May 12, 2010

i-LIMB Pulse Grips Better, Stronger


First there way the I-LIMB Hand and now Touch Bionics has a new and improved version known as the i-LIMB Pulse. The bionic arm now has an aluminium chassis, knuckles and dislocators, pulsing technology for increased grip strength, many automated features and BioSim, Touch Bionics' Bluetooth-enabled software that allows users to personalize the prosthetic hand.

Via Touch Bionics

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

SOHLA Plans Robotic Lunar Trip


SOHLA (Space Oriented Higashiosaka Leading Association) is planning to send a humanoid robot to the moon by 2015. At a cost of about $10.5 million, the Japan-based group believes that Maido can help stimulate the local economy by getting smaller organizations involved.

SOHLA board member Noriyuki Yoshida thinks that humanoids are the way to go. "Humanoid robots are glamorous, and they tend to get people fired up. We hope to develop a charming robot to fulfill the dream of going to space."

Via Pink Tentacle

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 10, 2010

Germans Test Robot Safety Issues

At the recent 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, the German Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics programmed a robotic arm to stab a silicone lump, a dead pig's leg and human volunteers. It was armed with steak and kitchen knives, a screwdriver and scissors. When the safety was off, the bot inflicted cuts on the lump and leg that were deemed potentially lethal. Fortunately, the humans only were used when the safety system was turned on, teaching us what we already knew. You never know when your robot will turn on you.

Via Popsci

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 7, 2010

Must Have: Free PR2 Bots in Beta Program

Willow Garage is offering 11 research teams its PR2 robots in a free, 2 year Beta Program. Because the bots are built with an open-source software platform, they can be programmed for many different roles in areas of perception, navigation, and manipulation. Worth more than $4 million, the recipients will be 10 universities in Japan Belgium, Germany and the US, and the tool and parts company Bosch.

By the way, one of those chosen is located at UC Berkely. This is the same team that taught a PR2 to fold towels. Now they will try to teach it how to do an entire load of laundry.

Via Willow Garage

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 27, 2010

Creepy Mouth Aids Hearing Impaired

Japan's Kagawa University engineers built a robot to assist the hearing impaired to speak. Made up of an an air pump, a resonance tube, a nasal cavity and a microphone, the artificial vocal chords talks and uses an algorithm to mimic human speech. Once it compares the user's speech to its own, it suggests pronunciation adjustment. Check out the creeped out video. It kind of reminds us of one of SeƱor Wences' creations.


Via Popsci

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 22, 2010

Robonaut 2 To Become Astrobot


NASA and General Motors have finally come up with a human-like bot that is worthy enough to go to the final frontier. Robonaut 2's purpose is to determine how robots can help humans in space. R2 has two arms, 4 wheels and will be sent to the International Space Station this September. With a weight of 300 lbs., NASA is also anxious to see how he will perform in zero gravity conditions.

Via NY Times

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 6, 2010

Snookie Takes to the Water


Researchers from the Technische Universitaet Muenchen in Germany have developed Snookie, an underwater robot that is made with an artificial sensory organ similar to those found in blind fish. Made of plexiglass and aluminum, the bot has 6 propeller gondolas to move it in the water and is aware of obstacles both in front of it and on either side. Future applications may be searching for airplane wreckage, inspecting sewage pipes and other underwater missions.

Via Physorg

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 5, 2010

UC Berkeley's PR2 Folds Towels

You know those Willow Garage folks make some of the best robots. Under the guidance of Asst. Professor Pieter Abbeel, a team at UC Berkeley used an algorithm and got their open source PR2 to fold towels, pick them up, catch the corners and after finishing, put them on the table. They say they had a 100% success rate when the bot folded 50 at the 2010 ICRA. We can't wait until they teach it about sheets, tablecloths, pillow cases...

(Thanks, Jim)

Via UC Berkeley

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

NREL Bot Grows Solar Cells


The National Renewable Energy Laboratory developed a robot that grows and analyzes solar cells in a mere 35 minutes. It takes a 6" square plate of flexible metal glass or plastic and builds a semi-conductor on it. The bot then measures its light absorption, catches errors and prepares the plates for production. It has the added capability of solar companies hooking up their own tools to the central robot (there are 6 in all) to see how their own formulas stack up.


Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 2, 2010

Hanako Trains Dentists

Hanako is a robotic dental patient built by three Japanese universities that will hopefully teach students to inflict less pain on their victims patients. She can spit, open and close her mouth, and talk. Even better, she expresses pain, rolls her eyes and simulates vomiting. That'll teach 'em.

Via Popular Tech News

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Join the Mailing List Newsletter
Enter your Email

Subscribe - RSS

facebook_badge.jpg twitter_badge.jpg


Visit our other properties at!



This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Powered by
Movable Type 6.3
All items Copyright © 1999-2017 Blogpire Productions. Please read our Disclaimer and Privacy Policy