Robots

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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Disney Research shows off a robot character with fast handovers

Disney Research shows off a robot character with fast handovers

When two people are talking, and one wants to hand the other something, the handover process is done quickly and fluidly. The same can't be said for handovers that are done with most robots. Disney Research has a new system that it says generates a fast and robust handover with a robot character.

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MIT engineers develop a robot that can twist and turn as needed

MIT engineers develop a robot that can twist and turn as needed

Robots have a hard time performing some tasks that humans take for granted. Tasks like reaching behind objects on a shelf to get the one required for a job that situated in the back without disturbing other items on the shelf is an example of a task easy for humans. That sort of task is a challenge for robots, but MIT has a new robot that offers a solution to this challenge.

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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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MIT algorithm for robots that helps them find the door

MIT algorithm for robots that helps them find the door

In the future, autonomous cars will not only take people to and from destinations, but they will also deliver goods without the need for drivers to operate the vehicles. The catch is that no driver means there will be no one to take the packages to the door. Many see robots as the answer to that dilemma.

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MIT’s self-assembling robot cubes can jump and flip

MIT’s self-assembling robot cubes can jump and flip

MIT has announced the development of self-assembling robotic cubes. The cubes can climb over and around each other, jump in the air, and roll across the ground. The robots are now able to communicate with each other, a development that has taken six years to achieve. The communication system the robots use is a simple barcode-like system on each face of the block.

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MIT’s bipedal robot mimics human balance when running and jumping

MIT’s bipedal robot mimics human balance when running and jumping

The future may have big things in store for robots that will help humanity. Goals for robots include helping to rescue humans from a burning building, helping with chemical spills, and helping with any disaster that makes a location inaccessible to human responders. Before the dream of rescue robots can become a reality, the robots have to be able to perform physically demanding tasks.

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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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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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Assembler robots build large structures out of small pieces

Assembler robots build large structures out of small pieces

The structure seen in the image below was built by the two robots using individual pieces called voxels. The researchers working on the robots think that they may one day be able to construct complex objects, such as aircraft or structures on other planets, from multiple individual components. The team says that while commercial aircraft are built in sections today at different locations and then brought together for final assembly, these robots may allow the final assembly to be the only stage of construction.

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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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