Tuesday, October 24, 2017
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Robot Bartender Mixes Adults Beverages

Using Monsieur Robot's touch screen, customers can select from hundreds of drinks.

Monsieur, the robotic bartender, has mastered the art of mixing drinks. More like an Automat than a waiter, Monsieur knows hundreds of cocktail recipes and can mix them on demand. Users can even select a drink from an array of scrolling photos on a touch screen, and then …

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A Prosthetic Hand that Feels Textures

Researchers have developed an electrical stimulation system capable of allowing the user to feel textures and relieving phantom pain. Photo courtesy of Case Western Reserve University.)

Prosthetic limbs have many limitations. One of the challenges for users is not being able to distinguish between different textures. Researchers have now developed an electrical stimulation system that helps those who have lost limbs be able to feel different textures again. While many prosthetic limbs …

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GoPiGo: An Open Source Robot for Little Builders

The GoPiGo turns your Raspberry Pi into a robot. Photo courtesy of Dexter Industries.

After a highly successful round of crowdsourcing last May, the GoPiGo is now available on preorder. The open-source robot is designed for the Raspberry Pi platform. The basic kit ($84.99) includes a durable body, motors, controls, and a power supply that will keep your robot running for …

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Robots that Can Sign

Toshiba's sign language robot can only demonstrate basic greeting. But the company hopes to add sensing, speech synthesis and speech recognition by 2020. Photo courtesy of Toshiba.

Toshiba demonstrated a humanoid able to use Japanese sign language at the Cutting-Edge IT & Electronics Comprehensive Exhibition (CEATEC) this week. Created with researchers from aLab Inc., Osaka University, Shibaura Institute of Technology, and Shonan Institute of Technology, the robot has 43 actuators in its hands but currently …

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New Android App for iRobot’s Defense and Security Bots

iRobot's new app, uPoint, lets operators remotely control multiple bots via an Android app. Photo courtesy iRobot.

IRobot has released the uPoint Multi-Robot Control (MRC) system: an Android app that acts as a universal remote for the company’s defense and security robots. While it won’t help you get your Roomba into that tricky corner of your living room, it will give the military and researchers (who often work …

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Sensory-Active Skins for Robots

Shape-memory alloy threads are wrapped around foam to demonstrate how the sensory skin of a soft robot. On the left, the threads bend the foam into an L shape. On the right, the threads compress the foam. (Photo courtesy of Purdue University/Rebecca Kramer)

Researchers at Purdue University have built soft robots using shape-memory alloys (SMAs) woven into fabric. By orienting the alloy threads in different ways and wrapping it around foam blocks, the material can initiate movement. “Previous works have not combined both flexible sensors and actuators in their designs, usually …

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Robotic Trees that Sense and Grow

Leaf sensors on the robotic plant can monitor the environment. Photo courtesy of CORDIS.

Tree-like robots could help monitor the earth, as well as other planets. Created as a part of a new project called Plantoid, the robots have leaves that sense, roots that grow and move, and a trunk-full of electronics. Project coordinator Barbara Mazzolai notes that while animals and insects frequently …

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New Lynxmotion UAV Flight Controller is Smaller and Feature-Packed

The Lynxmotion Quadrino Nano UAV Flight Controller is now available on pre-order for $99.99.

Looking for the perfect holiday gift for the flying robot builder who has everything? A new flight controller for unmanned aerial vehicles promises an easy-to-use interface and sports a low price. The Lynxmotion Quadrino Nano UAV Flight Controller is compatible with MultiWii software and has an onboard gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer, barometer and …

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Ikea’s Robotic Mirror Doles Out the Compliments

A new mirror offers Ikea customers compliments.

Ikea has unveiled a new mirror in a store in England. What makes this mirror special isn’t the shape or frame. This mirror gives out compliments. Using the Kinect’s motion sensor technology, the mirror offers personalized messages that automatically appear on the surface of the mirror …

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A Robot Designed to Play Nicely with Humans

Omron's robot serves the ball back nicely to its opponent. Photo courtesy of Omron Corp.

Omron Corp. recently demonstrated their ping-pong playing robot at CEATEC Japan, to show off the company’s prowess in robotics. What makes the machine remarkable, is that it’s not intended to play competitively. Instead, it’s designed to play a long, friendly game with lots of easy volleys. …

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Ubooly: A Robot for the Pre-School Set

The Ubooly plush toy is lined with memory foam to protect your tablet or phone from the whims of toddlers.

Handing over any electronic device to a two-year old is a big risk. Wrap an app in a stuffed animal, however, and you’ve just upped the cuteness factor and decreased the chance of breaking the screen. Enter Ubooly: an interactive toy that uses your smart phone or …

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Robot Bat Glides and Jumps With Ease

MultiMo-Bat researcher Matthew Woodward stands still while his creation jumps over his head. The images of the robot in it's various stages of locomotion were taken with a high-speed video camera. Photo courtesy of Matthew Woodward.

A new robot inspired by the vampire bat can jump and glide efficiently, reaching heights of more than 9 feet. The robot, called MultiMo-Bat, was designed to explore new strategies for integrating multiple modes of mobility and enhance the performance of small-scale robotic systems. “Current works …

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A Very Handy Ball for a Game of Robotic Pick Up

The Versaball takes a novel approach to picking up objects: using suction and a granular substance, the ball molds itself around each item. Photo Courtesy of Empire Robotics.

A unique gripper system called the Versaball made it’s first appearance as a commercial product last month, at the International Manufacturing Trade Show in Chicago. Built by Empire Robotics, the Versaball is not a typical robot hand. It can pick up a wide range of items without lifting a …

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