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Seahorse's armor gives engineers insight into robotics designs

The tail of a seahorse can be compressed to about half its size before permanent damage occurs, engineers at the University of California, San Diego, have found. The tail's flexibility is due to its structure, made up of bony, armored plates, which slide past each other. Researchers are hoping to use a similar structure to create a flexible robotic arm, which could be used in medical devices, underwater exploration and unmanned bomb detection and detonation.

Posted: May 1st, 2013

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Robots able to reach through clutter with whole-arm tactile sensing (w/ video)

Whether reaching for a book out of a cluttered cabinet or pruning a bush in the backyard, a person's arm frequently makes contact with objects during everyday tasks. Animals do it too, when foraging for food, for example. Much in the same way, robots are now able to intelligently maneuver within clutter, gently making contact with objects while accomplishing a task. This new control method has wide applications, ranging from robots for search-and-rescue operations to assistive robotics for people with disabilities.

Posted: Apr 30th, 2013

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How would you like your assistant - Human or Robotic?

In a Georgia Tech study, more than half of healthcare providers interviewed said that if they were offered an assistant, they preferred it to be a robotic helper rather than a human. However, they don't want robots to help with everything. They were very particular about what they wanted a robot to do, and not do.

Posted: Apr 29th, 2013

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Factories of the future: Robots for aerospace production

The factory of the future is now coming to the aerospace industry. To help it along the way, a consortium made up of European research institutions and industrial partners is developing mobile, autonomously operating robots. These robots will help with the assembly of aerospace components and work hand-in-hand with humans on the production floor.

Posted: Apr 29th, 2013

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Robot learns to collaborate assembling IKEA furniture (w/video)

Research in learning from demonstration has focused on transferring movements from humans to robots. However, a need is arising for robots that do not just replicate the task on their own, but that also interact with humans in a safe and natural way to accomplish tasks cooperatively.

Posted: Apr 19th, 2013

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Providing robotic carers and smart systems for the elderly

A team of European universities, research institutes, commercial companies and care organisations have been working on a new type of social carer which can provide help in these and other situations. The EU-funded Mobiserv project has been working for the past three years to create a robot companion for older adults that can remind them about eating, drinking and taking medicines, offer structure throughout the day, and help people to stay active by suggesting a variety of activities.

Posted: Apr 18th, 2013

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