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Robotics

Robotics

New soft actuator endows robots with a bit of give and take

The first law of robotics, according to Isaac Asimov, states that a robot must not injure a human being, or through inaction, allow a human to come to harm. But until robots are smart enough to understand such a law, we have to rely on other techniques. With this in mind, a team of researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems has developed a new soft actuator that makes it safer for humans and robots to work alongside one another.Read More

Robotics

Saab's underwater robot tackles terrorist bombs

Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) aren't just a threat on land, they're also a major problem underwater as well. To help track down and neutralize these devices, Saab has developed its Sea Wasp Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), which was unveiled at the US Navy League's Sea-Air-Space Exposition in National Harbor, Maryland.Read More

Robotics

Hyundai beefs up robotic exoskeleton

Following on from a small, discreet mobility exoskeleton it unveiled last year, Korean auto giant Hyundai has revealed images of a much beefier, tougher looking robotic exoskeleton aimed at the transportation, industrial and military markets. The suit, which is still in its pre-production form, would let you lift and manipulate objects weighing over 60 kg (132 lb) with no stress to your legs, arms or back.Read More

Robotics

Autonomous learning puts human-like dexterity within robotic reach

Although humans perform intricate hand movements like rolling, pivoting, bending and grabbing different shaped objects without a second thought, such dexterity is still beyond the grasp of most robots. But a team of computer scientists at the University of Washington has upped the dexterity stat of a five-fingered robotic hand that can ape human movements and learn to improve on its own.Read More

Robotics

Bipedal robot conquers uneven ground

Getting a robot to walk is one thing, getting it to walk without tripping on the first obstacle it encounters is quite another. Engineers at the University of Michigan are developing a set of algorithms that allow an unsupported bipedal robot named MARLO to negotiate steep slopes, thin layers of snow, and uneven, unstable ground without toppling over. Designed as a general purpose robotic system, the algorithms may also have applications in advanced prosthetics.Read More

Robotics

Roach-inspired robots buddy up to climb stairs

If you've ever watched a war or adventure movie, you're well familiar with the "no man left behind" ethic. Now, thanks to an advance involving their VelociRoACH, researchers at University of California at Berkeley's Biomimetic Millisystems Lab have figured out a way to create machines that will have a "no robot left behind" sense of duty – at least when it comes to climbing stairs.Read More

Medical

Robot betters expert surgeons at soft tissue stitching

In the 2012 film Prometheus, archaeologist Elizabeth Shaw seals herself in a medical pod and undergoes a robotic surgical procedure to remove an alien growing in her abdomen. While people not involved in a sci-fi universe shouldn't ever need such a procedure, robotic surgery certainly has its benefits. Working with the body's soft tissue has proved difficult, however, because of how much it can squish and change during surgery. A new machine called the Smart Tissue Automation Robot (STAR) at Johns Hopkins University has overcome this obstacle and proven its ability by operating on pigs.Read More

Space

Mouthy sea urchin inspires engineers to take a bite out of other planets

The sea urchin may be a restaurant delicacy, but it's also well equipped to satisfy its own appetite. The spiny invertebrate has a rock-crushing mouth so powerful that a herd of them can destroy a kelp forest or devastate a coral reef. Now its dinner manglers have inspired a team of engineers and marine biologists at the University of California, San Diego, to create a claw-like manipulator for robotic rovers tasked with collecting soil samples on other planets.Read More

Robotics

Big-i robot butler learns from its masters

It may look like a one-eyed trash can, but Nxrobo calls its Big-i a "personal robot butler." Combining the features of domestic robot, home automation, and personal assistant that learns and adapts to its owner's behavior, the multi-function automaton was recently unveiled at Pepcom DigitalFocus in New York by its inventor, Dr Tin Lun Lam.Read More

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