One of the most hazardous of underwater jobs is diving shipwrecks. Divers explore shipwrecks to retrieve objects of historical significance or to help in recovery efforts. The work is so hazardous that much of it is carried out by unmanned robots.
When it comes to flying creations, inspiration is often gathered from a common pool of creatures: birds, insects, maybe a dragon or two. Researchers at New York University went a more unconventional route, and designed a flying robot based on, of all things, a jellyfish. The robot doesn't need water to pull off its gravity-defying maneuvers, however, prompting the creators to call it an "aerial jellyfish".
In what some are calling the first robot suicide (issues of sentience aside), a Roomba reportedly activated itself in an Austrian home and rolled itself over to a hot stove top, where it pushed a cooking pot off the surface and proceeded to wheel around the hot area before eventually melting to the surface and burning up. The Roomba was a 760 model, and amazingly enough managed to burn down to ashes and unfortunate little cogs.
Robotic toys aren't that uncommon on the market today. Some of them are more like engineering projects than toy kits, but others are designed for people that just want to play. Toy manufacturer WowWee has announced a new robot aimed at kids looking for a simple robot to play with.
Earlier this month, comedian Rob Delaney caught attention after tweeting an image of a man performing an, shall we say, invasive exam on a robotic butt positioned in front of a large monitor displaying a virtual doctor's examination room. The tweet provided no details about the image, and not being content with making ample backside jokes, some industrious folks have hunted down the story behind the intriguing image.
iRobot has introduced its latest Roomba vacuum, the Roomba 800 Series. With this latest iteration of the cordless, self-operating vacuum, the company has elected to get rid of bristles in favor of AeroForce technology, which is said to pick up 50-percent more dirt and other trappings than previous Roomba models. There are two rotors in place, each made of rubber with treads, that spins to break up and grab debris. We've got a video of the system in action after the jump.
It doesn't take long for humans to learn knife safety. From an early age, parents drill into the kids that knives are sharp and if you aren't careful you can cut or stab yourself. One significant cut with a knife also serves as a significant learning experience for most people. Robots don't benefit from parenting so it's up to researchers to help train robots how to use knives safely around humans.
What took humans millions of years to achieve, Germany's robotic ape has done in moments, with a research project into artificial spines showing how a quadrupedal 'bot can evolve into a bipedal one. Three months ago, DFKI's iStruct robo-ape was wandering around on all-fours as engineers experimented with human-inspired skeletal systems for potential space exploration. Now, it's able to stand up and move around on two legs.