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.
Information from the senses has an important influence on how we move. For instance, you can see and feel when a mug is filled with hot coffee, and you lift it in a different way than if the mug were empty. Neuroscientist Julian Tramper discovered that the brain uses two forms of old information in order to execute new movements well.
Researchers at Heriot-Watt are developing a swarm of intelligent robots to help save coral reefs. A team of 'coralbots', each individually working to simple rules, will piece together damaged bits of coral, allowing them to regrow.
Launched late last year, the Robots app is the best, most complete guide to the amazing world of robotics. It features 126 real-world robots from 19 countries, with hundreds of photos, videos, technical specs, articles, and exclusive interactives that let you spin and move robots with your fingertips.
The biggest thing in operating rooms these days is a million-dollar, multi-armed robot named da Vinci, used in nearly 400,000 surgeries nationwide last year - triple the number just four years earlier. But now the high-tech helper is under scrutiny over reports of problems, including several deaths that may be linked with it, and the high cost of using the robotic system.