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  The Dexterous Anthropomorphic Robotic Typing Hand, DART Hand, developed at Virginia Tech has demonstrated the ability to type 20 words per minute, and two in tandem can handle 30 words. Researcher Nicholas Thyer and Shashank Priya want to gear their robotic hand towards helping the elderly with various tasks, such as typing, reaching, grasping objects. The DART can mimic the human hand's 40 muscles with 19 servo motors. The construction of the hand came from rapid prototyping techniques, ...
Eavesdropper

Robot Marathon

Posted by Eavesdropper Feb 25, 2011
  Osaka Japan: Robot maker Vstone and the local government is hosting a marathon of 26.2 miles. But really just 423 circuits of a laid out track in a big room. The bots must walk without assistance, if they fall over they must get up on their own, charging is the only allowed human interaction. Vstone's Robovie-PC robot is in the lead at the moment, but over the 4 days it will to complete the race anything can happen. See more at the Vstone site.     UPDATE: The Vstone Robovie-PC ...
  Let's hope the maze is small enough so it can be solved in 15 minutes. After 30 minutes of charging, Tankbot here, give your 15 minutes of play. What I like about this toy is its ability to interface with the outside world in a semi-autonomous way. It appears that the bot has an infrared sensor/detector on the front used for navigation. It must make a simple map of its surroundings. I want to get one to just take it apart. If anyone knows more about this toy, let me know. E ...
Georgia Tech's "Cody" robot is getting a new member of its product family, the M1. This robot, at a meer $340,000 USD, Has a Kinect enabled head, 5 megapixel ethernet digital camera, arms with six-axis-force-torque sensors at the wrist, force controlled grip, and an omni-directional mobile base. With ROS, KDL, URDF, and calibration free, the possibilities are endless. Not enough for you? The M1 has upgrades. Four digit fingers, humanoid head, ears, additional sensors, and most importantly, expre ...
The ReCon 6.0 Programmable Rover is designed for kids to have fun with robot control. The toy allows the user to "program" in various commands to do things like carry something to a location, say prerecorded messages when people walk by, or act as a sentry. Although it looks like it has a camera, that is but a microphone and speaker in the head. The way to program this bot is from the front display panel. One can program it to follow an intricate map based on feet. The code is a sort of psudocod ...
At the "Yao Robot Fair 2011" A bot named "RURO" captured a lot of attention. Matec Yao, a group of companies in Osaka Japan, built this robot to teach children about recycling. The three year old annual even is growing in popularity, and hopes to spur more people into robotics and electronics. The TURO bot is 2' (60cm) tall, plays messages, walks slowely, raises arms, and has a spinning light on its head. For the record, RURO's automation is from Kondo KRP-4024HV servo motors. RURO needs to be ...
  The US Government wants to help verterans that have lost limbs in this latest robotic artificial limb project. After $100 million dollars, the reults let the user control the limb via implants directly connected to the brain. "The silver and black arm can rotate, twist and bend 27 different ways, mimicking the action of a natural limb," said Geoffrey Ling, program manager for the revolutionizing prosthetics program run by the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency." Ultimate ...
  The long-gestating Anybots telepresence robot finally started shipping this month, and now we can see it out and about in the wild.  In this case referring to a coffee shop in Palo Alto, California.  Anybots has evolved into a stick-thin telepresence system on wheels, looking something like an anemic Segway with a head. That head consists of two cameras (the ‘eyes’) and a fedora-looking top piece that houses a video screen. It enables the user to sit in presumably sl ...
Minoru Asada, a professor of Adaptive Machine Systems at Osaka University in Japan and head of the JST ERATO Asada Project, along with two of his colleagues; Hisashi Ishihara, a PhD candidate at Osaka University; and Yuichiro Yoshikawa, from the Dept. of Adaptive Machine Systems at Osaka University have developed a child-like robot platform called Affetto. The robot is designed to make a limited number of realistic human facial expressions in order to allow humans to interact with the robot in a ...
It looks like a starfish made of soft plastic. When air is blown into it through a thin tube it comes to life and the starfish closes like a hand. It does this so gently that it can grasp a raw egg without breaking it. This starfish-like grabber is the prototype for a pneumatic soft robotic arm made of soft plastic that has been introduced in the journal ‘Angewandte Chemie’ by George M. Whitesides and his team at Harvard University. Whether used in the production of machines or moder ...
  Merging art and industry, a performance art piece recently on display in London has at its center an unlikely star: an industrial robot whose former career was in automotive assembly. Conceived and directed by Aurelien Bory, the show is a meeting between man and machine, exploring the sometimes-blurry lines between the two as two human actors/acrobats interact with the powerful, massive robot arm. The robotic arm joins other artistically-inclined robots at center stage, positioned quite l ...
A musician has harnessed the power of two Nintendo Wiimotes to become a cyborg percussionist with the robo-band Jazari. His playing of one drum machine can evoke an automated response from another, so that he can go around the drum circle in a beautiful display of human-robot improvisation. The man behind the machine, Patrick Flanagan, is a composer who cites music theory, music cognition, and machine learning as the three ‘chin-stroking disciplines’ that influence his work. He creat ...
  Ask anyone who has ever tried to squash one, cockroaches are masters of quick and precise movement. Now Tel Aviv University is using their maddening locomotive skills to improve robotic technology too. Prof. Amir Ayali of Tel Aviv University's Department of Zoology says the study of cockroaches has already inspired advanced robotics. Robots have long been based on these six-legged houseguests, whose nervous system is relatively straightforward and easy to study. He and his fellow research ...
  When you think 'robot,' you probably don't picture balloons. But Carnegie Mellon University's Siddharth Sanan is working to change that vision. Sanan, a Ph.D. candidate in the university's Robotics Institute, has developed a first-of-its-kind robotic inflatable arm. His work is especially intriguing as the boomer generation ages and the use of assistive robots are expected to increase. “Robots that are completely soft, such as those using inflatable elements, can be utilized for saf ...
Surgeons of the future might use a system that recognizes hand gestures as commands to control a robotic scrub nurse or tell a computer to display medical images of the patient during an operation.  The ‘vision-based hand gesture recognition’ technology could have other applications, including the coordination of emergency response activities during disasters. Surgeons routinely need to review medical images and records during surgery, but stepping away from the operating table ...
Toyota and Waseda University have developed a system enabling the assisted-living robot TWENDY-ONE and people to pass each other safely. Publicly unveiled in 2007, the robot was designed and built by researchers from Waseda University’s Sugano Laboratory to help the elderly or disabled lead more independent lives. A special feature of TWENDY-ONE is its combination of dexterity with passivity and high-power output. TWENDY-ONE is equipped with high output actuators based on a simple passive ...
Social network for robots? A group of robotics engineers at the University of Technology in Eindhoven are developing an Internet for robots; a kind of online database from which robots can download instructions and to which they can upload ‘experience’. According to its creators, their RoboEarth system will allow robots to share information and learn from each other, allowing the benefits of machine cognition and learning to proliferate through a network of bots. Cue the SkyNet compa ...
Computer scientists don't usually see their labs filling up with dozens of mothers and their infants, but it  happened to Rajesh Rao as he embarked on one of his most recent experiments. In order to discover what it takes to make an infant engage with a robot as if it were a sentient being, he had to get his hands on the real thing. In order to test whether or not gaze-following is important for discerning the sentience of an artificial being, Rao allowed babies to watch adults interact wit ...

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