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— Robotics

Cornell's robot barista learns as it brews

If robots are going to become part of our everyday lives, they'll need to learn to work with everyday things. That means being able to read instruction manuals and figuring out how to use new machines. That's the plan of researchers at Cornell University, who have programmed a robot barista that can not only make a latte, but figure out how to use an unfamiliar espresso maker. Read More
— Medical

Prosthetic arm takes alternate route to mind control

Researchers from the Medical University of Vienna have developed a technique that allows amputees to control a robotic prosthesis with their mind when there's no neural connection left to exploit between the brain and the part of the hand that remains. Called "bionic reconstruction," the procedure was applied to three patients who were able to successfully use the prosthesis to undertake routine activities, thereby improving their quality of life. Read More
— Space

Curiosity suffers short circuit

NASA is putting its Curiosity Mars rover on hold for a few days as engineers try to determine the cause and severity of a recent short circuit. The space agency says that during a recent sample-taking operation, the unmanned explorer suffered a transient short circuit that activated an automatic shutdown by the rover's computers. Read More
— Science

Tiny robotic hand-like grippers dissolve in the body after performing task

Creating swarms of soft, robotic hands that can safely dissolve within a living body once they've performed surgical procedures or delivered drugs just got a step closer thanks to work done by John Hopkins University scientists. They've created minute biodegradable microgrippers by adding stiff polymers containing magnetic nanoparticles to soft hydrogels, allowing them be magnetically guided to any location in the body. Read More
— Marine

GE creates virtual tour of the seabed factories of tomorrow

In the 1960s, engineers predicted that manned outposts would be built on the bottom of the sea housing hundreds of workers to handle complex tasks like exploiting deep sea oil and natural gas fields. In the 21st century, those outposts are becoming a reality, but as unmanned robotic platforms that are rarely visited by humans. To show how these will be built and operated, GE has created a 3D virtual exhibit for its new research center in Rio de Janeiro. Read More
— Around The Home

Cooki robotic chef whips up meals at the push of a button

Some claim that cooking is becoming a lost art, with many in Gen Y relying on frozen pre-packaged meals or eating out rather than learning the required skills from their parents. The Cooki from Sereneti Kitchen might not do anything to reverse this trend, but it could at least enable the cooking-impaired to enjoy a meal made from fresh ingredients. On display at CES in prototype form, this ambitious culinary contraption uses a robotic arm to whip up meals from pre-portioned ingredients. Read More