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IEEE

Robotics

No pain no gain: Hurting robots so they can save themselves

It's probably not something you'd say to a person writhing in agony on the floor, but physical pain can have its benefits. It is after all how kids learn to be wary of hot surfaces and carpenters to hit nails on the head. Researchers are now adapting this exercise in self-learning to an artificial nervous system for robots, a tool they believe will better equip these machines to avoid damage and preserve their – and our – well-being. Read More

Electronics

Google offers up US$1 million prize to shrink size of power inverters

The old saying says good things come in small packages. Google and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) seem to agree having launched the Little Box Challenge, an open competition with a US$1 million first prize to find innovative electronic designs to shrink power inverters down from their current bigger-than-a-bread-box size to something less than the size of a small laptop. Read More

Robotics

One oven-baked robot to go, please

Lots of people make their own robots, and in all sorts of ways, but have you ever heard of anyone baking one in an oven? Researchers at MIT have demonstrated how to create self-assembling bodies that fold together when baked, as well as showing how a similar technique can be used to generate electronic components to control them.Read More

Giving smartphones emotional intelligence

It would be great if smartphones could sense moods – especially when they've dropped a call three times in five minutes. Engineers at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York have developed a prototype app that provides phones with a form of emotional intelligence that could have wide applications in phones and beyond. Read More

Robotics

MIT researchers create robotic elephant trunk

Regular readers might remember the robotic universal gripper that can pick up a wide variety of objects thanks to an elastic membrane filled with coffee grounds. Earlier this year, the developers revealed they had given their versatile gripper the ability to “shoot” objects some distance, and now a team at MIT has “extended” the technology to create a robotic arm that can twist, flex and grip in a way not dissimilar to an elephant’s trunk. Read More

Telecommunications

802.11-2012 Wi-Fi revision offers 600Mbps and mesh networking

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) Standards Association has announced the publication of the fourth revision to the 15 year-old 802.11 Wireless LAN Standard, upon which protocols like Wireless-N and 802.11ac are based. More commonly known as Wi-Fi, the latest revision brings together the base standard and the various technical updates and enhancements published in the last five years into a single document. Additions include much higher throughputs up to a maximum of 600Mbps, support for faster and more secure devices and networks, mesh networking and improved cellular network hand-off. Read More

Robotics

Boston Dynamics releases amazing video of its PETMAN bipedal robot

If you were tasked with testing clothing that was designed to protect soldiers from chemical weapons, it goes without saying that you wouldn't dress an actual person up in those clothes, then fire chemicals at them. If you just put those clothes on an inanimate mannequin, however, it wouldn't provide any information on how effective those clothes were when in motion, or in a wide variety of body positions. Well, that's where Boston Dynamics' PETMAN (Protection Ensemble Test Mannequin) humanoid robot comes in. The self-balancing clothes-testing machine can walk, run, crouch, and even do push-ups. Today, PETMAN's creators released the first-ever public video of the robot being put through its paces - and it's pretty impressive. Read More

Telecommunications

IEEE 802.22 wireless network standard to offer 62 miles of range

The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) has announced the completion of the IEEE 802.22 wireless network standard, which has been in the works since 2004. Utilizing unused white spaces between channels in the TV frequency spectrum, the 802.22 standard will serve Wireless Regional Area Networks (WRANs), which are meant to bring broadband access to sparsely populated rural areas, as well as to developing countries.Read More

Robotics

Elfoid: creepy mini-robot meets smartphone

We can’t say we weren’t warned. Last August, Japan’s Eager Co. Ltd. announced that it was planning to begin sales of the Telenoid R1 telepresence robot in October. The toddler-sized ghostly-looking robot is intended to be a physical stand-in for a remote user during internet communications, mirroring that person’s movements via real-time face tracking software on their computer – their voice also comes out of the device. Well, Telenoid now has a little sibling. The Elfoid P1, as it’s called, was unveiled at a press conference yesterday in Japan, and is intended to serve as a combination mobile phone and mini telepresence robot. Read More

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