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.
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.