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Robots

Toyota showcased its new torque servo module in a pair of compliant robot arms (Photo: Mik...

In the first decade of the new millennium, Toyota's Partner Robot program was known for its truly incredible humanoid robot band that could play the trumpet, trombone, tuba, drums, and even the violin. Gradually these projects, which were designed to entertain while demonstrating the deftness with which Toyota's robot hands could manipulate objects, gave way to more practical applications. The automotive giant was on hand at the International Robot Exhibition (IREX) 2013 to showcase its latest robotic innovations, including the Winglet, the Human Support Robot, and a new compliant robot arm.  Read More

The UNI-CUB β and the UNI-CUB. The family was first seen four years ago at the Tokyo Motor...

Honda has announced that yet another version of the UNI-CUB personal mobility device will be shown at next week's Tokyo Motor Show. The UNI-CUB β is smaller, lighter, lower and can be used as a seat, making it a potential alternative to the office chair.  Read More

Robugtix's T8X octopod robot will ship June 2014

Robugtix has been hard at work fulfilling orders for its T8 tarantula robot that debuted earlier this year, as well as showing off its lifelike motion engine in a new video. Now the company has also announced a much cheaper version of the robot called the T8X which can be pre-ordered for a fraction of the cost of the original.  Read More

Cyberdyne's new industrial cleaning robot

Better known for producing the advanced exoskeletons, Japan's Cyberdyne is expanding its portfolio with a new industrial cleaning robot for large factories and warehouses. The latest model employs a Sony Playstation controller which is used to direct the cleaner around its designated cleaning areas, then it remembers its areas of responsibility and can do the job on its own from that point.  Read More

The AgriRover on patrol in a paddock

We tend to think of livestock farmers as "one man and his dog," but if AgResearch of New Zealand has anything to say, that pair may have to move over to include a robot. A team led by Dr. Andrew Manderson is developing AgriRover, an agricultural robot inspired by NASA’s Mars rovers. It’s a proof-of-concept prototype designed to show how robots can make life easier and more productive for livestock farmers.  Read More

Toyota's FV2 Concept – part robot, part computer-human interface, part motorcycle, part ca...

Toyota has released details of its most futuristic concept car yet. More robot than car, the tilting 4-wheel FV2 is designed to explore the physical and emotional interface between humans and machines with elements like an augmented reality windshield, an exterior that's one big display and a steering system controlled by body movement.  Read More

AMBER 2 is a robotic simulation of bipedal locomotion that closely mirrors a human gait

Bipedal robots have proved a challenging frontier for roboticists, with styles ranging from clunkers to lurchers to those seemingly falling over drunk. However, the AMBER lab at Texas A&M University has created universal mathematical functions of walking derived from human data and optimized for robotic systems. Their own proof of concept robots have strikingly human gaits and react appropriately to disturbances. Furthermore, the system has the potential to be applied to other bipedal robots to similarly upgrade their stride.  Read More

DFKI-Bremen's iStruct uses its active spine and multi-contact feet to transition from all ...

Back in June the world got its first glimpse of the iStruct, a robot ape developed at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and the University of Bremen. We predicted that in addition to the stability afforded by walking on all fours, the robot ape could feasibly stand up to free its hands for other kinds of work. Now the team has published a video that shows how their robot accomplishes this maneuver with the help of its flexible spine and sensitive feet.  Read More

Play-i's robots teach kids the basics of programming while they have fun

With just a few taps on a tablet screen, children as young as 5 are programming a pair of robots called Bo and Yana using a simple GUI. Looking a bit like the cute one-eyed monsters from a Pixar film, the bots are the flagship products of a start-up called Play-i, founded by a team with experience at Amazon and Apple. In just two days, the company has nearly reached its crowdfunding goal of US$250,000, with plans to send out the first batch in the northern summer of 2014.  Read More

The Gimball bounces off, rather than avoids obstacles

The Japanese Ministry of Defense got the ball rolling, as it were, in 2011 when it unveiled its spherical air vehicle, which was followed by the Kyosho Space Ball and Puzzlebox Orbit in 2012. Now researchers at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have got in on the act with Gimball, a flying robot that takes crashing into obstacles in its stride.  Read More

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