Regular readers of this page are all pretty familiar with the latest generation of flying robots, from tennis-playing quadcopters to surveillance hummingbirds. But zebras, it’s fair to say, are not. So what happens when a drone buzzes a herd?
The German surveillance bot maker Microdrones took one of their md4-1000 quadcopters to the Masai Mara region of the Serengeti, and used it to capture video of all sorts of African wildlife. Here’s a preview of what their drone saw.
When demolition jobs require more than just a sledgehammer, consider wielding the Stanley LaBounty F16. The remote-control demolition machine rips through walls, snips rebar, and pulverizes concrete about as fast as a six-person wrecking crew armed with handheld tools.
PR2, our favorite beer-fetching, laundry-folding robot helper, has learned how to read text.
One PR2, owned by the University of Pennsylvania's GRASP Lab, can pronounce his name — "Graspy" — and can helpfully point out the location of restrooms and professors' offices. Too bad he can't quite pronounce the word "robot."
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.
Not sure whether to use a cylindrical crawler or a buzzing helicopter for your remote sensing needs? This robot makes the choice easier, incorporating both abilities. In the video below, you can watch as it rolls along, then tips up vertically to take off like a helicopter.
The robotics engineers at DLR, the German Aerospace Center, have a history of violent behavior with their mechanical creations — earlier this year, we saw them smash a robot's hand with a hammer, and last year we watched brave engineers give a robot a knife and let themselves be stabbed.
By Ryan BradleyPosted 05.12.2011 at 2:44 pm 0 Comments
Humans are not good at delivering drugs. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and pharmacy techs can mix pills up, provide too many or too few, or fail to dispense them quickly enough. In some cases, controlled substances disappear from hospitals, bound for the black market. Medication errors lead to some 1.5 million “preventable drug-related injuries” every year, at a cost of $3.5 billion, a report by the National Academies found. The stakes are highest in trauma units, where lifesaving drugs must be given within the “golden hour”--when medications are most effective.