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Robots

The interactive electronic skin developed at UC Berkeley (Photo: Ali Javey/Chuan Wang, Ber...

The stereotype of the clumsy robot may soon become a thing of the past thanks to ongoing research at the University of California, Berkeley, where a team of engineers has created a thin and interactive sensor network that can be layered onto the surfaces of virtually any shape. The device gives out immediate feedback via an LED light when touched, and could be used to create smart bandages that monitor vitals in a patient in real time, wallpapers that act as touchscreens, or even to give humanoid robots that elusive "human touch."  Read More

As the united band of robots hovers and climbs off the ground, each robot module is using ...

Researchers at ETH Zurich have demonstrated an amazing capability for small robots to self-assemble and take to the air as a multi-rotor helicopter. Maximilian Kriegleder and Raymond Oung worked with Professor Raffaello D’Andrea at his research lab to develop the small hexagonal pods that assemble into flying rafts. The true accomplishment of this research is that there is not one robot in control – each unit in itself decides what actions to take to keep the group in the air in what's known as Distributed Flight Array.  Read More

The WaterColorBot painter

Robots are already starting to make a mark on the adult art world with automated machines like the eDavid, which creates stunning painting in a variety of styles. But what about works at the other end of the artistic spectrum, like children's watercolors? Thanks to an invention from a 12 year-old, even young children can soon use robotics to make their own artwork. The WaterColorBot paints colorful pictures on paper based on existing graphics or follows along with users as they draw on a computer.  Read More

The Mobile Robotics Group's autonomous Nissan Leaf

Autonomous cars will be tested on UK roads before the end of the year, according to a government policy paper published on Tuesday. According to the BBC, trials will take place on less busy rural and suburban roads, using what the paper describes as a semi-autonomous mode which will allow a driver to take control of the vehicle if necessary. A driver will ride along during all tests for safety reasons.  Read More

Artist's concept of ERO the demolition robot in action

When it comes to demolishing buildings, there are almost as many ways to take them apart as put them up. We knock them down, blow them to bits, and build machines to take them apart. But what about a robot that eats buildings? Omer Haciomeroglu of Sweden’s Umeå Institute of Design has come up with the concept ERO concrete de-construction robot, which uses high-pressure water jets to strip concrete from rebar and recycle it on the spot.  Read More

Students are encouraged to design their own robot fish with the naro-nanin edutainment pro...

A new breed of robot fish that is both relatively inexpensive and highly customizable is teaching students between the ages of 10 and 18 about technology and biology. It's the latest in a line of biologically-inspired underwater robots developed within the naro (nautical robots) project at ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), which has previously developed robots based on tuna fish and sea turtles.  Read More

A researcher manipulates DRC-HUBO's arms to demonstrate its compliant joints

The DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) has scheduled its first physical trial for late December, leaving competing teams less than six months to finish building and programming their robots. In case you're just tuning in, the DRC is a gauntlet of daunting tasks designed to test robots that may someday stand in for people as first responders. DARPA has just revealed the completed ATLAS humanoid, but there's still a half dozen others that remain somewhat mysterious. Now, Team DRC-HUBO is spilling the beans on its own humanoid robot.  Read More

An incomplete version of the ATLAS robot maintains its balance even when hit with a 20 lb ...

DARPA has revealed the completed ATLAS humanoid robot, which is to star in the upcoming DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) – and it cuts a striking figure. Designed by Boston Dynamics (the guys behind the BigDog, Cheetah, and LS3 quadrupeds), it's being given to the top teams that recently competed in the Virtual Robotics Challenge (VRC). Now those teams have less than six months to fine tune their software with the real robot before they face the first of two live challenges.  Read More

Carnegie Mellon University's Biorobotics Lab developed this modular snake robot to perform...

Several snake-like robots have been developed around the world, and while we keep hearing about their potential applications few have managed to slither outside of their research labs. Earlier this year Carnegie Mellon University's Biorobotics Lab put its modular snake robot's practicality to the test in an abandoned nuclear power plant, where it provided clear, well-lit images from the inside of pipes.  Read More

The sensor could be embedded in artificial skin for richer sensing (Image: Technion-Israel...

Using gold nanoparticles on top of a PVC substrate, researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have built a new type of cheap, flexible sensor that simultaneously detects pressure, humidity and temperature with surprising accuracy. The sensor could be used to monitor cracks in bridges, create a better artificial skin to benefit amputees, or even to give robots that special "human touch."  Read More

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