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Sensors

— Robotics

RHex robot shows off Parkour moves

By - July 25, 2013 8 Pictures
Parkour is all about hurling yourself quickly and efficiently past whatever obstacles are in your path while maintaining as much momentum as possible. It's a challenge for humans, so how would robots fare? In an effort to push the boundaries of robotic agility, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania decided to find out by teaching their RHex robot some Parkour moves. Read More
— Robotics

FluxCrawler robot inspects steel cables big and small

By - July 4, 2013 1 Picture
The important task of inspecting cables on bridges, elevators, ski lifts and cable cars for signs of strain, wear and corrosion is commonly carried out by a device that clasps around the cable and exposes it to a magnetic field, looking for disruptions in the field. The problem is that the diameter of the cables and their jackets can vary considerably, limiting the use of such devices. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing have come up with a one-size-fits-all approach in the form of a robot they’ve dubbed the FluxCrawler. Read More
— Pets

FitBark activity tracker has gone to the dogs

By - June 28, 2013 5 Pictures
Is your best friend looking a little pudgy and out of shape? Are they a little sluggish and out of it when you hang out, preferring a nap over a run or walk? Don't make things awkward by telling them, just slide on a collar while they're sleeping and encourage them to get more exercise. We're talking about your dog, of course, and the new FitBark collar. Read More
— Around The Home

Sense+ turns a smartphone dock into a potential life-saver

By - June 26, 2013 5 Pictures
While most smartphone docks focus on bringing da noise to add some life to a party, the Sense+ Docking Station is designed to be a potential life-saver. The portable device packs built-in smoke and gas detection sensors to sound an alert in the event of fire. The Sense+ also works in conjunction with an accompanying app that automatically calls friends and family if the user doesn’t respond. Read More

DARPA's Unattended Ground Sensor uses smartphone techology

While the needs of the modern digital warrior are growing rapidly, military sensors take three to eight years to develop while private industry can produce similar technology in only one or two years. In the hope of speeding things up, DARPA’s Adaptable Sensor System (ADAPT) program is looking to smartphone industry technologies and practices. Read More
— Computers

IBM's MessageSight pulls data from up to a million devices

By - May 3, 2013 1 Picture
Three years ago, Google's Eric Schmidt announced that every two days, more information is created than was the case from the dawn of humanity up to 2003. According to IMS Research, by 2020 web-connected devices will create 2.5 quintillion bytes of information every day, with 22 billion internet of things devices up-belching information to the web. To marshal all that data, IBM has come up with a platform it calls MessageSight, which will allow any one organization to pool information from up to a million sensors and devices, at a rate of 13 million messages per second. Read More
— Science

Piezoelectric skin provides human-like sense of touch

By - April 30, 2013 3 Pictures
For years now, scientists across the globe have strived to find a method that gives robots an accurate sense of touch, and with good reason. A robot with an improved ability to feel would be better equipped to identify objects, judge its movements with greater care, and perform more tasks overall. In the latest step towards that goal, researchers at Georgia Tech have crafted a new type of touch-reactive material that's sensitive enough to read fingerprints and could provide robots with a sense of touch that resembles our own. Read More
— Robotics

Teachable robot helps assemble IKEA furniture

By - April 23, 2013 2 Pictures
Teaching a robot how to deal with real-world problems is a challenging task. There has been much progress in building robots that can precisely repeat individual tasks with a level of speed and accuracy impossible for human craftspeople. But there are many more tasks that could be done if robots could be supplied with even a limited amount of judgement. A robotics group led by Professor Sylvain Calinon at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) is making progress in solving this problem. Read More
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