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Robotics

Robotics

Cheaper, transparent smart skin powers itself

Flexible, wearable sensors open the door for everything from more effective health monitoring to robots with a sense of touch that can respond to stimuli like humans. While numerous electronic skin technologies have been developed, getting costs down has remained a problem. A Chinese team of scientists has now developed a new transparent smart skin that they claim is not only cheaper to produce, but is also able to harvest mechanical energy to power itself from movement.Read More

Robotics

Hitachi robot can lend shoppers a helping hand

Hitachi has unveiled the latest iteration of its humanoid customer service robot. Designed to identify and assist customers who look like they need help, EMIEW3 can pass sales information on to other robots, and even stand up if it's knocked over in the hustle and bustle of a sales environment. Read More

3D Printing

Cocooning caterpillars inspire new 3D printer design

As with its SmartBird, BionicKangaroo and robotic ants, Festo's Bionic Learning Network has once again looked to the natural world for inspiration during the development of a new 3D printing solution. Rather than gradually forming an object layer by layer like a desktop extruder, the 3D Cocooner works more like a sophisticated robotic version of a CreoPop 3D printing pen, hardening the printed material with UV light as the structure is formed. Objects are created in a similar fashion to a spider spinning its web or a caterpillar making its cocoon, resulting in complex, free-standing, three-dimensional lattice structures.Read More

Robotics

Scorpion Hexapod has a sting in its tail

Students from Ghent University in Belgium have developed a six-legged floor crawler that's sure to leave its mark on those it comes into contact with. The Scorpion Hexapod, which wouldn't look too out of place in the robotic menagerie of German automation technology company Festo, fires its stinger at the hand of anyone covering its eyes, leaving a red mark as a reminder of the encounter.Read More

Robotics

Wearable third arm gives drummers extra robotic rhythm

Thumping out as many drum beats in 60 seconds may get you a podium spot at the annual World's Fastest Drummer competition, but we'll take the full kit virtuoso playing of Cozy Powell, Philthy Animal Taylor or Mitch Mitchell any day of the week. When trying to emulate the fastest or the greatest on your bedroom bin-bashers, though, you'd be forgiven for wishing you had a third arm. Georgia Tech Professor Gil Weinberg and his research team may have the answer to your prayers. They've developed a drumstick-wielding wearable robotic limb that's able to respond to both the music being played and the movements of the player.Read More

Robotics

Will humanoid robots build tomorrow's aircraft?

Robots may build cars by the millions, but they still don't have much to do with assembling airliners – a task where human workers are still essential. To give the organics a helping manipulator, the Joint Robotics Laboratory (JRL) and Airbus Group have embarked on a four-year joint research project to develop humanoid robots that can work on aircraft assembly lines and free workers from tedious and hazardous jobs.Read More

Military

Milrem combat robot brings modular versatility to the battlefield

The modern battlefield requires soldiers who are able to adapt quickly to any mission and as robots join them, they'll have to do the same. At the Singapore Airshow 2016 this week, Estonian defense company Milrem took the wraps off its robotic Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System (THeMIS) – a compact battlewagon billed as the "first-of-its-kind modular hybrid Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV)" that acts as a multi-mission vehicle platform to assist or replace soldiers on the battlefield.Read More

Robotics

Swarming robot boats demonstrate self-learning

Robots may be the wave of the future, but it will be a pretty chaotic future if they don't learn to work together. This cooperative approach is known as swarm robotics and in a first in the field, a team of engineers has demonstrated a swarm of intelligent aquatic surface robots that can operate together in a real-world environment. Using "Darwinian" learning, the robots are designed to teach themselves how to cooperate in carrying out a task.Read More

Robotics

Soft robotic gripper gets a grasp on fragile objects using electroadhesion

Building machines that replicate the delicate touch of a human hand is a complex undertaking that has seen the development of all kinds of soft robotic grippers, from squishy green blobs to boa constrictor-inspired claws. Scientists are now claiming an important advance in this area, demonstrating a robotic device that can better grasp fragile objects through the help of electroadhesion, the very same phenomenon that sees balloons cling to ceilings after being rubbed on your hair.Read More

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