March 12, 2009

Bionic Knee Wins iF Award

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This bionic knee just won an award from the recent iF (International Design Forum) in Germany. The JT20 von Bauerfeind joint from Rokitta has 2 - 3º mobility and is made for a body weight of up to 150kg. It certainly looks pretty functional and we expect it will take us that much closer to a future bionic man/woman.

Via iF (translated)

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March 5, 2009

Nanorobot Manipulates Molecules

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U.S. and Chinese scientists claim that they have a 2-armed nanorobot that can manipulate molecules inside a device built from DNA. The researchers say that it is programmable and can create new structures and therefore create new synthetic fibers, improve DNA-scaffolded computer assembly, and advance and improve encrypted information. The New York University and Nanjing University scientists claim that the nanobots perform with 100% accuracy.

Via Space Daily

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March 2, 2009

Oboe Saves Family Memories

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Oboe doesn't play music, but instead was designed to absorb knowledge from the elderly before they literally leave the planet. With their stories intact, designer Arnaud Deloustal claims that their "essence" lives on. We could see this becoming a viable product, a sort of robotic family tree, as long as the Oboes don't use the information to take over humans.

Via Yanko

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February 27, 2009

MIT Robot Exhibition - Robots and Beyond

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We received some shots from the MIT Exhibition, "Robots and Beyond," and wanted to share. This is an ongoing exhibition and if you can find your way to Cambridge sometime soon, you have to attend to learn about the history of robotics. Admission is a mere $7.50 for adults, less for kids and seniors.

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You will see Kismet, the very first social bot, and plenty of other historical robots. More shots after the jump.

(Thanks, Jay)

Via Robots and Beyond

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February 24, 2009

Korea to Build Robot Land

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Korea is actually going to erect a Robotic theme park. Dubbed Robot Land, it should be up by 2014. Built to promote their robotics industry, it will house a stadium, research and education centers, exhibition halls, corporate offices and play equipment. We wonder if they will hire real people as staff after it is completed.

Via Fareast Gizmos

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February 20, 2009

Pollen-Robos Track Levels in Japan

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Japan's Weathernews has distributed 500 Pollen-Robos, bots that monitor the pollen level for the approaching allergy season. Volunteers place them outside their homes to record real time pollen level, temperature, barometric pressure and humidity. The data is then sent to the Skynet company by the Internet. Each has glowing LED eyes and vary in color depending on the amount of pollen out there. We think they should have taken it one more step and taught them to say "Gesundheit."

Via <3Yen

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February 19, 2009

e-puck Swarm Mimics Ants

If there is ever a robotic takeover, perhaps it will not come from giant, evil ones but rather from small friendly-looking ones like the e-pucks. The University of Wales' Robotic Intelligence Lab has studied ant behavior and created 8 of the little buggers. The autonomous bots will have the ability to perform tasks assigned to them as well as figure out what else needs to be done. The lab is planning to make 25 more of them and then it's 'look out!' time.

Via e-puck

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February 11, 2009

Axel Can Climb Every Molehill

NASA's latest project is Axel, a robot that can handle rocky and steep terrain, scale cliffs and go down into deep craters. With a motor inside each of its wheels and one controlling a lever, the bot has a scoop to pick up material and two cameras that can tilt 260º. The device has wireless communication and computing capabilities, and a sensor to work autonomously. One Axel can be attached to another rover or several of them can be arranged to carry larger loads. NASA says applications include not only other planets but rescue operations after disasters.

Via Network World

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February 2, 2009

Primitive Life Form Organic Robots

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Professor/computer graphic artist Yoichiro Kawaguchi and his team from the University of Tokyo create robots that they feel imitate primitive life forms. They are doing this to explore how artificial life can "survive in a world governed by the law of the jungle." They will be giving the "Organics" a basic reflex system, eyes that can recognize and track objects, and biomimetric actuators and tentacles will be added to help them move a la centipedes. The team envisions them to be completed in about 2 years. In the meantime, 3D models are on display at the Yushima Seido-shrine until February 8.

Via Pink Tentacle

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January 29, 2009

Beetle Larvae Movements Model for Robot

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Sung Kwon Cho from Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh has come up with a propulsion system based on the movements of beetle larvae. The creatures can rest without sinking because of the tension and bend their bodies down to move forward. Cho's system is low-powered, needs little maintenance and has non-moving parts. They are planning on using the technology in robots and tiny boats. Check out PhysOrg to see it in action.

Via Gearlog

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