Skip navigation
Scientists at Tampere University in Finland have trained a strip of plastic to move on its own by responding to light. This is the first time that thermoplastic, a synthetic actuator, has learned how to walk without computer programming. The team published their findings on December 4, 2019, in the journal Matter.   Exposing the plastic strip to light causes it to move. The team had to condition it so that it would be able to respond the same way as it does from heat. (Image Credit: Aalt ...
The DEAnsect is a robust robot that can be twisted, squeezed and bent while retaining functionality. (Image Credit: EPFL)   It’s fairly easy for nature to serve as a source of inspiration when it comes to robotic development, but it’s nearly impossible to replicate nature’s design and features in any given way. Researchers from EPFL’s School of Engineering have developed a soft robotic insect named DEAnsect, which is 4cm in length, weighs less than a gram and uses a ...
Piaggio Fast Forward, a Boston-based company that developed the Vespa, has launched a small, cargo-space robot, called Gita, which follows its owner around on the go and can carry up to 40 pounds of their belongings. The company aims to allow people to use the robot to carry their groceries, gym equipment, or any other items. This enables them to walk around hands-free in various places. Interested buyers can purchase the Gita robot at a price of $3,250 and can choose between red, blue and gray ...
The ClearSpace-1 mission will target a piece of debris in orbit around the Earth. (Image Credit: ClearSpace SA) A quick search here at element14, and you'll find a collection of potential space debris collection strategies. Hopefully, this one will actually do something.   The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced the first-ever mission, called ClearSpace-1, to launch a four-armed robotic space debris collector into space. It will retrieve a piece of space junk from orbit around the ...
Researchers at MIT have built a fabrication system and a design space that can be used to create fluidic chambers and channels at millimeter-scale size for actuating thin film shape-changing materials with a high-resolution design. The project, milliMorph, is a four-dimensional space that can be used to create fluidic chambers that uses a heat sealing system for millifluidic fabrication, and application demonstrations of the fabricated materials for devices, haptics and robotics.    ...
Soon enough, farmers won’t have to worry about spraying their fields with chemicals to keep them weed-free. Small Robot Company (SRC) and RootWave, two agritech start-ups based in the UK, have joined forces to build a high-precision robot that will eliminate weeds by zapping them with electricity.  The weed-zapping service is expected to be available in 2021.   The monitoring robot, Tom, can cover 20 hectares a day, can create maps of weeds on a farm, helping to kill them by u ...
NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft crossed into interstellar medium on November 5, 2018. (Image Credit: NASA)   Last year, on November 5, 2018, Voyager 2 crossed the heliopause, becoming the 2nd man-made spacecraft to leave the heliosphere, the protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields created by the Sun. Located at 11 billion miles from Earth, instruments aboard Voyager 2 were able to take measurements of the particles and magnetic fields as it crossed into interstellar space. On ...
I'm always amazing at swarm robotics and motion control. Spectators who attended the 2019 Nanchang Flight Convention in China were treated to a one-of-a-kind spectacle of 800 choreographed drones that took the shape of a passenger jet, a propeller plane, a helicopter and a fighter jet that illuminated the night sky. The industry event’s purpose was to showcase China’s latest aviation, space travel and drone developments.   The drones took the shape of a passenger jet during ...
Alphabet X’s moonshot division, formerly Google X, has announced a new project, called Everyday Robot, which teaches robots how to perform everyday tasks. The robots can use cameras and advanced machine learning algorithms to see and learn from their surroundings without needing to be coded for every individual movement.   Alphabet X’s robots can learn to sort trash with little to no mistake. (Image Credit: Everyday Robots)   The robots collect and use data from its se ...