Robot

Algorithm teaches robots how to fall gracefully

Algorithm teaches robots how to fall gracefully

If you have ever watched video from humanoid robot competitions, chances are you have seen a robot fall. Watching toddlers can tell you that it can be hard for humans to keep their balance, but we all have built in instincts to put our hands down to brace the fall and protect ourselves from injury. Robots don't have instincts, so they have to be taught how to fall gracefully and that is where a new robot algorithm comes in.

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Four-legged robot uses drone companion for trouble-scouting

Four-legged robot uses drone companion for trouble-scouting

Teams of robotics designers and researchers around the world are working hard to develop four legged robots with the aim of carrying equipment and supplies for workers and troops in the field. Part of designing those robots is devising a way that the bots can handle rough terrain without causing more harm than good for the humans working with them. A team of robotics designers from ETH Zurich's Autonomous Systems Lab has a new bot that pairs two systems for scouting terrain ahead.

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Harvard’s robotic bee gets swimming ability

Harvard’s robotic bee gets swimming ability

Harvard’s robotic bee, aptly dubbed RoboBee, has been updated with new powers, in this case, swimming. The device is smaller than a paper clip and equipped with wings that allow it to fly around like an insect. It’s not the first tiny robot we’ve seen, but it is quickly becoming one of the most functional. Recently the researchers working on RoboBee revealed that it can now swim in water, making it suitable for at least two types of environments.

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Soft robotic hands no longer crush your objects

Soft robotic hands no longer crush your objects

Researchers at MIT have created a robot with the ability to identify the objects it picks up - at least their dimensions - by touch. This robot is working at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and utilizes a 3D-printed hand made with silicone rubber. Each of this robot's three fingers has sensors that, working together, are able to estimate the size and shape of an object. This system is accurate enough to allow the robot to identify objects from a set.

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Researchers use origami to build crawling, jumping robots

Researchers use origami to build crawling, jumping robots

One robot can can crawl on four "legs" without the need for any sort of motor. Another can jump to seven times its height. Both can fit on the palm of one hand. Yes, these are not your average robot and are not even close to any humanoid robot you may have seen. They look more like metallic origami figures, and that isn't that far from the truth. In fact, the researchers at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne or EPFL in Switzerland call these robots as "robogami".

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Russian researchers make realistic robot cockroaches

Russian researchers make realistic robot cockroaches

Russian scientists have created what they say is the smallest robot ever, and it comes in the form of a lowly cockroach. The robot walks like the insect and, excepting up-close examination, looks like it, too. Unlike real cockroaches, though, this small robot could serve humanity is some important -- and maybe bothersome -- ways. As one example, robots could slip through cracks to search for survivors under rubble.

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Giant baby faced robot used to study infant expressions

Giant baby faced robot used to study infant expressions

Sure, a robot walking through the woods on its own is a bit disconcerting. A robotic big cat that can run you down? Worthy of some consternation. A robot with a giant baby face, though? Downright creepy. At least one such creation exists, however, thanks to a project by researchers at US San Diego. Among other things, the team found that babies and comedians have something in common.

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This iPad on a stick is camping out for the iPhone 6s

This iPad on a stick is camping out for the iPhone 6s

One Australian has come up with a brilliant way of being one of the first in line to buy the new iPhone 6s, but not need to waste several days standing in front of the Apple Store. Lucy Kelly has a telepresence robot, which is basically an iPad on a mini Segway, holding her place fourth in line at the Sydney Apple Store. Kelly uses an app to broadcast her face on the tablet, while also allowing her to communicate with anyone standing nearby.

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Boston Dynamics’ Spot robo-dog being tested by Marines

Boston Dynamics’ Spot robo-dog being tested by Marines

DARPA and Boston Dynamics’ robotic dog Spot, which we talked about back in February, is now being tested by the Marine Corps for possible use in warfare situations. DARPA trained Marines located at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico on how to operate Spot, which weighs 160 lbs. Among other things, Spot is being tested as a way to search for enemies ahead of Marines entering a building.

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Rock Paper Scissors robot wins every time and cheats to do it

Rock Paper Scissors robot wins every time and cheats to do it

A robotic hand developed by researchers from Japan isn't out to make a better prosthetic or perform some sort of hard labor. This robot hand is designed to play rock, paper, scissors and it always wins. Always as in 100% of the time and it is able to win by cheating and it is intended to highlight the potential of the human-machine interface of tomorrow not highlight the trustworthiness of robots.

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