Sunday, November 19, 2017

Leading Edge Robotic News

Self-Driving Golf Carts Successfully Ferry 500 Tourists

The Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) created self-driving golf carts that successfully transported 500 tourists around a garden. (Photo credit: SMART.)

Self-driving golf carts were successfully used to drive some 500 tourists around a garden in Singapore. The six-day experiment tested the carts skills when dealing with pedestrians and bicyclists, and involved an online booking system for scheduling pickups and drop-offs at 10 stations located around the …

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Unite Your Raspberry Pi and Arduino with Arduberry

Use Arduino sensors on your next Pi project with the Arduberry. (Photo credit: Dexter Industries.)

The Arduberry has one wish: to bring together the Arduino and the Raspberry Pi. Designed by Dexter Industries, the Aruberry is a shield that plugs into a Pi so that Arduino sensors and shields can be easily connected. No physical adjustments are requirement for most shields: …

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3D Printed Mircofish Robots

Fluorescent image demonstrating the detoxification capability of the microfish containing PDA nanoparticles. (Photo credit: W. Zhu and J. Li, UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.)

Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego used an innovative 3D printing technology they developed to manufacture multipurpose fish-shaped microrobots — called microfish — that swim around efficiently in liquids, are chemically powered by hydrogen peroxide and magnetically controlled. These proof-of-concept synthetic microfish could inspire …

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Reducing Robot Energy Consumption with Smooth Moves

From left: Dr Kristofer Bengtsson, master’s student Emma Vidarsson and Professor Bengt Lennartson in the Robotics and Automation Laboratory at Chalmers University of Technology. The research group at the Department of Signals and Systems also includes PhD students Oskar Wigström and Sarmad Riazi. The optimization tool is being developed in the EU research project Areus. (Photo credit: Oscar Mattsson.)

By minimizing the acceleration of industrial robots, energy consumption can be reduced by up to 40 percent — while retaining the given production time. This is the result of a new optimization algorithm that was developed by researchers at Chalmers University of Technology. Optimization of the …

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Will Soft Robots Speed Up?

These soft-robot actuators quickly convert a small input into a big output. (Photo credit: Credit: Johannes Overvelde/The Bertoldi Lab)

Researchers at Harvard have developed faster actuators that might speed up soft robots. Existing soft robots must move large amounts of liquid or gas, resulting in slow movements. The new approach takes advantage of snap-through instabilities: big changes that are instantly triggered by small changes. Normally, …

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3D Imaging Technology that Works in Bright Light

A depth-sensing camera can create a 3-D image of an object, even if it is in bright light. (Photo credit: CMU.)

Researchers in Canada and the US have developed a new 3D imaging technology that — unlike other depth sensing systems — can work in bright light, because it only gathers the light it actually needs to create the image. Invented by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University …

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Borrowing Human Reflexes for a Bot

MIT PhD student Joao Ramos demonstrates a Balance Feedback Interface system on HERMES.

Researchers at MIT have developed a robotic system that uses a human operator’s innate balancing ability to stop the robot from falling over after an impact. An exoskeleton worn by the human calculates the person’s movements as forces are unexpectedly applied to the robot and human …

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Robotic Whiskers Generate Tomographic Images

Seals use whiskers to hunt fish in the dark. Similarly, a team of researchers hope their Nitinol whiskers will improve robotic navigation. (Photo credit: Institute of Physics)

A new sensor inspired by mammalian whiskers can generate tomographic images measuring fluid flow. Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Illinois’ Advanced Digital Sciences Centre in Singapore were inspired by the way many animals use their whiskers to navigate in the dark. “When …

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New Self-Specialization Algorithm Explored

The robots were tasked with completing a task similar to that performed by Atta leafcutter ants. (Photo credit: PLOS)

New research suggests that teams of robots that self-specialize to perform specific tasks using a novel evolutionary method might have an advantage when completing missions. The study involved robotic simulations modeled loosely after the activity of leaf cutter ants that cut leaves off trees to use …

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Robotic Playground Apparatus Slowly Changes Shape

Researchers from the Interactive Architechture Lab and the University College London are developing a robotic playground structure that slowly adjusts its struts to move and change shape. Known as a MORPH [MObile Reconfigurable PolyHedra], the octahedral robots can be wirelessly guided or roam relatively freely, while …

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Carnegie Mellon Team Wins 5th International RoboCup Championship

The CMDragons are five-time world champions of RoboCup. This year's team (from left to right): Steven Klee, Richard Wang, Juan Pablo Mendoza, Manuela Veloso, Joydeep Biswas and Danny Zhu. Not pictured: Philip Cooksey. (Photo credit: CMU)

More than 170 teams came out for this year’s RoboCup, which took place in Heifi, China. The event included a variety of challenges, including a robot rescue contest and soccer competitions for robots of various sizes. Highlights included a big win for the Carnegie Mellon University …

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Improving Object Recognition for Robots

The proposed SLAM-aware object recognition system is able to localize and recognize several objects in the scene, aggregating detection evidence across multiple views. The annotations are actual predictions proposed by the system. (Photo credit: Courtesy of the researchers.)

John Leonard’s group in the MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering specializes in SLAM, or simultaneous localization and mapping, the technique whereby mobile autonomous robots map their environments and determine their locations. Last week, at the Robotics Science and Systems conference, members of Leonard’s group presented a …

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Bacteria-Controlled Robot Brain in Development

Waren Ruder used a mathematical model to demonstrate that bacteria can control the behavior of an inanimate device like a robot. (Photo credit: Virginia Tech.)

Virginia Tech scientists are working on a robotic system that may one day be controlled by living bacteria. Currently, the researchers are using a mathematical model based on the behavior of bacteria to control the robot. “Basically we were trying to find out from the mathematical …

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