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Posts Tagged "robot"

Expeditions

Mapping robots aid in new undersea discoveries

alvin

Editor’s Note: Journalist and crew member Kathryn Eident is traveling on board the RV Atlantis on a monthlong voyage to explore undersea volcanism in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, among other research projects. This is the fourth blog post detailing this voyage of discovery for ScientificAmerican.com Before any of the scientists aboard the RV Atlantis [...]

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Not bad science

Chimpanzees React To A Robo-Doll

Once the chimps calmed down they actually quite liked the robodoll, offering it toys to play with

A large portion of what animals do is interact with each other. As a social species, we can hardly go an hour without some kind of interaction with another human, be it face-to-face or via text or email. Even animals that aren’t particularly social still generally have to interact with each other once in a [...]

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Observations

Submersible Dives Deep and Dies, Disheartening Scientists

Wood Hole’s Nereus sub succumbed to extreme pressure and imploded six kilometers down while exploring the vast Kermadec Trench. Image courtesy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).

Efforts to explore the deepest recesses of Earth’s oceans were dealt a heavy blow last weekend when one of history’s most accomplished deep-sea explorers imploded several kilometers beneath the Pacific and resurfaced in pieces. Fortunately, the ill-fated Nereus submersible was a robot and no one was injured when it succumbed to overwhelming subsurface pressure during [...]

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Observations

How to Fly a Model Helicopter Using Only Your Thoughts

For decades, scientists have been developing brain-computer linkages they hope will enable people to manipulate objects hands free. Duke neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis reported a few years ago that a monkey fitted with implanted electrodes could use its brainpower to control the walking patterns of a robot . Less invasive, more commercial efforts include electroencephalalography (EEG) [...]

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Observations

Will Next-Generation Mars Rovers Have C-Shaped Legs?

Anyone who’s tried to move through fine sand—whether running along the beach or driving through the desert—knows the difficulty that a loose, granular track presents to locomotion. Now with the aid of a six-legged robot, a team of researchers has determined how much the depth, orientation and direction of a foot, wheel or other means [...]

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Observations

Which World Will We Face in 2030?

Last week, I and some 200 other attendees of the Global Trends 2030: U.S. Leadership in a Post-Western World conference got a thought-provoking look at the current “megatrends” leading to four possible futures for the world some 10 to 15 years from now. Cutting across all of them is the disruptive influence of emerging technologies—which [...]

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Observations

Need a Hug? Baxter the Human-Friendly Robot Debuts at M.I.T.

robot, manufacturing,emtech

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Baxter stayed behind in the lobby of the M.I.T. Media Lab, diligently picking up miniature boxes of Junior Mints and teacup candles and putting them in a pumpkin-shaped plastic bucket, as most attendees of Technology Review‘s Emerging Technologies (EmTech) conference here filed into the main auditorium on Wednesday morning. Don’t feel bad for Baxter, [...]

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Observations

4-Fingered Robot Can Replace Flashlight Batteries [Video]

A robot that can reproduce the dexterity of the human hand remains a dream of the bioengineering profession. One new approach to achieving this goal avoids trying to replicate the intricacy of the bones, joints and ligaments that produce our most basic gestures. A Sandia National Laboratories research team has adopted just such a strategy [...]

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Observations

A Dash of Color Creates Camouflage for Spineless Robots

robot, Harvard

Late last year, Harvard University chemists and materials scientists introduced a robot whose rubbery appendages fly—or, more accurately, crawl—in the face of conventional automatons. These invertebrate-inspired albino bots relied on elastic polymers and pneumatic pumps to imitate the movements of worms, squid and starfish. Now these squishy quadrupeds can be pumped with a variety of [...]

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Observations

Bomb-Disarming Robot Was First to Enter Alleged Aurora Shooter’s Apartment

fbi,bomb,security

The first boots on the ground in the explosives-rigged apartment of Aurora, Colo., shooting suspect James Holmes were actually robot tracks. Fortunately for police, military and emergency responders, bots are showing their mettle in this and other dangerous situations and helping keep their human handlers out of harm’s way. Holmes, a former Ph.D. neuroscience student [...]

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Observations

Leggy Robot (Almost) Moves Like Jagger

In popular fiction, humanoid robots have no rhythm—look no further than the “robot dance” for evidence of this. Yet rhythm—or the neurophysiological processes that enable humans to produce patterns of recurring movement—is the key to creating bots that move more like people. So says a team of University of Arizona engineers who claim to have [...]

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Observations

Flying Orb Built by Japan’s Ministry of Defense [Video]

About the size of a beach ball, this flying sphere takes off vertically and hovers in place, but can zip along horizontally at speeds of up to 60 km/h (about 37 mph). It has gyroscopic control that keeps it stable even when the presenter smacks it on the side: Perhaps the most amazing aspect of [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Scientists Move to Patent Octopus Robot

octopus

Scientists have spent years crafting a very special, creepy robot. One that can crawl over obstacles, swim through surf and grasp just about any object. To achieve all of these tasks, the robot needed to be unlike most other bots. It needed to be soft. In late 2011, a team of researchers in Italy had [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Robot Octopus Swims with Lifelike Arms [Video]

swimming robot octopus

Most octopuses get around primarily by crawling along the seafloor. And if they need to get somewhere in a hurry, they can employ their funnels to jet away like their pelagic cousins, squid. Researchers in Greece, however, have made a robot octopus that can propel itself through the water using only its eight arms. Their [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Will the Robot Uprising Be Squishy?

soft robot octopus

Octopuses offer an extreme engineering challenge: They are almost infinitely flexible, entirely soft-bodied and incredibly intelligent. Are we vertebrate humans ever going to be able to build anything as deformable and complex as a real octopus? Carmel Majidi, of the Soft Machines Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, explored this question in a recent paper in [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

3-D Printed Octopus Suckers Help Robots Stick

octopus robot suckers

Legions of animal-inspired robots are being created to improve military missions and disaster response efforts—from crawling cockroach-like RHex bots to leaping Sand Flea robots and the speeding Cheetah machines. Now, a squishier source for smart robo-tech has joined the ranks: octopuses. Teams of researchers are already developing soft-bodied, octopus-esque robots for search and rescue. These [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Paralyzed Woman Walks Again, with the Aid of a Robot

Amanda in her wheelchair

ASPEN. Life can change in an instant. We all know this, but we forget, or try to forget, this fact—until something happens that makes it hard to ignore. An attractive blonde in a bright red blouse sits in a wheelchair before the assembled scientists, doctors, writers and members of the community. We are in a [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

If You Need To Test Your New Robot, Ask A Dog

dog robot

The 1962 cartoon series The Jetsons featured a futuristic nuclear family: father George, mother Jane, and their offspring, Elroy and Judy. In the very first episode, we learn about the Jetson family’s purchase of a housecleaning robot named Rosey. Rosey is, according to paleofuturist Matt Novak, “perhaps the most iconic futuristic character to ever grace [...]

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