Although only about 400 kilometres separate the Kontur-2 joystick and the German Aerospace Center ROKVISS robot, the remote control operations that took place on 18 August 2015 were truly special: Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, flying aboard the International Space Station over Earth at 28,000 kilometres per hour, controlled the robot on the ground while in microgravity.
Engineers have developed one of the first 3-D printed, soft robots that moves autonomously. The design offers a new solution to an engineering challenge that has plagued soft robotics: the integration of rigid and soft materials.
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.