Robotics

Cornell University creates soft robotic hand that senses shape and texture

Cornell University creates soft robotic hand that senses shape and texture

Sometimes hands created for robots need to be very strong with the ability to grasp things very tightly and use them. Other times robot hands need to be very delicate to prevent any injury to humans they are working with or damage to fragile items they might be holding. Researchers at Cornell University have invented a hand for a robot that is able to grip things gently and can also sense the shape and texture of the item as well.

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MIT ChainFORM robot is made up of a bunch of small modules

MIT ChainFORM robot is made up of a bunch of small modules

As robotics matures many of the components that go into making a functional bot are shrinking in size and that allows the robots themselves to get smaller as well. The catch is that depending on what the robot needs to do, you may not want the bot to be particularly small. MIT is working on a mobile robotic platform that takes lots of little modules and those modules can be configured on the fly to create a robot of the size you need and the capability you need when you need it. The bot using this modular approach is called the ChainFORM

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TIM robot keeps the Large Hadron Collider in tiptop shape

TIM robot keeps the Large Hadron Collider in tiptop shape

Robots might be thought of taking over human’s jobs or, in the future, the world, but their first real-world uses were in areas too dangerous for humans or for tasks that human physiology just isn’t equipped for. Such is the job of TIM, the Large Hadron Collider’s “security” robot. But unlike what you might think of a security bot, TIM doesn’t protect the LHC and its humans from external threats. Instead, it prowls the innards of the facility, monitoring for environmental dangers to one of the world’s most sophisticated scientific equipment.

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Neato Botvac Connected gains voice control via Alexa

Neato Botvac Connected gains voice control via Alexa

Amazon's Alexa now works with the Botvac Connected with devices like Amazon Echo or Echo Dot. This is just the latest in a long line of devices that are making the jump to smart home congruity with Alexa, making Amazon a voice command leader with several devices for smart home enthusiasts. This is the first official collaboration between Amazon Alexa and Neato - and it probably won't be the last.

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Why Anki’s Cozmo Robot leaps in value this December

Why Anki’s Cozmo Robot leaps in value this December

Anki's Cozmo Robot is set to get an update in December to increase its abilities and expand its intelligence. This will be the first major update to the robot since launch, and Anki suggests it'll be a big one. Anki says their goal is to make the robot grow and learn well into the future so that its owners will never find it boring. At this point it's able to lift cubes, play games with cubes, and speak our name. Next, it gets a whole lot more interesting.

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Jibo delayed to 2017 as social robot hits more hurdles

Jibo delayed to 2017 as social robot hits more hurdles

Delayed robotic companion Jibo will miss yet another launch promise, with the release of the ambitious crowdfunded project now pushed back into 2017. The robot, first revealed in mid-2014, is intended to package the power of the cloud in a voice-controlled, face-recognizing body blessed with lifelike movements taught by former Disney animators. Instead, however, it has run into problem after problem.

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Ballu is part blimp and part robot

Ballu is part blimp and part robot

The robotics researchers at the UCLA Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory have created a cool new robot that looks very different from the fancy and complex robots we are used to seeing researchers kick out. This robot is called Ballu and that stands for Buoyancy Assisted Lightweight Legged Unit. It has a body made using a helium balloon and that balloon stands on a spindly pair of legs that look like a crane's legs.

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Robots “skin” uses warmth to identify objects

Robots “skin” uses warmth to identify objects

It’s unavoidable that, for the foreseeable future, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will remain the butt of jokes when it comes to literally hot electronics. After all, heat and electronics don’t make for a good combination. Heat and organics, however, is important, from sustaining life to making sense of the world around us. Roboticists from Georgia Tech are trying to take advantage of the latter to give robots the ability to better identify objects. And they are doing so by giving these robots a “warm skin”.

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Omate Yumi is an Android, Amazon Alexa powered home robot

Omate Yumi is an Android, Amazon Alexa powered home robot

Omate made a name for itself back in the heyday of smartwatches, bucking the trend by putting a full Android OS inside the tiny wearable. Just recently, it made another pioneering effort by putting Amazon’s Alexa front and center, almost literally, of its Limited Edition of the Omate Rise smartwatch. Now with smartwatches believed to be in a slump, Omate is breaking out into new territory, combining everything it has learned so far. The result? An unexpected venture into the niche “family robot” market with Yumi, which puts a face and body to Alexa.

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NASA’s RoboSimian robot destroyed during battery explosion

NASA’s RoboSimian robot destroyed during battery explosion

A NASA robot began smoking and then exploded earlier this year due to a faulty lithium-ion battery, marking the latest instance of this battery technology being, at times, less than stable. The affected robot was NASA's RoboSimian, which had its old battery swapped out for a new one. The battery was charging at the time of the explosion. No one -- except the robot, that is -- were injured.

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Airblock is a programmable modular drone for fun, learning

Airblock is a programmable modular drone for fun, learning

Most consumer drones can be found on two extremes. On one end, you’ve got sturdy, professional drones that cost hundreds of dollars. On the other end, you’ve got simple toys that won’t make you cry when they break but offer little else besides doing a few flips and flops. Drones, however, are just as, or maybe even more, interesting than robotics and can become a vehicle, pardon the pun, for both education and entertainment. Thus, the Airblock was conceived, offering a drone that’s easy to assemble and disassemble and can be programmed like a real robot.

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Self-driving roam your clothes for function or fashion

Self-driving roam your clothes for function or fashion

Forget wearable devices. In the future, you might be using wearable robots instead. No, you’re not getting into a robot suit, of course, but your suit might instead have tiny robots rolling and crawling all over. At least that’s the idea behind “Rovable”, a roving robot “wearable” developed by researchers from MIT and Standford University. While it seems to give a whole new meaning to “creepy crawlies”, the robots’ purpose isn’t whimsical. The goal is to eventually developer robots that can perform anything from activity tracking, notifications, calls, and perhaps even wardrobe repairs.

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