Robots

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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Turkey’s military drones will bring machine guns to the air

Turkey’s military drones will bring machine guns to the air

They may be mostly considered today as annoying toys but the origin of drones can hardly be considered innocent. Originally used to describe unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs the size or small planes, drones have become even smaller to the point that consumers could take them around for entertainment or professional photography use. Armed forces around the world, however, are using the same advancement in drone technology to improve their original purpose. Turkey, however, maybe literally taking that to new heights with a drone that comes bearing arms.

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Astronaut remotely navigates rover through obstacle course from ISS

Astronaut remotely navigates rover through obstacle course from ISS

The European Space Agency has announced that astronaut Luca Parmitano successfully navigated a rover through an obstacle course to collect a rock sample all the way from the International Space Station. The obstacle course was located in the Netherlands where the test took place on Monday. The ESA developed the technology used to remotely operate rovers from space.

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Alphabet’s X wants to make robots that can learn to do mundane tasks

Alphabet’s X wants to make robots that can learn to do mundane tasks

There has been a lot of attention paid on AI and robotics these days but the majority of those focus on either very specialized tasks or, on the other extreme, theoretical algorithms. The robots of today are still a far cry from the robots of fiction that exist not just to build cars or drive them but also to help humans in their everyday lives. To that end, Google's sibling company X has started an Everyday Robot Project to design, build, and train robots that can learn to do the messy stuff that comes as second nature to humans.

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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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