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Sheepdogs use just two simple rules to round up large herds of sheep, scientists have discovered. The findings could lead to the development of robots that can gather and herd livestock, crowd control techniques, or new methods to clean up the environment

Sheepdogs Use Simple Rules to Herd Sheep

August 28, 2014 12:55 pm | by Swansea University | News | Comments

Sheepdogs use just two simple rules to round up large herds of sheep, scientists have discovered. The findings could lead to the development of robots that can gather and herd livestock, crowd control techniques, or new methods to clean up the environment.

Mars Rover Selfie

August 28, 2014 12:09 pm | News | Comments

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover used the camera at the end of its arm in April and May 2014 to take...

Robo Brain Teaches Robots Everything from the Internet

August 28, 2014 11:52 am | by Cornell University | News | Comments

Robo Brain — a large-scale computational system that learns from publicly available Internet...

Wireless Sensors and Flying Robots Monitor Deteriorating Bridges

August 22, 2014 12:45 pm | by Tufts School of Engineering | News | Comments

As a report from the Obama administration warns that one in four bridges in the United States...

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The Kilobots, a swarm of one thousand simple but collaborative robots. Courtesy of Mike Rubenstein and Science/AAAS

AI: Self-organizing Thousand-robot Swarm Forms Vast, Complex Shapes

August 18, 2014 12:03 pm | by Caroline Perry, Harvard SEAS | News | Comments

The first thousand-robot flash mob has assembled at Harvard University. Instead of one highly-complex robot, a “kilo” of robots collaborate, providing a simple platform for the enactment of complex behaviors. Called Kilobots, these extremely simple robots are each just a few centimeters across and stand on three pin-like legs.

SOLIDWORKS Education Edition 2014-2015

SOLIDWORKS Education Edition 2014-2015

August 12, 2014 3:51 pm | Dassault Systems | Product Releases | Comments

SOLIDWORKS Education Edition 2014-2015 is an integrated applications portfolio that includes tools and enhancements designed to improve teacher efficiency, shorten student design processes, increase team collaboration and enable educational productivity across numerous areas.

An After Dark project robot in front of Jacob Epstein's The Visitation (1926) inside Tate Britain in London. The London art museum says that for five nights people from around the world can get an after-hours tour online thanks to four roaming robots fitt

Robots Guide "After Dark" Nights at Tate Britain

August 12, 2014 12:21 pm | by AP | News | Comments

Tate Britain is inviting art fans to a night at the museum — though robots, not T. rexes, will be roaming this time. The London art museum says, for five nights beginning August 12, 2014, people from around the world can get an after-hours tour online thanks to four roaming robots fitted with lights, cameras and sensors designed to let them move around the rooms in the dark.

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A team from Harvard's Wyss Institute, Harvard's SEAS, and MIT built an autonomous robot that starts out as a single composite sheet programmed to fold itself into a complex shape and crawl away without any human intervention. Courtesy of Harvard's Wyss In

Robot Folds Itself Up and Walks Away

August 7, 2014 6:36 pm | by Harvard Wyss Institute | News | Comments

A team of engineers used little more than paper and Shrinky dinks — the classic children's toy that shrinks when heated — to build a robot that assembles itself into a complex shape in four minutes flat, and crawls away without any human intervention. The advancedemonstrates the potential to quickly and cheaply build sophisticated machines that interact with the environment.

At the Smart America Expo, Yan Wan from the University of North Texas exhibited unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) she developed that are capable of providing wireless communications to storm-ravaged areas where telephone access might be out. Courtesy of NSF

Drones for Disaster Relief: Providing Wireless Communications to Storm-Ravaged Areas

July 30, 2014 9:40 am | by Aaron Dubrow, NSF | News | Comments

At the Smart America Expo in June 2014, Yan Wan from the University of North Texas exhibited unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) she developed that are capable of providing wireless communications to storm-ravaged areas where telephone access is out.

An artist's concept portrays a NASA Mars Exploration Rover on the surface of Mars. NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers — Spirit and its twin Opportunity — were designed to study the history of climate and water at sites on Mars where conditions may once have b

NASA Long-lived Mars Opportunity Rover Sets Off-world Driving Record

July 29, 2014 12:37 pm | by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory | News | Comments

NASA's Opportunity Mars rover, which landed on the Red Planet in 2004, now holds the off-Earth roving distance record after accruing 25 miles of driving. The previous record was held by the Soviet Union's Lunokhod 2 rover. If the rover can continue to operate the distance of a marathon — 26.2 miles — it will approach the next major investigation site mission scientists have dubbed "Marathon Valley."

Getting a Grip on Robotic Grasp

July 23, 2014 3:16 pm | by Jennifer Chu, MIT | News | Comments

Twisting a screwdriver, removing a bottle cap, and peeling a banana are just a few simple tasks that are tricky to pull off single-handedly. Now, a new wrist-mounted robot can provide a helping hand — or rather, fingers. Researchers at MIT have developed a robot that enhances the grasping motion of the human hand.

Astronauts to Test Free-flying “Housekeeper” Robots

July 21, 2014 2:30 pm | by Maria Alberty, NASA's Ames Research Center | News | Comments

Inspired by science fiction, three bowling ball-size free-flying Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) have been flying inside the International Space Station since 2006. These satellites provide a test bed for development and research, each having its own power, propulsion, computer, navigation equipment, and physical and electrical connections for hardware and sensors for various experiments.

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Drones: Next Big Thing in Aviation is Really Small

July 15, 2014 4:23 pm | by Danica Kirka, Associated Press | News | Comments

With some no bigger than a hummingbird, the hottest things at this week's Farnborough International Airshow are tiny compared with the titans of the sky, such as the Airbus 380 or the Boeing Dreamliner. What's got aviation geeks salivating at Farnborough, this year's biggest aviation jamboree that features participants from 40 countries, are the commercial possibilities of unmanned aerial vehicles — drones to most of us.

Clever Intelli-copters Learn as they Fly

July 7, 2014 3:48 pm | by University of Sheffield | News | Comments

Flying robots that can show true autonomy and even a bit of politeness in working together and venturing into hostile environments are being developed by engineers at the University of Sheffield. The research paves the way for robots to work intelligently alongside humans in ways that are currently familiar only through science fiction films.

Cutting Robot Power Consumption up to 40 Percent

July 7, 2014 11:17 am | by University of the Basque Country | News | Comments

Robots are being increasingly used in industrial processes because of their ability to carry out repetitive tasks in a precise, reliable way. Right now, digital controllers are used to drive the motors of the joints of these robots. And it is no easy task developing and programming these controllers so that they will work efficiently.

Computing Paths to Future Asteroid Exploration

July 2, 2014 10:05 am | by NASA | News | Comments

As left over building blocks of the solar system's formation, asteroids are of significant interest to scientists. Resources, especially water, embedded within asteroids could be of use to astronauts traveling through deep space. Likewise, asteroids could continue to be destinations for robotic and human missions as NASA pioneers deeper into the solar system, to Mars and beyond.

University of Washington computer scientists have shown that crowdsourcing can be a quick and effective way to teach a robot how to complete tasks.

Robots Learn Faster, Better with Online Helpers

June 30, 2014 10:00 am | by Michelle Ma, University of Washington | News | Comments

University of Washington computer scientists have shown that crowdsourcing can be a quick and effective way to teach a robot how to complete tasks. Instead of learning from just one human, robots could one day query the larger online community, asking for instructions or input on the best way to set the table or water the garden.

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Algorithm lets independent agents collectively produce a machine-learning model without aggregating data.

Robots Collaborate Independently

June 26, 2014 11:05 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT | News | Comments

Machine learning, in which computers learn new skills by looking for patterns in training data, is the basis of most recent advances in artificial intelligence, from voice-recognition systems to self-parking cars. It’s also the technique that autonomous robots typically use to build models of their environments. That type of model-building gets complicated, however, in cases in which clusters of robots work as teams.

Recently, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) celebrated its fifth anniversary in space. In honor of the fifth anniversary, the LRO project kicked off the Moon as Art Campaign.

View of Tycho Central Peak

June 23, 2014 10:28 am | by NASA | News | Comments

Recently, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) celebrated its fifth anniversary in space. In honor of the fifth anniversary, the LRO project kicked off the Moon as Art Campaign. The public was asked to select a favorite orbiter image of the moon for the cover of a special image collection. After two weeks of voting, the public has selected this image of Tycho Central Peak as its favorite moon image.

Such an elastic technology could make possible robots that have sensory skin and stretchable garments

Elastic Technology Makes 'Soft' Machines, Robots Possible

June 19, 2014 5:08 pm | by Purdue University | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a technique that might be used to produce "soft machines" made of elastic materials and liquid metals for potential applications in robotics, medical devices and consumer electronics. Such an elastic technology could make possible robots that have sensory skin and stretchable garments that people might wear to interact with computers or for therapeutic purposes.

The team Mountaineers robot is seen after picking up the sample during a rerun of the level one challenge at the 2014 NASA Centennial Challenges Sample Return Robot Challenge. Courtesy of NASA

Complexity of NASA Robot Competition Challenges 17 Teams

June 16, 2014 2:00 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

Seventeen teams of citizen inventors from across the globe competed in the 2014 NASA Centennial Challenges Sample Return Robot Challenge from June 11 to 13, 2014, on the campus of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts. Prize money of nearly $1.5 million was on the line in this third running of the challenge.

When the operator thinks of an action e.g. 'I want to walk', the electrical signals associated with this action are recorded and decoded by a computer worn in a backpack, and used to control the hydrolytic drivers of the exoskeleton suit that generate mov

Paraplegic to Take First Kick of World Cup Using Brain Activity-controlled Exoskeleton

June 11, 2014 11:21 am | by Nicolelis Laboratory | News | Comments

A brain activity-controlled robotic exoskeleton suit, which demonstrates the very latest advances in neuroengineering, will make its debut at the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil. It is planned that the exoskeleton suit will be worn by a paraplegic patient, who will take the first kick of the World Cup during the opening ceremony in São Paulo on June 12th, before Brazil takes on Croatia in the first match of the tournament.

HorseFly, a newly designed, autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle, was developed to work in tandem with AMP's delivery trucks, creating a safe, fast and never-before-seen method of delivering goods. Courtesy of Kelly Cohen

HorseFly Octocopter Primed to Fly the Future to Your Front Door

June 9, 2014 12:31 pm | by Tom Robinette, University of Cincinnati | News | Comments

Have you ever seen a horse fly? Maybe you have, but never like this one. This HorseFly has eight rotors, a wirelessly recharging battery and a mission to deliver merchandise right to your doorstep. The HorseFly "octocopter," a newly designed, autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), was developed to work in tandem with delivery trucks, creating a safe, fast and never-before-seen method of delivering goods.

MagnetoSperm performs a flagellated swim using weak oscillating magnetic fields. Courtesy of I.S.M. Khalil/GUC & S. Misra/U.Twente

Sperm-Inspired Robots Controlled by Magnetic Fields

June 4, 2014 8:00 pm | by American Institute of Physics (AIP) | News | Comments

A team of researchers has developed sperm-inspired microrobots, which can be controlled by oscillating weak magnetic fields. The 322 micron-long robots consist solely of a head coated in a thick cobalt-nickel layer and an uncoated tail. When the robot is subjected to an oscillating field of about the strength of a decorative refrigerator magnet, it experiences a magnetic torque on its head, which causes its flagellum to oscillate

Morpheus Prototype Uses Hazard Detection System -- Courtesy of NASA/Mike Chambers

Morpheus Prototype Uses Hazard Detection System

June 2, 2014 2:18 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

NASA demonstrated that it can land an unmanned spacecraft on a rugged planetary surface in the pitch dark in a free-flight test of the Morpheus prototype lander and Autonomous Landing Hazard Avoidance Technology, or ALHAT. The 98-second test began with the Morpheus lander launching from the ground over a flame trench and ascending more than 800 feet into the dark Florida sky using only ALHAT's Hazard Detection System for guidance.

A visual odometry algorithm uses low-latency brightness change events from a Dynamic Vision Sensor (DVS) and the data from a normal camera to provide absolute brightness values.

Think Fast, Robot: Making Autonomous Robots more Nimble

May 30, 2014 11:21 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT | News | Comments

One of the reasons we don’t yet have self-driving cars and mini-helicopters delivering online purchases is that autonomous vehicles tend not to perform well under pressure. A system that can flawlessly parallel park at 5 mph may have trouble avoiding obstacles at 35 mph.

A very early version of Google’s prototype self-driving car

Just Press Go: Google's New Self-Driving Car Has No Steering Wheel or Brake

May 29, 2014 9:10 am | by Chris Urmson, Director, Google Self-Driving Car Project | Blogs | Comments

Ever since we started the Google self-driving car project, we’ve been working toward the goal of vehicles that can shoulder the entire burden of driving. Just imagine: You can take a trip downtown at lunchtime without a 20-minute buffer to find parking. Seniors can keep their freedom even if they can’t keep their car keys. And drunk and distracted driving? History.

Simulating brain controlled flying at the Institute for Flight System Dynamics Courtesy of A. Heddergott/TU München

Brain Controlled Flight: Using Thoughts to Control Airplanes

May 28, 2014 12:27 pm | by Technische Universität München | News | Comments

Scientists have demonstrated the feasibility of flying via brain control — with astonishing accuracy. The pilot is wearing a white cap with myriad attached cables. His gaze is concentrated on the runway ahead of him. All of a sudden the control stick starts to move, as if by magic. The airplane banks and then approaches straight on towards the runway. The position of the plane is corrected time and again

A group of researchers from Harvard University have developed a millimeter-sized drone with a view to using it to explore extremely cramped and tight spaces. The microrobot they designed, which was the size of a one cent coin, could take off and land ...

Nature Inspires Drones of the Future

May 27, 2014 2:55 pm | by IOP | News | Comments

Based on the mechanisms adopted by birds, bats, insects and snakes, 14 distinguished research teams have developed solutions to some of the common problems that drones could be faced with when navigating through an urban environment and performing novel tasks for the benefit of society.

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