July 13, 2009

Support Livestrong via Chalkbot

By now you have probably heard that Lance Armstrong's return to the Tour de France was to promote his Livestrong campaign. He didn't stop there. Livestrong and Nike came up with a robotic painter named Chalkbot that prints messages along the path of the race. Want to participate? Get your message chalked out by sending it to 36453 and you will not only own a piece of the road, but will help draw awareness to cancer as well.

Via Nike/Livestrong

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

July 10, 2009

NCSU Develops Robo-Bat

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North Carolina State University has been developing the Robo-Bat, a remote controlled creature that can produce an entire range of motion but will return to its original position like its living counterparts. Instead of bones, cartilage and tendons, it consists of an elastic shape-memory metal alloy for its joints and other "smart" materials that respond to electric current. The team believes it can be useful in surveillance and learning more about aerodynamics.

Via NCSU

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

July 7, 2009

Toyota's Wheelchair Runs on Brain Waves

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Toyota has developed a system that can drive a wheelchair with only brain waves. Working with Japanese researchers, the new technology takes only 125 milliseconds to go from brain to chair. The person in it dons a cap that reads signals, relayed to an EEG, analyzed on a computer program, then powers up the electric chair. The system allows for turning right or left but to stop one must puff into a detector placed on a cheek. Honda is also working on a system by using ASIMO, but neither will be available to consumers in the immediate future.

Via Physorg

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July 6, 2009

SCRATCHbot Rescues in the Dark

The Bristol Robotics Lab and the University of Sheffield have created the SCRATCHbot (Spatial Cognition and Representation through Active TouCh.) The robotic rat can run through the dark and feel its way around with plastic whiskers. The robot's sensors actually sweep like their real life relatives. The team is hoping that they will be used for rescuing victims from smoke filled buildings. Looking at the SCRATCHbot's design, we think it's a good think it will be dark.

Via Daily Contributor

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June 26, 2009

Medical Bot Detects Shrapnel Autonomously

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This incredible medical robot can locate shrapnel and guide a needle to the location in the body without human assistance. Developed by bioengineers at Duke University, they used a basic tabletop bot with a 3D ultrasound probe and an AI program. They attached an electromagnet to the probe so that when the shrapnel vibrated, its motion was detected. The autonomous medical bot may also have future applications as placing and removing radioactive "seeds" when treating cancer.

Via Science Daily

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June 17, 2009

Psikharpax, Giant Robotic Rat

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France's AnimatLab has created a robotic rat dubbed Psikharpax (named after Homer's king of the rats,) with working paws and whiskers. The researchers felt that they should start at the bottom and allow the bot to perform simpler tasks, such as navigating, avoiding danger and seeking robotic cheese, we suspect.

"The rat is the animal that scientists know best, and the structure of its brain is similar to that of humans," said Steve Nguyen, a doctoral student at ISIR. Perhaps they will create a robotic cat to keep it in check as their next project.

Via Physorg

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June 15, 2009

Koeda Improves Locomotion in Robot

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Masanao Koeda created a bipedal robot with the express purpose of teaching him to move more like humans and to be able to turn around more easily. Now it seems that the Associate Professor at Osaka Electro-Communication University has now taught him some new tricks. He has smoother locomotion and the ability to know the difference between surfaces. Check out the video here.

Via Digital World

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June 5, 2009

MIT To Apply Robotic Theraphy to Kids With CP

A group of MIT engineers are working on robotic therapy that they feel can "help reduce impairment and facilitate neuro-development of youngsters with cerebral palsy." The team's robot collection of shoulder-and-elbow, wrist, hand and ankle robots have been in trial for over 15 years in stroke victims and say that the same principal can be applied to those with CP to help rebuild brain connections.

Via MIT

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June 3, 2009

Nurse Kobian, the Emotional Bot

Waseda University researchers have created Kobian, a Kyushu based robot that can express emotions. The bot can walk around, is aware of its environment and can perform tasks. He can show seven different feelings such as surprise, sadness and dislike and poses to match the mood as well as moving his facial features. The team claims that its expressiveness makes for better interaction and they may put him to work in nursing.

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

May 25, 2009

ACE Needs Humans for Direction

Similar to Kacie Kinzer's Twinbots, Martin Buss and a team from the Technical University of Munich created ACE, aka Autonomous City Explorer. They sent the bot, equipped with sensors, software and cameras, to the Marienplatz without directions, about 1.5km away from the school. ACE had to rely on humans to point him in the right direction. To make a long story short, it took almost five hours and 38 people, 21 of them who were merely curious, to get him to his destination. What we want to know is once ACE found his way, could he be programmed to show the Twinbot the way, or vice versa?

Via New Scientist

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