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Georgia Tech


— Science

Piezoelectric skin provides human-like sense of touch

By - April 30, 2013 3 Pictures
For years now, scientists across the globe have strived to find a method that gives robots an accurate sense of touch, and with good reason. A robot with an improved ability to feel would be better equipped to identify objects, judge its movements with greater care, and perform more tasks overall. In the latest step towards that goal, researchers at Georgia Tech have crafted a new type of touch-reactive material that's sensitive enough to read fingerprints and could provide robots with a sense of touch that resembles our own. Read More
— Science

Study of remoras may lead to new adhesives

By - February 22, 2013 3 Pictures
If you’ve seen even a few minutes of any documentary on sharks, then chances are you’ve seen a remora. They’re the smaller fish that hitch rides on sharks by sucking onto them. Not only are the remoras able to achieve a seal against their hosts’ rough, sandpaper-like skin, but they also don’t appear to harm that skin in the process. Researchers from the Georgia Tech Research Institute are now studying how the remoras manage this, in hopes of applying their findings to the development of next-generation adhesives. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Access4Kids device brings tablets in reach of the motor impaired

By - December 11, 2012 2 Pictures
Even those who consider themselves particularly coordinated will no doubt have been guilty of a misplaced tap here or a badly timed swipe there when using touchscreen devices. But spare a thought for children with fine motor impairments who are essentially excluded from the touchscreen device world and all its educational, entertainment and social benefits. A new device called Access4Kids aims to bring this world within reach of such users. Read More
— Environment

Hybrid self-charging power cell by-passes batteries

By - December 6, 2012 3 Pictures
Systems that convert kinetic energy into electric energy have made great strides in recent times, from mobile phone charging bicycle dynamos to tiles that turn footsteps into electrical energy. Recently researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology have come up with what they believe is a more efficient approach – a self-charging power cell that directly converts mechanical energy to chemical energy and stores the power for release as an electrical current. Read More
— Robotics

Georgia Tech's pint-sized robot pianists

By - November 21, 2012 1 Picture
Researchers at Georgia Tech's GRITS Lab are working with swarms of mini robots that communicate with one another to work effectively. The aim of the research is to create networks that can be controlled by inputting instructions to a single robot. Beginning with a leader, each robot communicates with its nearest neighbors until the instructions have been shared across the network. In an effort to create the most efficient "follow-the-leader" algorithms, the researchers are getting the robot swarm to play musical notes on a simulated piano. Read More
— Robotics

Teaching robots new tricks without programming

By - November 14, 2012 2 Pictures
Don't believe what the sci-fi movies tell you: when it comes to understanding our world, robots are stupid. Like computers, robots only do what we program them to do. And that's a big problem if we're ever going to realize the dream of practical robot helpers for the masses. Wouldn't it be great if anyone could teach a robot to perform a task, like they would a child? Well, that's precisely what Maya Cakmak has been working on at Willow Garage. Read More
— Drones

TechJect’s Dragonfly micro UAV flies like a bird and hovers like an insect

By - November 7, 2012 18 Pictures
Given their impressive flight capabilities, it’s not surprising to see researchers turning to the world of flying insects for inspiration when developing new kinds of micro UAVs. With their ability to both fly at high speeds and hover, the dragonfly would seem an obvious candidate for biomimicry. But with the exception of the DelFly, we hadn’t seen many attempts to model a micro UAV on the dragonfly’s four wing design. That could be changing with a multi-disciplinary team from Georgia Tech having developed a robotic four-winged ornithopter called the TechJect Dragonfly that fits in the palm of a hand and combines the flight capabilities of a quadricopter, helicopter and fixed wing aircraft in one. Read More
— Science

Two-part “stutter jumps” could reduce jumping robot power consumption

By - November 2, 2012 1 Picture
Researchers at the Georgia Tech School of Physics say they have developed a novel jumping strategy for hopping robots that reduces power consumption. Associate Professor Daniel Goldman and Graduate Student Jeffrey Aguilar analyzed almost 20,000 jumps made by a simple robot designed to test jumping dynamics and discovered that a so-called "stutter jump" – where a robot builds up momentum by first making smaller hops before a big jump – requires a tenth of the power normally expended when performing the bigger jump from scratch. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Clock Drawing Test goes digital for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease

By - October 16, 2012 2 Pictures
Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can make a huge difference in the management of the disease, and this can be achieved by making testing procedures more easily accessible. For that reason, Georgia Institute of Technology researchers led by Ellen Yi-Luen Do have created a digital version of the Clock Drawing Test commonly used to detect cognitive impairment. The two-part evaluation does away with the paper and makes it easier for patients to get tested, besides giving doctors a more sophisticated tool for making assessments. Read More
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