Robotics

Quadriplegic uses mind-controlled robotic arm to eat chocolate bar

Quadriplegic uses mind-controlled robotic arm to eat chocolate bar

Jan Scheuermann, a 36-year-old mom of two, was diagnosed with spinocerebellar degeneration after slowing losing the ability to move her limbs. Now, more than a decade after becoming a quadriplegic, Ms. Scheuermann was able to feed herself a piece of chocolate via a robotic arm that she controlled with her mind. In doing so, she proclaimed, "One small nibble for a woman, one giant bite for [brain-computer interface technology]."

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NEC boosts people-spotting tech for robots and CCTV

NEC boosts people-spotting tech for robots and CCTV

Tomorrow's robots and security systems could be able to face-recognize three times as many people using a fraction of the processing power, according to NEC. The company's new large-scale image processing tech can track and identify faces and clothing - as well as potentially suspicious behavior - for three times the number of people in-frame simultaneously, compared to existing systems, a potential boon not only to security installations in airports and shopping centers, but for your friendly home robot.

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iRobot Scooba 390 and 290 hands-on

iRobot Scooba 390 and 290 hands-on

This week we've had the chance to catch up with the folks at iRobot who have let us in on several new robotic cleaning machines in their Scooba and Roomba lineups. In our interview with the group we started out with the iRobot Scooba 390, a device that works with a four-stage cleaning process for a scrub-tastic cleaning of your large flat floor - toss out your mops! We had a peek at the iRobot Scooba 290 next, made much tinier to make with the small bathroom cleaning - gotta get behind those porcelain thrones, after all.

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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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Roomba makers iRobot trialling RP-VITA medical robot

Roomba makers iRobot trialling RP-VITA medical robot

iRobot, the creators of the popular Roomba cleaning robot, have created a medical assistant dubbed RP-VITA (Remote Presence Virtual + Independent Telemedicine Assistant) aimed at being used in hospitals. RP-VITA is the result of a $6 million investment in InTouch, with the robot able to navigate hospitals using a myriad of sensors, such as sonar, a laser range finder, and two cameras. The robot is also able to intelligently create a map of the designated hospital, although it’s primarily navigated using a joystick by a remote doctor.

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NASA Robonaut 2 Simulator stack now available for public download

NASA Robonaut 2 Simulator stack now available for public download

The real Robonaut 2 may be up in the International Space Station helping astronauts with day-to-day activities, but now NASA is giving you the chance to have your own Robonaut 2 to experiment with (in a manner of speaking). NASA recently released the Robonaut 2 Simulator stack through ROS (Robot Operating System) and is inviting those with the know-how to download the stack and see what they can get the virtual Robonaut 2 to do.

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Scientists develop most advanced robotic legs yet

Scientists develop most advanced robotic legs yet

Scientists from the University of Arizona have developed the most accurate robotic replication of human legs that take it beyond just human-like movement. The robot, which can walk just like a human, will be able to help them understand how human babies start learning how to walk and how to better treat spinal related injuries.

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