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Robotic

— Science

DARPA video outlines progress of Phoenix satellite re-purposing project

By - January 25, 2013 3 Pictures
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has released a new video showing the progress of its Phoenix project, which aims at salvaging parts from defunct communications satellites to build new ones. Based on a new class of nanosatellites and a robotic “tender,” its purpose is to use repurposed satellites to construct a new communications net for the military at low cost. Read More
— Space

Russian lunar base gets closer with new moon probe set for 2015 launch

By - January 16, 2013 3 Pictures
The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) is planning to launch an unmanned spacecraft to the Moon in 2015, a first step toward the ambitious long-term plan to establish a robotic base on the surface of our largest satellite. The spacecraft, called Luna-Glob ("Moon globe"), will be followed by two more orbiters and two rovers that will study the lunar soil locally and collect samples of rocks and dust, bringing them back to Earth for analysis. Read More
— Robotics

Panasonic Power Loader Light exoskeleton takes a load off your back

By - January 7, 2013 8 Pictures
Robotic exoskeletons that artificially augment puny human muscles have been in development for years, but we're yet to see any of them really take off. Panasonic is still betting on its own solution, the Power Loader Light (yes, named after the one seen in the sci-fi film Aliens), which is being developed by Activelink, one of its subsidiaries. The company has made some modifications since its initial appearance in 2010 and is showing off how it works on video for the first time. Read More
— Good Thinking

Barbercan robotic revolving doors isolate threats

By - January 4, 2013 2 Pictures
The recent tragic shootings at Newtown, Connecticut underlines the importance of proper security and how a lapse can have horrific results. Part of the problem is that not only are many security doors inadequate, but they act as bottlenecks for traffic. Now Barbecan Security Systems have patented the Barbecan LRD Portal – a security door system that acts like a combination of turnstile, revolving door and airlock. Its purpose is to provide sensitive areas with a secure entry that cannot be forced or circumvented, yet keeps traffic flowing smoothly. Read More
— Robotics

Walkbot exoskeleton rehabilitates stroke survivors

By - January 3, 2013 6 Pictures
After suffering a stroke or spinal cord injury, a patient regaining their ability to walk typically requires three to five physical therapists supporting them while physically moving their limbs. This is not only physically exhausting, but leaves therapists at risk of personal injury. Now, the leading health care facilities in Korea have adopted a rehab robot that only requires one therapist – the Walkbot combines an adjustable lower-body robotic exoskeleton that moves a patient's legs in time with a treadmill. Read More
— Space

Stanford team developing spiky robot "hedgehogs" to explore Phobos

By - January 1, 2013 3 Pictures
Robot hedgehogs on the moons of Mars may sound like the title of a B-grade sci-fi movie, but that is what Stanford University is working on. Marco Pavone, an assistant professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and his team are developing spherical robots called “hedgehogs” that are about half a meter (1.6 ft) wide and covered in spikes to better cope with rolling and hopping across the surface of the Martian moon Phobos with its very low gravity. Read More
— Robotics

i-Transport robotic vehicle gets wheelchair-bound on their feet

By - December 27, 2012 4 Pictures
Constantly being talked down to is bad enough, but wheelchair users also have to deal with the problem of accessing items that are often located out of their reach. A research team from Taiwan’s National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) has developed the “i-Transport” robotic vehicle that is designed to get wheelchair users on their feet so they can carry out conversations eye to eye and grasp hard-to-reach items. Read More
— Robotics

Quadriplegic woman gets chocolate fix using thought-controlled robotic arm

By - December 18, 2012 6 Pictures
Earlier this year, a 58 year-old woman who had lost the use of her limbs was successfully able to drink a cup of coffee by herself using a robotic arm controlled by her thoughts via a brain computer interface (BCI). Now, in a separate study, another woman with longstanding quadriplegia has been able to feed herself a chocolate bar using a mind-controlled, human-like robot arm offering what researchers claim is a level of agility and control approaching that of a human limb Read More
— Robotics

MIT developing a robotic "Swiss Army knife" that changes shape to suit the job

By - December 3, 2012 5 Pictures
An MIT team is developing a robot that has the potential to become possibly the most versatile machine ever. Referred to by the team as the "robotic equivalent of a Swiss Army knife,” the milli-motein robot is made up of a chain of tiny modules each containing a new type of motor that can be used to form the chain into various shapes. This shape-changing capability could lead to the creation of robots that dynamically change their form to suit the task at hand. Read More
— Robotics

MIT Media Lab births robotic weight loss coach

By - November 27, 2012 5 Pictures
While earning his PhD at the MIT Media Lab, Cory Kidd wanted to build a social robot that could have a place and function in the home. One of the potential applications was a lifestyle coach – a robot that you would interact with daily as you try to lose weight. Kidd built a prototype, recruited people for a study, and found that participants using the robot stuck to the weight loss program twice as long as those who used an identical program on a laptop – and that most felt that the robot was more credible than an animated character on the screen. Read More

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