This past August, MIT unboxed the impressive Atlas Robot for the DARPA Robotics Challenge, revealing a rather massive piece of machinery complete with various tethers that provide it with fluid and other necessities. In the next six or so months, MIT aims to get rid of those cables, among other things.
The possibility of us needing a jumping robotic kangaroo in the future is very slim, but it's good to know that the technology behind it is already being worked upon. Germany's robot developers Festo are known to have some innovative concepts, adding to the list is this BionicKangaroo, one that mimics the animal's gait and jump.
SociBot-Mini is a 60-centimetre-high bot that can adorn a friend’s face and even predict your mood or guess your age. Spooked? The brainchild of Will Jackson and his colleagues at Engineered Arts in Penryn, UK, the robot has many human features like a transparent plastic face, nose contours, mouth and eyes. Most of these features are highlighted due to the backlighting which is enhanced with a digital projector.
iRobot's Ava 500 smart telepresence robot has gone on sale, autonomously mapping out your office, industrial facility, or anywhere else, and then allowing you to remotely log in and wander around it chatting to those physically there. Announced last year, Ava 500 blends Cisco's video conferencing with iRobot's autonomous robotic base; unfortunately, that sort of remote intelligence doesn't come cheap.
Before you can finish reading the title of this post and this sentence, The Cubestormer 3 Robot would have solved the Rubik’s Cube puzzle about three times or more. Bazinga! This is no prank, but the honest truth, and those who attended the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham, UK, got a chance to catch the action live. For simple folks like us at home, we do have a YouTube video that shows you how the cube was solved in 3.253 seconds flat.
In the world of robotics, a faction of the field focuses on what is termed soft robotics. In the case of some MIT researchers, their soft robotics work have resulted in a form of fish made, in part, with moving fluid. Even better, the robotic fish are able to swim, which is demonstrated in a video we have after the jump.
Bridging the gap between experiencing and learning is the Baxter Robot by Rethink Robotics. A group of undergrad students from the University of California, Berkeley, are currently learning how to code robots by working with the Baxter. This the same kind of robot that builds cars, assembles smartphones and is now teaching the college kids.
Motion-tracking startup Thalmic Labs has been showing off what its early developers can do with a muscle-reading Myo armband and a little imagination, with the new peripheral already integrated with Oculus Rift, capable of remotely controlling mean-looking robots, and more. The company isn't planning to ship broadly until midway through this year, but its Myo Alpha Developers program is underway, and already the ideas are proving diverse.
Willow Garage, a research lab focused on robotics with many notable achievements under its belt, shut down last month, reports Bloomberg. The business decision was made by founder Scott Hassan, who has elected to work full time as CEO of Suitable Technologies, a company that resulted from work done at Willow Garage.
Robotic termites capable of building complex structures without requiring human supervision, prior programming, or even intercommunication could change the way construction, emergency services, or even space exploration are managed, borrowing swarm behaviors from nature. The TERMES project, handiwork of the self-organizing systems research group at Harvard University, has taken four years to create a scalable artificial intelligence system made up of simplistic robots that together can create towers, pyramids, and castles, even erecting temporary staircases to allow them to climb higher.