Robots

AiFoam helps robots interact with their environment

AiFoam helps robots interact with their environment

Researchers at the National University of Singapore have created something they call AIFoam. The material is a smartphone designed to give machines a more human-like sense of touch, allowing robots to judge human intentions and respond to changes in the environment. Artificially innervated foam, or AIFoam, is a new material that's soft and spongy. It's designed to mimic the sense of human touch and can sense nearby objects without actually having to touch them.

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MIT creates a robot for untangling hair

MIT creates a robot for untangling hair

There are some activities of daily living that many of us take for granted, such as being able to untangle and brush our hair. For people with disabilities or limited motion, the simple act of brushing the hair is often something that requires someone else to help. Researchers at MIT have created a robot that's able to help with untangling and brushing hair.

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BOBbots are tiny robots able to perform tasks as a group

BOBbots are tiny robots able to perform tasks as a group

Researchers from Georgia Tech have been conducting experiments designed to show the simplest of robots can still accomplish tasks. The team created a group of robots they call BOBbots, which stands for "behaving, organizing, buzzing bots." The robots are made using a cylindrical chassis with vibrating brushes underneath and lose magnets on the periphery. The magnets cause them to spend more time at locations with more neighbors.

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NYPD cancels contract with Boston Dynamics for police robot

NYPD cancels contract with Boston Dynamics for police robot

The New York Police Department had a contract in place with Boston Dynamics for a quadruped robot known as "Digidog." The robot came under fire by representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after a video of the robot being used on patrol in a Manhattan housing project went viral. The video sparked backlash, with some comparing it to the TV series "Black Mirror."

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Disney Project Kiwi robot brings kid Groot to life

Disney Project Kiwi robot brings kid Groot to life

We've all seen our fair share of animatronic characters in theme parks. Save for a few exceptions, almost all of them are obviously fake, even the ones made to look humanoid. Boston Dynamics may have ruined some people's images of bipedpal and quadrupedal robots but, for many robotics engineers and scientists, the holy grail is still to produce a believable simulacrum. Disney's Imagineering R&D arm may be finally close to that goal as it reveals its Project Kiwi platform that almost convincingly recreates the lovable character, Groot.

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Researchers develop a new tool to design more complex DNA robots

Researchers develop a new tool to design more complex DNA robots

Researchers from Ohio State University have announced the development of new software called MagicDNA. The software is a new development tool that can allow scientists to design much more complex DNA robots and nanodevices than were possible before. The software enables researchers to design ways to take very small strands of DNA and combine them into complex structures with components such as rotors and hinges that can move to complete various tasks.

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Domino’s autonomous pizza delivery robot doesn’t need tipping

Domino’s autonomous pizza delivery robot doesn’t need tipping

Domino's Pizza is working on replacing the traditional delivery person, with a new pilot of a robot courier going autonomous instead. While the pies and pepperoni may be the same, rather than a college kid in an old Prius it'll be a Nuro R2 that handles transportation to your door.

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MIT rapid development system creates robot starfish in hours

MIT rapid development system creates robot starfish in hours

MIT has developed a new system meant to build a robo-starfish for studying underwater marine life quickly. Researchers say that when trying to study marine life, it helps to use a device that doesn't scare the animals by appearing unnatural. The newly created robo-starfish is built using a new rapid development system that can create the robots in hours rather than weeks.

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Soft robotic dragonfly detects environmental conditions in water

Soft robotic dragonfly detects environmental conditions in water

Engineers at Duke University developed an entirely soft robot shaped like a dragonfly designed to skim across the water's surface and react to environmental conditions. The robot, called DraBot, is entirely electronics-free and reacts to environmental conditions like pH, temperature, or the presence of oil. Researchers believe that the proof of principle demonstration unit could be the precursor to a more advanced autonomous and long-range environmental robot able to monitor for a range of issues.

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Robots are learning to move using multi-contact locomotion

Robots are learning to move using multi-contact locomotion

We've all been moving through cluttered areas, or perhaps after a night of too much partying, at some point in our lives and put out our arms to help brace ourselves on nearby objects. Robotics researchers are now teaching bipedal robots to move using their arms and their legs. The team says that humans have used multi-contact locomotion throughout history to navigate tricky environments, and robots are now learning to use the same skill.

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MIT robot senses hidden objects using penetrative radio frequency

MIT robot senses hidden objects using penetrative radio frequency

Researchers worldwide have been working hard to give robots the ability to better sense the environment around them. Before robots can work side-by-side with humans, they have to be able to sense humans and other objects for safety and to be useful. Researchers from MIT have developed a new robot able to sense objects, even if hidden from view, using radio waves.

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Boston Dynamics’ new robot skips animal designs for warehouse work

Boston Dynamics’ new robot skips animal designs for warehouse work

Boston Dynamics has a new robot to simultaneously wow and terrify, with Stretch moving away from the human or animal body style of the company's other 'bots with a far more practical design instead. Unlike Spot, Boston Dynamics' robot dog, which has been designed to be as flexible as possible in how it can be deployed, Stretch is focused on warehouse automation, and specifically for moving boxes around at speed.

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