About 70% of the total robot sales in 2012 went to Japan, China, United Sates, Korea and Germany. The electronics industry reduced robot investments considerably, while the automotive industry continued to increase robot orders.
The EU-funded FILOSE project (Robotic fish locomotion and sensing) is addressing a key bottleneck for underwater robotics, namely the problem of understanding how fish sense the underwater environment.
Siemens is using a Microsoft Kinect sensor familiar from computer games in a virtual planning system for work processes. Kinect technology recognizes a person's movements and posture and transfers them to an avatar in a virtual environment. In the same way that a player moves intuitively within the scenes of a computer game, technicians can use Kinect to simulate movements in the workplace.
In order to effectively program robots that ultimately could be used to aid seniors, researchers at the University of Notre Dame and University of Missouri studied the type of language older adults used when describing the location of a desired object to either a robot or human-like avatar. It turns out that seniors become tongue-tied when talking to robots.
Even though modern industrial robots are becoming nimbler and more capable, they still need to get a good grip on things - the equivalent of hands that are as agile and dexterous as the human variety. The NIST Dexterous Manipulation Testbed features a seven degree-of-freedom highly dexterous robot and a seven degree-of-freedom, three fingered robotic hand. The testbed is used to investigate new measurement science to gauge the operational characteristics of manipulation for manufacturing tasks.
Defying 30 mph gusts and temperatures down to minus 22 F, NASA's new polar rover recently demonstrated in Greenland that it could operate completely autonomously in one of Earth's harshest environments.
NASA Tuesday issued a Request for Information (RFI) that will help agency officials better understand current plans in the U.S. commercial space industry for a robotic lunar landing capability. The RFI will assist NASA in assessing U.S. industry's interest in partnerships to develop a robotic lander that could enable commercial and agency missions.
Stanford mechanical engineering professor David Lentink and his students capture slow-motion video from the fastest wings in the bird world, with an eye toward building flying robots that take design cues from Mother Nature.
Fear of machines becoming smarter than humans is a standard part of popular culture. In films like iRobot and Terminator, humans are usurped. Throughout history we can trace stories about humankind overreaching through a desire to understand and copy ourselves, from Ancient Greek mythology to Milton's Paradise Lost and Shelley's Frankenstein. Today's Prometheans are supposedly scientists working on artificial intelligence, who run the risk of creating machines intelligent enough to supercede us.