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Tag Archives: sensors

Soft Robot Hand Handles Breakables

The fingers on this soft robotic gripper have sensors that estimate the size and shape of an object accurately enough to identify it from a set of multiple items. (Photo credit: Jason Dorfman/CSAIL)

Researchers from MIT have created a robot hand that can handle your fine breakables. Daniela Rus of MIT’s Distributed Robotics Lab demonstrated the 3-D-printed robotic hand which was made out of silicone rubber. The three-fingered bot can handle items as delicate as an egg and as thin …

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Move Your Muscle and Move Your Robot, Too!

Flex your arm, raise that sword! (Photo credit: Pololu)

Ever wanted to make a robot that could move along with you? A muscle sensor from Advancer Technologies will make the interface easy! The sensor tracks and amplifies the complex electric potential generated by muscle cells. It then converts it into a simple analog signal that can …

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SparkFun 9 Degrees of Freedom IMU Breakout

Sparkfun's LSM9DS1 Breakout Board provides a ton of movement data. (Photo credit: Sparkfun.)

Measure velocity, acceleration, and heading with one integrated circuit: Sparkfun’s 9 Degrees of Freedom IMU Breakout. The product has a 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, and 3-axis magnetometer. That’s right: nine degrees of freedom in IC! Each sensor has a wide range, too. The accelerometer’s scale can be …

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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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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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ZX Distance and Gesture Sensor

Detect simple gestures and find the ZX coordinates of objects in your robot's path! (Photo credit: Sparkfun)

This little infrared emitter and detector combo can be used a few different ways, when hooked up to an Arduino. Each of the IR emitters are housed in copper tubes, so the detector (located in the center of the board), should only pick up infrared light …

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Transparent Robot Skin With Flexible Touch Sensors Created

The transparent, flexible and sensor-laden skin shown above could lead to a revolution in robotics. (Photo credit: University of Exeter.)

Robots might one day sport a transparent, sensor-rich skin, thanks to a recent advance in graphene production. The new approach is significantly cheaper and easier than previous methods. The research team, led by Professor Monica Craciun from the University of Exeter, say the material produced is …

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Energy Efficient Solar-Powered Sensors

The magnified detail of the chip shows the main control circuitry, including the startup electronics; the controller that determines whether to charge the battery, power a device, or both; and the array of switches that control current flow to an external inductor coil. (Photo credit: MIT)

Establishing a network of environmental sensors all over a forest is one thing. Keep the circuits properly powered is another. Imagine traipsing around the forest to replace 600 batteries every week! Makers need systems with ultra-low power sensors that can efficiently harvest energy from the environment. Researchers at …

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Expand Your Sensing Capabilities with a Vernier Shield

Sparkfun's Vernier Interface Shield makes it easy to connect multiple sensors made by Vernier Software and Technology. Photo courtesy of Sparkfun.

Imagine moving beyond the basic light, ultrasonic, infrared and touch sensors to really explore your environment. Now you can easily connect all of the sensors made by Vernier Software & Technology to your Arduino project, with the Vernier Interface Shield from SparkFun. Vernier has been making …

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Smart Prosthetic Skin is Robust and Sensor Laden

Researchers have developed a skin smart enough to sense its environment and robust enough to tackle everyday tasks. Photo courtesy of Jaemin Kim et al.

A new skin for prosthetic hands can sense a lot about its environment. Sensors embedded through the material can detect temperature, pressure, moisture, and strain. The stretchable skin, which is made of gold and silicon, also includes stretchable multi-electrode arrays for nerve stimulation and electroresistive heaters to help …

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Upgrade Your Appliances with littleBits Smart Home Kit

With the littleBits Smart Home Kit, you can upgrade your appliances and devise your own inventions for around the house. Photo courtesy of littleBits Electronics.

LittleBits Electronics released a new kit Tuesday, intended to make it easy for anyone to make old, dumb appliances smart. The Smart Home kit includes 14 components, called Bits, which can be magnetically snapped together for easy inventing. Want to get a text message when your husband leaves the freezer door open …

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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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