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Another dimension: Professor Marc in het Panhuis (left) and Ph.D. student Shannon Bakarich are building objects using 4D printing, where time is the fourth dimension.

4D Printing, where Time — actually Shape Shifting — is the 4th Dimension

April 24, 2015 2:01 pm | by University of Wollongong | News | Comments

Just as the extraordinary capabilities of 3D printing have begun to infiltrate industry and the family home, researchers have started to develop 3D printed materials that morph into new structures post production, under the influence of external stimuli, such as water or heat — hence the name, 4D printing.

Biotic Processing Makes Biotech Interactive with Games, Remote-control Labs

April 22, 2015 2:10 pm | by Tom Abate, Stanford Engineering | News | Comments

Riedel-Kruse and his team are enabling people to interact with biological materials and perform...

Synthetic Space Robot Muscle Ready for Testing on ISS

April 13, 2015 4:25 pm | by Jeanne Jackson DeVoe, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory | News | Comments

Lenore Rasmussen’s dream of developing a synthetic muscle that could be used to make better...

Human Patient Simulators: How Robots can Help Build Better Doctors

April 9, 2015 9:53 am | by NSF | News | Comments

A young doctor leans over a patient who has been in a serious car accident and invariably must...

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One of the new drones of the UZH research group Courtesy of UZH

New Technology Making Drones Safer and Smarter

April 8, 2015 3:27 pm | by University of Zurich | News | Comments

Researchers at the University of Zurich have unveiled new technology enabling drones to recover stable flight from any position and land autonomously in failure situations. It will even be possible to launch drones by simply tossing them into the air like a baseball or recover stable flight after a system failure. Drones will be safer and smarter, with the ability to identify safe landing sites and land automatically when necessary.

The UCLA Biomechatronics Lab develops a language of touch that can be "felt" by computers and humans alike. Courtesy of the National Science Foundation

Artificial Haptic Intelligence: Giving Robots the Human Touch

April 7, 2015 4:56 pm | by Miles O'Brien, NSF | News | Comments

Researchers are designing artificial limbs to be more sensational, with the emphasis on sensation. They have developed a language of touch that can be "felt" by computers and humans alike. The engineers and students are constructing a language quantified with mechanical touch sensors that interact with objects of various shapes, sizes and textures.

Matt Pugh (left) and Phil Hughes on board a Friends of Cardigan Bay dingy

Computer Vision, Machine Learning give New Perspective on Seabed Videos

March 30, 2015 2:02 pm | by Aberystwyth University | News | Comments

Scientists have been working with marine conservation group to develop better techniques for studying the seabed, which is vital for marine conservation and fisheries management. Cardigan Bay is renowned for its populations of dolphins and porpoises. Until recently the work of mapping and recording the seabed had been done using the traditional “researcher and clipboard” technique, which is costly and time consuming.

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Testing the reins in a smoke filled area Courtesy of Sheffield Hallam University

Robot Guide Dogs could be Firefighters’ Eyes

March 26, 2015 10:59 am | by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) | News | Comments

Firefighters moving through smoke-filled buildings could save vital seconds and find it easier to identify objects and obstacles, thanks to revolutionary reins that enable robots to act like guide dogs. The small mobile robot — equipped with tactile sensors — would lead the way, with the firefighter following a meter or so behind holding a rein. The robot would help the firefighter move swiftly in ‘blind’ conditions.

The winning teams from those tournaments join the global competition at FIRST Championship, bringing skills, enthusiasm, infectious good will and, of course, hundreds of amazing robots of all sizes to engage in friendly competition.

FIRST Championship: The Ultimate Sport for the Mind

March 20, 2015 2:43 pm | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | Blogs | Comments

FIRST Championship is an annual three-and-a-half-day robotics competition that is the culmination of several FIRST programs. The high-tech spectator event brings together three separate robotics competitions. The winning teams from those tournaments join the global competition at FIRST Championship, bringing skills, enthusiasm, infectious good will and, of course, hundreds of amazing robots.

Giant beetles present a potential alternative to remote-controlled drones

Remote-controlled Cyborg Beetle Flies, Turns and Hovers

March 19, 2015 2:40 pm | by Nanyang Technological University | News | Comments

Breaking new grounds in the future of remote-controlled drone technology, researchers have developed a living machine whose flight can be wirelessly controlled with minimal human intervention. Mounted on top of a giant flower beetle, a tiny, electronic backpack with a built-in wireless receiver and transmitter converts radio signals received remotely into a variety of actions in the beetle.

To qualify for the DRC Finals, the new teams had to submit videos showing successful completion of five sample tasks.

$3.5 Million in Prizes at Stake in DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals

March 11, 2015 11:40 am | by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency | News | Comments

The international robotics community has turned out in force for the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals, a competition of robots and their human supervisors to be held June 5 to 6 outside of Los Angeles. In the competition, human-robot teams will be tested on capabilities that could enable them to provide assistance in future natural and man-made disasters.

Paul Denny-Gouldson is VP of Strategic Solutions at IDBS.

AI and Robot Scientists: The Lab of the Future?

March 10, 2015 8:44 am | by Paul Denny-Gouldson, IDBS | Blogs | Comments

Pharmaceutical companies are under intense pressure. With patents expiring and cost pressures growing, the speed and productivity of drug discovery and manufacturing are under the microscope. It is timely, then, that researchers recently shared promising findings on Eve — an artificially-intelligent robot scientist. Eve discovered a compound with anti-cancer properties. Is this a glimpse of what the lab of the future might look like?

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Micro-drones at Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt Courtesy of AAU/Lakeside Labs

Micro-drone Networks Present Unique Communications Challenges

March 4, 2015 10:39 am | by Alpen-Adria-Universität | News | Comments

Micro-drones are being put to use in a large number of areas, where these small aircraft face extensive requirements while performing aerial observation tasks or when deployed in the field of disaster management. A newly developed concept summarizes some of these challenges.

A NASA spacecraft is about to reach the end of a nearly eight-year journey and make the first rendezvous with a dwarf planet.  The Dawn craft will slip into orbit around Ceres, a dwarf planet the size of Texas, on March 6, 2015. Unlike robotic landings or

NASA Spacecraft Making First Visit to Dwarf Planet Ceres

March 3, 2015 10:26 am | by Alicia Chang, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

A NASA spacecraft is about to reach the end of a nearly eight-year journey and make the first rendezvous with a dwarf planet. The Dawn craft will slip into orbit around Ceres, a dwarf planet the size of Texas, on March 6, 2015. Unlike robotic landings or other orbit captures, the arrival won't be a nail-biter. Still, Dawn had to travel some three billion miles to reach the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Milorad Marinkovic holds an egg with his bionic arm. Three Austrians have replaced injured hands with bionic ones that they can control using nerves and muscles transplanted into their arms from their legs. The three men are the first to undergo what doct

Three Men First to Get Reconstructed Bionic Hands

February 26, 2015 1:18 pm | by Maria Cheng, AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

Three Austrians have replaced injured hands with bionic ones that they can control using nerves and muscles transplanted into their arms from their legs. The men are the first to undergo what doctors refer to as "bionic reconstruction," which includes a voluntary amputation, the transplantation of nerves and muscles and learning to use faint signals from them to command the hand.

Rube did not build the machines he drew, but his cartoons have become an inspiration to aspiring engineers and scientists across the world. Courtesy of Jeff Kubina

A Comically Involved, Complicated Invention, Laboriously Contrived to Perform a Simple Operation

February 24, 2015 10:34 am | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | Blogs | Comments

Of course, I’m talking about the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest! This annual international competition challenges teams of students from middle school to college-age to build the most elaborate and hilarious contraption that successfully achieves the task at hand. This year’s contest is already off and running. The 2015 Task: Erase a Chalkboard.

An artist concept of NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission. Courtesy of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

MAVEN Completes First Deep Dip of Martian Atmosphere

February 23, 2015 3:46 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

NASA’S Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution has completed the first of five deep-dip maneuvers designed to gather measurements closer to the lower end of the Martian upper atmosphere. The 16-mile altitude difference may not seem like much, but it allows scientists to make measurements down to the top of the lower atmosphere. At these lower altitudes, the atmospheric densities are more than 10 times what they are at 93 miles.

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An operator controls a robot that looks like an enlarged fiberscope during a demonstration for the media at a government facility in Hitachi, Ibaraki Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo. The snake-like robot, developed by Japanese electronics giant Hitachi and

Japan Readies First Robot to Probe Melted Fukushima Reactor

February 9, 2015 11:17 am | by Miki Toda, Associated Press | News | Comments

A snake-like robot designed to examine the inside of one of three melted reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is ready to begin its expedition. Assessing the damage inside the reactors is a crucial step in the decommissioning of the plant, which was badly damaged by a 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Use of a remote-controlled robot is essential, because no humans can go close to the reactor chambers due to fatally high radiation.

The octopus robot is capable of accelerating up to 10 body lengths in less than a second. Courtesy of University of Southampton

Speed Record: Octopus Robot’s Ultra-fast Acceleration is Unprecedented

February 6, 2015 3:30 pm | by University of Southampton | News | Comments

Scientists have developed an octopus-like robot  that can zoom through water with ultra-fast propulsion and acceleration never before seen in man-made underwater vehicles. Cephalopods are capable of high-speed escapes by filling their bodies with water and then quickly expelling it to dart away. Inspired by this, scientists built a deformable robot with a 3-D printed skeleton, no moving parts and no energy storage device.

Vega VV04 fully assembled in its mobile gantry. Courtesy of M. Pedoussaut, ESA

What’s New about Europe’s Reentry Mission?

February 6, 2015 3:12 pm | by ESA | News | Comments

ESA’s experimental spaceplane, poised for liftoff on Vega, is set to showcase the latest technologies and critical systems to extend Europe’s capability for space exploration. In a world first, Europe will launch and land an unmanned spaceplane that has no wings but instead features an aerodynamic shape that produces the lift to fly through the atmosphere. Flaps and thrusters will autonomously steer it back to a splashdown.

Eve, the Robot Scientist Courtesy of University of Manchester

AI Robot Scientist ‘Eve’ could Boost Search for New Drugs

February 4, 2015 2:46 pm | by University of Cambridge | News | Comments

Eve, an artificially-intelligent ‘robot scientist’ could make drug discovery faster and much cheaper, say researchers. The team has demonstrated the success of the approach, as Eve discovered that a compound shown to have anti-cancer properties might also be used in the fight against malaria.

For decades, researchers in artificial intelligence, or AI, worked on specialized problems, developing theoretical concepts and workable algorithms for various aspects of the field. However, in recent years, as the individual aspects of artificial intelli

AI Algorithms Programmed into Self-driving Cars

February 3, 2015 3:02 pm | by National Science Foundation | News | Comments

For decades, researchers in artificial intelligence, or AI, worked on specialized problems, developing theoretical concepts and workable algorithms for various aspects of the field. However, in recent years, as the individual aspects of artificial intelligence matured, researchers began bringing the pieces together, leading to amazing displays of high-level intelligence.

This artist's rendering provided by the European Space Agency shows the Beagle-2 lander. The spacecraft went missing on Christmas Day, 2003, when it was supposed to land on Mars and start transmitting data back to Earth. On Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, more tha

Mystery Solved: Missing Beagle-2 Finally Located on Mars, Deployment Failed in Final Stage

January 20, 2015 2:47 pm | by Gregory Katz, Associated Press | News | Comments

It turns out the Beagle has landed after all — but it never called home. The gone-but-not-forgotten spacecraft Beagle-2 went AWOL on Christmas Day, 2003, when it was supposed to land on Mars and start transmitting data back to Earth. Instead, the British-built craft went dark. After several months, it was declared lost — presumed to have been destroyed during its approach or while trying to land on the red planet.

Developing a more efficient vision system for household robots. Courtesy of Christine Daniloff and Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT

MIT Algorithm Helps Household Robots Identify Items Concealed in Clutter

January 15, 2015 9:49 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT | News | Comments

For household robots to be practical, they need to be able to recognize the objects they’re supposed to manipulate. While object recognition is one of the most widely studied topics in AI, even the best detectors still fail much of the time. Researchers believe the robots should take advantage of their mobility, imaging objects from multiple perspectives. Matching up objects in the different images, however, poses computational challenges.

Helen Greiner, chairman and co-founder iRobot Corporation, poses for photo with an iRobot PackBot EOD in front of her booth during RoboBusiness Conference and Exposition. Greiner, one of the inventors behind the Roomba, the robotic vacuum that can clean y

Today’s Drone Market Resembles Silicon Valley's Early Days

January 9, 2015 10:51 am | by Scott Mayerowitz, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

To see the future of drones, head up the hill at the intersection of Industrial Drive and Electronics Avenue. Inside a bland brick office building, the team at CyPhy is working on tethered machines that can fly nonstop for days and pocket-sized drones for search-and-rescue missions. It's not a fancy building. There's no giant aerospace or defense company here. Just small teams of computer scientists and mechanical engineers...

Button-sized prototype of the Intel Curie module, a tiny hardware product based on the company’s first purpose-built system-on-chip (SoC) for wearable devices.

Intel’s CEO Outlines Future of Computing

January 7, 2015 3:54 pm | by Intel | News | Comments

Intel has announced a number of technology advancements and initiatives aimed at accelerating computing into the next dimension. The announcements include the Intel Curie module, a button-sized hardware product for wearable solutions; new applications for Intel RealSense cameras spanning robots, flying multi-copter drones and 3-D immersive experiences; and a broad, new Diversity in Technology initiative.

Approximately 3,000 FRC teams are projected to compete for the chance to gain top honors at the FIRST Championship, which will take place April 22 to 25 in St. Louis, MO.

2015 FIRST Robotics Competition Kicks Off

January 7, 2015 2:45 pm | by Automation Federation | News | Comments

Nearly 75,000 high-school students on approximately 3,000 teams at 107 venues around the globe joined the kickoff event on January 3, 2015, of the 2015 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) via live Comcast NBCUniversal broadcast. FIRST is a not-for-profit organization devoted to helping young people discover and develop a passion for science, engineering, technology and math.

The 2.5-meter-long underwater drone is ready to be launched through the hole in the sea ice. Courtesy of Lars Chresten Lund Hansen

Underwater Drones lead Antarctic Exploration into New Epoch

January 5, 2015 1:12 pm | by Signe Høgslund & Peter Bondo Christensen, Aarhus University | News | Comments

Splash. A Weddell seal weighing almost 500 kilograms lands inside the tent and blocks the hole laboriously sawn out by researchers in the two-meter-thick ice to launch drones under the sea ice. The tent is lovely and warm. Outside, the thermometer shows -15 degrees. The seal finally glides back into the water, and the researchers have access to the open water. The advanced technology drone is carefully lowered into the icy cold sea.

Ozobot was selected for a Kids at Play Interactive (KAPi) Award for the Best Robot.

World's Smallest Programmable Robot wins KAPi Award

January 5, 2015 12:40 pm | by Evollve | News | Comments

Who's that tiny dancer in the aisles of the Consumer Electronics Show? It's Ozobot, the world's smallest programmable robot with an intuitive color-based language. Ozobot's capacity for fun and learning is designed to bridge the physical and digital divide, and the “smart game piece” glides seamlessly from paper to digital tablet. Playing with the robot introduces kids and young adults to simple coding basics...

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