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Monthly Archives: January 2015

Exoskeleton to Help Astronauts with Muscle and Bone Density Loss

This exoskeleton suit uses motors to act as a force against an astronaut, so they can exercise much as the would on earth and avoid bone density and muscle loss. Photo courtesy of the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition.

The Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition has developed a novel exoskeleton designed to stop muscle and bone density loss caused by long stays in a zero gravity environment. Known as the Grasshopper, the suit would be worn by astronauts while they exercise in space. It’s worn much …

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Care-O-Bot 4 Delivers Food, Assists with Cooking and Cleaning

The Care-O-Bot 4 is great at lifting heavy items without falling over. Photo courtesy of Fraunhofer IPA.

In need of a robot butler? The latest version of the Care-o-Bot is coming soon! The Care-O-Bot 4 is a rolling bot designed to help around the house or work in the service industry. It’s customizable, too, with six plug and play components. So customers can request …

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A Robot To Handwrite Your Letters

The robots at Bond can learn how to write just like you do. Photo courtesy of Bond.

Handwriting is truly a dying art. In many schools, cursive is no longer taught. If you still appreciate handwritten notes, or have clients who do, consider HelloBond.com. The robots at Bond are experts are handwriting, with real pen and ink. Simply type your message, send it …

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A Reliable, International Power Supply for Single-Board Computers

This 5V 2A Power Adapter from Adafruit was designed to eliminate brownouts. Photo courtesy of Adafruit.

A poorly made power supply can wreak havoc on a robotics project, particularly one that uses USB power. If the cable is too long, made with narrow gauge wire, and the project requires a lot of current, the adapter might not provide 5V reliably. This can cause brownouts …

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Bat-Inspired Robot Features Wings that Adjust to Walk

The DALER robot features wings that fold, much like those on a vampire bat.

Researchers in Europe have developed a robot that can fly and walk, by rotating wing segments. Named after one of the project’s lead researchers, Ludovic Daler, the Deployable Air Land Exploration Robot (DALER) features a unique design inspired by vampire bats. Triangular segments on the outer edge of …

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New Robot Helps NASA Build Lighter, Stronger Parts

Brian Stewart, system's integration manager at NASA, poses with ISAAC's rotating head. Photo courtesy of NASA/David C. Bowman.

A new robot at NASA will help the space agency develop stronger, lighter materials for aerospace vehicles. The multi-million dollar robot, called the Integrated Structural Assembly of Advanced Composites (ISAAC), is one of only three worldwide. “It changes how we look at composites,” saysBrian Stewart, integration …

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Add a Capacitive Touch Screen to Your Raspberry Pi

Adafruit's PiTFT Mini Kit makes a perfect console, X window port, or display on top of your Raspberry Pi A or B rev 2. Photo courtesy of Adafruit.

Raspberry Pi lovers will likely remember the old PiTFT Mini Kit resistive touchscreen, which required a stylus. This new kit, available from Adafruit, can be used with your fingerpad! Featuring at 2.8″ display, the new PiTFT Mini Kit offers 320 x 240 16-bit color pixels. The screen …

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New Glass Could Make Longer-Lasting Batteries

A new kind of glass could double the life of Li-ion batteries. Photo courtesy of ETH Zürich/Peter Rüegg.

Chemists and materials scientists at ETH Zurich have developed a new kind of glass they say could significantly improve batteries. The research team says the new material — vanadate-borate glass — could be used as the cathode to double the life of Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. “One major …

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BeachBot Creates Huge Pictures in the Sand

BeachBot creates huge works of art in the sand using a special rake individually adjustable tongs. Photo courtesy of BeachBot.ch.

Disney Research and ETH Zürich teamed up to create an artistic robot that draws in the sand. BeachBot uses a rake with individually adjustable tongs to create lines in the sand, drawing abstract art and Disney characters. Three special balloon tires move the bot along with beach without a …

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A 5 Megapixel Camera for the pcDuino

Plug this small camera into any pcDuino to capture 5 megapixel images. Photo courtesy of Karlsson Robotics.

Upgrade the video capabilities of your pcDuino with a new camera! The tiny device captures 2592 x 1944 active array video and images. Connecting the 5 megapixel camera is easy, as it plugs right into to any pcDuino V3. The module’s onboard OV5640 image sensor is …

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Hummingbird Duo Premium Robotics Kit

The Hummingbird Duo Premium Robotics Kit features a ton of pre-wired sensors and servos. Photo courtesy of Adafruit.

This beginners robotics kit from Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab features lots of pre-wired sensors and motors that can be easily connected — no soldering required. That makes the kit perfect for anyone starting out in robotics, from age 10 to 110. The kit includes light, sound, …

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Robots Practice Exploring Mars Using Volcanos on Earth

VolcanoBot 1, shown here in a lava tube, explored the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii in May 2014. The robot is enabling researchers to put together a 3-D map of the fissure. Photo courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory are set to send more robots into volcanos. VolcanoBot 1 has already explored Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano and built 3D maps of fissures inside. Now NASA says VolcanoBot 2 will be tested later this year. Lighter and smaller than its predecessor, …

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Trobo Robot Tells Stories About STEM

According to the designers, Trobo is designed to be a lovable companion first, and teacher second. Photo courtesy of Trobo.

Little kids love stuffed animals. Two dads, Jeremy Scheinberg and Chris Harden, decided to take advantage of this fact and design a plushy that would inspire kids to explore STEM concepts. Their toy, Trobo is designed to work in tandem with an iPad or iPhone. Once a wireless connection …

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