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Carnegie Mellon

— Health and Wellbeing

Speck monitors your home's air quality

Monitoring the level of particulates in the air inside the home can be a life-saver for people with health issues. A new personal air pollution monitor promises a more precise alternative, empowering users to take measures to mitigate and eliminate those tiny particles. Developed at Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute, Speck was presented at the SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas, that took place between March 13 and 17. Read More
— Smartwatches

iSkin stickers could be used to control mobile devices

While a wrist-worn smartwatch may be easier to access than a smartphone that has to be retrieved from a pocket, the things certainly have tiny screens. That could make them rather difficult to use for certain tasks, particularly ones where a larger interface area is needed. Well, that's where iSkin comes in. The experimental system allows users to control mobile devices using flexible, stretchable stickers that adhere to their skin. Read More
— Robotics

Building a real-life Baymax

The recent animated feature Big Hero 6 is more than a collection of comic book fantasies – there's some hard science behind the soft robots. Baymax, the inflatable robot designed to care for humans who stars in the film may seem as unlikely as a chocolate teapot, but Chris Atkeson, professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon is working on a real life version (minus the karate and flying armor). Gizmag caught up with Atkeson to discuss the project. Read More
— Drones

Micro-flyer drone could help a robot to fight fires on ships

This week, the US Office of Naval Research released details regarding a demo of its Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR) conducted last November. The robot, as its name implies, is designed to help human crews fight fires in the close confines of naval vessels. In order to get to those fires quicker, SAFFiR may ultimately receive some help itself from an autonomous drone, that was also part of the demonstration. Read More
— Robotics

Snake Monster robot can be easily reconfigured to suit user needs

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) has created a new robot that has six legs, looks creepily like a spider when it walks, and is dubbed "Snake Monster". Not exactly endearing traits, but the Snake Monster isn’t designed to win any popularity contests. It has been created as an easily reconfigurable platform using a modular system architecture that may be easily programmed to govern robots with a varied array of configurations. Read More
— Robotics

Snake robot learns to climb sand hills better, by moving like a sidewinder

If a robot is looking for victims at a disaster site, or even exploring another planet, then it certainly better not get stuck in the sand. That may now be a little less likely to happen, as scientists recently studied one of the best sand-travelers in the animal kingdom – the sidewinder rattlesnake. After they analyzed its movement patterns and applied them to an existing snake-inspired robot, that robot was better able climb up sandy inclines. Read More
— Automotive

New tech spares oncoming drivers' eyes from your high beam headlights

A couple of years ago we heard about an experimental headlight system being developed at Carnegie Mellon University, that allows drivers to see through rain and snow more easily. It does so by selectively not illuminating individual raindrops and snowflakes. Now, thanks to recent road tests on the streets of Pittsburgh, its creators have confirmed that it can also be used to keep oncoming drivers from being blinded by your high beams. Read More
— Computers

Wyvern system allows multiple programming languages within one computer program

The web would be a much more secure place if not for the vulnerability built right into a common coding practice: pasted-together strings of database commands (usually for either SQL queries or JavaScript-enabled user interactions), which could be exploited for malicious purposes. But computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon are developing a programming language specifically intended to protect computers and websites from such threats. Read More