention unsettling) method of robot propulsion we’ve come across has to go to the shape-shifting ChemBot from iRobot. The ChemBot, which looks more like the Blob than most people’s preconceived ideas of what a robot should be, moves around by changing its shape in a process its creators call, “jamming skin enabled locomotion.”  Read More

Household robots like the WowWee Rovio, Erector Spykee and RoboSapien V2 could pose a secu...

Until robots rise up and overthrow their puny human creators, one of the main risks comes from the people using the robots. A new study warns that the current crop of household robots presents a serious safety and privacy risk. They make it all too easy for nefarious types to hijack control of the robots and access valuable data - even giving them the ability to watch and listen in on private conversations, and perform remote reconnaissance on a house.  Read More

A couple of brave souls get their thrills courtesy of the KUKA RoboSim 4-D Simulator

Jaded theme park aficionados looking for a new thrill will want to get along to the Innoventions pavilion in Epcot at Disney World, Florida, to experience The Sun of All Thrills. On display will be the new KUKA RoboSim 4-D Simulator, a robotic ride that not only puts thrill-seekers at the mercy of a 3-D motion robotic arm, but also adds “wind” by controlling air movements to provide a more realistic simulation experience.  Read More

MIT's robo-fish takes a well-earned break in the lab with Valdivia y Alvarado

What is it with scientists and robotic animals? Did they not have pets as children? This year alone, we’ve seen robot ferrets, penguins, dogs, locusts, moles and bats. And now, scientists at MIT have come up with a robotic fish. Although we’ve seen mechanical fish before, this one is different in a very significant way – the robofish truly mimics the natural swimming action of real fish, flexing mechanical muscles to propel itself through the water.  Read More

Activelink's Power Loader Suit will make lifting heavy loads and tackling Alien Queens a b...

Science-fiction is well on the way to becoming science fact with engineers from Activelink, a Kyoto-based subsidiary of Panasonic, developing an exoskeleton suit inspired by the "Power Loader" suit Ripley wore in her climactic battle with the Queen Alien in Aliens. And, just like in the movie, the Power Loader suit is designed to give its wearer superhuman strength for the lifting of heavy objects – in the movie it was cargo, but Activelink also has construction and disaster relief operations in its sights.  Read More

Pray that this robot hand isn't out to get you.

Don't watch the video after the jump if you've recently seen a Terminator movie - because it's becoming clear that if the robots come after us, there'll be no stopping them. The video shows an incredible array of three-fingered robot hand/eye co-ordination exercises, including throwing and catching, spinning pens, tying knots and dribbling a ping-pong ball. The Ishikawa Komuro laboratory at the University of Tokyo put these videos together to demonstrate the incredibly quick parallel processing they are achieving with a mix of visual and tactile sensory inputs. Astounding stuff. Sarah Connor, you're in deep trouble.  Read More

The DustCart is a humanoid robot for door-to-door garbage pickup, while the DustClean is m...

A group of European companies and universities have collaborated to produce a series of multifunctional robots for urban hygiene tasks. With abilities ranging from door-to-door garbage pickup and transportation, to automated street cleaning, the DUSTBOTs recently demonstrated their skills at a station in the town of Atxuri, Portugal.  Read More

Panasonic has developed the Robotic Bed, a robot-shaped bed which transforms into a wheelc...

Panasonic has developed a robotic bed which easily transforms to a wheelchair - and back again - without the user needing to move. The Robotic Bed eliminates the need for those with limited mobility to transfer between bed and wheelchair, reducing the need for assistance and helping them retain their independence and mobility.  Read More

A hopping robot jumps over the head of Sandia National Laboratories researcher Gary Fische...

Whether they use wheels, treads, or even legs, robots often have trouble extricating themselves from situations they may encounter on a space mission. Their design can also prevent them from easily navigating around certain obstacles. The chances of hitting a roadblock only increase when human control is removed, as in the case of autonomous robots. Hopping robots inspired by the clumsy jumping of grasshoppers could prove to be the answer to giving robots unprecedented mobility for exploring other planets, gathering battlefield intelligence, and assisting police during standoffs or surveillance operations.  Read More

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