As robots get smarter, cheaper and more versatile, they're taking on a growing number of challenges – and bricklaying can now be added to the list. Engineers in Perth, Australia, have created a fully working house-building machine that can create the brick framework of a property in just two days, working about 20 times faster than a human bricklayer.
From leaping over obstacles to pulling objects thousands of times their own weight,
robots are great at many things. What they're not so good at is working
as an autonomous team in an unfamiliar setting – until now, that is. A
team of researchers from MIT has developed an algorithm that streamlines
the way robots collaborate on construction tasks, significantly cutting
down planning time.
If you’re into electronics as
a hobbyist, technician, or professional engineer, you know that you can spend
many hours designing circuits, sourcing components, and breadboarding or
soldering a project all together before you find out if your creation actually works. Wouldn’t
it make life simpler if you could just start with a basic, multi-function
controller and a few plug and play peripherals to get something – anything – up
and running straight away and then which you could tweak and add to as you go?
The makers of a new electronic design tool thought that this would be a good
idea too and have created Cubit, a make anything platform that allows drag and
drop software control over snap together hardware. Join Gizmag as we try a few builds to test out it out.
Electrical engineer Charles Sharman noticed several years ago that as they got older,
the children he taught at Sunday School tended to migrate from Lego and
other building toys to video games. He wanted them to keep creating, so
he started a company called Seven:Twelve Engineering and began designing
a building toy that could hold the attention of these older kids. That
toy is called Crossbeams, and it can be used to design and assemble a
huge range of toys – including big, detailed, moving cars and