July 29, 2010

Autonomous Doctor Bot Practices on Turkey

Duke University researchers are working on an autonomous robot that can take biopsies on humans based on ultrasounds. Using a turkey as the guinea pig because their flesh is similar to humans, they claim that the robot guided its plunger correctly to eight different locations 93% of the time without human intervention. We guess its that 7% that will keep the practice in the experimental stage a while longer.

Via Duke

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July 28, 2010

Ecobot III is Self Sufficient

Bristol Robotics Laboratory's Ecobot III's sole purpose in life is your basic eat, digest, poop. The bot has a digestive system that ingests biomass via microbial fuel cells and turns it into hydrogen atoms with the addition of water and then excretes. Because of the microbes, the robot can exist on waste. So far the team has found that it can maintain itself for up to a week but only utilizes 1% of the energy that is available.


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July 27, 2010

Pancake Tossing Bot Uses Reinforced Learning

Mmmm, pancakes. An Italian Institute of Technology team paired a Barrett WAM robotic arm and a simulated pancake in an effort to teach it to toss. While the video shows it to be almost an exercise in futility, it finally gets the hang of it. To further prove reinforced learning, team leader Sylvain Calinon also taught it to iron.

Via Sylvain Calinon

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July 23, 2010

Must Have: NXT Wall-E Close to Original

This Wall-E was created out of a LEGO Mindstorms NXT and is fully self-controlled. It can move forward, backwards and turn. He makes noises, holds objects, moves his head and is sound aware. And, like the original, this bugger can fold himself into a box. The project took 250 hrs. to build over the space of a year and has 5 RCX motors and 3 Levers.

Via NXT Wallet

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Sex Changing Flobi More Simpatico

Watch this video from Germany's Bielefeld University that features Flobi, a robotic head that can go from male to female. They are hoping that the somewhat comical face will avoid 'uncanny valley,' the theory that humans are repulsed by some humanoid bots. When are roboticists going to learn we just want Rosie?rosie2.jpg

Via Spectrum ieee

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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 21, 2010

CoCoNatch Mutters on Twitter

Japan is certainly embracing Twitter, where they refer to tweeting as "muttering." The University of Tokyo and Waseda University are developing CoCoNatch, a bot that connects to a computer by USB and responds to incoming messages. In addition, about 20 words can also be recorded by the user. The plan is to sell them en masse this fall for ¥4,000 (~$40.00) or a prototype can be had now for ¥6,000 (~$70.00.)

Via CoCoNatch

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July 19, 2010

So. Korea Employs Robotic Soldiers

South Korea has begun using robotic soldiers to keep up with the 1.2 million troops in the North. Developed by a group led by Samsung Techwin, the bots use heat and motion detection to find, warn and fire on soldiers that cross the Demilitarized Zone. At a cost of $330,000 apiece, that could be one expensive military force, but if they resemble this old video we found of an ST robot in action, very impressive.

Via Yonhap Newa

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

July 16, 2010

Must Have: RC Star Wars Episode III Planned

Fans of Robot Chicken will be pleased to know that "Star Wars Episode III" will be released Dec. 12 with Zac Efron as the voice of Anakin Skywalker. Until its release, both the original "Star Wars" and Episode II are available for your amusement.

Via Robot Chicken

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

July 14, 2010

EPFL Spy Cam Sticks to Surfaces

Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne has developed a spy system for vehicles with cameras that can attach themselves to walls, trees, or other surfaces. Mirko Kovac demonstrated the system that can not only be used on various sizes of flyers, they can be placed on hoppers as well. Usage could include checking out catastrophic conditions and searching for damage victims.

Via EPFL (translated)

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

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