Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

Robotics

Body-mounted astronaut joystick (Photo: ESA)

It may look like the ultimate gaming joystick, but its purpose is very serious. On the International Space Station, astronauts recently finished putting the European Space Agency's (ESA) Haptics-1 joystick through its paces. The purpose of the first force-reflecting joystick in space is to improve how robots and humans interact in weightlessness.  Read More

RoboSiman and Surrogate (Photo: JPL)

Bigger may be better, but better isn't always better. In October, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California unveiled a new and improved version of its RoboSimian robot. Called Surrogate, it has many advantages over its predecessor, but it's RoboSimian that is going to next year's DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals.  Read More

The Andy Rover is designed to explore rough lunar terrain ( Photo: CMU)

Carnegie Mellon University has unveiled Andy, a four-wheeled unmanned rover designed to explore the rough terrain and recently discovered pits of the Moon. Developed in cooperation with Pittsburgh's Astrobotic Technology, the solar powered robot is CMU's entry for the US$20 million-plus Google Lunar XPrize, and may one day help pave the way toward permanent outposts on the Moon.  Read More

The SoloShot2 pans and tilts the user's camera, to follow them while they're in action

A couple of years ago, we first heard about the SoloShot. It's a robotic device that sits between a video camera and a tripod, automatically panning the camera to keep the surfing, skiing, etc subject centered in the shot. The idea is that you can get video of yourself doin' your thing, without calling upon someone else to act as a videographer. The SoloShot2 takes things a step further, most notably by also tilting the camera.  Read More

The creators of Mousr reckon its the most engaging cat toy ever made

Most cats enjoy a good hunt, but your average cat toys pale in comparison to stalking real prey, as they're too predictable and don't react to an attack. The creators behind Mousr reckon their robotic cat toy is the most engaging cat toy ever made, as it reacts to a cat's attack and can intelligently avoid obstacles.  Read More

The Robot Positioning System allows the Baxter robot to work in a human/robot mixed enviro...

The robotic revolution is very often less about replacing human workers than finding ways of working alongside them. That means being as flexible at doing tasks as humans, as well as being able to work with all the jostling and chaos that people take for granted. Rethink Robotics’ new Robot Positioning System lets the Baxter robot do factory work without being bolted to the floor, adjusting itself as it endures random bumps.  Read More

The robot bartenders aboard the Quantum of the Seas can make two drinks a minute

Not content with working as sales assistants and burger flippers, robots are landing jobs on cruise ships as bartenders and entertainers. Leading the way is Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas, which is currently on its maiden voyage.  Read More

OSHbots are designed to not only identify and locate merchandise, but to speak to customer...

In the near future, you might be surprised to visit to the giant hardware store in your town and find yourself greeted by a chatty robot rather than a human sales assistant. A harbinger of this age of robotic shopping is being trialled with two Oshbot robot sales assistants at an Orchard Supply Hardware store in San Jose, California. Built by Lowe’s Innovation Labs and Silicon Valley technology company Fellow Robots using "science fiction prototyping," the OSHbots are designed to not only identify and locate merchandise, but to speak to customers in their own languages.  Read More

The Dexmo Classic (left) and F2

What happens when you're immersed in a virtual world – such as a game – and you want to use your real-world fingers to control your virtual fingers in that world? Well, we've already seen a number of sensor-equipped gloves, but China's Dexta Robotics is taking what it claims is a more cost-effective approach. Its Dexmo is an exoskeleton for your hand, which can even provide the user with a limited sense of touch.  Read More

A US$2,9 million contract will allow the Wyss institute to continue development of a soft ...

DARPA has awarded a first-phase US$2.9 million follow-on contract to the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University as part of its Warrior Web program to create a soft exoskeleton. The Wyss Institute is studying the biometrics of walking as part of an effort to develop a soft fabric exoskeleton called the Soft Exosuit that uses robotics and biomimetics to augment the wearer’s musculoskeletal system as a way to reduce fatigue and injuries in soldiers and the disabled.  Read More

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