Robotics

MIT researchers create robot controlled by exoskeleton wearing human

MIT researchers create robot controlled by exoskeleton wearing human

If the DARPA robotics challenge has taught us anything, it's that creating a robot that can do basic things a human is capable of is very difficult to do. Robots in the DARPA challenge routinely fall down performing the most basic tasks like walking and are far from where they need to be to help humans in the real world. A group of researchers at MIT have taken a different approach to making a robot that can perform human tasks.

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Sphero SPRK edition gets education rolling

Sphero SPRK edition gets education rolling

Sphero might have been commissioned to create what could be the new Star Wars mascot, but it's definitely not pouring all its resources into that lone one hit wonder. While its main focus is still on its programmable robot ball, it is expanding its reach beyond just grownups. With the new SPRK edition, Sphero is trying to entice inquisitive young minds to take and adventure into the world of robotics, programming, and, in the final analysis, science and technology. All the while probably thinking they're just playing with a rather sophisticated toy.

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This Lego robot is controlled with a Lego exosuit

This Lego robot is controlled with a Lego exosuit

Now here's a Lego creation that's impressive! A humanoid robot with arms and legs is controlled with a wearable Lego exoskeleton. It should be obvious by now that this isn't an official upcoming kit from the Danish toy maker, but rather a DIY project from engineer Danny Benedettelli. The setup is powered by an Arduino hobbyist board, and the exosuit wearer is able to send commands from several feet away. When the suit's arms move, the robot's follow the same motion.

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Water Strider Robot can jump on water

Water Strider Robot can jump on water

If you look at the surface of a calm lake or pond, you will probably see little mosquito-like bugs zipping around the surface of that body of water. Those little bugs are known as striders and they are able to walk around on the surface of the water without getting wet. One of the things that striders are able to do is to jump off the surface of the water without breaking through the surface.

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Thor robot wins 2015 RoboCup in China

Thor robot wins 2015 RoboCup in China

There are more robotics competitions around the world than you can shake a stick at. Some of these competitions have robots trying to do things like drive cars and navigate obstacles in an effort to create a robot capable of saving people in a disaster. Other competitions are more laid back and feature robots that are designed to do human things like play soccer. A robot called Thor built by researchers from UCLA and the University of Pennsylvania has won a big soccer match.

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Sony to launch Aerosense drone company with ZMP

Sony to launch Aerosense drone company with ZMP

With some of their core businesses not doing well, you'd think Sony would want to hunker down and focus its resources on getting those in tip-top shape first. Instead, the Japanese tech giant is spreading its wings, almost literally. Now it is getting into the unmanned aerial vehicles or UAV, more popularly known as drones. In fact, it is partnering with old friend ZMP to start a new company named "Aerosense, Inc.", to be incorporated in August, to develop and launch the ultimate spy drones.

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ReWalk exoskeleton allows paraplegic to walk the streets and stairs

ReWalk exoskeleton allows paraplegic to walk the streets and stairs

ReWalk Robotics has an exoskeleton that is designed to allow paraplegics to walk again. That exoskeleton is called the ReWalk Personal 6.0. The man strapped on the exoskeleton and used it to walk up and down the streets of New York City. ReWalk says that it always intended the exoskeleton to be used in the community and that it didn't want to create a device only usable in physical therapy settings.

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NAO robot becomes self-aware very briefly

NAO robot becomes self-aware very briefly

OK, maybe now it's time to start worrying. While artificial intelligence has been making considerable progress, the doomsday scenarios painted by science fiction are still years, if not decades, away in the absence of one critical factor: self-awareness. Now that might actually start to be a concern. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professor Selmer Bringsjord demonstrated how those cute and polite NAO robots have been able to gain an extremely short instance of self-awareness. OK, maybe we don't need to panic just yet, but it's a start.

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Forget humanoid receptionists, Henn na Hotel has a dinosaur

Forget humanoid receptionists, Henn na Hotel has a dinosaur

If it weren't bad enough that robots might be taking over our jobs and our lives, some might even take the form of robot dinosaurs. Perhaps playing to the recent Jurassic World film, the Henn na Hotel in Japan, which opens Friday, a robot dinosaur, not in the playground or garden, but behind the receptionist's desk. Yes, this dinosaur is the receptionist, or at least one of two robot concierges at the hi-tech hotel. But don't be worried about being lost in dinosaur speak. Strangely enough, this is the one that speaks English.

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Amazon Echo’s weirdest talent is making you feel heard

Amazon Echo’s weirdest talent is making you feel heard

Amazon’s Echo is a lot of things - shopping companion, music player, portal to Wikipedia - but its most surprising feature says more about human comfort with next-gen electronics. Echo’s cleverness is in the cloud; the black column of its local hardware is really just a gateway to that remote functionality. Yet it also has to satisfy a few core requirements, such as demonstrating attentiveness. The solution Amazon came up with is both simple and elegant.

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3D printed robot built like a squid, hops like a rocket

3D printed robot built like a squid, hops like a rocket

A squishy, explosively-bouncing robot might herald the next age of 'bot design and could almost be a robo-squid, if only it had a beak. 3D printed robots aren't new, but this is the first time graduated layers of hardness have been used, allowing the explosion-powered blob created by engineers led by Nicholas Bartlett at Harvard University to not only adjust the direction it bounces off in, but to deform in a controlled way on landing that balances preserving the electronics while landing elegantly.

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BUDDY robot is your family pet, guard, nanny, and more

BUDDY robot is your family pet, guard, nanny, and more

Did Softbank's hot selling Pepper robot leave you yearning for some robot love? The BUDDY might be a fit for your. Sure, he (or it) may not be as emotionally mature as Pepper, or anthropomorphic for that matter, but BUDDY is poised to be more functional and therefore more useful at home. Almost like the perfect butler, BUDDY can perform many tasks like waking each family member up, guarding the hose when everyone is away, turn off smart appliances, or even play with your kids.

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