August 20, 2010

Yellow Submarine to Explore Underwater River

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The University of Leeds has recruited a robotic submarine to explore a river under the sea. Apparently the body of water is large enough to be the 6th largest river on under the planet. The 23 foot long yellow sub carries a camera to explore what life may be hidden in the depths. Blue meanies, perhaps?

Via University of Leeds

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July 27, 2010

Toyota Heavy Duty Workbot

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Working with engineers, a team from MIT changed a Toyota 8-series lift truck into a workbot. It can locate, lift, move and put its cargo on any surface. Designed for both military and civilians, it can be used for high-risk duties in hazardous material storage facilities. The 3,000 lb. bot has a network of systems for navigation that includes sensors, a camera, PCs, servomotors, WiFi and a PDA.

Via Toyota

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July 26, 2010

Semi-Autonomous Vehicles Travel to China

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Two semi-autonomous vehicles from VisLab, of the University of Parma in Italy, left that city for a trek to Shanghai, China. The electric pair that run on solar energy will be following a vehicle driven by a human and travel 8,000 miles over the next three months. They will be traversing over various terrains with no fuel or human intervention. You can track the journey from the site with a map and cameras on the vehicles.

via VisLab

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July 22, 2010

3D Printer Makes Tiny Robotic Flyers

Hod Lipson and Charlie Richter use a 3D printer to create smaller and more efficient wings for flying robotic insects. It can make features that are only 16 micrometers and films about 40 micrometers thick in less than an hour. Their latest 4-winged bot was printed from polyester films on carbon fiber rods, weighs a mere 3.89 grams and can hover for up to 85 seconds.

Via New Scientist

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July 20, 2010

Boeing Phantom Eye Makes Debut

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Boeing recently unveiled its Phantom Eye that will go into action 2011. The UAV has a wingspan of 150 ft., can cruise at 150 knots, carries up to 450 lbs. and has 2 Ford Ranger truck engines inside that run on hydrogen. The Eye can stay in the air at 65,000 ft. for as much as 4 days at a time. If that isn't enough, the company is already planning one that can stay aloft for 10 days and believes that with several working in tandem, they could handle 24/7 coverage anywhere.

Via Boeing

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July 5, 2010

Russian Robotic Capsule Overshoots ISS

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A Russian robotic capsule missed its connection with the ISS by 20 miles last week, making it the second time the problem has occurred. The 24 ft. long space freighter, carrying equipment, propellant and containers of air, oxygen and water failed to hit its automated docking system radar link. Although the cargo was not considered critical, the crew did manage to bring Progress 37 in by manual docking.

Via Observe News

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June 28, 2010

Personalize Your Segway

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If you own a Segway i2 you can now get it customized by Colorware for a mere $1,500. The company, that usually specializes in personalizing electronics such as phones, computers and gaming systems, also provides new ones tailored to your lifestyle for $7,500.

Via Colorware

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May 20, 2010

Merces-Benz Uses Bots for Vehicle Testing

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Mercedes-Benz has begun using robots to test their vehicles using the same technology as DARPA. The robots steer, accelerate and break while an onboard computer controls the autopilot on a pre-programmed course. The car company is the first to use these maneuvers in safety testing that cannot be duplicated by humans.

Via Motor Authority

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May 19, 2010

Robots To Get Biosonar Night Vision

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Bats use echolocation (biosonar) to "see" in the dark and now researchers are thinking of using it on robots. Simon Whiteley and team, from the Centre for Ultrasonic Engineering at the University of Strathclyde, mounted wireless mic sensors on 6 Egyptian fruit bats to record their calls. They then replicated it electronically. Future applications may include using the technology in sonar and in positioning robotic vehicles.

Via Live Science

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May 17, 2010

Junior Learns to Parallel Park

Stanford's VW Passat named Junior has learned to parallel park even better than the average autonomous car. It accelerates in reverse at about 25 mph, hits its brakes, turns its wheel, goes into a 180ยบ skid then comes to a halt. Junior was put through his paces at the recent ICRA.

Via IEEE Spectrum

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