New Lego Mindstorms App Announced

With the new Mindstorms app, builders will be able to create programs for MINDSTORMS robots directly from iOS and Android tablet devices. (Photo credit; The Lego Group)

A new app, called the Lego Mindstorms EV3 Programmer App, will let builders create programs for Mindstorms robots directly from iOS and Android tablet devices. Featuring a streamlined selection of the most-used commands, the EV3 Programmer App allows for more interaction away from the desktop or laptop computer, giving users even more freedom to explore and tinker with the Mindstorms platform.  ... Read More »

LERN: Your Robot’s Manners Matter

Research by Ohad Inbar (left) and Joachim Meyer found that people were less influenced by the perceived age and gender of a humanoid. Politeness mattered most, in terms of first impressions. (Photo credit: Tel Aviv University)

Robots are increasingly considered for use in highly tense civilian encounters to minimize person-to-person contact and danger to peacekeeping personnel. Trust, along with physical qualities and cultural considerations, is an essential factor in the effectiveness of these robotic peacekeepers. New research that will be presented at the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 2015 Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, CA examines ... Read More »

LERN: Robots Designed to Assist Seniors Get New Apartment

Dr Praminda Caleb-Solly (right) with two of the robots that will inhabit the studio. (Photo credit: UWE Bristol.)

Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) recently launched a new facility to help robotics researchers develop and test technologies for assisting the elderly at home. The facility is modeled after a studio apartment, but far more high-tech. It is equipped with wireless sensors and cameras on a variety of features, such as cabinet doors, the fridge and sink. Data generated from the ... Read More »

Investigate Light and Sound with Buzz the Pixel Pal

Buzz's adorable LED eyes and speaker are easy to solder and program. (Photo credit: Soldering Sunday.)

Soldering Sunday has launched a new Pixel Pal! Named Buzz, this STEAM project is perfect for those who want to learn how to soldering an program — but don’t have a ton of time. Buzz’s cute factor makes soldering far less intimidating. Even novices can solder up Buzz in about an hour! This is the second Pixel Pal in the ... Read More »

BARE Conductive’s Robot Parade

Paint a circuit to make an cool robot picture light up! (Photo credit: BARE Conductive.)

Looking for an engaging STEAM experience for middle schoolers? The BARE Conductive’s Robot Parade comes with everything you for up to 30 students. Each participant will paint their own circuit, using the black, puffy electric paint that made BARE Conductive famous. The activity introduces students to circuit symbols, component polarity and switches. Powered by 3V, coin-cell batteries, the robot pictures ... Read More »

LERN: Designing Electronics for the Harsh Environment of Venus

The Venus Landsailing Rover, depicted above, would need to be able to work in very hot, high pressure, corrosive conditions. (Photo credit: NASA.)

Researchers from KTH Royal Institute of Technology are working on electronics able to handle the extremely high temperatures of Venus. The electronics are based on silicon carbide, a semiconductor that can withstand the extremely harsh climate of the second planet from the sun. “There are some places in space where the temperature is very high, such as the surface of Venus, ... Read More »

LERN: Drones Build Rope Bridge Capable of Supporting A Man

German researchers are using drones to build functional structures mid-air. (Photo credit: ETH Zurich, Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control.)

Drones are capable of far more than fancy photography. A team of researchers from ETH Zurich are using drones to build functional structures. A new video uploaded by the team shows a small team of quadcopters building a rope bridge that the men then walk across the 7.4 m structure. The bots build the bridge by carefully weaving ropes around ... Read More »

The Mantis Off-Road Chassis

The Mantis will bring rugged flexibility to your next robot project. (Photo credit: ServoCity.)

The latest chassis from ServoCity is designed for off-roading. Called The Mantis, this chassis features a long-travel suspension design that makes it ideal for traversing uneven, rocky terrain. It’s so flexible you can practically squish it flat to the ground! The suspension incorporates 4.62-inch aluminum beams and 130 mm, oil-filled, aluminum-bodied shocks. The kit’s 2.2-inch revolver wheels use 12mm aluminum hex wheel ... Read More »

LERN: Marine Robots Create 3D map of Submarine Canyon

This photo of an orange Roughy in a coral reef was taken by the Isis ROV. (Photo credit: The National Oceanography Centre as part of the CODEMAP project.)

Marine robots helped capture the first truly three-dimensional pictures of submarine canyon habitats. The new maps include a 200 km canyon but also include details as fine as individual cold-water coral polyps. They will be used to help manage only English Marine Conservation Zone in deep water. The map was created during a recent scientific expedition to the Whittard Canyon ... Read More »

The EZ-Robot Adventure Bot

Track colors, detect faces and recognize QR codes using the Adventure Bot's on-board camera. (Photo credit: EZ Robot.)

EZ-Robot Inc. has produced a number of exciting kits in the last few years, but they tend to be pricey. If you’re looking for the styling and easy-assembly of an EZ-Robot at a lower price, you might want to consider the Adventure Bot. The company keeps the cost low by limiting the body parts to the core hexapod battery, two ... Read More »

LERN: Indium-Plastic Film Could Lead to Stretchier Skin for Robots

Able to stretch and bend significantly while still conducting electricity, this film could result in better skin for robots. (Photo credit: Washington State University.)

A novel film designed for flexible electronics can stretch to twice to size without breaking. Created by Rahul Panat and Indranath Dutta of Washington State University, the indium-plastic film could significantly advance robotic skins, bendable batteries, wearable monitoring devices and sensors, and connected fabrics. The tiny metal connections that go into flexible electronics are challenging to manufacture robustly because they ... Read More »

LERN: Nao Learns from Humans, Passes on Knowledge

Instead of using pre-established plans, this Nao robot has been programmed to learn through direct interaction with a human. (Photo credit: Inserm/Patrice Latron.)

A team of French researchers from The National Center for Scientific Research has developed an autobiographical memory for the robot Nao, which enables it to pass on knowledge learned from people to other, less knowledgeable people. This technological progress could notably be used for operations on the International Space Station, where the robot, as the only permanent member, would liaise ... Read More »

LERN: Self-Driving Golf Carts Successfully Ferry 500 Tourists

The Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) created self-driving golf carts that successfully transported 500 tourists around a garden. (Photo credit: SMART.)

Self-driving golf carts were successfully used to drive some 500 tourists around a garden in Singapore. The six-day experiment tested the carts skills when dealing with pedestrians and bicyclists, and involved an online booking system for scheduling pickups and drop-offs at 10 stations located around the garden. “We would like to use robot cars to make transportation available to everyone,” ... Read More »