Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Robotic

Glass elevators transport cars to the desired floor and park them in the apartment's 'Sky ...

If you consider your car to be a work of art, then you can have it on display it in your living room ... if you live in one of the exclusive oceanfront apartments within Miami's Porsche Design Tower, that is. The Porsche Design brand has branched into architecture, and aims to give a new meaning to the term "drive in" by using three robotic elevators that deliver both the driver and their car right into the home.  Read More

The Mataerial printer uses a robotic arm and quick-solidifying material to form rigid, fre...

Earlier this year, we covered the 3Doodler, a pen that lets users sketch 3D objects with plastic filament, almost like a 3D printer. It's a fun little gadget, but what if someone made a device that offers similar freedom, except it built objects over 10 times larger? It might look something like the Mataerial 3D printer, which uses a robotic arm and quick-solidifying material to form rigid, free-flowing structures on almost any surface, even vertical ones.  Read More

Northrop Grumman's CUTLASS UGV is designed to provide remote handling and surveillance of ...

The arrest of one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects was carried out, in part, with the help of a remote controlled robot. Such an operation highlights the growing uses of unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) in anti-terrorist and other operations. Northrop Grumman Corporation’s CUTLASS robot, developed by its division in Coventry, U.K. is designed to provide remote handling and surveillance of hazardous threats and is intended to replace British Army’s Wheelbarrow robot for bomb disposal.  Read More

The i-limb is controlled by a smartphone app

Whichever marketing genius came up with the Apple catchphrase, "There's an app for that," has a lot to answer for – or brag about. It's heard so often these days that it’s become a cliché. Touch Bionic’s i-limb ultra revolution robotic artificial hand gives yet another reason to repeat the phrase. It’s linked to a smartphone app, which allows for greater control of the hand, including the ability to program it to suit the wearer’s personal needs.  Read More

A look inside the robotic bull developed by the Korea Institute of Robot and Convergence

South Korea's Cheongdo county is home to a famous bullfighting festival, but like many pastoral traditions its popularity has been waning over the years. What better way to modernize its image and attract some tourists than with some crazy robots? A team from the Korea Institute of Robot and Convergence was tasked with developing them, and now a year and five months later – and a budget of US$400,000 – the robots have been unveiled to the public.  Read More

Grizzly combines the power of a tractor, with the precision of a robot

Canada-based robotics company Clearpath Robotics has unveiled the aptly-named Grizzly Robot Utility Vehicle: an unmanned four wheel drive robotic platform that promises to tackle the most demanding agricultural, mining, and defense tasks you can throw at it, whatever the terrain.  Read More

Hitachi's ROPITS' navigation system combines GPS, stereo cameras, and multiple laser range...

Toyota, Honda, and General Motors have been toying with the concept of eco-friendly single-seater urban vehicles over the past few years, and Hitachi has taken notice. Although it may look like a miniature car, Hitachi's ROPITS is more like a robotic wheelchair designed to assist people with difficulty walking (i.e. Japan's growing elderly population). The key difference is that – unlike the concept vehicles demonstrated by the auto makers – ROPITS drives itself.  Read More

The lesser dog-nosed bat and the robotic bat wing

Recently, we've seen a robotic ostrich. Now, there’s a robot bat – or at least, part of one. Joseph Bahlman, a graduate student at Brown University, with the help of Professors Kenneth Breuer and Sharon Swartz, has developed a robotic bat wing that mimics the ligaments, skin and structural supports of the real thing. The purpose of the motorized plastic bat is to gain a better understanding of how bats are engineered and fly.  Read More

Dr Rickard Brånemark tests the functionality of the world's first muscle and nerve control...

It took some time, but the age of the cyborg is upon us. For the first time, neuromuscular electrodes that enable a prosthetic arm and hand to be controlled by thought have been permanently implanted into the nerves and muscles of an amputee. The operation was carried out recently by a surgical team led by Dr Rickard Brånemark at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Goteborg, Sweden.  Read More

Sir James Dyson at the Sydney launch event for Dyson's new line of Airblade hand dryers

A launch event in Sydney, Australia, this week was the latest stop on Sir James Dyson’s world tour introducing his company’s new line of Airblade hand dryers. While the dryers and the new digital motor that powers them were the main focus, the billionaire British industrial designer also confirmed that his company is still working to perfect an autonomous vacuum cleaner.  Read More

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