Robotics

Robotic Extrusion does 3D printing with a robot arm

Robotic Extrusion does 3D printing with a robot arm

A pair of researchers are working on a new robotic 3D printing system that has been dubbed Robotic Extrusion. The process uses a 6-axis robotic arm that is able to print items thanks to a print head attached to the arm. The goal of the project is to eliminate the line between designing and fabricating. For instance, the system could be used by architects to provide something other than flat drawings and construction notes to teams of builders.

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Sartorial robots sew fashion and robotics together

Sartorial robots sew fashion and robotics together

Move over self-lacing shoes. While you're still bidding your time to fulfill childhood dreams, a fleet of these tiny robots might already be busy zipping up clothes. Adam Whiton from MIT's Personal Robots Group is introducing a new kind of robot, one that does not fly, does not clean, and does not cuddle. These "sartorial robots" have one purpose and one purpose only, to give a more human appeal to robots by incorporating them into one of the most human pursuits of all: clothing.

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Spot is BigDog’s kickable little robot brother

Spot is BigDog’s kickable little robot brother

About two years ago, DARPA and Boston Dynamics unveiled the gigantic and strange-looking BigDog, a quadruped robot that was intended to be a pack mule of sorts and engineered to walk on any type of terrain. Now Boston Dynamics is revealing Spot, which might as well be named as MediumDog, because LittleDog is already taken. Although also a quadruped, it is substantially smaller in size and was designed for use both indoors and outdoors, able to overcome any sort of terrain, even stairs. And yes, you can kick it too and it will pick itself up.

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RoboChop lets you carve foam blocks using a robotic arm via the web

RoboChop lets you carve foam blocks using a robotic arm via the web

CeBIT 2015 kicks off in Germany in March and one of the cool things that will be on display at the show this year is called RoboChop. RoboChop is an industrial robot arm that is controlled via a web app. The arm has a supply of yellow polystyrene blocks that people can carve using the arm from the web. There will be four different RoboChop arms at the show carving out yellow blocks.

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Japan’s Henn-na hotel will greet you with human-like robots

Japan’s Henn-na hotel will greet you with human-like robots

Here's another one for the "only in Japan" books. A rather "forward-looking" hotel will be opening in Nagasaki later this July with a touch of high-tech fanciness you only read about in books or see in movies. But aside from the usual amenities you might imagine, there are some features that you can't, or rather, wouldn't want to imagine. In addition to the human staff that the hotel will be employing, it will also make use of 10 robots, three of which will stand, or sit, behind the check-in counter.

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SAFFiR, The Navy’s firefighting Robot is all fired up

SAFFiR, The Navy’s firefighting Robot is all fired up

Automation is the name of the game, and with machines taking over people’s jobs left, right, and centre, many are getting worried about one day receiving that dreaded pink slip. According to some recent research conducted for Forbes Magazine, Robots will take 45% of all jobs in the not too distant future. Well, one job most people won't be too sorry to let go to a machine is fighting fires aboard ships. Considered incredibly dangerous, this job will soon become a lot safer for humans, courtesy of the US Navy's very own SAFFiR.

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Henn na: Japan’s first robot hotel

Henn na: Japan’s first robot hotel

Located within Huis Ten Bosch theme park, Henn na Hotel will be staffed by robots. Not entirely by robots - not at first - but at least in past by what the company calls "Actroids". These actroids come from the Kokoro, the animatronics division of Sanrio (better known for their brand Hello Kitty!) The actroid has been developed over the course of the past 11 years, having first been developed by Osaka University in 2003. These androids will greet you, carry your luggage, and make you a lovely cup of coffee.

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DALER: vampire-inspired robot can fly and walk

DALER: vampire-inspired robot can fly and walk

This robot can crawl around on all fours - and it can fly. If you're terrified at the possibility that the future will be run by a robot race that's far superior to humankind thanks to their ability to both walk and fly, turn back now. What we're seeing here is the future of transformer-like technology, bringing LIS, EPFL, and NCCR Robotics together to bring home the gold with a winged metal creature that can crawl. This is DALER, otherwise known as the Deployable Air-Land Exploration Robot, and it's been inspired by a vampire bat.

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Here come the drug drones

Here come the drug drones

This week a quadcopter drone landed - rather badly - in a Mexican supermarket parking lot carrying more than its average payload. Instead of carrying just a camera and its propellers, this particular drone was carrying meth. A whopping 6-pounds of methamphetamine, in fact, with intent to distribute. Tijuana police are investigating the drone's origin and destination, but currently have no significant (public, anyway) leads on how this situation came to be. This may, in fact, be the point at which drones begin breaking bad.

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Care-O-bot 4 is a multi-purpose robot launching later this year

Care-O-bot 4 is a multi-purpose robot launching later this year

Robots are the next big thing, and we've seen more than a few examples in the recent past. There's the Personal Robot, for example, and there's the hotel-centric Botlr that satisfies customers' most basic desires. Joining them is an update to the Care-O-bot, bringing it up to version 4, and with the update comes some big improvements thanks to the technology that has been developed over the last several years. Care-O-bot 4 looks like something out of Wall-e, and it can do everything from bring you a flower to use a laser pointer integrated into its arm.

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YouTube videos teach robots to cook

YouTube videos teach robots to cook

When it comes tasks like cooking, humans naturally know all the little steps that are required for doing something as simple as taking a cup out of the cabinet and filling it with milk. Robots on the other hand have to be taught all the little motions and steps like opening and closing cabinet doors, setting the cup down, opening the milk, pouring, and then closing the milk and putting it away.

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Slackbot Bot is a robot crafted from a Roomba and tornado siren

Slackbot Bot is a robot crafted from a Roomba and tornado siren

If you've an old Roomba lying around and a desire to tinker, the Redpepper team has demonstrated how far you can take your little robotic vacuum. Using the aforementioned Roomba, as well as a tornado siren, a Raspberry Pi, and a bit of creative ingenuity, they cobbled together the Slackbot Bot, which rolls around following commands like giving someone a high-five and making announcements like "it's taco Tuesday". We've got a video of it checking bathroom occupancy, playing music, and more after the jump.

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