2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

Robotics

The ReWalk motorized exoskeleton, which has been available in the UK since 2012, has now b...

Following multiple clinical studies, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the way for the ReWalk to be sold for personal use in the US. This makes the ReWalk the first motorized exoskeleton designed for people with lower body paralysis due to spinal cord injury to be cleared for personal use in the US.  Read More

Cornell researchers have developed a robot that follows spoken instructions to learn new t...

Many robots today are able to follow verbal instructions. However, the robot first has to be programmed with software code that allows it to respond to those instructions in some predetermined way, and that software must be added to every time the robot's task list is enhanced. Wouldn’t it be easier if we could just avoid all that messy fiddling about with software and talk to a machine as we would a human and explain what we wanted it to do? Researchers at Cornell University thought so, that’s why they designed and built a learning robot as part of their "Tell me Dave" project.  Read More

hitchBOT will hit the road this July, looking to hitch hike across Canada

In what is hailed as a world first for robots, a Canadian robot dubbed "hitchBOT" hopes to be the first to hitchhike across Canada this July. Wearing jaunty red boots and yellow garden gloves (with one in a permanent "thumbing a ride" gesture), hitchBOT is going to try to use his good looks and power of speech to convince people to pick him up and drive him from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Victoria, British Columbia.  Read More

The Skyteboard drone is designed to integrate with the Fatdoor social network to bring com...

When we have unmanned aerial vehicles zipping about delivering school textbooks and burritos, drones that bring neighborhoods closer together doesn't sound like the most radical idea. But combining them with a social network could have impacts beyond enabling more efficient shipping services, at least in the eyes of software and robotics company Fatdoor. This week it launched a crowdfunding campaign for Skyteboard, an internet-connected quadcopter designed to take community spirit to the next level.  Read More

Pepper is a personal robot that can gauge human emotions for more natural human/robot inte...

One thing that allows human beings to live together is their ability to read one another’s emotions before the frying pans start to fly. If personal robots are to join the household, they’ll have to learn how to deal with emotions as well. Pepper is a semi-humanoid robot designed to do just that, with the ability to gauge human emotions and alter its behavior accordingly as a way to better fit into family life.  Read More

The Linda robot will mingle with visitors to London's Natural History Museum this month

Having a robot around the house might be nice, but not if it keeps stepping on the cat and tripping over the coffee table. This month, the public will get the chance to meet a robot at the Natural History Museum in London that may be a bit kinder to furniture and tabbies. The University of Lincoln’s Linda robot, which will mingle with visitors, is designed to learn about its surroundings and make it easier to work human environments.  Read More

The Kibo robot kit from KinderLab Robotics

KinderLab Robotics has launched a new robot building and programming platform called Kibo that's designed for youngsters from 4 years and up. After customizing and personalizing a two-wheeled base unit, the kids can tell the robot what they want it to do by grabbing some colorful wooden blocks, putting them in order according to a specific function and scanning their bar codes into the base in sequence. Pressing a button will then start the program running and the robot creation springs to life.  Read More

Google's Project Tango lets this simple quadrotor autonomously navigate its environment

We’ve seen a lot of eye- and brain-catching robotics fun from the GRASP lab at the University of Pennsylvania, including a swarm of nano quadrotors playing the James Bond theme and a quadcopter swooping raptor-like onto prey. Dr. Vijay Kumar now gives us proof of concept of the utility of Google’s Project Tango in aerial systems by outfitting a quadrotor with the device to provide autonomous navigational capabilities.  Read More

Panasonic's Resyone robotic bed transforms into an electric wheelchair (Photo: Gizmag)

There's a lot of talk about Japan's rapidly aging society, and how it is expected to literally place a heavy burden on the island nation's caregivers. Among the many projected problems is a smaller pool of health care workers amidst a growing tide of elderly who require around-the-clock care. With that kind of workload, nurses are more likely to injure themselves or their patients when lifting them into and out of bed. Various solutions are in the works, such as a giant lifting robot that looks like a teddy bear, but few are as practical as Panasonic's Resyone robotic bed. It recently became the first to be certified ISO13482 compliant, the new global safety standard for service robots.  Read More

The da Vinci Xi offers improved access to the patient's body

While many people no doubt still look at Intuitive Surgical's da Vinci robotic surgical system as a sort of "wonder of the future," it's actually been around now for over 10 years. Therefore, it shouldn't come as a surprise that a new-and-improved model has just been announced. Among other things, the da Vinci Xi Surgical System promises a greater range of motion and more reach than its predecessor.  Read More

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