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by   -   October 31, 2020

By Nicola Nosengo

NCCR Robotics researchers at EPFL have developed a drone with a feathered wing and tail that give it unprecedented flight agility.

A few weeks ago I gave a short paper at the excellent International Conference on Robot Ethics and Standards (ICRES 2020), outlining a case study in Ethical Risk Assessment – see our paper here. Our chosen case study is a robot teddy bear, inspired by one of my favourite movie robots: Teddy, in A. I. Artificial Intelligence.

by   -   October 26, 2020

Scientists from the University of Bristol and the Royal Veterinary College have discovered how birds are able to fly in gusty conditions – findings that could inform the development of bio-inspired small-scale aircraft.

by and   -   October 23, 2020

This Sunday sees the start of the 2020 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS). This year the event is online and free for anyone to attend. Content will be available from the platform on demand, with access available from 25 October to 25 November 2020.

by   -   October 23, 2020
MorphSensor glasses
An MIT team used MorphSensor to design multiple applications, including a pair of glasses that monitor light absorption to protect eye health. Credits: Photo courtesy of the researchers.

By Rachel Gordon

We’ve come a long way since the first 3D-printed item came to us by way of an eye wash cup, to now being able to rapidly fabricate things like car parts, musical instruments, and even biological tissues and organoids

Robot swarm painting

By Conn Hastings, science writer

Controlling a swarm of robots to paint a picture sounds like a difficult task. However, a new technique allows an artist to do just that, without worrying about providing instructions for each robot. Using this method, the artist can assign different colors to specific areas of a canvas, and the robots will work together to paint the canvas. The technique could open up new possibilities in art and other fields.

by   -   October 13, 2020

It’s Ada Lovelace Day and once again we’re delighted to introduce you to “30 women in robotics you need to know about”! From 13 year old Avye Couloute to Bala Krishnamurthy who worked alongside the ‘Father of Robotics’ Joseph Engelberger in the 1970s & 1980s, these women showcase a wide range of roles in robotics. We hope these short bios will provide a world of inspiration, in our eighth Women in Robotics list! 

by   -   October 6, 2020

By Oleh Rybkin, Danijar Hafner and Deepak Pathak

To operate successfully in unstructured open-world environments, autonomous intelligent agents need to solve many different tasks and learn new tasks quickly. Reinforcement learning has enabled artificial agents to solve complex tasks both in simulation and real-world. However, it requires collecting large amounts of experience in the environment for each individual task.

Therapist holding patient's arm, who is wearing an intelligent wereable device
A team led by Wyss Associate Faculty member Paolo Bonato, Ph.D., found in a recent study that wearable technology is suitable to accurately track motor recovery of individuals with brain injuries and thus allow clinicians to choose more effective interventions and to improve outcomes. Credit: Shutterstock/Dmytro Zinkevych

By Tim Sullivan / Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Communications

A group based out of the Spaulding Motion Analysis Lab at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital published “Enabling Precision Rehabilitation Interventions Using Wearable Sensors and Machine Learning to Track Motor Recovery” in the newest issue of Nature Digital Medicine. The aim of the study is to lay the groundwork for the design of “precision rehabilitation” interventions by using wearable technologies to track the motor recovery of individuals with brain injury.

by   -   September 30, 2020

By Ashvin Nair and Abhishek Gupta

Robots trained with reinforcement learning (RL) have the potential to be used across a huge variety of challenging real world problems. To apply RL to a new problem, you typically set up the environment, define a reward function, and train the robot to solve the task by allowing it to explore the new environment from scratch. While this may eventually work, these “online” RL methods are data hungry and repeating this data inefficient process for every new problem makes it difficult to apply online RL to real world robotics problems. What if instead of repeating the data collection and learning process from scratch every time, we were able to reuse data across multiple problems or experiments? By doing so, we could greatly reduce the burden of data collection with every new problem that is encountered.

by   -   September 16, 2020

By Misha Laskin, Aravind Srinivas, Kimin Lee, Adam Stooke, Lerrel Pinto, Pieter Abbeel

A remarkable characteristic of human intelligence is our ability to learn tasks quickly. Most humans can learn reasonably complex skills like tool-use and gameplay within just a few hours, and understand the basics after only a few attempts. This suggests that data-efficient learning may be a meaningful part of developing broader intelligence.

by   -   August 26, 2020

By Lindsay Brownell

Minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, in which a surgeon uses tools and a tiny camera inserted into small incisions to perform operations, has made surgical procedures safer for both patients and doctors over the last half-century. Recently, surgical robots have started to appear in operating rooms to further assist surgeons by allowing them to manipulate multiple tools at once with greater precision, flexibility, and control than is possible with traditional techniques. However, these robotic systems are extremely large, often taking up an entire room, and their tools can be much larger than the delicate tissues and structures on which they operate.

by   -   August 12, 2020

One of the biggest challenges in computing is handling a staggering onslaught of information while still being able to efficiently store and process it.

By Adam Conner-Simons

Big data has gotten really, really big: By 2025, all the world’s data will add up to an estimated 175 trillion gigabytes. For a visual, if you stored that amount of data on DVDs, it would stack up tall enough to circle the Earth 222 times. 

by   -   July 28, 2020
Protein-based artificial muscles for soft robotic actuators
Series of protein-based artificial muscles, with performance exceeding that of biological muscle. Other soft robotic parts could include soft grippers and soft actuators. IMAGE: ABDON PENA-FRANCESCH, LEAD AUTHOR OF THE PAPER AND A FORMER DOCTORAL STUDENT IN DEMIREL’S LAB (NOW STARTING HIS OWN GROUP IN UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN).

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Repeated activity wears on soft robotic actuators, but these machines’ moving parts need to be reliable and easily fixed. Now a team of researchers has a biosynthetic polymer, patterned after squid ring teeth, that is self-healing and biodegradable, creating a material not only good for actuators, but also for hazmat suits and other applications where tiny holes could cause a danger.

by   -   July 27, 2020

The DARPA Subterranean (SubT) Challenge aims to develop innovative technologies that would augment operations underground. On July 20, Dr Timothy Chung, the DARPA SubTChallenge Program Manager, joined Silicon Valley Robotics to discuss the upcoming Cave Circuit and Subterranean Challenge Finals, and the opportunities that still exist for individual and team entries in both Virtual and Systems Challenges, as per the video below.

Empowering Farmers Through Root AI
October 19, 2020

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