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Prosthetic wearers all have a common goal in mind – to regain the functionality of an amputated limb. While their prosthetics may restore some degree of movement, it doesn’t carry the feeling of touch when it’s worn. Now scientists at the University of Utah are on the right path to changing that with their latest prosthetic creation. There have been attempts on developing prosthetics capable of providing the wearer with sensation, but those sensations aren’t very precise, ...
The LightSail 2 spacecraft developed by Planetary Society is now operational, without any issues in orbit, while the mission team at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in California follows procedures to ensure the LightSail 2 spacecraft is ready for sail deployment.   LightSail 2’s deployment date has been set for Sunday, July 21st. (Image Credit: The Planetary Society) After a successful launch on July 2nd, the team was able to establish two-way communications with the spacecraft, and ...
NASA’s four-limbed robot LEMUR has successfully climbed a cliff in Death Valley and is now inspiring future climbing robots. LEMUR has four limbs and 16 fingers equipped with hundreds of tiny fishhooks. (Image credit: NASA)   NASA has been sending robots and rovers to Mars for years, but their capability for exploration is limited, especially when it comes to hard to reach places. To tackle this, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California developed the climb ...
These jumping robots were inspired by real-life ants in terms of their movement and how they work together. These bots use infrared and proximity sensors to communicate with one another. (Image credit: EPFL)   Size isn’t necessarily a disadvantage. Just think about ants. They’re small, but a team of ants working together can move objects larger than their bodies. By coming together, they can tackle larger than life tasks. This served as the inspiration for new tiny robots with ...
The 1967 U.N. Outer Space Treaty appears to be outdated when thinking about where space exploration is headed next. Is it time to update the space treaty? Probably. (Image credit: pixabay)   When man first landed on the moon 50 years ago, no one could’ve guessed one day there’d be talks of space tourism, asteroid mining, off-Earth settlements, and missions by private companies like SpaceX. With a renewed interest in space exploration, many are questioning the 1967 U.N. Outer Sp ...
Researchers at the University of Cambridge have developed an iceberg lettuce harvesting robot dubbed the ‘Vegebot.’ Using machine learning algorithms, the robot can learn how to recognize and harvest the lettuce despite any challenges it may face. Now being used as a prototype, Vegebot showcases how machinery, like robotics with algorithms, can progress in agriculture, even for crops that may be difficult to harvest for robots, like iceberg lettuce. Originally trained in a lab enviro ...
Canadian tech company Kinova Robotics’ Jaco arm is the newest addition to robotics for those with accessibility needs. The new lightweight, carbon fiber arm attaches to a power wheelchair, giving the user a transformative life experience by using the technology for everyday life. Jaco comes with three fingers and six degrees of freedom. Kinova Robotics offices are located in Canada, Germany, and the U.S., and their technology has improved over the years, especially when it comes to fine gr ...
The new solar-powered RoboBee uses four wings to propel itself without a tether. The newly updated RoboBee X-Wing. (Image credit: Harvard University)   A few years ago, Harvard University introduced RoboBee, a flying robot that took inspiration from birds and bats to conserve energy. Now, researchers have introduced their latest version dubbed RoboBee X-Wing. Not only does it have four wings instead of two, it can now fly on its own without the need for a power tether. Instead, it uses the ...
The synthetic circulatory system pumps an energy-dense hydraulic liquid that stores energy, transmits force, and actuates the fins of the robotic fish. (Image credit: Cornell University)   Scientists from Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania have created a synthetic circulatory system of sorts that pumps “blood” capable storing energy, transmitting force, and actuate the fins of a robotic lionfish. Most untethered robots use actuators, gears, batteries, and oth ...
  I’ve been on a synthesizer kick lately. Check out my Micro:bit WAV Sound player, and from there all the other synth project.   When it comes to synthesizers, people generally think of analog or digital technologies. This time, Gamechanger Audio took a different approach and used motors to generate sound. They used eight high-precision brushless motors, similar to the ones found in drones. Shipping is expected this December but can back it for $899 on Indiegogo, while the re ...
In 2018, MIT researchers teamed up with BMW to closely observe how human workers and robots might work alongside each other when it comes to assembling car parts. On a factory floor mock-up, the team put together a robot on rails that deliver car parts between each work station, while human workers walked across their path to work at their own station. The robot was designed and programmed to stop functioning if it sensed a worker crossed its path, however researchers realized the robot would ge ...
The Soft ScoopGripper’s has an under scoop that allows for more precise grips (Photo from SIRSLaB)   When it comes to soft robotics, typically the robotic hands adjust its shape to the object it’s trying to grab. But since most of the grasps are of the power type, it usually doesn’t have enough dexterity to make a precise grasp. That may change with a new concept by the engineers from the Siena Robotics and Systems Lab (SIRSLaB). The team has designed a soft robotic gripp ...
An artist rendition of the LightSail 2 above Earth (Image credit: Josh Spradling / The Planetary Society)   Back in 2015, LightSail, the Planetary Society’s Carl Sagan inspired solar sailer, took flight. The kite-like aircraft was proposed as a way to guide satellites around space using energy from the sun instead of chemical fuel. The mission was a success proving the photon-powered craft was possible. Now, SpaceX is gearing up for round two. SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket will ...
  This isn’t the first time seeing robotic furniture or Ori Living’s furniture efforts. Glad something is on the way.   IKEA has started a collaborative effort with American furniture start-up company, Ori Living to develop a shape-shifting robotic furniture system called Rognan. The aim is to create a more suitable living environment in compact housing units and can be controlled through a touchpad, enabling the system to slide across a room, separating it into two space ...
Researchers used a team of AI agents with reinforcement learning to beat humans in capture the flag mode in Quake III. (Image credit: DeepMind)   Alphabet’s DeepMind AI has already beaten the best at Go, Shogi, and chess, and now Quake III can be added to its list of gaming achievements. The difference this time around, is that instead of just one player playing against another, it was team VS team in the popular first-person shooter’s capture the flag mode. In the game, teams ...