Robotics

Tiny self-folding origami robot walks, swims, and then dissolves

Tiny self-folding origami robot walks, swims, and then dissolves

MIT researchers are at it again. This time, a joint research team with TU Munich has developed a self-folding origami robot capable of a range of tasks. The robot can even self-destruct after it completes its mission. The tiny device starts completely flat, and is made from ultra-thin laser-cut polystyrene layers that sandwich a magnet and PVC. The self-folding process is instigated by placing the tiny machine over a heating element. The PVC then contracts along the laser-cut lines, creating folds. The robot weighs only 0.31g and is 1.7cm long, laid flat. It can "walk" at a top speed of 4 cm per second.

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MIT’s latest robot cheetah can jump higher than you

MIT’s latest robot cheetah can jump higher than you

MIT's Biomimetics Robotics Lab has created a new version of its robotic cheetah. The Cheetah 2 is capable of even more animal-like actions than DARPA's faster and simpler predecessor. The Cheetah 2 can reliably identify and jump over objects up to 40 cm (about 15 inches) high. When it jumps, it mimics the movements of an actual cheetah, creating a double arc as its fore and high legs clear the hurdle.

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Robotic pill being developed as replacement for injection medications

Robotic pill being developed as replacement for injection medications

At some point in the future, you may no longer need to suffer through injections to have certain medications administered. The Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis and the US biotech startup Rani Therapeutics have revealed they will together in developing a "robotic pill" that could simply be swallowed and then deliver drugs to the body via needles made of sugar. This has the potential to make taking certain medication much more convenient for patients, as it could be a new delivery method for drugs that have never been possible in pill form before.

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Disney turns 3D animation into a walking robot

Disney turns 3D animation into a walking robot

In the future, when you see your favorite characters walking around Disney World, they might not be actors inside thick, stuffy character suits, but could be automated robots, instead. The scientific arm of Disney has just created a new method of bringing its animated characters to life. A team of engineers from Disney Research in Pittsburgh and the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University have developed a bipedal, walking robot that moves just like specified 3D animation.

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“Creepy” Google robot toys would be your smart home butler

“Creepy” Google robot toys would be your smart home butler

Google is flirting with the concept of interactive robotic toys, that could provide a personable - or just plain creepy - interface to the smart home. The research, revealed in a recently published patent, is the handiwork of Richard Wayne DeVaul of Google [X], the search giant's unorthodox skunkworks lab: like a cuddly, moving version of Amazon Echo, the robo-pals would listen out for trigger words and then subsequent spoken instructions, capable of responding with not only speech but actions and expressions.

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UC Berkley robot learns from trial and error – just like us

UC Berkley robot learns from trial and error – just like us

Artificial intelligence has the potential to grow even smarter with the latest invention from the University of California, Berkley. There, a research team developed an AI algorithm that uses trial and error to learn from its previous mistakes. The robot carrying out the algorithm is named BRETT (Berkley Robot of the Elimination of Tedious Tasks), and it is a PR2 robot from Willow Garage. UC Berkley's algorithm uses "deep reinforcement learning" to develop an awareness of the robot's surroundings.

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Brain controlled robotic arm lets paralyzed man drink

Brain controlled robotic arm lets paralyzed man drink

Picking up a cup from the counter to take a drink is something that we all do hundreds of times a month without putting much thought into it. The process of picking up a cup is rather complex when you stop and think about it since we have to hold the cup in a way that it doesn’t spill and need to put enough pressure on the cup to keep it from dropping, but not so much that we crush the cup.

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This drone uses origami principles to become foldable

This drone uses origami principles to become foldable

Personal drones are all the rage now, even hitting mainstream media because of rather questionable antics. But not everyone might be interested in hulking quadrocopters the likes of which Amazon plans to use for deliveries. There are, of course, more than a dozen "mini" drones in the market, but these are pretty much just toys with very little strength for any sort of payload. So what to do if you want a slightly more capable UAV that can still fit on the palm of your hand? Try origami.

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Jibo home robot pre-orders re-open

Jibo home robot pre-orders re-open

Multitasking home robot Jibo returns to the pre-order business after its initial funding is accomplished many times over. What you're seeing here is the talking robot known as Jibo, a machine made to interact with your family and friends at home. This machine has a display, camera, and connectivity that'll allow it to be a smart home controller in the future as well. While it started with money from average citizens like you on IndieGogo, Jibo is now a $25.3-million dollar Series A funded venture project.

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Atlas robot gets pushed, doesn’t fall, doesn’t fight back

Atlas robot gets pushed, doesn’t fall, doesn’t fight back

Sometimes you'd think that it's "tests" like these that would have robots rebelling against their cruel human masters in the future. But for now, however, while they still don't have the intelligence to do so, we will keep on poking them. For Science! With DARPA's Robotics Challenge, the most grueling display of non-combative robot resilience, nearing its finals next month, teams like the Institute of Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) are pushing their Atlas robot to the limit, making sure they don't fall. Or don't push back.

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