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Monthly Archives: December 2015

Social, Realistic, Telepresence Robots

Prof Nadia Thalmann (left) posing beside Nadine, a life-like social robot capable of autonomously expressing emotions and gestures. (Photo credit: Image courtesy of Nanyang Technological University)

Nadine, a receptionist at Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) is friendly, and will greet you back if you say hello. The next time you meet her, she will remember your name and your previous conversation with her. She looks almost like a human being, with soft …

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The Meccano Meccanoid G15KS

The Meccano MeccaNoid G15 (Photo credit: Toys R Us)

This 4-feet tall robot could get your kids excited about the robot revolution! Made of high-impact polycarbonate construction plates, the Maccanoid G15KS has six motors and multicolored LED eyes. It can be controlled remotely using a Bluetooth device, or programmed using motion capture. You basically move the robot they …

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‘Robot locust’ can traverse rocky terrain, assist in search and rescue

The Minibot was inspired by locusts. (Photo credit: American Friends of Tel Aviv University)

A new miniature robot is poised to make a major contribution to the field of advanced robotics. The new locust-inspired robot, dubbed ‘TAUB’ (for ‘Tel Aviv University and Ort Braude College’), is five inches long and weighs less than one ounce. It can jump 11 feet …

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RoBoHon: The Robot for Your Phone

RoBoHon's back features a 2-inch, QVGA display. (Photo credit: Sharp)

RoBoHon might look like a toy, but he’s actually intended to be an adorable SmartPhone for adults. But this bot can do far more than a phone! The coolest feature is the projector mounted in his head that can display color images on any flat surface. …

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Raspberry Pi Zero: A Cheap Brain for Your Next Bot

The Pi Zero packs a lot of processing power in for five bucks! (Photo credit: Raspberry Pi)

The Raspberry Pi Zero costs just a wee bit more than it’s name implies: $5. But that’s still darn cheap for what you get. Each Pi Zero has a Broadcom BCM2835 application processor, with a 1GHz ARM11 core. That’s 40 percent faster than Raspberry Pi 1! It also …

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RobotGeek Snapper Arduino Robotic Arm

The Snapper is easy to integrate with other RobotGeek sensors, and components. (Photo credit: Trossen Robotics)

The Snapper is a robotic arm with five servos, including a micro servo in the gripper. The arm can pick up 50 gram objects and features a reach of 11.4 inches from shoulder to gripper. It runs on the Geekduino board and the kit also includes the Robot …

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Rudolph the Robotic Reindeer?!??

Ho! Ho! Whoooh! Those aren't reindeer! (Photo credit: Boston Dynamics)

Boston Dynamics has released a video of some of their four-legged, walking robots pulling Mrs. Claus in Santa’s sleigh. The short video features three of the biologically-inspired robots prancing across a green field in front of an office building and a cab (which happens to travel …

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Lessons Learned Watching Untrained People Fly Drones

A Parrot AR.Drone.2, such as the one shown here, was used in the study. (Photo credit: Parrot)

You can learn a lot watching someone who has no clue what they’re doing. That’s the basic premise behind new research on human-robot interactions. The study, which involved 90 untrained participants trying to fly drones through an obstacle course, found that it didn’t matter whether the participants were told …

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A Smartphone System for Driverless Cars

This is an example of SegNet in action: the separate components of the road scene are all labelled in real time. (Photo credit: Alex Kendall)

Driverless cars are slowly moving toward a road near you. Well, not literally. But driverless cars do seem poised to become a reality in the next decade. Still, the technology needs tweaking. Two new systems for driverless cars can identify a user’s location and orientation in …

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Continuous Tread Aggressive Rubber Treads with Wheels

These all-terrain, reinforced 2-inch wide matched treads have 4-ply mesh reinforcement, molded rubber and no splice. (Photo credit: SuperDroid Robotics.)

Need great treads for your next bot? These no-splice treads have an aggressive black rubber all-terrain 1″ wide pattern. The 5/16 inch holes are used for positive timing with the CNC-manufactured wheels and allow for better tracking and very low probability of derailing. The nominal center …

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J&J Launches Robotic Surgery Company

Scott Huennekens, Verb Surgical's President and CEO. (Photo credit: Verb Surgical)

Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon and Verily Life Sciences LLC (formerly Google Life Sciences) has formed a surgical robotics company called Verb Surgical Inc. The company hopes to use machine learning, robotic surgery, instrumentation, advanced visualization, and data analytics to improve patient outcomes, lower costs, and greater hospital efficiency. …

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Remote Control for Soft Robots

This image shows a selective actuation of the side arms of a soft robot in a horizontal uniform magnetic field. (Photo credit: Sumeet Mishra, North Carolina State University.)

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a technique for using chains of magnetic nanoparticles to manipulate elastic polymers in three dimensions, which could be used to remotely control soft robots. The ability to control the motion of soft robots, coupled with their flexibility, gives …

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Moss Zombonitron 1600

Make a bunch of bots easily with this MOSS robotics system. (Photo credit: Modrobotics.com)

Build a variety of robots quickly and easily with the MOSS Zombonitron 1600. This kit includes 16 MOSS blocks and 56 Carbon Steel Spheres. Attach the cubes together with the steel spheres to create ball joints and hinges. As long as the blocks are aligned the right …

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