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Northwestern University mechanical engineering professor Todd Murphey and his team are engineering robots that one might say could make robotic assistance as seamless as “humanly” possible. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the team is using novel algorithmic tools, such as a drawing robot, to develop the algorithms, or rules of behavior, that would greatly enhance a robot’s ability to adapt to human unpredictability.

The demands posed by a rapidly ageing global population are leading manufacturers of robots to develop technology for providing care and rehabilitation for elderly and impaired people in their own homes.

From bustling cities to tiny farming communities, the bright lights of the local stadium are common beacons to the Friday night ritual of high school football. But across the sprawling stretches of rural America, these stadiums are commonly far from doctors who could quickly diagnose and treat head injuries that have brought so much scrutiny to the sport. But by using a remote-controlled robot, a neurologist sitting hundreds of miles from the field can evaluate athletes for concussion with the same accuracy as on-site physicians.

What do you get when you put together wood and rope? Well according to Plymouth University’s Professor Guido Bugmann: a low-cost, open source, 2 meter tall robot! All buildable for under £2000. The Cheap Arm Project (CHAP) began as an MSc project aimed at developing an affordable mobile robot arm system that could be used by wheelchair users to access daily objects at inaccessible heights or weights (the extreme case being 2 litre bottle).

by   -   March 21, 2017

In a poignant play traveling throughout the UK, a robot is co-star and companion to the wife of the (now deceased) robot builder, with the wife developing early Alzheimer’s. The play explores very human themes about love, death, and disease, all handled extremely sensitively with RoboThespian playing a large role.

interview by   -   March 18, 2017



In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Bradley Knox, founder of bots_alive. Knox speaks about an add-on to a Hexbug, a six-legged robotic toy, that makes the bot behave more like a character. They discuss the novel way Knox uses machine learning to create a sense character. They also discuss the limitation of technology to emulate living creatures, and how the bots_alive robot was built within these limitations.

Ghost Robotics—a leader in fast and lightweight direct-drive legged robots—announced recently that its Minitaur model has been updated with advanced reactive behaviors for navigating grass, rock, sand, snow and ice fields, urban objects and debris, and vertical terrain.

by   -   February 28, 2017
Credit: Boston Dynamics

Handle is a research robot standing 6.5 ft tall, travels at 9 mph and jumps 4 feet vertically. It uses electric power to operate both electric and hydraulic actuators, with a range of about 15 miles on one battery charge. Handle uses many of the same dynamics, balance and mobile manipulation principles found in the other quadruped and biped robots Boston Dynamics’ build, but with only about 10 actuated joints, it is significantly less complex. Wheels are efficient on flat surfaces while legs can go almost anywhere: by combining wheels and legs Handle can have the best of both worlds.

by   -   February 24, 2017

Cassie is an advanced legged mobility robot. Created by Oregon State University spin-off, Agility Robotics, Cassie’s engineering team has big plans for this robot to assist rescuers in disaster relief and go the extra mile when delivering packages right to our doors, potentially helping to revolutionise the retail market.

by   -   February 22, 2017

Since the launch of the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco in December 2015, individuals from around the world have been racing to form Teams and develop a range of groundbreaking technologies to access the deep-sea. Registration closed at the end of September 2016 with 32 bold Teams stepping forward to take on the challenge of mapping and imaging our ocean as never before.

by   -   February 22, 2017

Robotics undoubtedly has the potential to improve lives in the developing world. However, with limited budgets and expertise on the ground, putting this technology in place is no small task. Step forwards WeRobotics, a new Swiss/American NGO dedicated to meeting this goal through the creation of in-country ‘flying labs’. Co-founder Adam Klaptocz explains all.

by   -   February 21, 2017

Ocado, the world’s largest online-only supermarket, has been evaluating the feasibility of robotic picking and packing of shopping orders in its highly-automated warehouses through the SoMa project, a Horizon 2020 framework programme for research and innovation funded by the European Union.

Chances are that you’ve never given much thought to how insects walk, or what combination of leg movements–or gaits–is most stable or fastest, but, if like a group of scientists from Ramdya, Floreano and Ijspeert labs, NCCR Robotics, you are trying to create fast and robust robots, taking inspiration some of nature’s most agile movers might give you just the inspiration you need.

Felix Von Drigalski, of the Nara Institute of Science and Technology, introduces a versatile, open-source, two-finger gripper for textile manipulation that can sustain significant pushing loads in order to perform tucking tasks, using active perception.

by   -   February 9, 2017

In these snappy tutorials, Robo-vlogger Philip English (a.k.a. “Robo-Phil”) introduces a method of programming your NAO robot how to walk and talk using Python.





Kickstart Accelerator
April 17, 2017


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