Robots

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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ANA Avatar-in lets you “teleport” to places using robots

ANA Avatar-in lets you “teleport” to places using robots

As one of Japan's major airlines, All Nippon Airways or ANA knows just how many people wish they could go places easily. It also knows just how much that travel is beyond the reach of most people, even when it is necessary to reach out to or help a loved one. That is why parent company ANA Holdings is developing a new platform called "avatar-in" that will let you "teleport" your consciousness even when your body can't. And it is starting with a robot arm that can cook or even fish for you in your stead.

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Nissan taught two robots to make one-off car parts and it’s mesmerizing

Nissan taught two robots to make one-off car parts and it’s mesmerizing

Robots are for mass-production, craftspeople are for one-offs, at least that's how it usually goes, but Nissan is upending that by teaching machines to make one-off parts with techniques more familiar to human workers. Dubbed "dual-sided dieless forming" it may be a bland name but the process - where two robots work together in mesmeric symmetry - could have a huge impact on niche production.

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Boston Dynamics’ creepy robot dog Spot released for sale

Boston Dynamics’ creepy robot dog Spot released for sale

You've seen the videos of the robot animals walking up hills, getting kicked by humans, and doing backflips. Now, Boston Dynamics put one line of these robots, Spot, up for sale. Sales this week ales are being described by Boston Dynamics as an "early adopter program" and will target businesses, first. This is Boston Dynamics' first commercial robot.

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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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