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As the first humanoid robot to pay for a seat on a commercial flight, Athena travelled in style, dressed in a white T-shirt and fetching red shoes. © MPI for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen

Robotics in Disaster Response: Athena begins Autonomous Perception Training

December 18, 2014 12:23 pm | by Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems | News | Comments

Travelling from Los Angeles to Frankfurt onboard Lufthansa flight 457, the passenger arrived on December 16 with no signs of jet lag: this was no ordinary holidaymaker, but the first humanoid robot to take up a seat on a commercial flight. Athena made her way from LA to Tübingen in order to acquire many new skills: standing, balancing, walking — and various other meaningful activities, which she can use to assist people in daily life.

New Research Will Help Robots Know Their Limits

December 8, 2014 6:05 pm | by University of Sheffield | News | Comments

A team of researchers is embarking on a collaborative project to ensure that the autonomous...

Engineer Applies Robot Control Theory to Improve Prosthetic Legs

December 4, 2014 3:47 pm | by The University of Texas at Dallas | News | Comments

A University of Texas at Dallas professor applied robot control theory to enable powered...

MIT Engineers Have High Hopes for Cheetah Robot

December 2, 2014 3:27 pm | by Rodrique Ngowi, Associated Press | News | Comments

It's a robot unlike any other: inspired by the world's fastest land animal, controlled by video...

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Ohio State's Adaptive Suspension Vehicle (AVS), nicknamed the "Walker." Developed by electrical engineer Robert McGhee and mechanical engineer Kenneth Waldron, along with a 60-member team of students and technical assistants, the 'Walker' was designed to

NSF Celebrates More than 40 Years Supporting US Robotics Research

November 24, 2014 4:14 pm | by Aaron Dubrow, NSF | News | Comments

The fundamental research in computing and engineering that enabled robotics to develop in the U.S. has been supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) since its inception. Yet despite these early investments in sensors, machine movement and computer vision, it wasn't until 1972 that the first grant with "robot" in the title was funded.

University of Waikato Master of Engineering student Pinwei Jin with his Snake Robot prototype at the Carter Holt Harvey Pulp & Paper Engineering Design Show.

Snake Robot to the Rescue

November 11, 2014 3:17 pm | by University of Waikato | News | Comments

Pinwei Jin has designed and built a remote control robotic snake, which he hopes will be used in the future for rescue operations. Differing from the existing mobile rescue robot systems currently in the market place, Jin says his Snake Robot provides the flexibility of movement needed in cluttered and irregular environments created by disasters.

The USS Macon inside Hangar One at Moffett Field on October 15, 1933 — following a transcontinental flight from Lakehurst, New Jersey.

Google Signs 60-year, $1 Billion NASA Lease

November 11, 2014 3:07 pm | by Brandon Bailey, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Google has signed a long-term lease for part of a historic Navy air base, where it plans to renovate three massive hangars and use them for projects involving aviation, space exploration and robotics. The giant Internet company will pay $1.16 billion in rent over 60 years for the property, which also includes a working air field, golf course and other buildings. The 1,000-acre site is part of the former Moffett Field Naval Air Station.

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The world’s most advanced bionic hand was tested with the help of amputee Dennis Aabo Sørensen who was able to grasp objects intuitively and identify what he was touching, while blindfolded. © LifeHand2

Neural Interface allows Natural Control of World’s Most Advanced Bionic Hand

November 7, 2014 3:27 pm | by European Commission | News | Comments

A prosthetic hand, which provides a sense of touch acute enough to handle an egg, has been completed and is now exploited by the NEBIAS project after 10 years of EU-funded research. The world’s most advanced bionic hand was tested with the help of amputee Dennis Aabo Sørensen who was able to grasp objects intuitively and identify what he was touching, while blindfolded.

A remote-controlled roving camera camouflaged as a penguin chick in Adelie Land, Antarctica. The device is so convincing that penguins don't scamper away and sometimes even sing to it with trumpet-like sounds. Emperor penguins are notoriously shy. When re

Roving Robotic Spy Keeps Tabs on Shy Penguins

November 4, 2014 12:42 pm | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

The newest tool for biologists is the baby penguin robotic spy. It's pretty darn cute, and so convincing that penguins essentially talk to it, as if it is a potential mate for their chicks. Emperor penguins are notoriously shy. When researchers approach, these penguins normally back away and their heart rate goes up. That's not what the scientists need when they want to check heart rate, health and other penguin parameters.

MIT researchers explain their new visualization system that can project a robot's "thoughts." Video screenshot courtesy of Melanie Gonick/MIT

Projecting a Robot’s Intentions: New Spin on Virtual Reality to Read Robots’ Minds

October 30, 2014 4:46 pm | by Jennifer Chu, MIT | News | Comments

In a darkened, hangar-like space inside MIT’s Building 41, a small, Roomba-like robot is trying to make up its mind. Standing in its path is an obstacle — a human pedestrian who’s pacing back and forth. To get to the other side of the room, the robot has to first determine where the pedestrian is, then choose the optimal route to avoid a close encounter.

A 3-D image of the researchers' study site in Malaysian Borneo using drone data and a photo of the Sensefly eBee drone up close. Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al.

Drones Help Map Spread of Infectious Disease

October 24, 2014 5:07 pm | by Cell Press | News | Comments

Unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, can collect detailed information in real time at relatively low cost for ecological research. In a new Opinion piece published in the Cell Press journal Trends in Parasitology, experts demonstrate that drones can be used to understand how environmental factors influence the spread of infectious diseases.

The robot has a friction crawler-based drive system (such as the one in war tanks), ideal for all types of terrain. It also has motion sensors, cameras, a laser and an infrared system, allowing it to rebuild the environment and, thereby, find paths or cre

Robot Scans Rubble, Recognizes Humans in Disaster Situations

October 21, 2014 9:35 am | by Investigación y Desarrollo | News | Comments

Through a computational algorithm, researchers have developed a neural network that allows a small robot to detect different patterns, such as images, fingerprints, handwriting, faces, bodies, voice frequencies and DNA sequences. Nancy Guadalupe Arana Daniel focused on the recognition of human silhouettes in disaster situations.

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This image provided by Oculus shows a new prototype of its virtual reality headset. The hew headset features a higher resolution and refresh rate, 360-degree head tracking and integrated headphones. (AP Photo/Oculus)

Smithsonian Honors Founder of Virtual Reality Firm Oculus

October 17, 2014 11:03 am | by AP | News | Comments

The founder of virtual reality firm Oculus and singer Rosanne Cash and are among those who were honored with American Ingenuity Awards at the Smithsonian Institution, along with eight other scientists and scholars for their groundbreaking work. Washingtonian magazine has described the event as the “Golden Globes of Intellect.”

Patient mockup of surgical robot designed to treat epilepsy by entering the brain through the cheek. (Laboratory for the Design and Control of Energetic Systems / Vanderbilt)

Minimally Invasive Brain Surgery Performed by Pneumatic Robot

October 16, 2014 2:38 pm | by David Salisbury, Vanderbilt University | News | Comments

For those most severely affected, treating epilepsy means drilling through the skull deep into the brain to destroy the small area where the seizures originate — invasive, dangerous and with a long recovery period. Five years ago, a team of Vanderbilt engineers wondered: Is it possible to address epileptic seizures in a less invasive way?

An innovative piece of research looks into the matter of machine morality, and questions whether it is “evil” for robots to masquerade as humans.

How to Train your Robot: Can We Teach Robots Right from Wrong?

October 14, 2014 12:46 pm | by Taylor & Francis | News | Comments

From performing surgery to driving cars, today’s robots can do it all. With chatbots recently hailed as passing the Turing test, it appears robots are becoming increasingly adept at posing as humans. While machines are becoming ever more integrated into human lives, the need to imbue them with a sense of morality becomes increasingly urgent. But can we really teach robots how to be good? An innovative piece of research looks into the matter

The robot was rolled out October 9, 2014, with a staffer guiding it remotely around the baggage claim area greeting travelers and looking for anyone who needed assistance. Courtesy of Indianapolis International Airport

Indianapolis Airport Debuts Customer Service Robot

October 13, 2014 12:11 pm | by AP | News | Comments

A customer service robot has started roaming around the passenger terminal of Indianapolis International Airport. The robot was rolled out October 9, 2014, with a staffer guiding it remotely around the baggage claim area greeting travelers and looking for anyone who needed assistance. The robot looks like a miniature Segway, but with a blue customer service shirt and an interactive iPod on top showing the face of the employee piloting it.

The PLANTOID prototype was designed with two functional roots: one root demonstrates bending capabilities, responding to input from the sensors at the tip of the root. A second root demonstrates artificial growth. Courtesy of PLANTOID

Revolutionary Robotic Solutions are Inspired by Plants

October 10, 2014 12:42 pm | by European Commission | News | Comments

Researchers are demonstrating revolutionary robotic techniques inspired by plants, featuring a 3-D-printed ‘trunk,’ ‘leaves’ that sense the environment and ‘roots’ that grow and change direction. Humans naturally understand problems and solutions from an animal’s perspective, tending to see plants as passive organisms that don’t ‘do’ much of anything, but plants do move, and they sense, and they do so in extremely efficient ways.

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Computer modelling of the human eye, the brain of a rat and a robot could revolutionize advances in neuroscience and new technology. A new study uses new computer algorithms to enable robots to navigate intelligently, unrestricted by high-density building

Robot Researcher Combines Nature to Nurture 'Superhuman' Navigation

October 1, 2014 3:27 pm | by Queensland University of Technology | News | Comments

Computer modelling of the human eye, the brain of a rat and a robot could revolutionize advances in neuroscience and new technology. A new study uses new computer algorithms to enable robots to navigate intelligently, unrestricted by high-density buildings or tunnels.

Researchers are developing a robotic fabric that moves and contracts and is embedded with sensors, an approach that could bring "active clothing" and a new class of "soft" robots.

Robotic Fabric Could Bring about Wearable Robots

September 30, 2014 3:20 pm | by Purdue University | News | Comments

Researchers are developing a robotic fabric that moves and contracts and is embedded with sensors, an approach that could bring "active clothing" and a new class of "soft" robots.                    

Recently, at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, researchers unveiled an oval-shaped submersible robot, a little smaller than a football, with a flattened panel on one side that it can slide along an underwater surface to perfo

Underwater Robot Secures Our Ports

September 29, 2014 3:13 pm | by Larry Hardesty, MIT | News | Comments

Recently, at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, researchers unveiled an oval-shaped submersible robot, a little smaller than a football, with a flattened panel on one side that it can slide along an underwater surface to perform ultrasound scans.

A drone prepares to land after flying over the scene of an explosion that leveled two apartment buildings in East Harlem in New York. When government officials designed a new air traffic control system, they neglected to take something into account — dron

Drones Left Out of Air Traffic Plans

September 25, 2014 4:20 pm | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press | News | Comments

Designers of the ambitious U.S. air traffic control system of the future neglected to take drones into account, raising questions about whether it can handle the escalating demand for the unmanned aircraft and predicted congestion in the sky.

The research center’s first director, Jeff Moulton, will be charged with attracting major research contracts by leveraging the university’s unique strengths in such disciplines as supercomputing, cybersecurity and nanotechnology.

Cyber Research Center Announced at LSU

September 24, 2014 1:52 pm | by Louisiana Economic Development | News | Comments

Governor Jindal and LSU President and Chancellor Alexander announced creation of the LSU Transformational Technology and Cyber Research Center, which will pursue major federal and commercial research projects in applied technology fields, leveraging the university’s unique strengths in such disciplines as supercomputing, cybersecurity and nanotechnology.

Armed with the GelSight sensor, a robot can grasp a freely hanging USB cable and plug it into a USB port. Courtesy of Melanie Gonick/MIT

Fingertip Sensor Gives Robot Unprecedented Dexterity

September 23, 2014 3:37 pm | by Larry Hardesty, MIT | News | Comments

Researchers have equipped a robot with a novel tactile sensor that lets it grasp a USB cable draped freely over a hook and insert it into a USB port. The sensor is an adaptation of a technology called GelSight, which was developed at MIT. The new sensor isn’t as sensitive as the original GelSight sensor, which could resolve details on the micrometer scale. But it’s smaller, and its processing algorithm is faster.

Do it yourself: A new resource provides both experienced and aspiring researchers with the intellectual raw materials needed to design, build and operate robots made from soft, flexible materials. Courtesy of Eliza Grinnell, Harvard SEAS

Soft Robotics Toolkit Features Everything a Robot-maker Needs

September 22, 2014 3:18 pm | by Harvard SEAS | News | Comments

A new resource unveiled by researchers from several Harvard University labs, in collaboration with Trinity College Dublin, provides both experienced and aspiring researchers with the intellectual raw materials needed to design, build and operate robots made from soft, flexible materials.

The ARCAS project has designed a range of different flying robots with multi-joint manipulator arms to work together on grasping, transporting and depositing parts safely and efficiently. The autonomy and skills of the robots is being developed to build o

Flying Robots Go Where Humans Can’t

September 22, 2014 2:57 pm | by European Commission, CORDIS | News | Comments

There are many situations where it’s impossible, complicated or too time-consuming for humans to enter and carry out operations. Think of contaminated areas following a nuclear accident, or the need to erect structures such as antennae on mountain tops. These are examples of where flying robots could be used. The EU’s ARCAS project has designed a range of different flying robots with multi-joint manipulator arms

The team has taken a three-phase approach to a software emotion detector. Preliminary tests gave a 94 percent success rate. Courtesy of Steven Depolo

Emotion Detector: Software Accurately Classifies Facial Expressions

September 17, 2014 2:27 pm | by Inderscience Research | News | Comments

Face recognition software measures various parameters in a mug shot, such as the distance between the person’s eyes, the height from lip to top of their nose and various other metrics and then compares it with photos of people in the database that have been tagged with a given name. Now, research looks to take that one step further in recognizing the emotion portrayed by a face.

The team recently took the MIT cheetah-bot for a test run, where it bounded across the grass at a steady clip.  Courtesy of Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT

Algorithm Enables Untethered Cheetah Robot to Run and Jump

September 16, 2014 2:14 pm | by Jennifer Chu, MIT | News | Comments

MIT researchers have developed an algorithm for bounding that they’ve successfully implemented in a robotic cheetah — a sleek, four-legged assemblage of gears, batteries and electric motors that weighs about as much as its feline counterpart. The team recently took the robot for a test run, where it bounded across the grass at a steady clip. The researchers estimate the robot may eventually reach speeds of up to 30 mph.

Researchers tested the robot in snow, submerged it in water, walked it through flames, and even ran it over with a car. After each experiment, it emerged unscathed.

From Harvard Engineers, a Machine that Can Walk through Flames

September 15, 2014 3:32 pm | by Peter Reuell, Harvard University | News | Comments

When it comes to soft robots, researchers have finally managed to cut the cord. Developers from Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have produced the first untethered soft robot — a quadruped that can stand up and walk away from its designers.

Advances in artificial intelligence and robotics mean that machines will soon be able to do many of the tasks of today's workers. And not just blue collar jobs in areas such as manufacturing, but even in such white collar occupations as lawyers, doctors a

You Won’t be Replaced by a Robot

September 8, 2014 10:02 am | by Steve Tally, Purdue University | News | Comments

Advances in artificial intelligence and robotics mean that machines will soon be able to do many of the tasks of today's workers. And not just blue collar jobs in areas such as manufacturing, but even in such white collar occupations as lawyers, doctors and — gulp — journalists.

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