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  Human beings make tools. Animals make tools. A tool gives an advantage over adversity and guarantees survival. Will the same happen if a robot makes a tool?     Researchers at ETH Zurich are on a mission to not only have robots make tools, but they are teaching the bots how to use them. Their goal is to simplify the complexity of this type of robot, while at the same time giving it extraordinary capabilities like creating its own parts, fixing itself, and even creating other r ...
USB connected interactive plant (via AkihabaraNews & Keio University)   If the Japanese have not already created enough unusual devices, they have one more invention to add to their list. Researchers from Keio University have created plants that interact with their surroundings. The plants are programmed to show different emotions through their movements by using data collected from sensors. The movements that match with specific emotions were chosen by having many people show how they ...
  The United States already has the most powerful army on the planet. However, to them, that is not enough. Recently they have been looking for proposals to develop a new smart ammo feed system. Sandia National Laboratories has developed and tested a self guided bullet that has the ability to change its path slightly during flight. The army states that the new weapons will help increase lethality while decreasing collateral damage.     Sandia's smart bullet is an impressive new ...
  As I am sure your mother told you, dogs are a huge responsibility to take care of, and if you don’t have the time, chances are you do not have the energy. But, this does not deter many people from getting dogs anyways. For this reason, the company Go-Go Dog Pals has created an interactive dog toys that run on energy that is not your own.     The latest Go-Go Dog Pals creation is a remote control car designed to withstand the predatory chase of the dog. This is not your o ...
(Left) Burritob0t platform (Right) The bot does not print the tortilla, unfortunately (via Marko Manriquez)   Robots have been showing their love for making food over the past few years like Suzomo’s SushiBot which can pump out thousands of the tasty rolls and the MIT BakeBot that mixes up cookie batter ingredients from scratch. It seems all the major cuisines are being slowly represented from our mechanical friends, but none have the unique technique of printing up delicious burritos ...
Arduino robot used for promotion of RobotC (via RoboMatter)   Robotics and software coding can be daunting to a beginner, but software company RoboMatter works diligently to make these fields accessible to beginners and hobbyist. Their software is already compatible with LegoMindstorm and others platforms alike that aim at brining robotics to the main stream. Now, RobotC has announced they will expand their code to be compatible with one of the biggest development  board platform ther ...
In a move that is likely to be replicated by many companies in the coming decades, Japanese company Canon announced they will completely automate the manufacturing of cameras. Jan Misumi, company spokesman, made the announcement this month, that in the next few years, the company will completely rely on robots to produce their cameras.     This gargantuan move will be made in an effort to cut cost, Misumi explained. Of course, many worry that this trend of robotic automating will lead ...
  My childhood dream is almost a reality, a real life Transformer. Designed by Kenji Ishida and JS Robotics, the bot houses 22 servos to perform the transformation. In robot form it is based on the widely copied bipedal humanoid platform. You can see these humanoid bots in a lot of competitions in Japan. There is no information on the bot at JS Robotics   This bot is the latest in a series by Kenji  Ishida, version 8 to be exact. See version 7 below.   Cabe ...
  Wilfried Stoll and an engineering team from Festo in Germany have designed a robot that can compose and perform its own music after ‘listening’ to a melody. The robotic system, called Sound Machines 2.0, simulates two violins, a cello, a double bass and a viola with each using only one string. The string is loosened to change notes by an electric DGE drive unit that runs parallel to the string with a pneumatic cylinder that moves a wooden hammer which strikes the string to pla ...
  (Left) Egestion Vessel for the EcoBot III  (Right) Sludge and water distributor for EcoBot III (via Bristol Robotics Laboratory)   Robots are not only difficult to design and build, but they are also a challenge to handle after a project has ended. Robots are manufactured using resilient materials but many are toxic and non-biodegradable and so have a negative impact on the environment if they are not retrieved and disposed of safely.     Dr. Jonathan Rossiter from ...
Concept of the crybot (via Stone Aerospace)   Exploring other planetary bodies is both costly and risky for human explorers. While money is a big factor in celestial exploration, the time and resources it takes for a human to travel extraplanetary is the biggest factor. How would we get the fuel to travel back to earth? What about food and what toll would it have on human bodies travelling that long, even to our closet neighbor Mars? These are some significant hurdles for us as humans, but ...

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