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,...
The New York World's Fair of 1964 introduced 51 million visitors to a range of...
Suppose you’re trying to navigate an unfamiliar section of a big city, and you’re using a particular cluster of skyscrapers as a reference point. Traffic and one-way streets force you to take some odd turns and, for a while, you lose sight of your landmarks. When they reappear, in order to use them for navigation, you have to be able to identify them as the same buildings you were tracking before — as well as your orientation...
NASA has made available to the public, at no cost, more than 1,000 codes with its release on April 10, 2014, of a new online software catalog. Organized into 15 broad categories, the new catalog offers a wide variety of applications for use by industry, academia, other government agencies and the general public.
It looks like a giant sandbox — except the sand has a reddish tint and the "toys" on display are very expensive prototypes designed to withstand the rigors of landing on Mars. The European Mars rover unveiled March 27, 2014, at a "Mars Yard" testing ground in Britain is designed to drill beneath the surface of the Red Planet searching for signs of life. It's been dubbed 'Bryan' by its creators
Two miles down or more and darker than night, the ocean becomes a particularly challenging place for human searchers. If the wreckage of a missing Malaysian airliner rests somewhere in the Indian Ocean's depths, then investigators will likely need to entrust the hunt at least partly to robot submarines and the scientists who deploy them to scan remote swaths of the seafloor.
Creating surrogate human organs, coupled with insights from highly sensitive mass spectrometry technologies, a new project is on the brink of revolutionizing the way we screen new drugs and toxic agents.
Soft robots — which don’t just have soft exteriors but are also powered by fluid flowing through flexible channels — have become a sufficiently popular research topic that they now have their own journal, Soft Robotics. MIT researchers report the first self-contained autonomous soft robot capable of rapid body motion: a “fish” that can execute an escape maneuver, convulsing its body to change direction in just a fraction of a second
Future lunar missions may be fueled by gas stations in space, according to MIT engineers: A spacecraft might dock at a propellant depot, somewhere between the Earth and the moon, and pick up extra rocket fuel before making its way to the lunar surface.
Here is an agency-by-agency summary of President Barack Obama's proposed budget for fiscal 2015, beginning next Oct. 1. The top-line figures do not include spending on automatic entitlement benefits like Medicare and Social Security. The top-line figures for each agency also omit the $55.4 billion "opportunity" initiative Obama would divide equally between domestic and military programs.
Are we on the brink of a robotics revolution? That’s what numerous media outlets asked last December when Google acquired eight robotics companies that specialize in such innovations as manipulation, vision, and humanoid robots. Among those acquisitions was MIT spinout Meka Robotics. Founded in 2006, Meka was an early creator of “compliant” humanoid robots that now work safely alongside humans in everyday environments
2014 Rube Goldberg mission: zip a zipper in 20 steps. Chicago-area high school students will showcase a zany assortment of machines that can “Zip a Zipper” in 20 or more steps at this year’s 19th annual Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. The event is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and Chicago Children’s Museum.
Writing a program to control a single autonomous robot navigating an uncertain environment with an erratic communication link is hard enough; write one for multiple robots that may or may not have to work in tandem, depending on the task, is even harder.
It's not quite the bionics of science fiction, but European researchers have created a touch-enabled robotic hand that gave an amputee a sense of touch he hadn't felt in a decade. The experiment lasted only a week, but it let the patient feel if different objects — a bottle, a baseball, some cotton, a mandarin orange — were hard or soft, slim or round, and intuitively adjust his grasp.
Two 'friendly' robots, including a 3D-printed humanistic android, are helping scientists to understand how more realistic long-term relationships might be developed between humans and androids. ERWIN (Emotional Robot with Intelligent Network) is now being used as part of a PhD study to find out how some of the human-like thought biases in robot characteristics affect the human-robot relationship.
Researchers of Freie Universität Berlin, of the Bernstein Fokus Neuronal Basis of Learning, and of the Bernstein Center Berlin and have developed a robot that perceives environmental stimuli and learns to react to them. The scientists used the relatively simple nervous system of the honeybee as a model for its working principles. To this end, they installed a camera on a small robotic vehicle and connected it to a computer.
China says its first lunar rover is experiencing mechanical problems, a rare setback for its burgeoning space program that in recent years has conducted space walks and placed a space station in orbit. The six-wheeled Yutu vehicle began operating last month after making the first soft landing on the moon by a space probe in 37 years.
A decade after landing on Mars, the rover Opportunity is still chugging along. Sure, it has some wear and tear. One of its six wheels and two instruments stopped working long ago. It has an arthritic joint. Its flash memory occasionally suffers a senior moment.
From the world of nanotechnology we’ve gotten electronic skin, or e-skin, and electronic eye implants or e-eyes. Now we’re on the verge of electronic whiskers. Researchers with Berkeley Lab and the University of California (UC) Berkeley have created tactile sensors from composite films of carbon nanotubes and silver nanoparticles similar to the highly sensitive whiskers of cats and rats.
Momentum 3.3 automation scheduling software offers features to facilitate set-up and streamline workflows. It incorporates graphical system layout and an instrument integration suite within the runtime environment.
Let the robot race begin. Expectations are high for RoboEarth, a new European-funded system to speed the development of human-serving robots. Scientists from five major European technical universities gathered in the Netherlands for its launch and to demonstrate possible applications.
No machine is better at recognizing patterns in nature than the human brain. It takes mere seconds to recognize the order in a flock of birds flying in formation, schooling fish, or an army of a million marching ants. But computer analyses of collective animal behavior are limited by the need for constant tracking and measurement data for each individual; hence, the mechanics of social animal...
It’s an exploration celebration: The Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., has opened a new exhibit, “Spirit & Opportunity: 10 Years Roving Across Mars.” The retrospective recounts the Mars Rovers’ tandem missions in colorful, data-packed images
As our future robotic overlords come to enslave us, they'll be dancing the Electric Boogaloo. Some may consider flying drones to be the pilotless perverters of privacy. Or, worse, they're heartless harbingers of death. But, one Philadelphia filmmaker has cast the small-scale aircraft in a very different sort of role. Kurtis Sensenig envisions them as a graceful, agile and even comedic troupe of dancers.
Google recently acquired eight high profile start-up robotics companies, providing strong evidence of a strategy to create breakthrough applications for robotics over the next decade. This strategy is most likely to concentrate on manufacturing and logistics. Bringing these companies together, Google will need to find synergies between diverse organisations and personalities.
Medical implants, complex interfaces between brain and machine or remotely controlled insects: Recent developments combining machines and organisms have great potentials, but also give rise to major ethical concerns. In their review entitled “Chemie der Cyborgs – zur Verknüpfung technischer Systeme mit Lebewesen” KIT scientists discuss the state of the art of research, opportunities, and risks.
Scientists at Chalmers University in Göteborg, Sweden, are working with a team at car manufacturer Volvo to develop a vehicle control system that can take over steering and breaking when it detects an imminent collision. Details of the computer algorithm on which the team is working that can make split-second decisions on behalf of the driver and so reduce the risk of serious road accidents is...
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