Friday, December 15, 2017
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Leading Edge Robotics News

Micro Tentacles For Robot Fingers

The rubbery microtentacle shown here isstrong and small enough to trap and ant, but soft enough not to injure it. (Photo credit: Jaeyoun Kim/Iowa State University.)

Researchers are working on tiny tentacles that could allow robots to handle very small, delicate items. “Most robots use two fingers and to pick things up they have to squeeze,” said Jaeyoun Kim, an Iowa State University associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, in a …

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Robot to Land on Asteroid, Then Send a Boulder Spinning Around the Moon

Microspine grippers on the end of the robotics arms will be used to grab the boulder. (Photo credit: NASA.)

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is working on a robot that will land on a near-Earth asteroid, find a boulder, and carefully set it into a stable orbit around the moon. Once there, astronauts on-board the Orion spacecraft will examine the boulder and extract samples for …

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The Quest for a Robot that Works Well With Humans

Professor Jochen Steil with one of the CogIMON humanoids. (Photo credit: Bielefeld University.)

Researchers at Bielefeld University are working on robots designed to work in tandem with humans. The project is called Cognitive Compliant Interaction in Motion, or CogIMON. Led by professor Jochen Steil of BU, the project will involve six international partners and have a budget of $7 …

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Will Your Job Be Taken By a Robot?

Do you operate a snow plow for a living? Look out! The YukiTaro robot not only shovels snow, it converts it into a short, melting wall. (Photo credit: of Research and Development, Inc.)

Ever wondered how likely it is that your job will be stolen by a robot? Researchers at the University of Oxford studied the issue and produced a thoughtful paper entitiled, “The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerisation?” Now National Public Radio has created …

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Wood Pulp Batteries in Development

Researchers have created a battery from tree pulp that can be squished much like a sponge. (Photo credit: KTH.)

Robots could one day be powered by tree pulp. Researchers at KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Stanford University have developed a method for making elastic high-capacity batteries using nanocellulose from broken down from tree fibres. The battery can be squished, much like foam, and therefore …

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Gaining Insight on Robotic Vision From Insects

University of Adelaide Ph.D. student Zahra Bagheri and supervisor Professor Benjamin Cazzolato with a vision system that uses algorithms based on insect vision. (Photo credit: University of Adelaide.)

A new research project seeks to improve robot vision by applying findings from research on insect and human sight. As a part of their work, the researchers built a virtual reality simulation, in which an artificial intelligence system pursued an object. The findings were recently published …

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Robot Planning Algorithm Tested in Minecraft Model

"The whole of Minecraft is what we refer to as 'A.I. complete.' If you can do all of Minecraft you could solve anything. That's pretty far off, but there are lots of interesting research objectives along the way," says Brown researcher Stefanie Tellex. (Photo credit: Mike Cohea/Brown University.)

A new algorithm could help robots do a better job planning for the complexities of the real world. Interestingly, the code was tested in a video game. Robots often have a tough time planning their actions, in part because they don’t intutively know how to focus …

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South Korean Robot Wins First Prize in DARPA Robotics Challenge

DRC-Hubo gets a grip on the valve. (Photo credit: DARPA.)

The DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals were recently held in Pomona, California. The contest, which tests a robot’s skills at assisting humans in natural disaster scenarios, is extremely difficult. Robot are judged on their ability to perform a variety of tasks, including walking across rubble, open doors, …

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Tools that Think

This tool assists the user with pick and place tasks. (Photo credit: University of Bristol.)

Imagine if everyday tools understood the context in which they were used, and could automatically respond in a way that made the job easier? Researchers at the University of Bristol are working on such devices, which they call intelligent handheld robots. The goal is to take …

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Tele-Operated Robot For Performing Ultrasounds in Development

This robot is designed to conduct prenatal ultrasound exams on pregnant women in remote locations. (Photo credit: Waseda University.)

A robot designed to give an ultrasound exam to a pregnant woman is being developed at Waseda University in Japan. Such a system has never been developed in the past due to safety concerns regarding the weight of the equipment. But this system, made by Professor …

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MIT’s Cheetah Jumps Over Obstacles Autonomously

The Cheetah 2 is the first four-legged robot to run and jump over obstacles autonomously. (Photo credit: Haewon Park, Patrick Wensing, and Sangbae Kim.)

MIT engineers have expanded the capabilities of their Cheetah 2. The robot can now autonomously detect obstacles while running, and jump over them. Designed in MIT’s Biomimetics Robotics Lab, the robot uses a 2D laser distance sensor to spot anything in its path and gather data …

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Nursing Robot Designed to Assist on Hospital Rounds

The Terapio medical round support robot can record vital signs and display data, as it follows the doctor or nurse from patient to patient. (Photo credit: Toyohashi University of Technology.)

Researchers at Toyohashi University of Technology in Japan have developed a robot call Terapio, intended to replace the traditional medical cart used by doctors and nurses during their rounds in a hospital. The mobile, autonomous robot can deliver resources and record information as doctors visit with patients. A paper outlining the robot …

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Underdog Wins Innovation Award at NASA Robotic Mining Competition

This excavation robot has rotating scoops that gather the regolith and dump it on to other robots for transport. (Photo credit: JBU Eaglenauts.)

More than 45 teams competed in the Sixth Annual NASA Robotic Mining Competition last week at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The competition pitted student teams against each other, with each designing a robot intended to cross simulated Martian terrain, excavate a rocky material known …

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