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LERN: Robotic Ultrasound Enables Long-Distance Heart Exams

Dr. Partho Sengupta performs the first long-distance, tele-robotic ultrasound exam between The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. (Photo credit: Mount Sinai.)

Doctors in New York are currently testing a tele-robotic system that performs ultrasound exams on patients in Chicago, over the Internet. The study, which brings together cardiovascular imaging specialists at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York and Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, will investigate whether the telerobotic long-distance exams of the carotid artery in the ... Read More »

LERN: Robotic Submarines Used to Recover Radioactive Waste

A Sellafield operator remotely controls a mini sub handling waste material. (Photo credit: Sellafield.)

Cobalt isotopes that have been sitting in British storage ponds since the 1950s are finally being recovered, using miniature submarines. The project involves moving hundreds of the cartridges retrieved from Sellafield Ltd’s Pile Fuel Storage Pond and First Generation Magnox Storage Ponds. “A few years ago remotely operated vehicles were thought of as expensive toys, but they are now becoming ... Read More »

LERN: DARPA’s Near Zero Power RF Program Seeks Proposals

N-ZERO-equipped sensors could be helpful when a constant power supply isn't readily available for distributed sensors, but ongoing monitoring is essential. (Photo credit: DARPA.)

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched a new program to develop sensors that consume very little power over time, essentially laying dormant until a particular event occurs and then gathering and relaying data to new relevant people. Known as the Near Zero Power RF and Sensor Operations (N-ZERO) program, the goal of the project is to reduce ... Read More »

LERN: MIT Developing Wireless Trackpad Worn on Thumbnail

Researchers at MIT are working on a discreet remote control device that fits on your thumbnail. (Photo credit: MIT Media Lab.)

Researchers at MIT Media Lab are working on a wireless input device that could act as a very subtle robot remote. Known as NailO, the prototype wireless trackpad is so small, it fits on on your thumbnail. Just stick it on your nail, swipe it with another finger and NailO can control a Bluetooth-enabled device. “It’s very unobtrusive,” Cindy Hsin-Liu ... Read More »

LERN: Battle Brewing Between iRobot and Astronomers

iRobot's line of vacuums have been quite successful. Now the company hopes to add a lawn mower to their product line. (Photo credit: iRobot.)

iRobot hopes to sell robotic lawn mowers that use beacons to determine the perimeter of the lawn. The only problem is that the beacons transmit signals in the same frequency range that the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) uses to collect data about galactic evolution, by tracking methanol in space. It’s important enough that FCC regulations state that “all practicable ... Read More »

LERN: A Small, Inexpensive Electric Wheelchair

Tanner Jensen tries out his open-source, electric wheelchair. (Photo credit: Brigham Young University.)

Students at Brigham Young University have built a relatively cheap electric wheelchair for small children. Two of them, actually. The chairs are for brothers with Spinal Muscular Atrophy: three-year-old Tanner Jensen and 20-month-old Skyler. “Working with the Jensen family made the whole project more meaningful,” said Ian Freeman, who worked on the chair. “We knew we had to deliver a ... Read More »

LERN: Kuka Teams Up with Microsoft to Improve Industrial Automation

Kuka's Intelligent Industrial Work Assistant. (Photo credit: Kuka AG.)

Kuka AG, a leading manufacturer of industrial robots and automation solutions, have created an intelligent work assistant built with Microsoft Azure Internet of Things (IoT) services. They lightweight robot is on display at this year’s Hannover Messe, threading a tube into a small hole in the back of a dishwasher. Traditional robots were unable to complete the task because the ... Read More »

LERN: Robot Spiders Controlled Via Intel’s Curie Wearable

Intel's tiny wearable, the Curie module, includes motion sensors. (Photo credit: Intel.)

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich recently demonstrated the Curie  at the Intel Developer Forum in Shenzhen. During his presentation, Krzanich wore the Curie as a wristband. Curie — a coin-size, low-power, wearable module — features a a six-axis combined sensor with an accelerometer and gyroscope. It also has Bluetooth radio, 384kB Flash memory, 80kB SRAM, and 32-bit Intel Quark SE SoC. For the ... Read More »

LERN: Zebrafish Spooked by Robot Fish

Live Zebrafish were particularly spooked by a realistic looking robot fish, modeled after the predatory red tiger oscar. (Photo credit: New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering.)

Realistic humanoids can be a little bit creepy. Apparently, zebrafish feel the same way about robot fish. In order to study fear in fish, researchers from NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering built a highly realistic, robotic model of a red tiger oscar: a fish often feared by others. They also used a tank divided into three compartments. The first was compartment ... Read More »

LERN: Can a Robot Acquire Consciousness?

Researchers hope that Hector's new software, reaCog, will lead to consciousness. (Photo credit: CITEC/Bielefeld University)

Researchers at Bielefeld University hope to give a stick-bug robot named Hector a simple form of consciousness. Hector, they claim, might learn to see himself as others see him, without ever being explicitly programmed to do so. “With this, he would have reflexive consciousness,” Holk Cruse, a biologist and professor at the Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC) at ... Read More »

LERN: New Technique Makes Joints Flap Like Wings

The dielectric elastomer used to create the flapping wing. (Photo credit: ianwen Zhao/Harbin Institute of Technology in Weihai, University of California-Los Angeles)

Researchers have discovered a new resonance phenomenon of dielectric elastomer rotary joints. Others have studied on dielectric elastomers before, but using a stable voltage that made the joint bend at a fixed angle. This project, by researchers from the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), uses a periodically changing voltage. “We found ... Read More »

LERN: Google to Make Surgical Robots

Google and Ethicon plan to build robotic platforms that compete against bot like the da Vinci Xi Surgeon Console. (Photo credit: Intuitive Surgical.)

The Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon is working with Google’s Life Sciences team to create more advanced robots for the operating room. The two companies want to create “a robotic-assisted surgical platform capable of integrating advanced technologies,” according to a press release. “For more than 60 years, Ethicon has developed products and technologies that have transformed the way surgery is ... Read More »

LERN: Stanford Students Build Robots to Shoot Hoops

This robot expanded to reveal flaps that blocked other robots from sinking baskets. (Photo credit: Stanford University.)

Stanford University students recently competed in their own mechatronic sporting event, with 34 robots collecting tennis balls and shooting them into hoops. The small, tabletop arena was divided into two sides: one per robot. Each team could earn one point for shooting the ball into the net on their side, and two or three points if they landed a ball ... Read More »