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Robotic

Artist's concept of Curiosity on the move (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The Curiosity rover has taken its first drive today on Mars. It wasn’t much of a road trip. The unmanned craft went about 15 feet (4.57 m), turned 120 degrees and then reversed about 8 feet (2.43 m). Curiosity is now about 20 feet (6.09 m) from its landing site, now named Bradbury Landing after the late author Ray Bradbury. That may not seem like much, but it was a successful test of Curiosity’s mobility and takes it a step (or a roll) closer to beginning its two-year mission to look for areas where life may have or does exist on the Red Planet.  Read More

Mighty Eagle during its successful test flight (Photo: NASA/MSFC)

The crash of NASA’s Morpheus lander was an unfortunate setback, but like any good space pioneer, the agency has more than one string to its bow - and more than one lander in the hanger. On August 8, NASA’s prototype “Mighty Eagle” autonomous lander carried out the latest in a series of flight tests at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Though smaller than Morpheus and much less powerful, the craft is being used to develop a new class of autonomous robotic landers to explore the airless bodies of the Solar System from the planet Mercury to the moons of Jupiter.  Read More

Stride Walking Assist is designed to help those with difficulty walking

We've been following Honda’s Stride Management Assist since its first unveiling in 2008, to the introduction of its sturdier cousin into the workplace and then its U.S. tour in 2009. Now the ASMIO spin off is scheduled to undergo field tests by Japan's National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology (NCGG). The NCGG will test 40 units of the device on people with limited walking ability at the Elder Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Center at Resora Obu Shopping Terrace in Obu, Japan.  Read More

Russian media enterpreneur Dmitry Itskov is heading a project that will try and achieve hu...

Russian media magnate Dmitry Itskov is heading "Avatar," a tremendously ambitious and far-reaching multidisciplinary research project that aims to achieve immortality in humans within the next three decades. He plans to do it by housing human brains in progressively more disembodied vehicles, first transplanting them into robots and then, by the year 2045, by reverse-engineering the human brain and effectively "downloading" human consciousness onto a computer chip.  Read More

A Japanese inventor has built a waste basket that tracks garbage tossed in its general dir...

We've all done it: you toss a piece of trash at a nearby waste basket only to have it ricochet off the edge, forcing you to make that shameful walk to go pick it up and drop it in carefully. You only have your own hand-eye coordination skills to blame, but if you think about it, shouldn't catching trash be the garbage can's job? That certainly seems to be the thought process that led one Japanese inventor to construct a smart trash can that tracks garbage tossed in its general direction and then moves across the floor to catch it.  Read More

Bosch has introduced its new robotic lawnmower, the Indego

Well, the Auto-Mower, Robby Garden XP, Evolution, and Robomow now have another competitor to content with – last month, Bosch launched its Indego autonomous lawnmower. Like existing “robo-mowers,” this one handles the cutting of the grass without human intervention, while its owner presumably lies nearby in a hammock with an iced tea and says things like “Now this is the life!”. According to Bosch, however, it also has a few features that make it special.  Read More

Artists impression of an Arkyd-200 series interceptor passing a candidate asteroid for min...

“I’m Chris Lewicki, and I’m an asteroid miner!” These were the opening words spoken by the President and Chief Engineer of Planetary Resources Inc., as the asteroid mining company emerged from three years of silent running to outline its plans to mine Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) within the decade.  Read More

Shovelhead Exhibit, iRex, Tokyo Big Site, December 2011

You may have already come in contact with the work of techno-artist Yasuhito Udagawa (AKA Shovelhead) before and not realised it. He has created many of the theme icons of major art, technology and other exhibitions and shows over the last decade, and has become far better known since his sponsorship by Nike. Shovelhead's work is mesmerizing. A Japanese salaryman who found himself jobless in 1995 when the company he worked for went into bankruptcy, Yasuhito turned to his passion for making models and his fertile imagination and attention to fabricating the minutest detail have propelled him to the brink of superstardom. Make sure you browse the extensive image gallery for this story. Spellbinding!  Read More

The harp can play pre-programmed or live melodies by using control software written in Pyt...

This half-pendulum half-harp musical instrument is the creation of New York based interactive design company, Pattern Studio. Dubbed "The Gravity Harp," it was commissioned by Icelandic musician Bjork for her recent Biophilia tour. The innovative device features four robotic pendulums, each housing an eleven string harp. Hanging 20 feet above ground, the pendulums slowly swing back and forth whilst communicating with a control computer using an RS485 network. In order to maintain an even sequence of notes, each pendulum swings 90 degrees out of phase with its neighbor and is controlled by a motor attached at the top.  Read More

The self-steering autonomous tractor could soon see tractors working the fields on their o...

Many of us are eagerly awaiting the widespread adoption of autonomous cars to free us from the hassle of driving to and from work. This kind of technology also has applications beyond the roadway, especially in areas like farming where driving is the work ... and it's not on paved surfaces with markings and signs laid out. Dealing with the uneven and inconsistent terrain of a field poses unique problems that a team from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) and Flanders' Mechatronics Technology Centre (FMTC) in Belgium are claiming to have overcome with their robotic self-steering tractor.  Read More

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