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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 ...

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