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Massimo Russo, a senior partner and managing director at The Boston Consulting Group, speaks with Raffaello D’Andrea about the future of robotics.

by   -   January 21, 2015
The DALER is a winged robot that can also walk.
The DALER is a winged robot that can also walk.

The issue of how to use one robot across multiple terrains is an ongoing question in robotics research. In a paper published in Bioinspiration and Biomimetics today, a team from LIS, EPFL and NCCR Robotics propose a new kind of flying robot that can also walk. Called the DALER (Deployable Air-Land Exploration Robot), the robot uses adaptive morphology inspired by the common vampire bat, Desmodus rotundus, meaning that the wings have been actuated using a foldable skeleton mechanism covered with a soft fabric so that they can be used both as wings and as legs (whegs).

by   -   January 8, 2015
The e-Dura is able to function while being bent (photo: © EPFL 2015)
The e-dura is able to function while being bent (photo: © EPFL 2015)

A team from EPFL and NCCR Robotics lead by Profs Stéphanie LacourGrégoire Courtine and Silvestro Micera published an article in Science today describing their e-dura implant that could revolutionise how we think about and treat paralysis. Until now, implants placed beneath the dura mater of the spinal cord have caused significant tissue damage when used over long periods. Research shows that the new e-dura implant is viable for months at a time in animal subjects. The team is now moving on to clinical trials in human subjects and is developing their prototype to take to market.

Working out the mechanics of walking is a major step towards creating assistive technologies.

When thinking about robots that can be used to care for the elderly, most people imagine humanoid robots that are meant to help with cooking, cleaning and socializing. But what if robots could be used to keep elderly people from needing help in the first place? Walking assistive devices could be just the tool.

by   -   December 12, 2014

ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich are founding a new translational research centre at the interface of medicine, science and engineering: the Wyss Translational Center Zurich. Through an interdisciplinary approach, the new centre aims to accelerate the development and application of innovative medical therapies and groundbreaking robotic systems.

by ,   -   November 26, 2014

The ETH spin-off Aeon Scientific has won the 2014 Swiss Technology Award in the Start-up category. The biomedical engineering company impressed the judges with its robot-controlled surgical system, which can be used to treat cardiac arrhythmia quickly and safely.

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   -   July 25, 2014

Jonathan Cheseaux, a masters student from Switzerland, has developed a system can detect and localize any WiFi device by sniffing its WiFi packets.

by   -   June 20, 2014

Technology to allow you to adopt uncomfortable poses for long periods of time

Noonee® is a new Start Up company coming out of research in robotics in Switzerland. Aimed at solving healthcare problems within the manufacturing industry, noonee adopts a Chairless Chair® approach.

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   -   June 26, 2013

microrobot_fingertip_xl

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

Ray_Oung_DFA_0019

“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   -   May 15, 2013

AirBurrXwithLegs

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.