Saturday, September 23, 2017

Leading Edge Robotic News

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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, …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

Robot Roach Moves Super Fast on Tiny Fiberglass Legs

The X2-VelociRoACH moves fast by increasing the frequency of its strides while keeping stride length consistent. (Photo credit: UC Berkeley.)

A new robot called the X2-VelociRoACH is setting land-speed records for small, legged robots. The bot, which weighs in at 54 grams, can run up to 4.9 m/s with stride frequencies up to 45 Hz. Built by researchers at UC Berkeley’s Biomimetic Millisystems Lab, the X2 …

Read More »

UC Berkeley Robot Learns By Trial and Error

Chelsea Finn, Pieter Abbeel, BRETT, Trevor Darrell and Sergey Levine of UC Berkeley developed algorithms that enable their PR2 robot to learn new tasks through trial and error. (Photo credit: UC Berkeley Robot Learning Lab)

New algorithms developed at UC Berkeley let robots learn motor tasks much more like humans do, using trial and error. Using this new approach the robot completed various tasks without prior knowledge of its surroundings, including putting a clothes hanger on a rack, assembling a toy …

Read More »

Robot Arm Powered By Man’s Imagination

A novel system allows Erik G. Soto to control a robotic arm using the power of his imagination. (Photo credit: Spencer Kellis/Caltech)

Researchers at Caltech, the University of South Carolina and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center have developed a better a neural prosthetic system that offers smoother movement of a prosthetic limb than previous devices that controlled by the thoughts of the user. What makes this system …

Read More »

Project Using Drones to Assess Farmland Wins $100K

(From left) MIT $100K co-director Marc Chalifoux; RaptorMaps team members Eddie Obropta, Nikhil Vadhavkar, and Forrest Meyen; event host Krisztina Holly; and MIT $100K co-director Jacob Auchincloss. (Photo credit: MIT $100K)

A new project at MIT will use drones to monitor crops. Known as RaptorMaps, the project involves flying drones over farmland collecting images to track crop health and hopefully boost yields. “We are making drones to feed the world,” said Forrest Meyen, a PhD student in …

Read More »