July 17, 2008

Pittsburgh to Celebrate 250th Anniversary Robotically


By the spring of next year, and partially because of Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh will become the permanent home of the Robotic Hall of Fame. This year, in honor of the city's 250th anniversary, CMU, the U. of P. and other foundations will be sponsoring Robot 250, a robotic arts festival. BigBots will be scattered throughout the city and there will be robot-building workshops, a theatre production and a botty film festival with such films as "Shrek," "A.I.," and "Westworld."

Via Robot 250 Festival

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July 10, 2008

RoboSnail Climbs...Everywhere!


Anette Hosoi, MIT Associate Professor, has a fascination with snails to the point that she collects them for her students to study how they can walk on any surface, whether it is sideways, backwards, forwards, or upside down. After studying the slime, she asked them to design robots that can do likewise. The RoboSnail was the result of the project. It has rippling, moveable segments on a layer of synthetic snail sludge and can go anywhere its living counterpart can. Anette is hoping that the bot can be used for invasive surgery or going underground in places that may be difficult for humans.


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July 9, 2008

Korean Bot Analyzes Blood


Korea's Pohang University of Science and Technology researchers have developed a robot that performs about 70 different blood tests so far, with the ability of 100 by next year. The 1.6 meter tall bot has a built-in reagent dispenser, protein detector, and software to do its thing. While this is only a prototype at this stage, the scientists are hoping to release it to the general public by 2012.

Via Fareast Gizmos

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June 26, 2008

Panasonic DSM-Hand Grips Without Dropping or Breakage


Check out Panasonic's new robotic appendage. The DSM-Hand (which stands for Differential Shaft Mechanism,) can grab objects with the use of gears rather than motors. The company hopes that they will someday be used as prosthetics. Considering all the times we have spilled drinks during some overly heavy partying, this is one prototype that we would love to invite to our next get-together.

Via Digital World Tokyo

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June 25, 2008

da Vinci Assists Human Surgeons


Surgeons in Ilinois seem to have the upper edge when it comes to using robotics in medicine. This could be because they now have a $2 million training center, at the University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago, and the "da Vinci," a $1.5 million robot that is used for minimally invasive surgery. About 85,000 robot-assisted surgeries were performed last year nationwide.

Dr. Enrico Benedetti, UIC's head of surgery, says "Until we train the next generation of surgeons to do this, we cannot meet the demand. At the end of the day, it's just a better way to do surgery."

They say the plusses are less blood loss and post-surgical complications, and a shorter recovery period. Most of those procedures are prostate removal, although Benedetti looks forward to the day when they can use da Vinci for heart-bypass, lung, stomach, and chest surgery.

Via Chicago Sun Times

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