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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.

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...

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...

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...

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover used the camera at the end of its arm in April and May 2014 to take dozens of component images combined into this self-portrait where the rover drilled into a sandstone target called "Windjana." The camera is the Mars Hand Lens

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 dozens of component images combined into this self-portrait where the rover drilled into a sandstone target called "Windjana." The camera is the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI).

Robo Brain — a large-scale computational system that learns from publicly available Internet resources — is currently downloading and processing about 1 billion images, 120,000 YouTube videos, and 100 million how-to documents and appliance manuals. The in

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 resources — is currently downloading and processing about 1 billion images, 120,000 YouTube videos, and 100 million how-to documents and appliance manuals. The information is being translated and stored in a robot-friendly format that robots will be able to draw on when they need it.

Once installed, the sensors would provide information about the condition of bridges that cannot be obtained by visual inspection alone and would allow authorities to identify and focus on bridges that need immediate attention. Courtesy of USchick

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 needs significant repair or cannot handle automobile traffic, Tufts University engineers are employing wireless sensors and flying robots that could have the potential to help authorities monitor the condition of bridges in real time.

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.

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.

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