Robot

Flexible robot gets color changing capability

Flexible robot gets color changing capability

If you're the sort geek who really likes robots, you may remember last November when I talked a little bit about a soft robot that was designed to move like a starfish. The robot was made from a soft and flexible rubber material and used compressed air pump inside the structure to move. One of the key attributes of the soft robot was its ability to move underneath a pane of glass that was only 2 cm off the ground.

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MIT robot plane deletes the pilot

MIT robot plane deletes the pilot

When the robots come for you, at least they won't scratch the walls. MIT research into autonomous flight has delivered a robotic plane that can thread its way, at speed, through enclosed and indoor conditions, without requiring preconfigured flight plans or GPS navigation. The plane has significantly longer flight time than autonomous helicopters, though introduced a fair few problems of its own.

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Earthworm robot developed at MIT for tiny science missions

Earthworm robot developed at MIT for tiny science missions

Designers at MIT have created an autonomous robot with the ability to inch forth like an earthworm while it remains impervious to most bashes, drops, and rough terrain. It's called "Meshworm", and Sangbae Kim, the Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, notes that it's a new step towards squeezing through tight spaces and navigating rough terrain in the future. Will we see a robot earthworm plodding around Mars the next time we head out? We shall see!

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Vigilus security bot: The purple triangle of death (or scolding)

Vigilus security bot: The purple triangle of death (or scolding)

There are a lot of uses for robots today with law enforcement, security, and military personnel. The military, in particular, is making an ever-increasing use of robots for dangerous tasks such as clearing buildings where enemy soldiers may be hiding and searching for bombs. In the enterprise space, robots are being increasingly used to help a smaller number of humans patrol a larger area. A company called Gamma Two Robotics has announced a new robot called the Vigilus Mobile Camera System aimed at enterprise security.

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Kuratas mech brings us one million dollar step closer to Gundam

Kuratas mech brings us one million dollar step closer to Gundam

You remember Suidobashi Heavy Industries, don’t you? The company previously created a 12.5ft tall mech prototype, that was partially controlled using Microsoft’s Kinect sensor. It wasn’t quite ready back in April, but the company showed off a completed version of the Kuratas recently in Japan. On top of that, Suidobashi has created a video detailing how to use the Kuratas, which you’ll be able to purchase down the line for a cool $1.3 million.

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Ford uses RUTH robot to quantify interior comfort

Ford uses RUTH robot to quantify interior comfort

I've never really sat back and thought about how you could realistically and repeatedly determine how comfortable the interior of a vehicle is. Sure you can sit in one car, then sit in another, and come up with an arbitrary decision that one is more comfortable than the other is. However, if you want hard data to prove scientifically just how comfortable things are between two vehicle interiors, how exactly would you pull that off?

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i-SODOG robotic canine obeys your smartphone

i-SODOG robotic canine obeys your smartphone

Major Japanese toy manufacturer Takara Tomy is developing a new breed of robotic dogs. Similar to the company's i-SOBOT humanoid robot, the i-SODOG also features several joints fitted with custom designed servo motors and comes with a dedicated remote control. However, the i-SODOG can also be controlled via your smartphone.

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Japanese MH-2 shoulder bot is just plain weird

Japanese MH-2 shoulder bot is just plain weird

This is one of the strangest robotic inventions I've ever seen. What you're looking at is a small shoulder mounted robot that you can wear. It reminds me of one of those good angels that sat on the shoulder of the cartoon characters of my youth. You know the sort that popped up when someone wasn't sure if they should do something good or bad.

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Smart Tripod wins Microsoft Robotics @Home Competition

Smart Tripod wins Microsoft Robotics @Home Competition

Inventor / developer Arthur Wait of Silicon Valley took home $10,000 this week for winning Microsoft's most recent Robotics @Home Competition with his fabulous new Smart Tripod. This device takes several components such as the Eddie Robot Platform, a Kinect, and a Microsoft RDS 4, and creates a perfect companion for the at-home do it yourself aficionado. This tripod is a robot we would not mind keeping in the corner for daily use, that's for certain!

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Japanese robot readied for nuclear reactor

Japanese robot readied for nuclear reactor

Robots have their many uses, and one of the most important relates to disaster response efforts. One such unit was sent by the US to the Fukushima power plant after it was damaged by the earthquake and flooding last year, but Japan is hard at work creating its own such units. A robotics lab has created a second prototype that will eventually be used at Fukushima once it has been fully completed.

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