Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Leading Edge Robotic News

Using the Force to Control Tiny Robots

This image shows how two microbots can be independently controlled when operating within a group, an advance aimed at using the tiny machines for applications such as advanced manufacturing and biomedical research. (Photo credit: Purdue University image/David Cappelleri)

Researchers are now able to control individual microrobots, using something likened to mini force fields. Until now it was only possible to control groups of microbots to move generally in unison, said David Cappelleri, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University. “The reason we …

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Robotic Glove Could Aid in the Study of Brain and Muscle Function

A research team from the National University of Singapore has developed a new lightweight and smart rehabilitation device called EsoGlove to help patients who have lost their hand functions due to injuries or nerve-related conditions to restore their hand movements. (Photo credit: National University of Singapore)

Patients who have lost hand function due to injury or nerve-related conditions — such as stroke and muscular dystrophy — now have a chance of restoring their hand movement using a new, lightweight rehabilitation device, called EsoGlove. Made of soft materials, this novel device is an …

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Developing Code to Sense Human Intent

A role adaptation control scheme allows the leader or follower role of a robot to be adjusted continuously based on the sensed intention of a human collaborator. (Photo credit: A*STAR Institute for Infocomm Research)

A robot’s role in a shared task could be continuously adjusted during the activity, thanks to a new adaptive robot control system that can sense whether a human operator wants to lead or follow. Developed by researchers at Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), the …

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The Worker Robots

Will robots take over the world? How many times have you heard this? From magazines to books, whenever we talk about robots this notion pops up. True- when Martin Ford titled his book, Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, he might have expected this kind of hyperbole, but Ford had something entirely different on his mind.

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Special Joints Transform Household Objects Into a Robot

HandiMate helps kids build robots with any material sitting around the house. (Photo Credit: Purdue University)

Purdue University Professor of Mechanical Engineering Karthik Ramani has developed a new robot toy for kids called the HandiMate robot toolkit Unlike conventional kits that require kids to build a robot according to its manual, HandiMate—designed for ages 10 to 15—can be created with any material …

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VertiGo robot climbs from floor to wall

The Vertigo's four wheels are unpowered. Thrust comes from the propellors. (Photo credit: Disney Research and ETH)

Disney Research Zurich and ETH Zurich teamed up to build a robot that can make the transition from floor to wall and then climb up the wall. A pair of propellors is used to flip the bot from floor to wall and move along uneven surfaces, such …

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Social, Realistic, Telepresence Robots

Prof Nadia Thalmann (left) posing beside Nadine, a life-like social robot capable of autonomously expressing emotions and gestures. (Photo credit: Image courtesy of Nanyang Technological University)

Nadine, a receptionist at Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) is friendly, and will greet you back if you say hello. The next time you meet her, she will remember your name and your previous conversation with her. She looks almost like a human being, with soft …

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The Meccano Meccanoid G15KS

The Meccano MeccaNoid G15 (Photo credit: Toys R Us)

This 4-feet tall robot could get your kids excited about the robot revolution! Made of high-impact polycarbonate construction plates, the Maccanoid G15KS has six motors and multicolored LED eyes. It can be controlled remotely using a Bluetooth device, or programmed using motion capture. You basically move the robot they …

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‘Robot locust’ can traverse rocky terrain, assist in search and rescue

The Minibot was inspired by locusts. (Photo credit: American Friends of Tel Aviv University)

A new miniature robot is poised to make a major contribution to the field of advanced robotics. The new locust-inspired robot, dubbed ‘TAUB’ (for ‘Tel Aviv University and Ort Braude College’), is five inches long and weighs less than one ounce. It can jump 11 feet …

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Rudolph the Robotic Reindeer?!??

Ho! Ho! Whoooh! Those aren't reindeer! (Photo credit: Boston Dynamics)

Boston Dynamics has released a video of some of their four-legged, walking robots pulling Mrs. Claus in Santa’s sleigh. The short video features three of the biologically-inspired robots prancing across a green field in front of an office building and a cab (which happens to travel …

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Lessons Learned Watching Untrained People Fly Drones

A Parrot AR.Drone.2, such as the one shown here, was used in the study. (Photo credit: Parrot)

You can learn a lot watching someone who has no clue what they’re doing. That’s the basic premise behind new research on human-robot interactions. The study, which involved 90 untrained participants trying to fly drones through an obstacle course, found that it didn’t matter whether the participants were told …

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A Smartphone System for Driverless Cars

This is an example of SegNet in action: the separate components of the road scene are all labelled in real time. (Photo credit: Alex Kendall)

Driverless cars are slowly moving toward a road near you. Well, not literally. But driverless cars do seem poised to become a reality in the next decade. Still, the technology needs tweaking. Two new systems for driverless cars can identify a user’s location and orientation in …

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J&J Launches Robotic Surgery Company

Scott Huennekens, Verb Surgical's President and CEO. (Photo credit: Verb Surgical)

Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon and Verily Life Sciences LLC (formerly Google Life Sciences) has formed a surgical robotics company called Verb Surgical Inc. The company hopes to use machine learning, robotic surgery, instrumentation, advanced visualization, and data analytics to improve patient outcomes, lower costs, and greater hospital efficiency. …

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