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Tag : Swiss Robots

by   -   October 7, 2014

The future is in the hands of tiny robots, really tiny robots — and the expectation is that they will perform miraculous tasks, such as eye surgery and environmental cleanup.

by   -   March 4, 2014


UPDATE 04/03/2014:

In this video update, we show that a quadrocopter can be safely piloted by hand after a motor fails, without the aid of a motion capture system. This follows our previous video, where we demonstrated how a complete propeller failure can be automatically detected, and that a quadrocopter can still maintain stable flight despite the complete loss of a propeller. 

by   -   February 7, 2014

ETH Zurich and EPFL are jointly entering into a new research partnership with Microsoft Research. Over five years, Microsoft Research will provide five million Swiss francs of funding to support IT research projects. Microsoft researchers will also work closely with the scientists at the two universities.

by   -   November 18, 2013


Quadrocopters assembling tensile structures in the ETH Flying Machine Arena. Photo credit: Professorship for Architecture and Digital Fabrication and the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control, ETH Zurich.

The team at the ETH Flying Machine Arena has released three new videos, demonstrating quadrotors building tensile structures, tossing a ball back and forth, and refining a figure-eight trajectory using iterative learning. Worth the watch!!

by   -   October 30, 2013


Gimball is a flying robot that survives collisions. It weighs just 370g for 34cm in diameter. Photo credit: A. Herzog, EPFL.

Generally, flying robots are programmed to avoid obstacles, which is far from easy in cluttered environments. At the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems, we think that flying robots should be able to physically interact with their surroundings. Take insects: they often collide with obstacles and continue flying afterwards. We thus designed GimBall, a flying robot that can collide with objects seamlessly. Thanks to a passively rotating spherical cage, it remains stable even after taking hits from all sides. This approach enables GimBall to fly in the most difficult places without complex sensors.


Students take a research tour with Damen ship repairs in Rotterdam.

A team of students from ETH Zurich and ZHdK have developed a prototype for a robotic ship inspection unit that is capable of conducting visual inspections of ship ballasts. Ballast inspection – which involves navigating hard-to-reach spots with no line of sight, often in the presence of intense heat, humidity, and hazardous gases – is normally done by human inspectors, and represents a significant cost to ship-owners who must pay for dry-docking and who face lost income when they cannot operate their ships during the inspection period. Because robotic ship inspection can occur while the ship is in operation, it could significantly reduce dry-dock time. The Ship Inspection Robot (SIR), which was developed in conjunction with Alstom Inspection Robotics and which uses magnetic wheels to navigate the I-beams and other awkward obstacles found inside ship ballast, is relatively compact and does not require any cables for power or communication, and thus offers significant mobility improvements over other robotic ship inspection prototypes. Project leaders anticipate that a per unit production cost could be as low as €4K, enabling shipping companies to operate several units in parallel as an additional time-saving measure. The robot was developed as part of a Bachelor-level project that aims to give students practical experience and promote contacts with industry.

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


“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

With reporting and photos by Dario Brescianini and Mark Mueller and timelapse video by  James Duncan Davidson.

Raffaello D’Andrea juggles quadrotors at TED Global 2013.

A quadrocopter swoops through the air to serve a glass of water without spilling a drop. Another gets two of its propellers cut off, yet still easily flies across the arena. ”It looks like magic!” says ETH Zurich‘s Raffaello D’Andrea, but it took a lot of research, hard work and planning to bring this ‘magic trick’ to TED Global.

by   -   May 15, 2013


The Airburr, a light-weight flying robot from the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems (my PhD lab) at EPFL, was designed to fly in cluttered environments. Unlike most flying robot, which avoid contact at all cost, the Airburr interacts with its environment to navigate. Just like you might trail your hand along a wall to find your way in the dark, the robot can bounce of walls or follow them without crashing to the ground.

by   -   May 3, 2013

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert L. Stephenson

by   -   March 5, 2013


Designing robots that can function outside of controlled, factory environments isn’t easy. When those environments have people in them, they are especially unpredictable and difficult for a robot to navigate.

Enter Rezero: a compact ballbot that can fluidly drive in any direction without prior orientation.

by   -   February 25, 2013

In recent years cloud computing has made an entrance into our lives. Naturally, this begs the question how cloud computing can be used in robotics applications. With Rapyuta, the RoboEarth Cloud Engine, an open source software package is released that tries to answer this question. Rapyuta provides an easy solution specifically tailored to robotics applications.

by   -   February 21, 2013


Two of the most challenging problems tackled with quadrocopters so far are balancing an inverted pendulum and juggling balls. My colleagues at ETH Zurich’s Flying Machine Arena have now combined the two.