Sunday, November 19, 2017

Leading Edge Robotic News

Can a Robot Make a Better Cup of Coffee?

The Poursteady Coffee Robot readies five cups of liquid caffeine. Photo courtesy of Engadget.

Brooklyn-based Poursteady brought their coffee making machine to Engadget Expand earlier this week. The automated device is designed to replicate the very particular, very pretentious, pour-over coffee making technique. The process requires that precisely heated water be poured over the grounds at certain intervals, using a …

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Creating a Ghostly Presence with Robotics

A master-slave robotic system was used by researchers in Switzerland to create a ghostly experience through sensory dissonance. Photo courtesy of Alain Herzog/EPFL.

New research suggests that if you program your robot in just the right way, you could create enough sensory dissonance to scare the heck out of your friends and family. Researchers in Switzerland used a master-slave robotic system to try to create a ghostly experience, in order …

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Rescue Roaches Steered Toward Sounds Via Circuitry

Researchers have created a circuit that guides cockroaches toward sounds picked up on a tiny microphone. Photo courtesy of Eric Whitmire, North Carolina State University.

After a disaster, rescuers often search for trapped victims by listening for sounds of life. Researchers at North Carolina State University hope to assist this effort, by enlisting roaches. The bugs could crawl into tiny spaces human rescuers can’t easily access, with small microphones on their backs to detect sounds. …

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Building a Robot to Swim in the Human Body

This microscopic robot using reciprocal motion to swim through non-Newtonian fluids. Photo courtesy of Nature Communications.

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems have created microscopic machines that can slowly swim through non-Newtonian fluids, such as those found in connective, epithelial and neural tissues. Made out of silicon rubber, the robots are cast in a 3D printed mold. Just like a scallop, each robot has two shells connected by a thin, narrow hinge. …

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ARTI: A Robust, Rolling Robot Chassis for Climbing Stairs

The ARTI chassis can climb up and down stairs with ease. Even non standard, uneven, and bullnose stairs are easily tackled. Photo courtesy of Transcend Robotics.

If you are looking for a robot chassis that can handle unpredictable terrain, consider ARTI from Transcend Robotics. Invented by retired entrepeneur Andrew Ferguson, the three-part chassis climbs up and down stairs — and all sorts of other obstacles — with ease. It doesn’t matter whether the stairs are non-standard, …

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Fold Your Own Robot

Zoobotics' Zuri robot was made using paper and cardboard. Photo courtesy of Zoobotics.

If you love origami and robots, you’ll definitely want to check out the Zoobotics Website. Zoobotics has posted some inspiring photos of an Arduino-based, paper robot. While the electronics are rather straightforward (it has a distance sensor and can be programmed wirelessely via Bluetooth), the innovative way Zoobotics …

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Help Kickstart a Giant Robot Battle

One of the members of the MegaBots team sits inside his creation. Photo courtesy of MegaBots.

Three engineers are leading a movement to bring giant fighting robots to a live venue near you. Their prototype bot, a 15-feet tall, 15,000 pound walking humanoid, is just the beginning. The co-creators of MegaBots, Inc. imagine many huge bots, fighting it out in a variety …

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Rescue Robots Adopt a Video Game Approach

The robot above was tested by firefighters in Italy and found to be easier to use when the video camera moved in sync with the body. Photo courtesy of KTH The Royal Institute of Technology.

Tests conducted recently in Italy suggest searching emergency scenes would be easier if cameras on rescue robots moved in tandem with the body of the bot. For example, when the robot is looking to the right, pressing the lever to make the robot move forward will cause it to …

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Visualization System Projects Robot’s Thoughts

A projection system displays a robot's thoughts regarding path planning. Photo courtesy of Melanie Gonick/MIT.

Researchers at MIT have built a system that displays an autonomous robot’s path planning options, as the bot considers its route. The system was designed in response to visitors of the school’s Aerospace Control Lab who often thought the robots were simply displaying random behaviors. “Normally, a robot may make …

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Lowe’s Introduces Robot Shopping Assistant

With the Lowe's OSHbot, a customer can bring in a spare part and scan the object using the bot's 3D sensing camera. After identifying the object, OSHbot will provide product information to the customer and help guide them to its location on store shelves. Photo courtesy of PRNewsFoto/Lowe's.

How many times have you discovered you’re short a few parts? Say, for example, you need a few more bolts to complete a project. You probably tuck one away in your pocket and take it with you to the store, so that you can find the identical bolt …

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Electrostatic Robot Hand Wins RoboBusiness Award

Grabit's grippers uses electrostatic for electrostatic forces for a low-energy solution to handling materials such as glass sheets safely, while minimizing stress. Photo courtesy of Grabit.

A robot gripper that uses electro-static adhesion won a Game Changer Award at RoboBusiness earlier this month. Many grippers use a vacuum to hold on to items, but that puts stress on the items and can cause damage. According to Grabit, the company behind the gripper, using electrostatic adhesion eliminates …

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Iron-Man Inspired, Light Up Prosthetic Hand for Kids

Pat Starace says his light-up Iron Man prosthetic was designed to be "awesome." Photo courtesy of PatStarace.com.

A new Arduino-powered prosthetic hand not only looks like Iron Man’s, it also lights up in multiple ways. Mechanical designer and animator Pat Starace says he designed the child-sized hand with three goals in mind. “It had to look awesome, it had to perform awesome, and …

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EyeCane Offers Better Navigation for Visually Impaired

Two sensor beams, one pointing directly ahead, and one pointing towards the ground collect data on obstacles. Photo Courtesy of the Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience.

A new electronic travel aid for the visually impaired could offer a major improvement on the white cane, by providing information about obstacles using sound and motion. Weighing less than 100 grams, the device provides information simultaneously for two directions: directly ahead for far away obstacles, and …

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