Harvard to Develop Robobees

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Harvard has received $10 million from the National Science Foundation. Using their robotic fly they made in 2007 as a model, they will be creating a colony of robobees in order to study behavior and "intelligence." They will not only be able to fly, they will have smart sensors that can mimic the insects' eyes and antennae. Working with the Museum of Science in Boston, the team will also set up an interactive exhibit.

Via Harvard

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October 9, 2009

Eporos School Together Like Fish

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Nissan studied the movement of schools of fish and developed Eporos (EPisode O (Zero) Robot,) three-wheeled bots that share information to avoid crashing into each other. They use laser range finders and radio communication to determine where obstacles may be and then avoid them while still hanging near each other. The auto company is hoping to utilize the technology and apply it to future vehicles.

Via NY Daily News

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October 8, 2009

CARRIER Robotic Wheelchair Prototype

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Robotic wheelchairs are certainly becoming the "in" thing lately. The latest concept is the CARRIER. Designed as a project at the University of Applied Arts in the Studio Industrial Design 2, Esslinger, the chair can traverse all terrains with its Galileo Wheel and can even go up and down stairways. The CARRIER was built with a "trap door" for use over a toilet and moves in all directions.

Via Yanko

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October 2, 2009

Walk On, Robotic Tiles

Prof. Hiroo Iwata, of the University of Tsukuba in Japan, has created robotic tiles that can detect where a walker will go next. Each tile has a cover of Kuralon EC, a fabric that is touch sensitive to pressure of a walker's foot. There are sensors to determine the direction, then the information is relayed to a central computer that figures out where the next tile should be placed. Seeing as though Hiroo does research at the VR (virtual reality) Lab, his system would probably best serve in simulators to imitate movement, but we think it would be a nifty application for, say, walking on water.

Via technabob

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Marvin the Robot Feeds Himself

Intel's Seattle lab has teamed with the University of Washington to create Marvin, a one-armed bot who travels via Segway. On display at some of their public events, he was also on hand during last week's annual open house. Aside from his usual tricks, he plugged himself into an electical outlet. Marvin can sense the energy from the outlet within about 2.5mm. So far his accuracy is at 93% and rejoices after his power meal by whirring, chirping and other botty noises. Researcher Brian Mayton says that service bots will need that ability as they will have to assist humans with limited maintenance and control.

Via Seattle Times

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October 1, 2009

Panasonic Debuts Transforming Robobed

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Panasonic probably developed this bed that transforms into a wheelchair for those who can't get around much anymore, but hey, couch potatoes will love it, too. The bed converts by the user and has a control system that is easy to operate. While it is a bed, it features posture support technology and helps the user turn over to prevent bedsores. A canopy allows viewing TV, operating electronic devices and has a security camera built-in. As a chair it can detect obstacles and people to avoid collisions.

The Robotic Bed makes its debut at the 36th International Home Care & Rehabilitation Exhibition (H.C.R. 2009) to be held in Tokyo from September 29 to October 1, 2009.

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September 15, 2009

Waldo No Longer Lost

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Waldo, Mote Marine Labs' 115-pound autonomous underwater vehicle, went missing last week and its creators were literally asking "Where's Waldo?" A $500.00 reward was offered on the $100,000.00 AUV, but apparently he was only 50 ft. away from where he was lost. The sub resurfaced and signaled its position to his owners. Waldo has been trolling the Gulf near Venice since 2005, seeking phytoplankton, a single-celled algae that produces red tide.

Via Mote

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September 14, 2009

Benthic Rover Scans the Pacific Ocean

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The Benthic Rover was created by scientists and engineers to travel across the ocean floor 25 miles away from the California coast. About the size of a small car, its mission is to take photos of both creatures and sediment. The team is hoping that the robotic vehicle will help them document the effects of climate change and perhaps learn how the animals find enough food for their existence.

Via Science Daily

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Swarmanoid Project, Socializing Robots

If you are familiar with the Swarmanoid project, then you are already aware of the effort to make robots that can act in human-made environments. Eye-bots sense and analyze the environment by flying or being attached to the ceiling. Hand-bots climb walls or objects. Now Foot-bots have been added to the mix, moving in all terrains and transporting objects. If one of the bots is disabled, another can be added without overly effecting the swarm. The leader of the pack, of course, would be Human-bot.

Via Swarmanoid Project

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September 7, 2009

Rodem Assists Mobility Impaired

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The Veda International Robot R&D Center has created this glorified wheelchair to be released within the next year. It is the first device to come out of the new center, which opened in May. At a size of 1220 x 690 x 1170mm, it moves at three different speeds. The bulky looking Rodem (Robot for Enjoying Mobility) is can be "mounted" from behind and has knee and chest rests for a more comfortable ride. It doesn't look all that comfy to us. The chair should have a price of about ¥500,000 to 700,000 (~$6,000.00.)

Via Physorg

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