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A personalised robot companion for older people (w/video)

A highly customisable robot companion designed by EU-funded researchers to offer support to older people is currently being presented across Europe and could find its way into people's homes within two or three years, potentially greatly enhancing quality of life for older citizens and people with memory or mobility problems.

Posted: Aug 15th, 2013

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Social robots see smell

'The thing that's been missing in robotics is a sense of smell,' said biology pro­fessor Joseph Ayers. For more than four decades, he has been working to develop robots that do not rely on algo­rithms or external con­trollers. Instead, they incor­po­rate elec­tronic ner­vous sys­tems that take in sen­sory inputs from the envi­ron­ment and spit out autonomous behav­iors.

Posted: Aug 13th, 2013

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The robot and its virtual twin (w/video)

It walks, falls, and gets up on his own, follows a ball by sight and shoots. It also knows how to do many other things. The small humanoid robot DARwIn-OP was developed by a Korean company and three U.S. universities to serve as a tool for scientific research. Now, David Mansolino has given it a digital twin. This graduate student integrated it into a simulation platform developed by an EPFL spin-off, Cyberbotics.

Posted: Aug 13th, 2013

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SkySweeper robot makes inspecting power lines easy and inexpensive (w/video)

Mechanical engineers at the University of California, San Diego invented a robot designed to scoot along utility lines, searching for damage and other problems that require repairs. Made of off-the-shelf electronics and plastic parts printed on an inexpensive 3D printer, the SkySweeper prototype could be scaled up for less than $1,000, making it significantly more economical than the two models of robots currently used to inspect power lines.

Posted: Aug 6th, 2013

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Researchers create 'soft robotic' devices using water-based gels

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new technique for creating devices out of a water-based hydrogel material that can be patterned, folded and used to manipulate objects. The technique holds promise for use in 'soft robotics' and biomedical applications.

Posted: Aug 2nd, 2013

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Top robotic helicopter team sets sights on impossible mission (w/video)

If the mission sounds impossible, that's because it is - at least with today's technology: Build a three-pound flying machine that can, under its own control, take off, fly through a window into a model building, avoid security lasers, navigate the halls, recognize signs, enter the correct room, find a flash drive in a box on a desk, pick it up, leave a decoy, exit and land in under 10 minutes.

Posted: Aug 1st, 2013

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Robots strike fear in the hearts of fish

The latest in a series of experiments testing the ability of robots to influence live animals shows that bio-inspired robots can not only elicit fear in zebrafish, but that this reaction can be modulated by alcohol. These findings may pave the way for new methodologies for understanding anxiety and other emotions, as well as substances that modulate them.

Posted: Jul 31st, 2013

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NASA successfully tests the Surface Telerobotics exploration concept

On June 17 and July 26, NASA tested the Surface Telerobotics exploration concept, in which an astronaut in an orbiting spacecraft remotely operates a robot on a planetary surface. In the future, astronauts orbiting other planetary bodies, such as Mars, asteroids or the moon, could use this approach to perform work on the surface using robotic avatars.

Posted: Jul 30th, 2013

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Visio.M e-mobility project unveils remote control driving technology

Scientists at the Technische Universität München (TUM) believe that full-size remote control cars could be hitting the roads within the next five to ten years. So if your next rental car turns up to your door driverless, the chances are that the actual driver is sitting in the car rental headquarters.

Posted: Jul 26th, 2013

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