Mechanical engineers at the University of California, San Diego invented a robot designed to scoot along utility lines, searching for damage and other problems that require repairs. Made of off-the-shelf electronics and plastic parts printed on an inexpensive 3D printer, the SkySweeper prototype could be scaled up for less than $1,000, making it significantly more economical than the two models of robots currently used to inspect power lines.
Low-cost, high-performance sensors, such as digital cameras, and advances in computer vision and artificial intelligence are bringing the age of robots ever closer, says QUT robotics scientist Dr Feras Dayoub.
With their submarine, Ragnarök, the Cornell Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (CUAUV) project team won first place for the second consecutive year at the RoboSub student competition, which took place in San Diego July 22-28. It was CUAUV's fifth win since 2003.
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new technique for creating devices out of a water-based hydrogel material that can be patterned, folded and used to manipulate objects. The technique holds promise for use in 'soft robotics' and biomedical applications.
If the mission sounds impossible, that's because it is - at least with today's technology: Build a three-pound flying machine that can, under its own control, take off, fly through a window into a model building, avoid security lasers, navigate the halls, recognize signs, enter the correct room, find a flash drive in a box on a desk, pick it up, leave a decoy, exit and land in under 10 minutes.
The latest in a series of experiments testing the ability of robots to influence live animals shows that bio-inspired robots can not only elicit fear in zebrafish, but that this reaction can be modulated by alcohol. These findings may pave the way for new methodologies for understanding anxiety and other emotions, as well as substances that modulate them.
On June 17 and July 26, NASA tested the Surface Telerobotics exploration concept, in which an astronaut in an orbiting spacecraft remotely operates a robot on a planetary surface. In the future, astronauts orbiting other planetary bodies, such as Mars, asteroids or the moon, could use this approach to perform work on the surface using robotic avatars.
Scientists at the Technische Universität München (TUM) believe that full-size remote control cars could be hitting the roads within the next five to ten years. So if your next rental car turns up to your door driverless, the chances are that the actual driver is sitting in the car rental headquarters.
This collaboration brings together the local research community to build capabilities and develop technologies to boost productivity and gear up for high value manufacturing in the medtech, aerospace, marine and offshore and precision engineering clusters.
Neurobiologists from the University of Leicester have shown that insect limbs can move without muscles - a finding that may provide engineers with new ways to improve the control of robotic and prosthetic limbs.
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.