Engineers developing moveable robot components may soon take advantage of a trick plants use. Researchers have devised porous materials that could serve as actuators, or motors. The dynamic mechanism of the material resembles that of some plant tissues.
Last weekend was the final round of competition in the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's contest to design control systems for a humanoid robot that could climb a ladder, remove debris, drive a utility vehicle, and perform several other tasks related to a hypothetical disaster.
The way insects see and track their prey is being applied to a new robot in the hopes of improving robot visual systems. The project - which crosses the boundaries of neuroscience, mechanical engineering and computer science - builds on years of research into insect vision.
Researchers are developing a new algorithm to help robots better plan their actions in complex environments. It's designed to help robots be more useful in the real world, but it's being developed with the help of a virtual world - that of the video game Minecraft.
Can understanding insects' mating behavior be useful for robotics research? Yes, according to two entomologists whose research using computer simulations shows that such insect behavior has implications for airborne robots (drones) that ply the sky searching for signature odors.
In a leap for robot development, the MIT researchers who built a robotic cheetah have now trained it to see and jump over hurdles as it runs - making this the first four-legged robot to run and jump over obstacles autonomously.
Scientists have created underwater robot swarms that function like schools of fish, exchanging information to monitor the environment, searching, maintaining, exploring and harvesting resources in underwater habitats.