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.
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.
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 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.