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Robotics

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

The MultiTaction iWall offers unlimited multi-touch interactivity, and is just one of the ...

UK-based "tech alchemist" firm Engage yesterday launched its Flux Innovation Lounge. The Lounge is a place to see some of today’s advanced technology put into practical use – and a place for Engage to show off some of its work. Visitors can expect 18-foot (5.5-m) touchscreens, holographic cabinets and immersive environments.  Read More

The SPHERES robots were put through a simulated follow-the-leader exercise (Image: NASA)

Controlling a robot in space from the ground can be a bit like hitting a moving target. There’s a one to three second delay as data passes back and forth between the robot and ground control, which means that operators have to anticipate how the robots will move during these delays. This week, the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center (ATC) announced the first-ever demonstration of collaborative tele-operations that involved control of robots on the International Space Station (ISS) by astronauts on the ISS and operators on the ground.  Read More

Five finalists have been selected for the Google Lunar XPrize competition (Photo: NASA/JPL...

Five international teams are moving forward from a field of 33 proposals with the goal of performing a robotic landing on the moon, followed by a short drive and high-quality video mooncast, all as part of the Google Lunar XPrize competition to incentivize a new novel, low-cost era of lunar exploration.  Read More

The SPHERES robots are designed for upgrading (Image: NASA)

If you want to know how big the crew of the International Space Station (ISS) is at present, the answer depends on whether or not you’re counting the robots on board. Some of the non-human residents will soon be getting smarter, with NASA announcing that the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) robots currently on the station will later this year get a new smartphone. The increased capability of the soon to be Smart SPHERES is designed to help transition them from engineering testbeds to workaday companions that can take over some of the duties of the station astronauts.  Read More

Robot Land would immerse thousands of parkgoers in robotics edutainment and research

Since 2007, the South Korean government has dreamed of Robot Land, a robotics research park and themed destination with rides, exhibitions, shopping, and even housing. Although the originally planned open date of 2012 has come and gone, ground was officially broken for the 300-acre park last year and a new timeline seems to indicate that Robot Land may now be on target to deliver on its promise of a themed world dedicated to robots.  Read More

The Versaball grasps a shock absorber

Back in 2010, we first heard about a clever device known as the robotic universal jamming gripper. With its business end composed of a party balloon filled with coffee grounds, it could form a secure grip around objects of varying sizes and shapes. Now, that device has been commercialized – although incorporating higher-tech materials than balloons and coffee.  Read More

The Revolution JD is a humanoid robot with two-fingered grippers

Ez-Robot, a small company based in Calgary, Canada, is aiming to start a new "revolution" in robotics. The company's new Revolution line is a series of small, hobby-sized robots with modular parts, easy-to-use features, and snap-together mechanics. The line consists of three new robot kits: a humanoid two legged walker, a rover with tracks, and a hexapod, or six-legged spider-bot.  Read More

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