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.
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.
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.
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.
For the first time, the largest conference for robotics and automation worldwide, the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2013, will take place at the Karlsruhe Congress Center from May 06 to 10, 2013.
Rethink Robotics today announced the launch of the Baxter Research Robot, a humanoid robot with two arms powered by a revolutionary new Software Development Kit (SDK) that will allow researchers to create a wide array of custom applications for robots.
A flexible wrist helps a robot known as 'FlipperBot' move through a test bed, demonstrating how animals and bio-inspired robots can together provide new information on the principles governing locomotion on granular surfaces.
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.
In its final assessment, the European project Trident has submerged its I-AUV (autonomous underwater vehicle for intervention) in the Port of Soller (Mallorca). The vehicle has been able to find and retrieve independently an object in an unknown seabed facing the adverse conditions presented by the open ocean.
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.