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Robohub is an online platform that brings together leading communicators in robotics research, start-ups, business, and education from around the world.
by   -   September 11, 2013

The Dextrus hand is a robotic hand that can be put together for well under £650 ($1000) and offers much of the functionality of a human hand. Existing prosthetic hands are magnificent devices, capable of providing a large amount of dexterity using a simple control system. The problem is that they cost somewhere between £7,000-£70,000 ($11,000-$110,000) — far too much for most people to afford, especially in developing countries. Through the Open Hand Project, an open source project with the goal of making robotic prosthetic hands more accessible to amputees, a fully-functional prototype has already been developed. An indiegogo campaign is currently underway to provide funds for refining and testing the design.


by   -   September 4, 2013

NanoDoc is our new online game to crowdsource the design of nanomedicine.

The game allows bioengineers and the general public to imagine new nanoparticle strategies towards the treatment of cancer. It uses a simulator to predict how nanoparticles behave in tumors, and is based on years of research at the laboratory of Sangeeta Bhatia at MIT. The challenge is to design nanoparticles that interact with each other and their environment in a way that leads to better treatment outcomes.


by   -   August 27, 2013

What does the UK public want from robotics research? What are their hopes and fears? In order to discover more about what British citizens think about robotics and other key areas of technology, Sciencewise, the UK’s centre for public dialogue in policymaking for science and technology issues, has commissioned a set of reports to explore public attitudes through market research, opinion polling, academic research, public engagement activities and the media. The aim of the reports is to create a snapshot of current UK attitudes and values on robotics, and to make recommendations for further engaging the public in policy matters. The reports follow key announcements in the UK, including the identification of robotics as a key growth area by UK Chancellor George Osborne in his 2012 speech to the Royal Society, confirmation of this by Minister for Science and Universities David Willetts in his report Eight Great Technologies, and the July 2013 announcement that the UK robotics industry would receive a £40 million funding boost.


by and   -   July 26, 2013

The Deployable Air Land Exploration Robot (DALER) uses its own wings to crawl and roll over a variety of terrains. Using a self-adjusting structure to transform its wings into rotating arms, the robot is able to flip, rotate and navigate its way around and over obstacles on the ground. Sharing the wings across different modes of locomotion reduces the amount of infrastructure and weight the robot must carry, thus improving flight performance. The ability to adapt to a variety of environments is important in search and rescue operations, where both air and ground searching may be required.


by and   -   July 17, 2013

Autonomously flying robots — also called small-scale unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) — are more and more exploited in civil and commercial applications for monitoring, surveillance, and disaster response. For some applications, it is beneficial if a team of coordinated UAVs rather than a single UAV is employed. Multiple UAVs can cover a given area faster or take photos from different perspectives at the same time. This emerging technology is still at an early stage and, consequently, profound research and development efforts are needed.


by   -   July 16, 2013

Neurorobotics is one of the most ambitious fields in robotics and will play a major role in the newly announced Human Brain Project. This project was selected by the European Commission as a flagship project and will receive a prospected funding of 1 billion euro for a runtime of 10 years. The goal of the Human Brain Project is to pull together the highly fragmented knowledge in the neurosciences and to reconstruct the brain, piece by piece, in supercomputer-based models and simulations. It should lay the technical foundations for a new model of brain research that is based on Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), driving integration between data and knowledge from different disciplines, and catalyzing a community effort to achieve a new understanding of the brain, new treatments for brain disease and new brain-like computing technologies.


by   -   July 2, 2013

On June 17, 2013, Astronaut Chris Cassidy successfully drove a K10 rover on earth, via remote connection from the Surface Telerobotics Workbench on the International Space Station, showing that robots deployed to explore Mars or the far side of the moon could be remotely controlled by astronauts in space during future deep-space missions. Telerobotics, which involves human operators remotely controlling robotic arms, rovers and other devices in space, is one means of reducing risk in dull, dangerous or dirty tasks as humans explore space. 

NASA has a long history of playing for high stakes; think of the 7 minutes of terror Curiosity descent to Mars, Spirit & Opportunity, and indeed, the entire space race. Yet when human lives and millions of dollars in technology are invested, it’s critical to keep risk at a minimum. As part of our series on ‘High-Risk / High-Reward’ robotics, we asked Dr. Terry Fong of the NASA Ames Intelligent Robotics Group, to describe how NASA’s telerobotics initiatives help mitigate risk in space missions. – Robohub Editors


by   -   July 1, 2013

Over the past two decades, robotic planetary exploration has generated an incredible wealth of knowledge about our neighbors in the Solar System. We now realize that celestial bodies within our reach can provide resources such as water, minerals, and metals, essential for sustaining and supporting robotic and human exploration of the Solar System. It is only matter of time before “living off the land” exploration enabled by in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) becomes a reality.  The Solar System offers almost unlimited resources, but the difficult part is accessing them. Thus, if the cost of mining and processing can be reduced, some of the minerals that are in high demand on Earth could in fact be brought back and sold for commercial gain.


by   -   June 26, 2013

Unlike larger robots, microrobots for applications in the body are too small to carry batteries and motors. To address this challenge, we power and control robots made of magnetic materials using external magnetic fields. Developed at ETH Zurich’s  Multi-Scale Robotics Lab (MSRL), the OctoMag is a magnetic manipulation system that uses electromagnetic coils to wirelessly guide microrobots for ophthalmic surgery. 


by   -   June 12, 2013

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“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” — a catch phrase that aptly expresses the Distributed Flight Array: a modular robot consisting of hexagonal-shaped single-rotor units that can take on just about any shape or form. Although each unit is capable of generating enough thrust to lift itself off the ground, on its own it is incapable of flight much like a helicopter cannot fly without its tail rotor. However, when joined together, these units evolve into a sophisticated multi-rotor system capable of coordinated flight and much more.


by   -   June 11, 2013

QuadrotorSlalomLearningPriorExperienceSmall

A new video released today by researchers from the Flying Machine Arena shows how a quadrocopter is able to learn from prior experience to improve future performance.

This new research is an extension of results published last year by the same group, which show how quadrocopters can learn to fly high-performance slalom courses (video).

Much like humans learn through repetition and practice, the quadrocopter repeatedly flies the slalom course, records any errors made and then tries to compensate for these errors during the next attempt.


by   -   June 4, 2013

Researchers from the University of Minnesota have developed a non-invasive brain/computer interface that allows humans to remotely control a robot (in this case, a quadrotor) using only their thoughts. The research team, led by Bin He, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, hopes this technology can one day be used to help people with speech and mobility problems.

According to research team member Karl LaFleur, “If you imagine making a fist with your right hand, it turns the robot to the right. And if you imagine making a fist with both hands, it moves the robot up.”

The beauty of this research is that no implants are required to interface with the system.


by   -   June 3, 2013

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With the aim of implementing a television service which allows viewers to touch virtual objects, NHK is developing a tactile system which applies stimuli to five points on one finger, making objects feel more real than when using previous systems.

“This device assists people with a visual disability, through what’s called the tactile or kinesthetic sense. It communicates a 3D shape or 2D graph of an object shown on a TV, such as a work of art, as a sensation felt by the hand.”


by   -   May 21, 2013


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is a new 3D printing method that uses extrusion technology and a two-component thermosetting polymer to build up objects on any working surface that the polymer can adhere to, including floors, walls and ceilings, without the need for additional support structures.  While other 3D printing methods build up objects by successive 2D layering, this process truly builds up objects in all three dimensions: a script takes 3D models designed by the user in CAD software, converts them into 3D curves and then these 3D curves are converted into paths that are fed to the robotic arm. By combining these 3D curves, a variety of shapes can be achieved that would be impossible with other 3D printing methods.


by   -   May 20, 2013

compound_eye

Flies have small brains that would not be able to process high-resolution images such as those that we see with our own eyes. Instead, they’ve perfected the use of compound eyes, composed of a dense mosaic of tiny eye-like structures called ommatidia. Each ommatidium consists of a microlense that focuses light from a specific section of the insect’s field of view onto an independent set of photoreceptors. Think of it as having many low-resolution cameras pointing in different directions. The result is a vision system with low spatial resolution (i.e. it can’t see details), but a wide field of view (i.e. it can see all around). By comparing information across the different ommatidia, flies can extract temporal information useful for detecting motion. This motion information, also called optic flow, is what allows flies to navigate, take-off, land and avoid obstacles while using very little processing power.





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