Grasping an object involves a complex network of brain functions. First, visual cues are processed in specialized areas of the brain. Then, other areas of the brain use these signals to control the hands to reach for and manipulate the desired object. New findings suggest that the cerebellum, a region of the brain that has changed very little over time, may play a critical role. Findings could lead to advancements in assistive technologies benefiting the disabled.
Scientists in Italy are working on creating robots that mimic the properties of plant roots, including the capacity for growth. They believe the potential future applications are not just the stuff of science-fiction.
Automated cameras make it possible to broadcast even minor events, but the result often looks...well, robotic. Now scientists have made it possible for robotic cameras to learn from human operators how to better frame shots of a basketball game.
Propulsion by undulation entails complicated interplay between body deformation and fluid motion. Developing high performance robots by utilizing such complex dynamics is a main goal of the research on robotic fish.
Researchers have created a model of the cerebellum comprising over 100,000 'neurons' - which was implemented on dedicated hardware for parallel computing known as a graphics processing unit (GPU) - s able to train a robot to accurately hit a ball bowled in real-time.