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.
Inspired by science fiction, three bowling ball-size free-flying Synchronized Position Hold,...
With some no bigger than a hummingbird, the hottest things at this week's Farnborough...
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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
With increasing use of drones in military operations, it is perhaps only a matter of time before robots replace soldiers. Whether fully automated war is on the immediate horizon, one researcher says it’s not too early to start examining the ethical issues that robot armies raise, suggesting it is necessary to reconsider the international laws of war, and to begin examining whether advanced robots should be held accountable for their actions
Scientists are creating futuristic furniture that can move around and autonomously change its shape, an innovation that may prove useful to support disabled individuals. EPFL Biorobotics Laboratory researchers have developed small robotic modules that can change their shape to create reconfigurable furniture. Like Lego bricks, Roombots pieces can be stacked upon each other to create various structures.
NASA mission priorities were explored by five winners of the 2014 International Space Apps Challenge, a worldwide "hackathon" to spark innovation with direct application to future space missions and improve life on Earth. NASA judges have selected five challenge winners, and the global social media community selected a People’s Choice fan favorite.
A robot developed by EPFL researchers is capable of reacting on the spot and grasping objects with complex shapes and trajectories in less than five hundredths of a second. With its palm open, the robot is completely motionless. A split second later, it suddenly unwinds and catches all sorts of flying objects thrown in its direction.
NVIDIA's CEO Jen Hsun, along with Audi's head of pre-development Andreas Reich demonstrated a prototype Audi self-driving car based on the new NVIDIA K1 System On a Chip (SoC) during the GTC 2014 keynote in San Jose. “Tegra K1 is the brain of your future self-driven car.” Jen Hsun claims.
More than 12,000 students from around the globe traveled to St. Louis, MO, to put their engineering skills to the test at the annual FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Championship, held at the Edward Jones Dome a the week of the week of April 26, 2014.
U.S. and North Dakota officials have big hopes for the growth of what are known as unmanned aircraft systems. And the remote northwestern state has positioned itself well to take advantage of its unique attributes: A first-of-its-kind academic program, an established military presence, a strong commitment from state and federal officials to find funding, and even the weather.
The voice was slightly halting, childlike. "Welcome to Miraikan, Mr. President, it is a pleasure to meet you." President Barack Obama bowed, looking delighted. His greeter, after all, was a 55-inch-tall, give or take, humanoid robot with the look of a diminutive Star Wars storm trooper.
Recently published research describes how archaeologists outfitted a customized drone with a heat-sensing camera to unearth what they believe are ceremonial pits and other features at the site of an ancient village in New Mexico. The discovery of the structures hidden beneath layers of sediment and sagebrush is being hailed as an important step that could help archaeologists shed light on mysteries long buried by eroding desert landscapes
A robotic submarine looking for the lost Malaysian jet began its second mission on April 15, 2014, after cutting short its first because the ocean waters where it was sent were too deep, officials said. Its first planned 16-hour search lasted just six and none of the data collected by the U.S. Navy's Bluefin 21 submarine offered clues to the whereabouts of the plane.
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