Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Home » 2015 » October

Monthly Archives: October 2015

R2D2 Moving Refrigerator

More than a butler, this R2 unit knows how to chill... your beverages. (Photo credit: Aqua).

Finally, someone has combined the coolness of R2D2 with the coolness of… a mobile fridge. This 1:1 scale model of R2D2 won’t just cool your beverages, it will bring them to you! The wheeled bot also includes the same lights and sounds as the R2D2 from the Star …

Read More »

Improving Communication Between Robots and Astronauts

The international UNISONO project, which is coordinated by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, has developed a new system so that astronauts can better control robots. (Photo credit: VTT)

Recently, astronaut Andreas Mogensen placed a metal connector in a receptacle that had a mechanical tolerance to the connector of only 150 micro-meters. The success was notable because Andreas wasn’t trained to perform this task and performed while in space — some 160000 km away from the …

Read More »

Kamigami: An Inexpensive, DIY Robot for Kids

Bring your Kamigami robots together for multi-robot games such as freeze tag, sumo and chase. (Photo credit: Dash Robotics.)

If you’re looking for a great gift for the junior roboticist in your household, check out the Kamigami critters. These bots have bodies made of a highly flexible, plastic-fabric composite material that ensures minimal friction between moving parts — making them very fast. The pieces also easily snap together together …

Read More »

Raspberry Pi 2 Starter Kit

Bake your first Pi 2 project with Sparkfun's Starter Kit. (Photo credit: Sparkfun)

  This kit from Sparkfun includes everything you need to quickly start building simple projects with a Raspberry Pi 2. In addition to a Pi 2 model B, the kit also includes a SparkFun Pi Wedge. The Wedge connects to the 40-pin GPIO connector on the …

Read More »

Drive into the Action with Robotic Enhanced Vehicles

Race against an autonomous vehicle. (Photo credit: WowWee)

WowWee’s new toy is more than a set of remote-control cars. The Robotic Enhanced Vehicles pack includes two vehicles: one that can be controlled remotely and one with a GPS and onboard processors that can detect where the other vehicle is and respond accordingly. Humans can test their driving skills …

Read More »

‘Spring-mass’ technology heralds the future of walking robots

Researchers lob balls at ATRIAS to test its balance. (Photo credit: Oregon State University.)

A study by engineers at Oregon State University suggests that they have achieved the most realistic robotic implementation of human walking dynamics that has ever been done, which may ultimately allow human-like versatility and performance. The system is based on a concept called “spring-mass” walking that …

Read More »

Nao Robot Gets into the Driver’s Seat

Let your Nao go for a spin in his own BMW. (Photo credit: RobotsLab)

The Nao miniature humanoid is impressive on its own. The Wi-Fi enabled bot can detect faces, respond to a lot of spoken phrases, record images, and walk. Now, the little guy can drive his own car! His blue BMW is Arduino-based and includes two independent motors and …

Read More »

How to fall gracefully, if you’re a robot

By planning ahead, the robot above is able to brace for impact and avoid hitting his head. (Photo credit: Georgia Institute of Technology.)

Researchers at Georgia Tech have identified a way to teach robots how to fall with grace and without serious damage. The work is important as costly robots become more common in manufacturing alongside humans. The skill becomes especially important, too, as robots are sought for health …

Read More »

BesMan: A Robot for Menial Labor in Space

If the project is successful, Besman will be able to learn by imitating humans. (Photo credit: David Schikora, DFKI GmbH)

There’s a lot of work to do on the International Space Station, and only a handful of humans to do it! That’s why researchers from the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence and the University of Bremen are working on a bot to perform menial labor in space, …

Read More »

Dive of the RoboBee

The Harvard RoboBee, designed in Wood's lab, is a microrobot, smaller than a paperclip, that flies and hovers like an insect, flapping its tiny, nearly invisible wings 120 times per second. (Photo credit: Harvard Microrobotics Lab.)

In 1939, a Russian engineer proposed a “flying submarine” — a vehicle that can seamlessly transition from air to water and back again. While it may sound like something out of a James Bond film, engineers have been trying to design functional aerial-aquatic vehicles for decades …

Read More »

Actobotics’ Tracked Robot: Agent 390

This tracked chassis can handle 50 lbs loads. (Photo credit: Servocity.)

Actobotics has released a new tracked robot platform. Known as Agent 390, the agile bot features a smooth, ball-bearing supported, drive track system with omni-directional control. Agent 390 also has great traction, despite the smooth contact patches on the tracks. With a rigid, aluminum base, Agent …

Read More »

Flawed Robots are Better Equipped to Build Relationships with Humans

MARC the 3D printed robot. MARC the 3D printed robot. (Photo courtesy of the University of London.)

Humans are less likely to form successful working relationships with interactive robots if they are programmed to be too perfect, new research reveals. Interactive or ‘companion’ robots are increasingly used to support caregivers for elderly people and for children with autism, Asperger syndrome or attachment disorder, …

Read More »

Bio-inspired robotic finger looks, feels and works like the real thing

The finger was placed under the manipulandum while it was locked to measure the maximum force each SMA actuator was capable of applying. (b) The manipulandum was subsequently unlocked and a spring was placed between the two sides to measure the force and displacement of the finger with a compliant object. (Photo credit: FAU)

Inspired by both nature and biology, Erik Engeberg of Florida Atlantic University has designed a novel robotic finger that looks and feels like the real thing. The robotic finger uses shape memory alloy (SMA), a 3D CAD model of a human finger, a 3D printer, and a unique thermal …

Read More »