Robots are cool because they’re robots. But a robot is ice cold when it’s also a beer. Ron Tajima has created exactly this: a robot surreptitiously disguised as a beer. The only thing we can see wrong with this clever design is that there isn’t actually any beer inside.
Is there anything you and I can do that Willow Garage’s PR2 can’t do more adorably? PR2 is now learning how to bake chocolate chip cookies from scratch courtesy of MIT. Swathed in a smock to keep it from getting itself messy--the table was not so lucky--PR2 demonstrates an ability to properly combine ingredients and mix them up in the video below.
Many wall-walking robots mimic natural adhesives--like the sticky feet of geckos--to remain fixed to a surface while they scale it.
But this little bot uses nothing but a supersonic version of a well-known principle of fluid dynamics to cling to just about any surface--without the surface of its grippers ever actually touching it.
By Joshua SaulPosted 05.20.2011 at 11:03 am 7 Comments
In 2006, Darpa, the Department of Defense's R&D arm, commissioned AeroVironment, a company specializing in remote aircraft, to create an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) small enough to fly through an open window. AeroVironment had already built the 4.5-foot-wingspan Raven, which first saw combat over Afghanistan in 2003, but making a UAV so much smaller took five years and 300 different wing designs.
A swarm of intelligent, autonomous robots from Georgia Tech may soon be leading the charge into dangerous and uncertain situations, providing valuable mapping intel to first responders, military, or police behind them. A team of researchers there have developed a team of small, rolling robots that can autonomously communicate with one another to quickly build a detailed floor plan map of an entire structure and beam it to nearby humans.
Having a computer for a brain has its perks, but it has its drawbacks as well. Language is a tough concept for robots, as words can convey the abstract as well as the concrete and robots have trouble knowing the difference (and grasping the abstract). That makes human-machine interaction less than intuitive for humans and confusing to 'bots.
A Serb living in Austria has elected to have his hand amputated so that he can be fitted with a working bionic limb. The 26-year-old Milo’s biological hand was intact but useless, as a nerve injury stemming from a motorcycle accident ten years ago robbed him of feeling and movement in that extremity. Now, an Austrian doctor--not without controversy--has amputated Milo’s hand and is replacing it with a robotic version that responds to nerve signals in his forearm.
Researchers in Japan are trying to get a new kind of high speed train technology off the ground, and to prove they’re serious they’ve built a ground-effect robot that floats on a cushion of air. If their demo project works satisfactorily, it could set in motion a plan to build commuter trains that essentially fly inches from the ground, cutting friction and increasing overall efficiency.
Cornell’s Ranger Robot, world record holder for the longest walk by a robot on a single charge, has smashed its own personal best by logging 40.5 miles without stopping, recharging, or even being touched. Over the course of almost 31 hours, Ranger ambled along at a not-so-blazing 1.3 miles per hour for 397.75 laps around a running track, but managed to make the whole trek using just a nickel’s worth of electricity.