A robotic hand made entirely of Legos is one of the most realistic robo-hands we have seen, matching the entire range of motion of a real one. It moves pretty slowly, but that's OK — slow and steady wins the race, and pours the drink without splashing.
The space heater nestled perpetually at my side this time of year can be pretty comforting, but it’s not great for my utility bills. It would be better to direct the heat in my house more efficiently, like capturing warmth from the refrigerator, computer, DVR and other appliances. This prototype phase-changing heater ‘bot would do just that.
Who ever doubted an amazing meal could change your life? Researchers in Singapore have developed a robotic surgery device inspired by the country’s famous national dish, chili crab. The mini crab robot crawls down your throat and into the stomach, where its pincers grab onto a cancerous mass and a hook slices it away.
The presumptive Republican nominee looks pretty much like a presidential contender should, with the right business-y haircut, dazzling smile and nice-seeming family. But he has a really hard time connecting with voters. Over at the Atlantic, Brian Fung says this is because he’s like a creepy robot — almost too perfect, yet wrong, and therefore deep in Uncanny Valley.
What would happen if robots were part of your daily life? For us adults, the answer might include sandwich expeditions, help with laundry, cleaning, tricking our friends ... and so on. But kids imagine a whole different level of companionship.
Dogs and robots are both known for their search and rescue abilities, but each has its own flaws. Robots can’t sniff, and other than barking, dogs can’t relay specific information about survivors. But put them together and you’ve really got something.
Even when it starts out in a nosedive, a leaping lizard uses its tail to right itself, flinging the appendage to alter its own angular momentum and ensure it lands safely on its feet. Robots can do this, too, using controlled robotails that will guarantee a safe landing, a new study says.
For animals and animal-inspired machines, launching into flight takes lots of energy. Some animals have evolved to achieve air not by accelerating and lifting off, but by jumping and then using their wings or flaps of skin to glide — like sugar gliders, for instance, or grasshoppers. Now a new Swiss robot can do this, too.
When you can make a humanoid robot that plays soccer and dances, why limit him to below-average or even average human stature? He should definitely be a giant robot instead, because there is nothing terrifying or awkward about that, not at all. Don’t worry, a Japanese robotics company is planning just that — a 13-foot-tall iron giant.
This transformer ‘bot is one of the more interesting and sort-of-creepy robots we have seen in a while — it can curl up in a ball and await a command, or unfold its servo-driven limbs and pick its way, crab-like, across a surface. It cannot roll yet, but we are actually OK with this, because there is something much more unsettling about a rolling robot that unfolds and starts to walk.
The possibility of robot workers raises a certain type of futurey allure combined with a sense of danger — in a variety of settings, they could help humans work better and faster, but they could also replace us, or worse, maim us. So how are we supposed to feel about the news of a new troupe of robot prison guards? It’s awesome. And terrifying.
Meet Ant-Roach, an inflatable clackety six-legged robot with a protruding proboscis. It’s made of fabric inflatable actuators and pneumatic piping, and its limbs are driven by central manifolds that dispense compressed air. It’s tough enough that you can ride it, which is undeniably awesome.
A new household servant robot made by the world’s largest manufacturer of industrial ‘bots can help people with disabilities or limited mobility move things around. It’s controlled via Kinect, with the robot aping the Kinect user’s body gestures.
Talking via a telepresence robot can be a great way to participate in activities when you can’t be physically present, but these systems are expensive, can be tricky to use and aren't really designed for spontaneity. And despite what modern meeting-tacular schedules suggest, some of the most productive discussions in an office take place randomly, via subtle personal communications.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.