Robotics

Crushed 6.2 miles underwater: Robo-sub lost at crazy depths

Crushed 6.2 miles underwater: Robo-sub lost at crazy depths

A moment of silence for a fallen explorer: one of the few submarines capable of exploring depths greater than six miles has been destroyed in action, with the unmanned Nereus sub believed to have imploded under the vast pressures of the Kermadec Trench. Neureus, built by the Deep Submergence Lab at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), had already navigated the deepest point in the ocean, Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, spending ten hours at depths as great as 35,768 feet.

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Dean Kamen’s incredible robot arm is good to go

Dean Kamen’s incredible robot arm is good to go

Dean Kamen's robotic prosthetic limb, the DEKA Arm System, has been granted FDA approval, with the DARPA-sponsored project controlled by electrical signals from sensors where it meets the wearer's limb. Dubbed "Luke" - a reference to Luke Skywalker from the Star Wars universe - the arm is a huge step forward from existing mechanical prosthetics, allowing for more detailed uses like turning keys and pulling zippers.

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Dean Kamen Interview: Tech Bubbles and “Pet Rock” Wearables

Dean Kamen Interview: Tech Bubbles and “Pet Rock” Wearables

Dean Kamen doesn't pull his punches. The creator of the Segway and the founder of FIRST - a charity that aims to make science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) as enticing as sports and entertainment for young people across the world - has no time for gimmicks and refuses to allow "consumer fun" to distract him. I sat down with Kamen on the sidelines of the FIRST Robotics Championship 2014, to talk about the ways innovation has evolved, and why he thinks the current crop of wearables will go down in history alongside the hula-hoop.

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LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Review

LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Review

The universe in which this LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 unit exists is not one made for a tiny, limited cross-section of creative children and those that want to see their models move. When you see "10+" on the package for the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3, you’re going to need to understand that this does not mean it’s excellence is relegated to kids. You’re also going to need to recognize immediately that this is not just a toy - it’s a platform.

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Robot Love: Inside Dean Kamen’s FIRST Championship 2014

Robot Love: Inside Dean Kamen’s FIRST Championship 2014

The screaming in the stadium is so loud, I can hardly hear the announcer. Enthusiasm spills from the stands in waves; only gets louder when President Obama appears on the big screen for an unexpected address. The Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis isn’t playing host to the Rams as usual, however; instead, the seats are filled with row after row of students from K-3 up to high school age, all here for the FIRST Championship 2014. Brainchild of Dean Kamen - better known perhaps for being the father of the Segway - this is no ordinary robotics competition.

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Google’s self-driving car takes on Mountain View streets

Google’s self-driving car takes on Mountain View streets

Let’s face it — driving is hard. Potholes, bike messengers, and everyone else’s terrible driving make for an often interesting experience behind the wheel, and that’s with a (hopefully) dynamic human mind. How will a machine react? Can a self-driving car learn all the subtle nuance of the road? Google thinks so, and has shown off their self-driving cars performance in the streets of their home town of Mountain View, California.

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GM Super Cruise self-driving car tech gets virtual playpen

GM Super Cruise self-driving car tech gets virtual playpen

GM is ramping up its self-driving car tests, using a new high-speed 360-degree simulator to test its upcoming Cadillac Super Cruise tech without having to fully build the vehicles first. Cadillac expects the first Super Cruise equipped models - which will take on some of the responsibility when on highways and in traffic - to appear in showrooms within the next 5-6 years, and has in fact already begun real-road testing of some prototypes.

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Honda ASIMO learns sign-language and masters stairs

Honda ASIMO learns sign-language and masters stairs

Honda has revealed a new version of ASIMO, its humanoid robot, now able to climb stairs smoothly and communicate using sign language. Shown off in New York this week, ASIMO may look the same as before to the casual glance, but Honda has in fact reworked both the upper and lower body, including adding extra degrees of freedom to the hands so that they can be used for more precise tasks.

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International Space Station’s robotic crew member gets legs

International Space Station’s robotic crew member gets legs

Robonaut 2 is a robot living aboard the International Space Station with its many scientists, taking on tasks that allow the crew to do more scientific research while it does menial labor. This beast was developed by NASA and GM (General Motors) and will - as of this week - be getting its own pair of Climbing Legs. These legs will allow the robot to be much more versatile than ever before.

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