NASA crowdsources design ideas for its new ISS-bound robot

Since arriving in 2006, NASA's SPHERES robots have roamed the International Space Station assisting in microgravity research by serving as engineering and robotic testbeds. Now it is time for an upgrade. As NASA prepares to launch SPHERES' successor, a free-flying cube-shaped robot known as Astrobee, it is crowdsourcing design concepts for one of new machine's more noteworthy features, a robotic arm to be used for perching and interacting with objects.Read More

Modular ZoZbots can be programmed for all kinds of modern household games

Not all that long ago a bag of marbles or a deck of cards might have been the go-to tools for a bit of family fun, but today's households harbor all kinds of games, both virtual and real-world. Combining the two by bringing robotics into the mix promises an interesting blend of education and entertainment, something startup CutThroatRobotics is aiming to achieve with ZoZbot. A basic omnidirectional rover at a minimum and a customizable, multi-purpose gaming platform at most, ZoZbot can be put to work in everything from lounge room floor soccer matches to table-top games of pool.Read More

Segway's latest take on personal mobility is a robotic helper you can ride

Though it has been adapted to a number of inventive shapes and sizes ranging from three-wheeled patrollers to self-balancing two seaters, the Segway never quite found the commercial success envisaged when the first models appeared way back in 2002. Now the company is bringing a little robotics into the mix to give it a new edge. The Segway Robot builds on the company's approach to self-balancing urban transport by converting into a robotic helper once you hop off.Read More

New sensor system enables robots to look inside luggage

Luggage lying around unattended at an airport justifiably triggers the jitters. The hazardous task of getting up close to inspect what could potentially be a bomb that could explode any time invariably falls to the bomb squad. Researchers have come up with a way to minimize the risk by creating a sophisticated, robot-mountable, sensor system that allows authorities to scan a piece of luggage and get an accurate image of its contents. The contact-free detection system could not only potentially help bomb specialists assess the danger quickly, but it could also help them obtain vital evidence.Read More

Nadine the eerie social robot looks and feels like humans do

Machines that can read and respond to human emotions like the fast-selling Pepper, and spooky lifelike models that look much like we do have bridged the gap between robots and humans, for better or for worse. By combining these two approaches scientists at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University have taken another step in this direction, taking the wraps off a creepy new humanoid named Nadine who has her own personality and is designed to play the role of social companion or personal assistant.Read More

Search-and-rescue robot could give locusts a better name

Despite the fact that locusts are held in fairly low regard by us humans, there's a chance that you may one day be rescued by one … or at least, by a robotic locust. Working with colleagues at Israel's Ort Braude College, researchers from Tel Aviv University have created a tiny locust-inspired robot that can reportedly jump over twice as high as other similarly-sized devices. They say that it could ultimately find use in search-and-rescue operations at disaster sites.Read More

Robot uses heat to strip rubber off nuclear submarines

In 2007, International Climbing Machines (ICM) unveiled its Climber robot, which can scale walls and rounded surfaces using a patented seal system. Now, it's trying to interest the US Navy in using robots to take over the nasty job of stripping away the rubber anti-sonar cladding from the nuclear submarine fleet using a method that is both cheaper and safer than current procedures.Read More

LaserPipe snake robot makes an inside job of pipe welding

Welding pipes in cramped, potentially dangerous areas is an expensive and time-consuming exercise. OC Robotics and TWI Ltd have been working on a potential solution in the form of an articulated robotic snake that navigates and welds pipes from the inside using high-powered industrial lasers.Read More


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