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For the past few years, a consortium of six European research institutes has been collaborating on a project known as RoboEarth. Essentially a “worldwide web for robots,” the idea is that it will allow robots to access a shared online database of each others’ software, thus allowing them to learn how to perform new tasks from one another. The first phase of the project, Rapyuta: The RoboEarth Cloud Engine, is now up and running. Read More
We’ve already seen several underwater robots that mimic the swimming abilities of fish. The European FILOSE research project, however, is also interested in copying another feature of our finned friends – their lateral line. The result could be swimming robots that use differences in water pressure to navigate and save energy. Read More
If you’ve ever watched a fly trying to find its way around a house, you might have noticed that it didn’t take a particularly graceful approach – it probably bounced off a lot of windows and walls, until by process of elimination, it found a route that was clear. Well, researchers at Switzerland’s EPFL Laboratory of Intelligent Systems are taking that same approach with the latest version of their autonomous AirBurr UAV – it’s built to run into things, in order to map and navigate its environment. Read More
If your hobbies include using a soldering iron and spending time exploring the great outdoors, then the North Paw Directional Anklet Kit from ThinkGeek may be of interest. It's a self-build vibrating compass which straps to the ankle, allowing the user to always tell which direction magnetic north lies. Read More
Many of us use our vehicle navigation systems on a daily basis, and as self-driving cars come into common use – assuming they do – such systems will become even more important. Unfortunately, however, the GPS technology that’s integral to vehicle navigation can be thwarted by obstacles such as tall buildings. A team of researchers at Spain’s Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) are attempting to address that problem, with a system that is said to drastically boost GPS accuracy in city driving. Read More
If you’re in charge of a parts warehouse, a distribution center, or some other big building full of things that need to be moved around, the Adept Lynx might be just what you need. Made by California-based Adept Technology, the autonomous indoor vehicle (AIV) is able to find its own way as it carries cargo from point to point, within “challenging environments.” Read More
As anyone who's tried to use GPS indoors can tell you, global positioning systems have their limitations. For them to work properly, you have to be outdoors and you need a clear view of the sky. If you’re in the military, you also have to be sure that the enemy isn't jamming the satellite signal. For this reason, the US Air Force has awarded Canberra-based firm Locata a “sole source” contract to install a ground-based version of GPS over 2,500 square miles (6,475 sq/km) of the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico as part of a program to develop a practical supplement to GPS. Read More
Researchers at the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed a new indoor positioning system that makes it possible to build a Wi-Fi radio map that does not require GPS signals. It's claimed to be an improvement on Wi-Fi Positioning Systems, that rely on both GPS and Wi-Fi signals. Read More

The seamless vehicle technology previewed by the Connectivity Concept may take a few years to become reality, but Hyundai's in-vehicle tech is getting incrementally more advanced. The Korean automaker announced today that it will integrate Google Maps application programming interfaces (APIs) into its U.S.-based Blue Link infotainment systems, underpinning a smoother navigational experience for drivers. Read More

One of the most embarrassing chapters in Apple's history has been covered with a Band-Aid. In what can only be a bittersweet milestone for iOS, the Google Maps app is now available in the App Store as a standalone app. Read More

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