It's no Michelangelo, but a robotic arm wielding a brush has completed a multi-colored oil painting at the behest of nothing other than human eyes. The system has been developed as engineers search for intuitive means of controlling robotic limbs, demonstrating how one day we might be able to wash the dishes while playing video games at the same time.
Foster + Partners has designed some of the most famous buildings in the world and, if one of its recent designs is anything to go by, it may soon have buildings on other planets, too. The firm has designed a shelter for up to four astronauts on Mars that would be 3D printed by a fleet of robots.
Volvo has announced a collaboration with companies and universities in
Sweden and the US on ROAR (Robot-based Autonomous Refuse handling). The
project aims to build robots that will assist garbage truck operators by
doing all the heavy lifting for them, picking up and emptying refuse
bins autonomously (under the driver's supervision) and as quietly as
As demonstrated by the bumpy landing of ESA's Philae lander on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, exploring comets, asteroids, and small moons can be difficult due to their low gravity. Not only can landing on one be like trying to alight on a trampoline, but roving around their surfaces is next to impossible because the negligible gravity offers practically no traction. To overcome this, a team of engineers is developing Hedgehog, a completely symmetrical robot rover for low-gravity exploration that moves by hopping.
We first came across Neato Robotics' XV-11 robot vacuum cleaner at CES 2010, and the company has been rolling out additions to its lineup ever since, introducing the "pet-strength" XV-21 in 2012, its Signature Series in 2013 and the Botvac line in 2014. At IFA, Neato is showing the latest dust-sucker to join its Botvac team. The Botvac Connected, as the name suggests, packs Wi-Fi connectivity for control from a user's smartphone.
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens doesn't hit cinemas
until December, but already the rolling, bleeping BB-8 droid that
features in it has proved a hit with audiences. Now you can buy your
very own working version of the robot, thanks to a replica toy produced
With their precise mechanical movements, robots seem like the most efficient of workers, but they can actually waste a good deal of energy. Chalmers University of Technology is developing a new optimization tool that acts like an efficiency expert for industrial robots by smoothing their movements to reduce their energy consumption by as much as 40 percent.
Robotics research is moving along at such a fast pace that it can be difficult to spot the major milestones of innovation in the technology as they go by. One significant step forward is in evidence at MIT in the form of Hermes. Physically it's all robot, but its actions and reflexes are controlled by a human being.
If you're enjoying a serene natural area, you might not appreciate
seeing a very techy-looking pollution-hunting robot putting along the
surface. That's why scientists at the National University of Singapore
have developed an alternative – water-quality-monitoring robots that
look like swans.
There's no shortage of robot-based toys out there which are claimed to be both fun, and teach your budding young roboticist the basics of programming. Following in the digital footsteps of Play-i, Kibo and Hackaball, is Vortex, a friendly Arduino-based bot that can connect to iOS and Android devices, play games, and be programmed by children as young as six-years-old.