With this head gear, you could make robots go grab you a beer simply by glancing at the refrigerator.
A team of researchers at Northeastern University in Boston is working on a brain-robot interface that lets you command a robot by looking at specific regions on a computer screen. The system detects brain signals from the user's visual cortex, and commands a robot to move left, right and forward, the Boston Globe reports.
The roboticists at Willow Garage, like the rest of us this summer, are thirsty. But they have the quick-learning PR2 bot to help out. Having mastered other handy tasks, like folding laundry and playing pool, the robot has now learned to fetch beer for its masters.
A team of unmanned subs developed by European researchers could use new software to work together as a team, exploring the ocean's deepest secrets, conducting search-and-rescue operations or, conceivably, sealing off a blown-out oil well.
The European Union-funded Grex project, named for the Latin word for "flock," involves networking software to coordinate multiple autonomous underwater vehicles, or AUVs. Multiple AUVs can benefit from the sum of their parts, as the project's Web site notes -- each could perform separate functions that contribute to a larger mission.
Whether wielded by Egyptian sun gods, Luke Skywalker, or your run of the mill solar-thermal power plant, light has the potential to do big things. Thanks to a breakthrough by UC Berkeley and the DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, we can now make light do very small things as well. Researchers there have created the first nano-sized light mill motor that can be manipulated in both speed and direction by tuning the frequency of the light waves that serve as its power source.
University of Washington and Stanford researchers have created what could become a model for future microbots: a one-inch microchip sporting 512 thermal-powered "feet" that can carry more than seven times its own weight while moving in any direction.
Tired of seeing 3-D renderings of objects on your screen and being unable to grab and fondle them? Just slip your fingers into the firm grip of Japanese haptics robot HIRO III. Driven by 15 independent motors, its black phalanges provide real-time force feedback to your hand, precisely simulating the weight and contour of virtual 3-D objects -- a pretty wild paradigmatic leap forward in interface technology!
Schwarzenegger's Terminator memorably thrashed and crawled onward towards its victims even after its robotic limbs had been mutilated by explosions and crashes. Now, a German research team is trying to bring that ability to the robots of today, looking at how three-legged dogs move in order to design robots that can recover from injury or damage.
Scientists at MIT and Harvard have invented self-folding smart fiberglass sheets that can crease themselves into origami airplanes and boats.
It's a far cry from previous programmable matter research we've seen, which works at the nanoscale to create scaffolds and gears.
The hottest, fastest lifeguard on the beach is named EMILY
By Alessandra CalderinPosted 06.25.2010 at 12:29 pm 13 Comments
You're caught by the ocean's riptide, exhausted and barely keeping your head above water. Then your unlikely hero appears: a four-foot-long talking buoy. It's EMILY, the robot lifeguard. Grab on, and it can bring you safely back to shore.