A collaboration between University of Washington developmental psychologists and computer scientists has demonstrated that robots can 'learn' much like kids - by amassing data through exploration, watching a human perform a task and determining how best to carry out that task on its own.
An innovative, effective and low-cost system which replicates in robots the pheromone-based communication of insect swarms is now being made available to robotics and artificial intelligence researchers after an important breakthrough.
A robotic bartender has to do something unusual for a machine: It has to learn to ignore some data and focus on social signals. Researchers investigated how a robotic bartender can understand human communication and serve drinks socially appropriately.
Taking inspiration from water beetles and other swimming insects, researchers have developed the Row-bot, a robot that thrives in dirty water. The Row-bot mimics the way that the water boatman moves and the way that it feeds on rich organic matter in the dirty water it swims in.
Trips and stumbles too often lead to falls for amputees using leg prosthetics, but a robotic leg prosthesis being developed now promises to help users recover their balance by using techniques based on the way human legs are controlled.
Scientists report a way to make elastic material for soft robots that changes color when it stretches. They say this process opens the door to robot camouflage, new ways to deliver medicines and other applications.
Most robotic parts used to today are rigid, have a limited range of motion and don't really look lifelike. Inspired by nature and biology, a scientist has designed a novel robotic finger using shape memory alloy, a 3-D CAD model of a human finger, a 3-D printer and a unique thermal training technique. This bio-inspired robotic finger could ultimately be adapted to use as a prosthetic device, like a prosthetic hand.