Boston Dynamics Cheetah Robot Breaks Running Land Speed Record

Boston Dynamics unveiled its latest bio-inspired robots, the Cheetah, which has broken the legged-robot land speed record. The Cheetah is capable of galloping at 18 mph (30 kph)!

A more detailed article at shows a comparison with a real Cheetah running.

Posted under biomimetic, companies, locomotion, mobility, research, technology

Meet Nao from Aldebaran Robotics

Meet Nao from Aldebaran Robotics!

From the Aldebaran Robotics website:

NAO is a programmable, 57-cm tall humanoid robot with the following key components:

Body with 25 degrees of freedom (DOF) whose key elements are electric motors and actuators

Sensor network, including 2 cameras, 4 microphones, sonar rangefinder, 2 IR emitters and receivers, 1 inertial board, 9 tactile sensors, and 8 pressure sensors

Various communication devices, including voice synthesizer, LED lights, and 2 high-fidelity speakers

Intel ATOM 1.6 GHz CPU (located in the head) that runs a Linux kernel and supports Aldebaran’s proprietary middleware (NAOqi)
Second CPU (located in the torso)

27.6-watt-hour battery that provides NAO with 1.5 or more hours of autonomy, depending on usage

Posted under humanoid, technology

This post was written by admin on February 24, 2012

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Robonaut in First Human-Robot Handshake in Space

Image for Robonaut 2

Robonaut 2

NASA’s Robonaut 2 (R2) began operations on the International Space Station (ISS) by greeting Commander Dan Burbank with the first “man-robot” handshake in space.

First Robonaut-Astronaut Handshake

First Robonaut-Astronaut Handshake

R2 is a telepresence droid and can be controlled either from Earth or from the ISS. R2 boasts 38 PowerPC processors and over 350 sensors.

Here is a video:

Posted under research, technology, telepresence

This post was written by admin on February 22, 2012

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Robot Learns to Throw

Researchers at the University of Chicago, Cornell University and iRobot who developed the Universal Jamming Gripper have recently taught their robot to throw things!

Why is this so cool?
The Universal Jamming Grippers consists of a balloon filled with sand or coffee grounds. When slightly inflated it can wrap itself around an object. Then when the air is removed the balloon tightens its grip and holds tight.

Universal Jamming Grippers in Action

Universal Jamming Grippers in Action Picking up a Glass of Water

Posted under research, technology

This post was written by admin on February 22, 2012

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Kilobots are Coming!

Photo of Kilobots Ready to Swarm

Kilobots made by the Self-Organizing Systems Research Group

Kilobots are quarter-sized robots that move on three little legs designed to interact and coordinate their behavior. Created by the Self-Organizing Systems Research Group at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) these little robots can be used to experiment with swarming algorithms. They have recently teamed up with the K-Team Corporation, a Swiss manufacturer of high-quality mobile robots, to mass produce kilobots so that researchers and enthusiasts alike can experiment with their own robot swarms.
More information can be found at Science Daily.

Here is a video of Kilobots in action!

Posted under swarm robotics, technology

Quadcopter Swarm Robotics

The General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania is developing algorithms to control swarms of quadrotors, also known as quadcopters or quadricopters.

Their research group has some amazing videos of quadrotors in coordinated flight, and quadrotors working together to perform a coordinated construction task. The GRASP lab is involved in numerous other projects that are worth checking out.

Here is a video of quadrotors in coordinated flight:

Here they perform a construction task:

The latter video was featured on The Colbert Report.
Amazing work (and a little creepy!)

Gyro RC Helicopter

Posted under autonomous flight, quadcopters, swarm robotics, technology

Human Exoskeleton Helps People Walk

An Israeli company Argo Medical Technologies has developed a human exoskeleton that can help people with lower limb paralysis to walk.  The technology is called ReWalk and “enables wheelchair users with lower-limb disabilities to stand, walk, and even climb stairs.”  It is a robotic suit that can be partially concealed by clothing.  The users walk with crutches, and the suit senses changes in the center of mass and the limb position to detect and respond to user intentions.

A Reuters article on the topic can be found here.

Posted under companies, exoskeleton, locomotion, technology

This post was written by admin on September 19, 2008

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Robotics Seen as a Disruptive Technology

An article by ComputerWorld notes that a recent study by finds that robotics represent a technology that promises to be disruptive in the sense that it has

the potential to causes a noticeable — even if temporary — degradation or enhancement in one of the elements of U.S. national power

according to a preliminary report released by the National Intelligence Council in April 2008. This report contains the following graph prepared by SRI Consulting Business Intelligence and projects robotic capabilities beyond 2020.

Technology Roadmap: Service Robotics

Technology Roadmap: Service Robotics

Technology Roadmap: Service Robotics

Posted under projection, technology

This post was written by admin on September 16, 2008

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Webcast on New Mars Science Laboratory Rover

Mars Science Laboratory

Mars Science Laboratory

On Thursday October 16th at 7pm PST, JPL will host a webcast of a lecture on the new Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover. This webcast will require RealPlayer—the free RealPlayer 8 Basic can be downloaded from RealPlayer.
More info can be found here at JPL.

This talk is part of the JPL von Kármán Lecture Series.
Here is the Summary from the JPL Website:

New Wheels on Mars: The Mars Science Laboratory
Dr. Richard Cook
Mars Science Laboratory Project Manager

Building on the success of the two rover geologists that arrived at Mars in January, 2004, NASA’s next rover mission will depart for the Red Planet in 2009. Twice as long and five times as heavy as the Mars Exploration Rovers, the Mars Science Laboratory will collect Martian soil and rock samples and analyze them for organic compounds and minerals which demonstrate that Mars can or did support life. This sophisticated science laboratory will be delivered to the Martian surface using an innovative new landing system. The spacecraft will start by steering itself through the Martian atmosphere in a fashion similar to the way the Apollo entry capsule controlled its entry through Earth’s upper atmosphere. This approach will allow the spacecraft to fly to a desired location above the surface of Mars before deploying its parachute for the final landing. Then, in the final minutes before touchdown, the spacecraft will activate its parachute and retro rockets before lowering the rover package to the surface on a tether.

If you are local, you may be able to attend the talk:

Thursday, October 16, 2008, 7p.m.
The von Kármán Auditorium at JPL
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA

Friday, October 17, 2008, 7p.m.
The Vosloh Forum at Pasadena City College
1570 East Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA

Posted under exploration, research, technology

This post was written by admin on September 13, 2008

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Hierarchical Temporal Memory

In April of 2008, Jeff Hawkins founder of Numenta presented their biology-inspired Hierarchical Temporal Memory as keynote speaker at the 2008 RSA Conference.

This link points to the start page. You will have to register to watch the 45 minute talk online, but the keynote talks are free.

Posted under companies, intelligence, research, technology

This post was written by admin on September 2, 2008

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