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Leading Edge Robotics News

LERN: MIT’s Robotic Flower Garden Designed to Grow a Love of STEM

MIT's robotic garden moves and lights up in four different colors. (Photo credit: Jason Dorfman/CSAIL)

A team from MIT recently showed off a robotic flower garden with adjustable lights and moveable petals at the school’s Hour of Code event. The idea behind the garden is to get kids — particularly girls — interested in building and programming their own electronics. The garden consists of 16 tiles that are controlled via Arduinos. Each tile houses multiple flowers ... Read More »

LERN: DARPA Holds Contest for High School Students with Clear Vision of our Robotically Enhanced Future

DARPA wants to know how high schoolers think robots will influence the future. (Photo credit: DARPA)

Are in you grades 9 – 12 and have some deep thoughts to share about the future of robotics and its societal implications? Create a two- to three-minute video with your thoughts, and you could win a chance to see the DARPA Robotics Challenge in Pomona, CA this June. “Videos should consider how both current and anticipated advances in robotics technology may ... Read More »

LERN: Naval Humanoid Fights Fires on Decommissioned Vessel

SAFFiR, the firefighting humanoid, is able to navigate complex spaces, even in thick smoke. (Photo credit: Virginia Tech)

Researchers from Virginia Tech revealed more details about their ongoing project with the US Navy: the Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR). Speaking at the Naval Future Force Science & Technology EXPO, the researchers discussed the results of recent tests of SAFFiR as it walked on uneven floors, located overheating equipment, and put out small fires onboard the decommissioned USS Shadwell. ... Read More »

LERN: Design Giant Robot Parts, Win Prizes!

Think you can design a better bot? Enter for a chance to win $2500! (Photo credit: Megabots.)

MegaBots and Autodesk are hosting design and mechanical engineering competitions. Two $2,500 prizes are up for grabs in the design competition, for the best armor plating. In addition to the cash prize, these two winners will enjoy seeing their designs created in miniature. The MiniBots will even duke it out at Bay Area Maker Faire. Have a hankering to create plans for ... Read More »

LERN: Leading AI Researcher Says Fully Autonomous Vehicles Are Far From Imminent

Shlomo Zilberstein, a professor of computer science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, wants to uncover the subtle elements of human behavior need to carefully considered in order to create reliable semi-autonomous systems. (Photo credit: UMass Amherst)

Excited by the prospect of a fully-autonomous vehicle? Don’t hold your breath! Shlomo Zilberstein, the conference committee chair the 29th conference of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence(AAAI) in Austin, Texas, says such vehicles are likely a long way off. Zilberstein studies the way artificial agents plan their future actions, particularly when working semi-autonomously–that is to say in conjunction with ... Read More »

NEWS: New ARX STEM Video Based Robotics Curriculum

New ARX STEM Video Based Robotics Curriculum

The ARX STEM Video Based Curriculum from Global Specialties is a turn-key, ten-week STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) course using the ARX ASURO Robot. Students will learn basic electronics, mechatronics (robotics), and programming in the C language. No need for teachers to have previous robotics experience as the video series walks you through each process step-by-step. Teachers can learn right ... Read More »

LERN: Boston Dynamic’s New Quadruped is Quiet, Robust, and Generally Cool

Spot can handle a swift kick, even on slippery, uneven terrain. (Photo credit: Boston Dynamics.)

Boston Dynamics isn’t saying much about their new robot, Spot, but the video posted to YouTube yesterday speaks volumes. The quadroped is significantly quieter than the company’s previous efforts in this area, and also appears to be faster and more nimble. It easily climbs steep hills, and does not fall over when kicked — even while walking across an icy ... Read More »

LERN: Octopus-Inspired Robot Speeds Through Water

his 30cm-long, self-propelling robot moves faster than any other underwater vehicle, in part because of it's outer elastic hull. (Photo courtesy of the University of Southampton.)

Researchers at the University of Southampton, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology have built a speedy, underwater robot modeled after an octopus. The robot features a 3D printed skeleton but has no moving parts or energy storage device, aside from its elastic outer hull. First the robot fills with water, then it quickly deflates ... Read More »

LERN: Tiny, Internally Powered Robot Gripper for Biopsies

These little robots could one day make biopsies less invasive, or be used in micro-engineering. Photo courtesy of the American Chemical Society.

A self-folding, robotic microgripper could one day make biopsies less invasive. The star-shaped devices are made from a carefully assembled arrangement of a hydrogel (N-isopropylacrylamide-co-acrylic acid), a polymer (polypropylene fumarate), and magnetic nanoparticles. The soft hydrogel component swells in response to changes in light, acidity, and temperature. The polymer stiffens the otherwise floppy hydrogel, so that the swelling action yields the force necessary to ... Read More »

LERN: Eve, the Robot Scientist, Can Screen 10,000 Drug Candidates a Day

Eve, the robot scientist. Photo courtesy of the University of Manchester.

Eve, an artificially intelligent drug-discovery robot, has discovered that a cancer drug might be good for treating malaria, too. Designed to speed up drug discovery and make it more economical, Eve can automatically develop and test hypotheses to explain observations, run experiments, record and interpret the results to amend their hypotheses, and then repeat the cycle. A new study published ... Read More »

LERN: Vineyard-Monitoring Robot Prototype Revealed

VineRobot is designed to help grapegrowers manage their crop remotely. Photo courtesy of Asociacion RUVID.

Researchers from several European countries have teamed up to develop an artificially intelligent robot capable of managing vineyards. The unmanned robot can gather information on production, water levels, grape composition and vegetative development and send it to grape growers. The robot is part of the European project VineRobot, whose partners met recently at the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV). The project, ... Read More »

LERN: 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 like a hiking backpack — over the shoulders and around the waist. But it ... Read More »

LERN: 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 what hardware they want on their bot. The robot could be used to move ... Read More »