Robots

MIT scientists improve sensory perception for soft robotic grippers

MIT scientists improve sensory perception for soft robotic grippers

Scientists at MIT are researching soft robotics, which is robotics that use flexible materials rather than the traditional rigid materials. The capabilities of soft robots have been limited due to the lack of good sensing. A robotic gripper needs to feel what it is touching and the sense the position of its fingers, a capability that has been missing from most soft robots.

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Sphero startup will make robots for government and first responders

Sphero startup will make robots for government and first responders

Sphero, the company best known for its BB-8 toy robot, has announced the successful spin-off of its Company Six into a startup that will make robots for the government, military use, and more. Company Six will operate as an independent company, according to Sphero, which says that it will also work on artificial intelligence-based software designed for customers 'who work in dangerous situations.'

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Spot robot dog could soon be tending farms and herding sheep

Spot robot dog could soon be tending farms and herding sheep

Boston Dynamics' more portable version of its BigDog robot is getting around, figuratively and literally. At a time when social distancing and working remotely has become more than just a luxury, Spot's mobility and general-purpose design could be the key to keeping the world turning even with no humans in plain sight. That's the future that New Zealand robotics company Rocos is preparing for, with Spot doing the tedious and often dangerous work that farmers and herders might not be able to do for a while.

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iRobot’s Roomba i7+ robot vacuum has been perfect pandemic company

iRobot’s Roomba i7+ robot vacuum has been perfect pandemic company

You'd think that, after all this time at home waiting out the COVID-19 pandemic, I'd have got around to vacuuming more. Instead I've been offloading most of the responsibility to a robot, with iRobot's Roomba i7+ arguably turning out to be the best company you could hope for (apologies to my spouse and cat) when you're trapped indoors but still housework-averse.

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Sony just teamed up with a robot avatar company with big ambitions

Sony just teamed up with a robot avatar company with big ambitions

Sony and remotely-controlled robot startup Avatarin are teaming up to make telepresence avatars smarter, borrowing tech from Aibo and more. It's the latest move by the freshly-founded Sony AI, the Japanese firm's incubator for next-gen robotics, artificial intelligence, sensor technology, and more, that was set up back in April.

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Scientists build the fastest soft robots ever based on the cheetah

Scientists build the fastest soft robots ever based on the cheetah

Scientists have created what they call the fastest soft robots ever, inspired by the biomechanics of cheetahs. The soft robot is capable of moving more quickly on solid surfaces or in the water than previous generations. The new soft robots are also capable of grabbing objects delicately or with sufficient strength to lift heavy objects.

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Tiny microelectronic robot is powered by jets of bubbles

Tiny microelectronic robot is powered by jets of bubbles

Researchers have created tiny microbots that they claim to be the world's smallest microelectronic robot. The minuscule robots are powered by shooting out dual jets of bubbles behind them, a propulsion system first conceived about a decade ago. The tiny robots were developed by an international team led by Professor Oliver G. Schmidt from the Chemnitz University of Technology in Germany.

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Spot robot dog used to implement social distancing in Singapore parks

Spot robot dog used to implement social distancing in Singapore parks

While there are many that heed warnings to keep their distance or even stay indoors unless absolutely necessary, there are definitely those that may not be so diligent, especially if there's no one around to catch them. Given the lack of manpower to enforce social distancing regulations, Singapore is turning to robotics to keep an eye out and remind people about the risks they may be putting themselves and others in. The question, however, is whether their use of Boston Dynamic's popular yet unpopular four-legged robot will be an effective tool or will ironically only draw more people to it instead.

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iRobot’s Terra robot mower launch just got put on hold

iRobot’s Terra robot mower launch just got put on hold

You'll have to wait a little longer to set iRobot's Terra robot lawnmower loose on your grass, with the company revealing it has put the launch on ice because of coronavirus. Announced back at the start of 2019, Terra saw iRobot roam outside the home for the first time, with a grass-nibbling robot intended to make tending a lawn easier.

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Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot “dog” has joined the fight against COVID-19

Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot “dog” has joined the fight against COVID-19

It might not have the most comforting appearance but it will at least be saving lives. The smaller version of the company's "Big Dog", Boston Dynamics is putting the robot Spot to work as a frontliner in hospitals in Boston, allowing healthcare workers to communicate with patients over a safe, remote distance. Going beyond the call of duty, the former Google subsidiary is also opening up its hardware and software so that other robot makers could follow suit.

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Researchers create “Flexoskeletons” for insect-inspired robots that are cheap to make

Researchers create “Flexoskeletons” for insect-inspired robots that are cheap to make

Engineers from the University of California San Diego have created a new way to make soft, flexible 3D-printed robots that don't require special equipment and only take minutes to build. The innovation the researchers have come up with comes to a rethinking of the way soft robots are built. Rather than figuring out how to add soft materials to a rigid robot body, the researcher started with a soft body and attached rigid features to critical components.

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Researchers teach robots to move more like animals

Researchers teach robots to move more like animals

Anyone who has a pet knows that animals are very agile. Some of the things they're able to do are very impressive. A group of researchers at the Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research (BAIR) laboratory at Berkeley are trying to teach robots to move like animals. The scientists say that they have presented a framework for learning robotic locomotion skills by imitating animals.

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