Robots

Researchers build a robot using smaller robots called “smarticles”

Researchers build a robot using smaller robots called “smarticles”

The building of a robot typically involves the same sort of components no matter what the purpose of the bot is. Robots need things like motors, actuators, body segments, legs, and wheels. Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have created a larger robot using smaller robots known as "smarticles." Smarticles is short for smart active particles.

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UCLA OsciBot is powered and steered by light

UCLA OsciBot is powered and steered by light

Researchers at UCLA have created a new design for a swimming robot that is powered and steered by constant light. The robot the team devised is called the OsciBot and it moves by oscillating its tail. Researchers hope that the design might eventually lead to designs for ocean-going robots and autonomous ships.

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MIT autonomous robot boats gain the ability to change shape

MIT autonomous robot boats gain the ability to change shape

Back in June, we talked about some new autonomous robot boats that had been invented by MIT. These boats were designed to find and attach to each other while floating in the canals of Amsterdam to pick up trash. MIT has announced an improvement to its robotic boats that could make them more efficient at picking up garbage.

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DARPA Subterranean Challenge kicks off tomorrow

DARPA Subterranean Challenge kicks off tomorrow

DARPA is hosting its DARPA Subterranean Challenge Systems Competition this week. The challenge runs August 15 to 22 and is being held in mining tunnels under Pittsburgh. Among the teams from around the world participating in the event will be a NASA JPL team that has wheeled rovers, drones, and climbing robots that can scale obstacles.

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Berkeley researchers create cockroach-inspired robots

Berkeley researchers create cockroach-inspired robots

The common cockroach is hard to kill, and scientists at Berkley have modeled new, small robots on the roach. The smaller robots are about the size of a cockroach and are nearly as hardy as the insect as well. The scientists say that if you try and crush this robot under your foot odds are it will simply keep going.

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This robot cat Kiki thinks learning AI can win where other home robots failed

This robot cat Kiki thinks learning AI can win where other home robots failed

Building a companion robot is harder than you might think, but startup Zoetic AI believes its cutesy cyber-cat Kiki has the personality it takes to reach the mainstream. Resembling a cross between a bowling pin and a manga kitty, Kiki aims to do what Jibo, Kuri, and others failed to, earning a spot on your desk by virtue of its infinitely flexible AI-powered personality.

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Toyota robots to let people enjoy the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in a new way

Toyota robots to let people enjoy the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in a new way

Japan is most famous for its sushi, anime, and, of course, robots so it's only natural that those will have a big presence in next year's biggest international sports events. It's also not surprising that Toyota, who has branched its robotics out into the mobility market is playing a big role in mixing the 2020 Olympics and robots. Don't expect giant mechas and Gundams, though, as Toyota's army of non-frightening robots will work to let people experience the event in a unique way, even from afar.

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Tiny 3D printed robots are nearly invisible

Tiny 3D printed robots are nearly invisible

Scientists are working hard to perfect tiny robots that can work with more of their kind to perform tasks on a larger scale. The tiny robot seen below was created by Georgia Tech and is called micro-bristle-bot. The scientists say that these tiny robots might one day work in groups to sense environmental changes, move materials, and possibly one day repair injuries inside the human body.

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MIT’s artificial muscles could benefit robots and medical devices

MIT’s artificial muscles could benefit robots and medical devices

MIT has taken inspiration from the way a cucumber plant grows to create contracting fibers that imitate the coiling-and-pulling mechanisms that the cucumber plant uses to pull itself upwards to get the most sunlight. The team says that the contracting fibers could be used as artificial muscles for robots or used in prosthetic limbs or other mechanical and biomedical applications.

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US Army details its 2020 plan to test robotic combat vehicles

US Army details its 2020 plan to test robotic combat vehicles

The United States Army has announced plans to test robotic combat vehicles starting in March 2020 at Fort Carson in Colorado. During that time, soldiers will participate in an operational test of modified Bradley Fighting Vehicles (tanks) called Mission Enabler Technologies-Demonstrators (MET-Ds). The test will influence future autonomous vehicle projects conducted by the US Army.

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Tiny robots work together to complete complex tasks

Tiny robots work together to complete complex tasks

Researchers at EPFL have developed a group of small robots that weigh only 10 grams each that are able to work as a group. The small robots are inspired by trap-jaw ants; individually, ants only have so much strength and intelligence. As a colony of ants, they can complete sophisticated tasks and evade larger predators.

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Atlas and Valkyrie robots navigate rough terrain thanks to IHMC software

Atlas and Valkyrie robots navigate rough terrain thanks to IHMC software

When people talk about robots taking over humans' jobs, they're mostly talking about those robots that come in incorporeal, digital-only form. It's going to be a very long while before humanoid or even bipedal robot can pose a fictional threat to humans. They can't even walk on uneven terrain without toppling over. That has been one of the challenges of DARPA's contests and IHMC Robotics may have developed a way for the likes of Atlas and Valkyrie to learn how to step through treacherous land.

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