Photokina 2014 highlights

Robots

Tradinno is the star of Germany's oldest folk play

St. George is famous for slaying a dragon, but he’d have a real challenge on his hands if he showed up today in Furth im Wald, Germany. There he’d discover the streets of this town of 9,000 being stalked by an 11-ton fire-breathing dragon with a steel skeleton and a diesel engine for a heart. Built by Zollner Elektronik AG, the robotic monster is the star of Germany’s oldest folk play and, according to the 2014 edition of the Guinness World Records book, the world's largest four-legged walking robot.  Read More

The Hydra System is composed of several parts: the delivery system, shelters that may rest...

DARPA has floated a fascinating new unmanned systems project that would see undersea motherships launching smaller submarines and flying vehicles to conduct pop-up surveillance on pirates, terrorists and hijackers. The Hydra Project, named after the Greek legend of the multi-headed snake that grew two new heads whenever one was cut off, looks to provide low cost response to quickly changing situations on or near the water.  Read More

Basaltic roving would be used as a building material

Setting up house is always a pain and when that house is on Mars, it’s a logistical nightmare. To make things a bit easier, Dmitry Zhuikov, Arina Ageeva, and Krassimir Krastev of ZA Architects in Germany have come up with a concept architecture for future Mars colonies, built underground by robots before the colonists arrive.  Read More

Kirobo also sent this image to Mirata, its back-up robot on Earth

In space, no one can hear you scream, but they can hear a little robot speaking greetings in Japanese. Toyota announced today that a robot spoke from space for the first time. On August 21, the communications robot, Kirobo, sent greetings back to Earth from the International Space Station (ISS). Kirobo said, in translation, “On August 21, 2013, a robot took one small step toward a brighter future for all.”  Read More

The Looks Like Music installation is based on Suzuki's earlier work, Colour Chaser

At the Mudam's Publics Department, a museum dedicated to contemporary art in Luxembourg, a summer project by the artist and designer Yuri Suzuki is making music from art. Based on his work Colour Chaser, Suzuki has designed an installation piece for the museum called Looks Like Music, which gives kids (and adults) the opportunity to contribute to a musical score with their artistic coloring.  Read More

Ford is studying space robots like NASA's Robonaut 2 in its efforts to develop safer conne...

Ford has turned to space robots in an effort to make driving safer and more efficient. The motor car company has embarked on a three-year research partnership with the telematics department of St. Petersburg Polytechnic University in Russia to study communications systems for space robots as a way of improving technology currently under development to produce cars able to communicate directly with one another and with the internet.  Read More

The Tsinghua University (Beijing) successfully completed the 2013 IARC Mission Six (Photo:...

For the past 23 years, the International Aerial Robotics Competition has challenged college teams with missions requiring complex autonomous robotic behaviors that are often beyond the capabilities of even the most sophisticated military robots. This year's competition, which was held in China and the United States over the past week, saw the team from Tsinghua University in Beijing successfully complete the current mission – an elaborate espionage operation known as Mission Six that was first proposed in 2010.  Read More

The two-wheeled and fully hackable Arduino Robot

Arduino has made quite a name for itself over the past several years, with its single-board microcontrollers making their way into a wide variety of DIY electronic devices. Given that many of those devices have been robots, the company has now taken the next logical step forward – it’s released its first-ever complete robot.  Read More

Students at UC Berkeley have developed the STAR, a 3D-printed robot that flattens its legs...

Nature has been the source of inspiration for a variety of different forms of robotic locomotion. Yet another example is the STAR, a 3D-printed robot modeled after an insect's ability to squeeze into even the tiniest spaces. Developed by students at UC Berkeley's Biomimetic Millisystems Lab the STAR, which stands for Sprawl Tuned Autonomous Robot, is able to flatten its legs down to slip under a small gap and then raise them up again to climb over larger obstacles.  Read More

This robotic leaf fish may not look scary to you, but then you're not a zebrafish

With some help from a robotic fish, scientists have discovered that zebrafish are much like humans in at least one way – they get reckless when they get drunk. OK, “drunk” might not be technically accurate, but when exposed to alcohol, the fish show no fear of a robotic version of one of their natural predators, the Indian leaf fish. When they’re “sober,” they avoid the thing like crazy. The researchers believe that the experiments indicate a promising future for robots in behavioral studies.  Read More

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