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Monthly Archives: April 2015

Robotic Submarines Used to Recover Radioactive Waste

A Sellafield operator remotely controls a mini sub handling waste material. (Photo credit: Sellafield.)

Cobalt isotopes that have been sitting in British storage ponds since the 1950s are finally being recovered, using miniature submarines. The project involves moving hundreds of the cartridges retrieved from Sellafield Ltd’s Pile Fuel Storage Pond and First Generation Magnox Storage Ponds. “A few years ago …

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Bean Loader Finally Released for Android

Make your own Bean Bot an program it from your phone using the LightBlue Bean. (Photo credit: Punch Through Design.)

Building a robot controlled via a SmartPhone has never been easier, thanks to the LightBlue Bean. The low-energy, Bluetooth-enabled Arduino microcontroller runs on a 3V coin-cell battery. It even features a few on board sensors, including a 3-axis accelerometer, RGB LED, and a temperature sensor. Made …

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DARPA’s Near Zero Power RF Program Seeks Proposals

N-ZERO-equipped sensors could be helpful when a constant power supply isn't readily available for distributed sensors, but ongoing monitoring is essential. (Photo credit: DARPA.)

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched a new program to develop sensors that consume very little power over time, essentially laying dormant until a particular event occurs and then gathering and relaying data to new relevant people. Known as the Near Zero Power …

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Paint Touch Sensors Right on to Your Bot

Paint and play with Bare Conductive! (Photo credit: Sparkfun.)

Bare Conductive’s Electric Paint ($24.95) is the perfect way to make a robot’s exterior interactive. The paint works just like a button. When correctly connected to the necessary electronics, touching the paint can trigger all kinds of actions. Design paintable buttons that turn on LEDs, play …

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Soldering Sunday’s LED Soldering Practice Kit

Make your own nightlight while honing your soldering skills with this kit from Soldering Sunday. (Photo credit: Soldering Sunday.)

Soldering is an important skill for any roboticist. But it’s wise to practice on something simple and inexpensive, before trying to solder together an actual robot. That’s why the LED Soldering Practice Kit is an ideal first project. Each kit contains assorted LEDs that can be …

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MIT Developing Wireless Trackpad Worn on Thumbnail

Researchers at MIT are working on a discreet remote control device that fits on your thumbnail. (Photo credit: MIT Media Lab.)

Researchers at MIT Media Lab are working on a wireless input device that could act as a very subtle robot remote. Known as NailO, the prototype wireless trackpad is so small, it fits on on your thumbnail. Just stick it on your nail, swipe it with …

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Battle Brewing Between iRobot and Astronomers

iRobot's line of vacuums have been quite successful. Now the company hopes to add a lawn mower to their product line. (Photo credit: iRobot.)

iRobot hopes to sell robotic lawn mowers that use beacons to determine the perimeter of the lawn. The only problem is that the beacons transmit signals in the same frequency range that the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) uses to collect data about galactic evolution, by …

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Cool! Harvest CROO Robotics Is Developing A Robotic Strawberry Picker

Robotic Picker

Harvest CROO Robotics is developing and beginning to test the latest technology for agricultural robotics — an automated strawberry picker. The farming industry, nationwide, has felt the pain and unreliability of human labor. Over $750 million per year is spent in the U.S. picking strawberries alone. Gary Wishnatzki, Co-Founder of …

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Jade Makes it Easy to Get Started in Robotics

The Jade Robot includes an on-board user interface and a wealth of sensors. (Photo credit: Mimetics.)

More than 3,000 students have already worked with the Jade Robot, a well-equipped bot that’s ready to use right out of the box. The robot includes a wealth of sensors, including all-aspect light and object-detection sensors, a spectrometer, and line sensors. Unlike most bots on the …

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Learn About Air Pressure with the Air Power Racer

Learn about an alternative energy source with OWI's Air Power Racer. (Photo credit: OWI.)

OWI is releasing a new toy soon: the Air Power Racer. This easy-to-build product runs on air pressure alone. No battery! No motor! Pump the robot full of air, and watch it go! The air chamber is made from a plastic bottle. If the bottle is pumped with …

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A Small, Inexpensive Electric Wheelchair

Tanner Jensen tries out his open-source, electric wheelchair. (Photo credit: Brigham Young University.)

Students at Brigham Young University have built a relatively cheap electric wheelchair for small children. Two of them, actually. The chairs are for brothers with Spinal Muscular Atrophy: three-year-old Tanner Jensen and 20-month-old Skyler. “Working with the Jensen family made the whole project more meaningful,” said …

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American Science & Surplus – Great Robotics Items and More at Fantastic Prices

Robot Magazine 4_15 copy

When traditional gifts don’t fill the bill, head to American Science & Surplus for the quirky, the quaint and the quintessential! Side by side with microscopes, telescopes and geodes (hence the “Science”) you’ll find the classic model steam engine kit, Chinese rifflers (look it up), the …

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Kuka Teams Up with Microsoft to Improve Industrial Automation

Kuka's Intelligent Industrial Work Assistant. (Photo credit: Kuka AG.)

Kuka AG, a leading manufacturer of industrial robots and automation solutions, have created an intelligent work assistant built with Microsoft Azure Internet of Things (IoT) services. They lightweight robot is on display at this year’s Hannover Messe, threading a tube into a small hole in the …

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