Flight of the Conchords – The Humans are Dead

From Online Cortex we have a song about the imminent robot takeover.

Posted under fiction, fun

This post was written by admin on February 16, 2009

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Reassembling Robots

Mark Yim, associate professor member of the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab at the University of Pennsylvania, introduces reassembling/reconfiguring robots.

The robot below called Ckbot is constructed of 15 modules grouped into 3 clusters of 5 modules each. Each cluster is equipped with a camera (24 frames per second video), a blinker LED, and an accelerometer.  The other modules have proximity sensors, servo motors, and a computer.  When the system is disassembled, each cluster rights itself and seeks out the other clusters so that they may dock and reconstruct the robot.

Posted under modular, research

This post was written by admin on January 30, 2009

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European Research in Robotics

A ScienceDaily article discusses the explosion of research in robotics in Europe. The European Network of Robotic Research (EURON) is funding a mass of projects that are helping to differentiate the field of robotics into sub-fields such as domestic robotics, field robotics, and service robotics. Several particular projects and their advances are mentioned in the article. More here…

Posted under research

This post was written by admin on November 8, 2008

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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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Robots to Clean Ship’s Hulls

European researchers are working on an EU-funded project called HISMAR (Hull Identification System for Marine Autonomous Robotics) to develop a robotic hull cleaning system to remove marine growth from ships. Marine growth significantly increases the friction of a ship moving through water, which significantly increases the cost in terms of energy. In addition, marine growth poses an environmental hazard.

Professor Tony Roskilly of Newcastle University in the UK heads the project, and describes the system:

“First a map of the hull is automatically charted, recording the location of every weld, thickness change, rivet and indentation on the ship’s surface. Adjustable jets of pressurised sea water blast the marine growth off the surface of the ship which is then sucked up into the main chamber. Here, 150 litres of water a minute is filtered and the bio-fouling removed and rendered harmless to the local environment. In this way, the ship’s robotic ‘vacuum’ can continuously roam the ship’s hull, preventing the build up of slime and allowing it to travel through the water efficiently by cutting down on drag. This significantly reduces fuel consumption and also pollution such as the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.”

More information on the HISMAR project can be found here.
More information can also be found in the article at ZDNet.

Posted under research

This post was written by admin on September 19, 2008

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Biomimetic Underwater Robots

Lobster Robots

Lobster Robots

Dr. Joseph Ayers of Northeastern University and the Marine Science Center has been performing research in biomimetic underwater robots. He has been working on two types of robots: a lobster and a sea lamprey.

More info can be found here: http://www.huginn.com/knuth/blog/2007/03/24/biomimetic-underwater-robots/

Posted under biomimetic, locomotion, neuroscience, research

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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Science Fiction Inspires Robot Design

New Scientist has an interesting article the explores how science fiction can guide robot design.

The basic premise is that the most common conception of a robot comes from fiction, since few people have ever seen a real robot.  This drives what they expect to see when they encounter a robot.  To enable robot designers to develop robotic designs that will be readily accepted by the public, one can be guided by the way robots have been presented in the literature and film.

Posted under design, fiction

This post was written by admin on September 6, 2008

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Vint Cerf Predicts Telepresence Robots

Vint Cerf, known as the father of the internet, looking into the future envisions little telepresence robots that physically represent you in far-away places. In a recent interview, he states:

Little robots, for example, that are instantiations of you, and are remotely operated, giving you what is called telepresence. It’s a step well beyond the kind of video telepresence we are accustomed to seeing today.
This image of little robots is different from the typical autonomous robot you see in the AI world. They could be sitting in a conference room, representing me — not autonomously, but allowing me to be in more than one place at the same time. They can move around, interact with things, talk to people, see like everyone else can.

Posted under telepresence

This post was written by admin on September 6, 2008

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