A technique inspired by pop-up books could enable quicker production of tiny robots and other electrical devices, according to Harvard engineers. Usually, building a micro aerial vehicle — or any other robot — requires a painstaking assembly process, with each little wing or sensor folded and machined just so. Now it can come together in a single fold.
We may still be a long way from fully-functioning robot maids or dog-walkers, but there's one thing consumer robot-makers have figured out: how to make 'em dance. This year, three music-responsive 'bots will be on sale, leaving us to wonder: who's got the best moves? So we gathered up the three contestants and blasted some "Robot Rock." We'll leave it to you to decide who rocks out the best.
Our favorite grippy robot fist, the balloon filled with coffee grounds, has graduated from grabbing to throwing. Its developers at Cornell University and the University of Chicago have taught it how to hurl objects, from mini basketballs to darts.
By Bryan Gardiner
Posted 02.14.2012 at 11:07 am 1 Comment
Building and programming robots is no small feat. Just to get a robot to perform a simple action—say, turning when someone claps—can require hours of coding. Cubelets make robot creation as simple as stacking blocks.
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.
Here at PopSci, we’ve been fascinated by Boston Dynamics’ Big Dog ever since it was an adorable robotic puppy that couldn’t even open its eyes. Now that the technology is all grown up, repackaged, and rechristened the Legged Squad Support System (or LS3), its eyes are very much open--and fixed firmly on the soldier in front of it.
We’ve been catching glimpses of iRobot’s 710 Warrior ground robot at trade shows and in videos for something like 2 years now. We even saw a couple of pared down prototypes deployed to Fukushima prefecture to assist with the radiation cleanup after the earthquake in Japan in last year. And finally the behemoth of the iRobot ground fleet is going up for sale.
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.
In this economy, a job is a job. And while we await the day that we can hire our robot companions to handle our household duties, humanoid semi-celeb Geminoid-F is exploring other possibilities at a Takashimaya department store in Tokyo. Here, Geminoid is blazing a trail for androids everywhere by taking a job in a storefront window to see how the humans passing by respond.
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.
The GRASP Lab at the University of Pennsylvania is a perennial PopSci favorite. Yeah, yeah, we’ve all seen robotic quadcopter drones before. But these tiny, so-called “nano quadrotors” are kind of blowing my mind right now. Dial the video below up to about 0:40 and you’ll see why.
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.
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.