Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Robotic

Some of the research team, with the SAGIV prototype

Although the administering of fluids to patients via an intravenous (IV) line may be commonplace, what many people may not realize is that getting the needle into a vein can be quite a tricky process – often several failed attempts are required before success is achieved. That’s why a group of students and staff from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have created a robotic gadget to do the job.  Read More

The Astronaut 4  robot milker is designed so that the cow doesn't need to turn or back up

If cow milking recalls a bucolic image of a farmer strolling out to the barn with a bucket and stool, then the 21st century will be a disappointment to those raised on James Herriot stories. A case in point is the Astronaut 4 from Dutch agricultural firm Lely. With this robotic milker, the farmer needn't come any closer to the action than a readout on a smartphone, leaving the cows to get on with the milking themselves.  Read More

SpiderFab construction of starshade (Photo: TUI)

SpiderFab, a series of technologies under development by Tethers Unlimited, Inc. (TUI), combines 3D printing and robotic assembly to build and create spaceship components and structures in orbit. The groundbreaking systems are being designed to enable on-orbit construction of antennas, booms, solar arrays, trusses and other multifunctional components, ten to hundreds of times larger than currently possible with existing technology.  Read More

Ford is studying space robots like NASA's Robonaut 2 in its efforts to develop safer conne...

Ford has turned to space robots in an effort to make driving safer and more efficient. The motor car company has embarked on a three-year research partnership with the telematics department of St. Petersburg Polytechnic University in Russia to study communications systems for space robots as a way of improving technology currently under development to produce cars able to communicate directly with one another and with the internet.  Read More

The active cannula goes to work on a simulated blood clot

Intracerebral hemorrhaging is what occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, and the blood which subsequently leaks out of that vessel forms a clot that places pressure on the surrounding brain tissue. It’s not that uncommon of an occurrence, it’s difficult to treat, and is fatal in about 40 percent of cases. Help may be on the way, however. A team from Nashville’s Vanderbilt University has created a robotic device that is designed to remove those clots, in a safe and minimally-invasive fashion.  Read More

The GuideIN Tube and some of its creators

When a patient is placed under general anesthesia or otherwise has difficulty breathing on their own, they typically have a plastic endotracheal tube inserted into their mouth and down their trachea. This process maintains a clear air passage to the lungs, and is known as intubation. In order to make it safer and easier, students from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Biodesign program have created a robotic intubation device, that takes some of the guesswork out of the procedure.  Read More

The Tsinghua University (Beijing) successfully completed the 2013 IARC Mission Six (Photo:...

For the past 23 years, the International Aerial Robotics Competition has challenged college teams with missions requiring complex autonomous robotic behaviors that are often beyond the capabilities of even the most sophisticated military robots. This year's competition, which was held in China and the United States over the past week, saw the team from Tsinghua University in Beijing successfully complete the current mission – an elaborate espionage operation known as Mission Six that was first proposed in 2010.  Read More

The Nerf Vulcan Sentry Gun automatically locates targets and unleashes a stream of foam da...

Anyone who plays video games will know that few things protect an area like a well-placed sentry gun. In the real world, though, even a person's bedroom or office could use a little protection sometimes, which is why one designer has built the Nerf Vulcan Sentry Gun. Using a custom program and some servos, the sentry can automatically locate targets and unleash a stream of foam darts at over seven times the usual speed, while keeping its owner out of the crosshairs.  Read More

NASA's Asteroid Grand Challenge is aimed at protecting the Earth while exploiting asteroid...

On June 18, the NASA Asteroid Grand Challenge was announced to a flood of media inattention. This was probably to be expected, as NASA actually said very little about it. Maybe so as to not attract the ire of forces in the US Congress that are trying to shut down the largest portion of this Grand Challenge; namely the capture and relocation of a seven-meter (23 ft) asteroid to a stable lunar orbit for study and as a practice site for asteroid exploration and exploitation. We've dug up the formal Request for Information (RFI) associated with the Grand Challenge, which gives a better idea of where NASA wants to put its money.  Read More

Ford's robotic testing system drives trucks and vans over test tracks without human driver...

Self-driving cars seem like they’ll be on our roads any day now, but what about self-testing cars that can drive themselves around insanely destructive tracks? Engineers at Ford’s Michigan Proving Grounds in Romeo, Michigan, say that they've come up with the industry’s first robotic test system designed to drive trucks and vans over roads that are intended to put a decade of wear on a van in around three months.  Read More

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