Robots

Stanford engineers create a new robot that combines traditional and soft robotics

Stanford engineers create a new robot that combines traditional and soft robotics

One big area of focus for robotics researchers is soft robots that are more appropriate for working directly with humans. Researchers from Stanford University have developed a new kind of soft robot that borrows features from traditional robotics while retaining the ability to move and change shape typically found in soft robots. The team says that a significant limitation of most soft robots that they require an attachment to an air compressor or have to be plugged into a wall keeping them from being able to move.

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Researchers combine low-cost tactile sensor with machine learning to develop robots that feel

Researchers combine low-cost tactile sensor with machine learning to develop robots that feel

Researchers from ETH Zürich have announced that they have leveraged machine learning to develop a low-cost tactile sensor. The sensor can measure force distribution in high resolution and with high accuracy. Those features enable the robot arm to grasp sensitive, fragile objects with more dexterity. Enabling robotic grippers to feel is very important to making them more efficient.

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MIT trains robots to do chores by observing humans

MIT trains robots to do chores by observing humans

MIT says that one day training interactive robots could be easy for anyone to do without having to program anything. Scientists are working on automating robots to give them the ability to learn new tasks by observing humans. The idea is that someday a domestic robot in a home could be shown how to do chores and then perform them for the human.

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MIT has enabled a soft robotic arm to understand its configuration

MIT has enabled a soft robotic arm to understand its configuration

MIT has announced that for the first time, its team of scientists has enabled a soft robotic arm to understand its configuration in a 3D space. It has done this by leveraging motion and position data from the robotic arm's own "sensorized skin." Soft robots are made from compliant materials that are like those found in living organisms.

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Minimally articulated robot can climb its own track

Minimally articulated robot can climb its own track

Researcher David Zarrouk from Ben Gurion University in Israel is known for developing robots that have a minimum number of actuators inside. The latest of his highly mobile robots with minimal actuators is the RCTR or Reconfigurable Continuous Track Robot. The bot manages to change its entire shape on a link-by-link basis using one extra actuator.

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This soft robotic muscle can sweat

This soft robotic muscle can sweat

Cornell University researchers have created a soft robotic muscle that can regulate its temperature through sweating. Thermal management is important for robots and is a basic building block for enabling untethered, high-power robots to operate for long periods without overheating. One of the biggest challenges to robots with those features is thermal management.

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60-foot Gundam robot that walks is being built in Japan

60-foot Gundam robot that walks is being built in Japan

Japan is known for many things ranging from food to anime to, of course, robots. And not just the industrial or cutesy kind, mind, but the fictional ones that come to save the day or play. Of all the robots that the country's creative minds have produced, Yoshiyuki Tomino's Gundam has achieved the widest renown and the most number of recreations. The most ambitious one yet is coming later this year in Yokohama, featuring a 60-foot tall Gundam robot that will be able to walk.

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Samsung announces Ballie, a personal robot that helps you manage your smart home

Samsung announces Ballie, a personal robot that helps you manage your smart home

While many of us expect Samsung to get up on stage and announce phones, tablets, or even TVs, the company threw us something of a curve ball tonight. During a presentation at CES 2020, Samsung announced a new robot companion named Ballie. Ballie almost looks like a real-world BB-8 from the Star Wars sequel trilogy, as it rolls along the floor and helps you with your day-to-day tasks.

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Charmin puts VR on a toilet, Smells on a sensor, TP on a robot

Charmin puts VR on a toilet, Smells on a sensor, TP on a robot

Charmin has a set of three conceptual designs for CES 2020, including a toilet paper-retrieving robot, a smell sensor, and a VR experience for the WC. Before we go too much further, it's important to note, here, that Charmin has expressed that these items "won't be for sale in the future." That's unfortunate, especially given the helpful nature of the rolling toilet paper retriever. The VR experience might be best left in the conceptual universe.

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Samsung C-Lab CES 2020 showcase includes invisible keyboard, humanoid robot

Samsung C-Lab CES 2020 showcase includes invisible keyboard, humanoid robot

Save for the Galaxy Fold, some may criticize Samsung for throwing away its spirit of innovation and experimentation in exchange for consistent profits. That's what the company's C-Lab, formerly Creative Labs, is for, to be its skunkworks arm that allows it to fund those wild ideas without affecting its main products and turn them into profitable businesses afterward. Naturally, Samsung will spare no expense to show off the fruits of its innovation program at CES 2020, some of which may induce head-scratching more than awe and wonder.

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Volkswagen mobile charging robot drives to where electric cars are parked

Volkswagen mobile charging robot drives to where electric cars are parked

One of the biggest logistic problems with electric vehicles or EVs is charging locations. Often you have to drive to these stations that are laid out in sprawling areas to accommodate multiple cars at once. Sometimes, however, the best time to charge such a car is when it's parked but parking spaces are cramped and putting a charging station there could cause a line that will block the flow of cars in and out parking. Volkswagen is almost genius in its simplicity and brings the charging station to the car instead, courtesy of a self-driving robot and its "wagon".

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Tiny robot insects are soft enough to survive a fly swatter

Tiny robot insects are soft enough to survive a fly swatter

Different people have different concepts about robots, ranging from humanoid androids that may or may not be out to get us to unsettling quadrupeds that may or may not be accompanying the police of the future. Few, however, will probably think of robots the size of a fly that has better survivability than the real, organic one. That is exactly the kind of robot that engineering researchers have developed, paving the way for a swarm of intelligent insects that will hopefully not overrun the planet.

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