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Research & Innovation

by   -   August 30, 2017

by Jennifer Chu
Engineers at MIT have designed an autonomous robot with “socially aware navigation,” that can keep pace with foot traffic while observing these general codes of pedestrian conduct.
Credit: MIT

Just as drivers observe the rules of the road, most pedestrians follow certain social codes when navigating a hallway or a crowded thoroughfare: Keep to the right, pass on the left, maintain a respectable berth, and be ready to weave or change course to avoid oncoming obstacles while keeping up a steady walking pace.

by   -   August 24, 2017
Interactive Robogami enables the fabrication of a wide range of robot designs. Photo: MIT CSAIL

Even as robots become increasingly common, they remain incredibly difficult to make. From designing and modeling to fabricating and testing, the process is slow and costly: Even one small change can mean days or weeks of rethinking and revising important hardware.

interview by   -   August 18, 2017

In this episode, Jack Rasiel speaks with Kostas Bekris, who introduces us to tensegrity robotics: a striking robotic design which straddles the boundary between hard and soft robotics. A structure uses tensegrity if it is made of a number of isolated rigid elements which are held in compression by a network of elements that are in tension. Bekris, an Associate Professor of Computer Science, draws from a diverse set of problems to find innovative new ways to control tensegrity robots.

by   -   August 18, 2017

In 2016, the European Union co-funded 17 new robotics projects from the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for research and innovation.

Robot co-workers could help out with repetitive jobs and heavy lifting by reacting to human actions. Image credit – Italian Institute of Technology

by Anthony King
Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk fear that the robotic revolution may already be underway, but automation isn’t going to take over just yet – first machines will work alongside us.

Robots across the world help out in factories by taking on heavy lifting or repetitive jobs, but the walking, talking kind may soon collaborate with people, thanks to European robotics researchers building prototypes that anticipate human actions.

by   -   August 17, 2017
Credit: MIT Tech Review

13 researchers working in robotics and AI made the MIT Technology Review “35 Innovators Under 35” list this year.

by   -   August 9, 2017

To make it easier to diagnose and study sleep problems, researchers at MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital have devised a new way to monitor sleep stages without sensors attached to the body. Their device uses an advanced artificial intelligence algorithm to analyze the radio signals around the person and translate those measurements into sleep stages: light, deep, or rapid eye movement (REM).

interview by   -   August 5, 2017

 

In this episode, MeiXing Dong interviews Matthias Vanoni, co-founder and CEO of Biowatch. Vanoni speaks about Biowatch, a wrist-veins biometric reader that functions as a security solution for mobile payments and smart devices. They discuss the technical challenges of building a miniaturized wrist-vein reader and how this device changes the usual user authentication process.

by   -   August 4, 2017
SEM images of the hybrid soft pop-up actuators. The image has been colored in post processing to differentiate between the soft (in yellow) and the rigid structure (in blue). Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University

By Leah Burrows, SEAS Communications

Flexible endoscopes can snake through narrow passages to treat difficult to reach areas of the body. However, once they arrive at their target, these devices rely on rigid surgical tools to manipulate or remove tissue. These tools offer surgeons reduced dexterity and sensing, limiting the current therapeutic capabilities of the endoscope.

by   -   August 3, 2017

New machine-learning system can automatically retouch images in the style of a professional photographer. It’s so energy-efficient, however, that it can run on a cellphone, and it’s so fast that it can display retouched images in real-time, so that the photographer can see the final version of the image while still framing the shot.

Researchers are running tests on pig skin to better understand how skin behaves and pave the way for bioengineering applications. Image credit – Dr Aisling Ni Annaidh at University College Dublin

Artificial skin with post-human sensing capabilities, and a better understanding of skin tissue, could pave the way for robots that can feel, smart-transplants and even cyborgs.

New simulation methods enable easier, faster design of elastic materials for robots and other dynamic objects.

A team led by Sunil Agrawal, professor of mechanical engineering and of rehabilitation and regenerative medicine at Columbia Engineering, has published a pilot study in Science Robotics that demonstrates a robotic training method that improves posture and walking in children with crouch gait by enhancing their muscle strength and coordination.

by   -   July 26, 2017
Image: MIT CSAIL

Singapore and MIT have been at the forefront of autonomous vehicle development. First, there were self-driving golf buggies. Then, an autonomous electric car. Now, leveraging similar technology, MIT and Singaporean researchers have developed and deployed a self-driving wheelchair at a hospital.

Folding robots based on origami have emerged as an exciting new frontier of robotic design, but generally require onboard batteries or a wired connection to a power source, limiting their functionality. Scientist have now created battery-free folding robots that are capable of complex, repeatable movements powered and controlled through a wireless magnetic field.

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