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.
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.
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.
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.
, 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.
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.
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.
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.
Medical students have been honing their skills on human simulations
for years and Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine has been using the world's first robotic dog simulator Robo-Jerry II and Robo-Fluffy, his feline counterpart, to give aspiring vets experience since 2010. The robo-pets now have a new home in the form of a new robotic simulation center the University claims is the first of its kind in the world, with work underway on a more advanced robotic dog called "Butch" that will boast more realistic features and which will run on cheap, standard components.
Are the famous lines "Gentlemen, we can rebuild him – we have the technology" from The Six Million Dollar Man
coming true? Perhaps not entirely, but a new Channel 4 documentary entitled How to Build a Bionic Man
will demonstrate the current state of the art in artificial limbs, organs, and even blood, through the construction of a 6-foot tall android. The documentary is set to air on British televisions come February 7, but you can learn about what went into it after the break.