Robotics

Watch new MIT Mini Cheetah robots flip for your amusement

Watch new MIT Mini Cheetah robots flip for your amusement

The latest from MIT's Biomimetic Robotics Lab is a demonstration of the advancements made in the Mini Cheetah. This is not to be mistaken for the non-mini Cheetah as developed by Boston Dynamics. While the Boston Dynamics Cheetah is a relatively large and exceedingly FAST robot, the MIT Mini Cheetah is best known for its backflip! And other super-impressive feats of far more affordable four-legged robot action than what B.D. is doing at the moment.

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Harvard researchers RoboBee is powered by soft artificial muscles

Harvard researchers RoboBee is powered by soft artificial muscles

In the past small robots like the RoboBee developed at Harvard were packed with hard parts that were fragile and could be destroyed in an impact with a wall or other robot. The scientists behind RoboBee have developed a new and resilient version of the robot that is powered by soft artificial muscles that can crash into things without being damaged.

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Misty’s robotics master plan is more Android than R2-D2

Misty’s robotics master plan is more Android than R2-D2

Misty II doesn't look too pleased to see me when I sit down in front of the new platform robot, and even with only a pair of cartoon eyes to express itself, there's no doubting the glare. A stroke across the touch-sensors on the back of its head is enough to make it coo with pleasure, however. I feel like I may have begun what could be an interesting friendship, though for the moment I'm not the person Misty Robotics is trying to convince.

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M-Blocks 2.0 revealed: Now these cube robots can collaborate

M-Blocks 2.0 revealed: Now these cube robots can collaborate

Almost exactly six years ago, we reported on the first iteration of the self-assembling cube robots called M-Blocks. Since then, they've become exponentially more radical. Here in October of 2019, the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) revealed their newest edition of the robotic cubes they call M-Blocks 2.0. The newest edition has many upgrades, the most amazing of which is a communication system with which the blocks can communicate, and thereby collaborate.

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Uber Eats drone won’t actually deliver food to your doorstep

Uber Eats drone won’t actually deliver food to your doorstep

When you hear about delivery drones, you probably envision large flying machines that will drop, hopefully slowly, a package right at your doorstep. Most of the time, that is an accurate picture as far as the likes of Amazon or even UPS are concerned. Uber, specifically its Uber Eats arm, is curiously doing it the other way around. It just revealed the design of its planned meal delivery drone that will, almost ironically, leave the actual delivery in the hands of humans.

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Sphero RVR programmable robot rover now available for purchase

Sphero RVR programmable robot rover now available for purchase

Sphero may have gotten out of the business of making licensed robots, particularly for Disney, but it hasn't turned away from its core spirit: making programmable robots that appeal to both kids and adults alike. It seems, though, that it is taking a break from robot balls but not from things that roll. After a highly successful turn at Kickstarter, Sphero is bringing its latest RVR to consumers, educators, and students around the world to give them the chance to experience what it may feel like to control and program a space rover.

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Mantis haptic robot arm is simple enough for anyone to use

Mantis haptic robot arm is simple enough for anyone to use

Researchers at the University of Bristol have designed a new robot arm that could be the low cost and easy to use the robotic device of the future. The team calls the robot arm Mantis, and it was designed to offer a lightweight, affordable, and accessible haptic force feedback device. Haptic feedback aims to simulate the sense of touch.

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New MIT algorithm helps robots rapidly pick up and sort items

New MIT algorithm helps robots rapidly pick up and sort items

Though we're not yet at the point where robots can take fully take over warehouse jobs, technology is rapidly developing toward that end goal. One big issue surrounding robots in these jobs is their ability to sort items. Unlike boxes, which are neatly stacked and easy to grasp, small unpackaged items introduce randomness into the mix, requiring a robot to do a bunch of thinking about how it will grasp the items. This takes a fair bit of time...or at least it used to.

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This is the Spacebit moon spider

This is the Spacebit moon spider

This bit of robotics from the folks at Spacebit is known as "The Walking Rover". It's effectively a moon spider - albeit with 4 legs instead of 8, and a box-like body of metal rather than organic. It's powered by the sun via solar panels and stores energy on rechargeable batteries. It weighs around 1.3kg, works with Swarm Intelligence, is part of a Modular Robotics Platform, and it can jump.

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Bandai makes STEM fun with Algoroid, Zeonic programmable robots

Bandai makes STEM fun with Algoroid, Zeonic programmable robots

With a heavy focus on technology these days, kids that get exposed to related subjects at an early age get a distinct advantage over their peers. In the Society 5.0 future that Japan envisions, such subjects may, in fact, become a necessity. Educators, schools, and companies have long been pushing the STEM (now STEAM) category to acclimate kids better to sciences and maths. And what better way to capture kids' attention than by bringing the millennia-old benefits of play to combine toys and technology in the one thing that best mixes them both: robots.

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ANA Avatar-in lets you “teleport” to places using robots

ANA Avatar-in lets you “teleport” to places using robots

As one of Japan's major airlines, All Nippon Airways or ANA knows just how many people wish they could go places easily. It also knows just how much that travel is beyond the reach of most people, even when it is necessary to reach out to or help a loved one. That is why parent company ANA Holdings is developing a new platform called "avatar-in" that will let you "teleport" your consciousness even when your body can't. And it is starting with a robot arm that can cook or even fish for you in your stead.

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Nissan taught two robots to make one-off car parts and it’s mesmerizing

Nissan taught two robots to make one-off car parts and it’s mesmerizing

Robots are for mass-production, craftspeople are for one-offs, at least that's how it usually goes, but Nissan is upending that by teaching machines to make one-off parts with techniques more familiar to human workers. Dubbed "dual-sided dieless forming" it may be a bland name but the process - where two robots work together in mesmeric symmetry - could have a huge impact on niche production.

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