Robotics

Self-driving cars get UK green-light for public roads in 2013

Self-driving cars get UK green-light for public roads in 2013

Self-driving cars will take to public roads in the UK before the end of the year, the UK government has confirmed, though as in the US a human backup driver will be required behind the wheel. Initial trials will see the autonomous cars of researchers such as those at Oxford University venture off the private property they've been tested on so far, and onto quieter rural and suburban roads, a Department for Transport [subscription required] paper outlines, and are part of the UK government's attempt to cut congestion with a total of £28bn ($43bn) in overall investment.

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NASA GROVER rover completes first tests in remote arctic expedition

NASA GROVER rover completes first tests in remote arctic expedition

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover may be the agency's latest space-faring rover, but their newest wheeled robot was recently deployed in the cold depths of Greenland. Called the Goddard Remotely Operated Vehicle for Exploration and Research rover (GROVER for short), NASA took it out into the cold weather to complete a round of tests to see how it would fare in negative 22-degree Fahrenheit weather.

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Nikon teams with MRMC robotic head for futuristic photography at Wimbledon

Nikon teams with MRMC robotic head for futuristic photography at Wimbledon

This week the folks at Nikon have revealed a next-generation photography solution the likes of which have only thus been made possible in a test-run at Wimbledon 2013. This combination of efforts from Nikon and Mark Roberts Motion Control (MRMC) have made a robotics solution for photos shot at angles never before captured at this sporting event. With "difficult angles" and "impossible locations" accessed here, important events will from here on out be able to be seen from a whole new perspective.

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DARPA Virtual Robotics Challenge finalists move forward with life-sized humanoid bot

DARPA Virtual Robotics Challenge finalists move forward with life-sized humanoid bot

As the next generation in computing springs forth, so too does the robots world - and with it, replacements for human beings in dangerous situations. What the DARPA Virtual Robotics Challenge this year is doing is filtering out challengers from across the globe - first from 100 entrants, then down to 26 entrants, then down to a select few or only one team that'll gain the highest prize.

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Volvo self-parking car is the valet you don’t pay

Volvo self-parking car is the valet you don’t pay

Volvo has revealed self-parking tech that allows drivers to drop their car off at a parking garage and have it automatically navigate to a spare space, summoning the vehicle from their smartphone on their return. The system, installed on a Volvo concept car, can not only drive itself to a free location but avoid other cars and pedestrians on the way, without any interaction from the owner.

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Hallucinating AIs could produce the perfect robot maid

Hallucinating AIs could produce the perfect robot maid

Robots that hallucinate humans to better understand a 3D space could one day lead to artificial intelligence not only better equipped to cohabit with us, but to autonomously navigate and interact with new environments. The research, "Hallucinating Humans for Learning Object Affordances" by the Personal Robotics Lab team at Cornell, posits that, for robots to understand the environments they're deployed in, they must model how humans use them. By mapping in imaginary humans - sitting, standing, and in other common poses - the robots showed they were better able to organize objects in the best ways for people to use them.

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iRobot and Cisco Ava 500 dispatches robot reps around your workplace

iRobot and Cisco Ava 500 dispatches robot reps around your workplace

Despite everything Apple is expected to unveil at WWDC today, a corridor-mapping human scale telepresence robot probably won't be on the agenda; for that, we'll have to wait for iRobot and Cisco's Ava 500. Built on the iRobot modular Ava platform, the video collaboration 'bot mounts a Cisco EX60 telepresence screen - complete with HD webcam - on top of a semi-autonomous robotic stand, which can navigate the office and bring remote workers into meeting rooms.

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MindWalker brain-controlled exoskeleton puts the paralyzed on their feet

MindWalker brain-controlled exoskeleton puts the paralyzed on their feet

An eight week EC trial of a brain-controlled exoskeleton potentially promising newfound mobility to those with lower-limb paralysis will finish this week, with the project expected to spark a five year development path to a commercial version. The device, dubbed MindWalker, is the handiwork of a seven partner team coordinated by Space Applications Services, which has been working for the past three years on a motorized exoskeleton that can be controlled and navigated via brain impulses. Now, New Scientist reports, the European Commission will assess the results, having funded the project so far.

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