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Robotics

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This blog post describes improvements and additional features for the Open Source Outdoor Robot platform JECCbot mini which was introduced here: Open Source Outdoor Robot platform JECCbot mini   Battery adapter for Einhell Power X-Change For the next revision we decided to give the option to use power tool batteries. We used the Einhell Power X-Change System ( https://www.einhell.de/en-de/innovations/power-x-change-platform.html  ) because we already had some batteries and chargers at ...
I’ve written several times in recent months about how research into nanobots for use in medicine is exploding, and new discoveries are paving the way to a future where we combat disease, viruses, and cancers at their source. New research from MIT could potentially play a major role in that future, and it’s all thanks to a newly discovered property of the electrical engineer’s old friend, Germanium.   Germanium is one of the fundamental components that make up modern elec ...
When I first viewed the video of the scientist at Boston Robotics pushing and kicking their humanoid robot around, my first thoughts were that this video would one day be used to justify the robotic revolution that enslaves humanity, but then I remembered that Asimov’s laws of robotics would protect us from such an event ever happening… New research suggests that this type of tough love might actually make robots better through so-called “adversity training.”   Pr ...
The field of soft robotics is growing at an exponential rate, and new discoveries in electrical engineering and material sciences are fueling this growth. Recently, a team of scientist from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have published a paper detailing a newly-discovered metallic material that could revolutionize the way flexible origami soft robots are constructed, as well as how they communicate and affect the environment around them.   Traditionally, soft robots are constr ...
A team of researchers a the University of Toronto have unveiled a new electrothermally controlled soft robot that they say could one day change the way humans and robots interact in the manufacturing environment. The team, led by Professor Hani Naguib, conducts research that is primarily focused on smart materials, of which electrothermal actuators, or ETAs for short, are a major focus. ETAs are devices that are constructed from special polymers that are able to be “programmed” to re ...
Imagine sitting on a park bench and watching a butterfly, whos perched on a nearby bush, open and close its wings in the sunlight, but the more you pay attention, the more you realize that the butterfly is not real, and is instead a small robot. This scenario could become a reality in the near future thanks to a new discovery in soft robotics.   Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed a new type of ultra-thin, artificial muscles that en ...
I’m willing to bet that many of you reading this article have at least attempted to solve a Rubik’s cube before, and I bet that many of you have succeeded, but have you tried it with only one hand, and did you do it in 20-minutes or less? A team of researchers at OpenAI, a San Francisco-based research lab, has developed a one-handed robot that can do just that. I know what you are thinking right now. Robots have been able to solve Rubik’s cubes for years, but this particular ro ...
Teaching robots how to handle, manipulate, and transport various objects is key to advancing automation technology, and one way to teach robots how to better move objects is to create a large dataset that can be used to train a robot how to respond to the way various objects react when moved. Factors like the object’s shape, weight, mass distribution, and friction all play roles in how an object moves.   Researchers at the Massachusets Institute of Technology (MIT) have been working ...
  My mother’s generation witnessed man first entering space, and the subsequent moon landing by Neal Armstrong, and Buzz Aldrin, but for my generation, the excitement of watching humans walk on the moon in realtime has yet to happen. Instead, we were there to witness all of NASA’s Mars rovers launching and landing on the moon. For us, space exploration has been less about the human element and more about utilizing technology in the form of robotics to safely explore areas of ou ...
With soft robotics and wearables becoming an increasingly competitive field, researchers are scrambling to discover new materials that will push the technology to the next level. One major hurdle that has to be overcome is how to create a material that can simulate the same sensitivity characteristics of human skin, and while so-called “tactile skin” currently exists, it requires a nest of semi-rigid wires to function. The problem with rigid wiring is that it’s messy, induces i ...
The world of soft robotics and wearables is experiencing a technological boom right now with new advancements being made in stretchable and flexible lithium-ion batteries (insert links), thin printable circuits, and even printable photovoltaics. Now a team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University has developed a new material that could revolutionize the way soft-robotics are thought about and developed.   This new material adapts its shape based on environmental conditions and elect ...
We have all see the videos of the intriguing yet somewhat frightening performance of Boston Dynamics’ humanoid “Atlas” robot running and jumping on top of boxes in dimly lit warehouses, but researchers at the University of Virginia School of Engineering in collaboration with researchers from Harvard University have developed the first robotic tuna fish that is more lifelike than anything before it. In a recently published, peer-reviewed, paper, the team which was led by Hilary ...
I seen this posted by VMWare on LinkedIn of all places and it is a beautiful example of mixing Art, AI and Robots and Human-Robot Collaboration to create an amazing Art display.  The interview with Artist and Researcher Sougwen Chung is part of VMWare's Radius - Stories at the Edge series which covers a wide range of topics.  Here they ask Sougwen 20 questions to get her input on how humans and robots can collaborate to create great works of art.   It's very inspiring.   h ...
Traditionally if you wanted a robot to be able to move about in a controlled manner, you would build a drivetrain of some sort that comprised of very specific parts that were designed to do a very specific task. As robots continue to get smaller and smaller every year, engineers are constantly having to devise new methods to give these small robots precise and stable motion. A group of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Northwestern University has come up with what could be ...
Small robots are beginning to play major roles in medicine, and there is clear evidence that nano-robots will play an even larger role, but researchers are still working out how to fabricate and automate those tiny robots. Recently, engineers from MIT have developed a new 3D printing method that is able to create tiny robot-like structures that are easily manipulated with magnetic fields. This is possible thanks to a special ink that is infused with microscopic magnetic particles. As the ink is ...

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