The two robots Flobi and Nao worked full time for three weeks in an isolation study in Cologne. Scientists from Bielefeld University's Research Institute for Cognition and Robotics (CoR-Lab) were studying how these intelligent assistance systems can help astronauts to keep fit - both physically and mentally.
Three types of robots, named rotorcraft UAVs (unmanned aircraft vehicles), transformable ruins search and rescue robot, and robotic life-detector, also landed in the quake-hit area with the researchers. This is their first application in an earthquake rescue and relief mission.
Researchers have developed and demonstrated a new robotic bird, Robo Raven, whose wings flap completely independently of each other, and also can be programmed to perform any desired motion, enabling the bird to perform aerobatic maneuvers. This is the first time a robotic bird with these capabilities has been built and successfully flown.
The tail of a seahorse can be compressed to about half its size before permanent damage occurs, engineers at the University of California, San Diego, have found. The tail's flexibility is due to its structure, made up of bony, armored plates, which slide past each other. Researchers are hoping to use a similar structure to create a flexible robotic arm, which could be used in medical devices, underwater exploration and unmanned bomb detection and detonation.
Whether reaching for a book out of a cluttered cabinet or pruning a bush in the backyard, a person's arm frequently makes contact with objects during everyday tasks. Animals do it too, when foraging for food, for example. Much in the same way, robots are now able to intelligently maneuver within clutter, gently making contact with objects while accomplishing a task. This new control method has wide applications, ranging from robots for search-and-rescue operations to assistive robotics for people with disabilities.
In a Georgia Tech study, more than half of healthcare providers interviewed said that if they were offered an assistant, they preferred it to be a robotic helper rather than a human. However, they don't want robots to help with everything. They were very particular about what they wanted a robot to do, and not do.
The factory of the future is now coming to the aerospace industry. To help it along the way, a consortium made up of European research institutions and industrial partners is developing mobile, autonomously operating robots. These robots will help with the assembly of aerospace components and work hand-in-hand with humans on the production floor.