A robotic bartender has to do something unusual for a machine: It has to learn to ignore some data and focus on social signals. Researchers investigated how a robotic bartender can understand human communication and serve drinks socially appropriately.
Taking inspiration from water beetles and other swimming insects, researchers have developed the Row-bot, a robot that thrives in dirty water. The Row-bot mimics the way that the water boatman moves and the way that it feeds on rich organic matter in the dirty water it swims in.
Trips and stumbles too often lead to falls for amputees using leg prosthetics, but a robotic leg prosthesis being developed now promises to help users recover their balance by using techniques based on the way human legs are controlled.
Scientists report a way to make elastic material for soft robots that changes color when it stretches. They say this process opens the door to robot camouflage, new ways to deliver medicines and other applications.
Most robotic parts used to today are rigid, have a limited range of motion and don't really look lifelike. Inspired by nature and biology, a scientist has designed a novel robotic finger using shape memory alloy, a 3-D CAD model of a human finger, a 3-D printer and a unique thermal training technique. This bio-inspired robotic finger could ultimately be adapted to use as a prosthetic device, like a prosthetic hand.
The adaptive system replaces standard landing gear with four articulated, jointed legs that are able to fold up next to the helicopter's fuselage while in flight and are equipped with force-sensitive contact sensors in their feet.