Seemingly small and delicate, seahorses are actually much more resilient than they look. Engineers have demonstrated that the seahorses’ prism-like tails are mechanically superior to the cylindrical ones; the discovery could lead to the development of more resilient robots. There are 54 species of seahorses, and while they may be significantly different one from the other, all feature a segmented bony
USA’s MegaBots Inc issued a challenge to Suidobashi Heavy Industry, Japanese robotics manufacturer, to a giant, epic, ROBOT DUEL (hype intensifies).
Machii Isao is an Iaido master and an expert sword wielder. He holds five Guinness World Records including “fastest 1,000 iaido sword cuts (36 min 4 sec)” and “most iado sword cuts to one mat (8), but you might know him as the real-life “fruit ninja” if you saw some of his stints up on YouTube, including slicing a BB pellet in half as it was fired towards him at 200 mph. It’s a rare sight indeed to see such a massive display of both showmanship and art., for it’s truly inspiring each time we get to see such feats of human awesomeness. But what happens when you pair a worldclass sword master, like Machi Isao, with an industrial robot, like MOTOMAN-MH24. Well, I went bore you with too many details, but suffice to say we’re in for quite the show.
Over the weekend, Amazon – a company that employs more than 50,000 people in its warehouses alone – organized a contest where engineering teams from all over the world were invited to present a robot that can fulfill simple warehouse duties. Though some of the bots were quite impressive, all of them failed miserably at some point, even at a task so simple as grabbing an item from a shelf and placing it in a tub. It’s not that they couldn’t do this, rather they were so slow and clumsy that any warehouse worker witnessing the display might think he’s a superhero and his job is safer than the pope in the Vatican. Well, that may be true … but who knows for how long. After all, any repetitive task can be automated, eventually.
At the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) conference, a team from MIT, in collaboration wit the Technische Universitat in Germany, presented an incredible origami bot that can perform various complex motor tasks. Weighing only 0.3 grams, the bot can scuttle at about 4 cm/sec to crawl up an arm, carry twice its load, dig through a pile of foam, climb a ramp or push a tiny puck along a planned trajectory. At the end, the researchers demonstrate how the entire bot (apart from its magnet) can be dissolved in acetone. Later on, it’s easy to imagine a similar origami bot traveling through your body where it performs various tasks like deliver a medical payload, diagnose for diseases or even perform surgery. It would be designed to be much smaller and with all its parts dissoalvable inside the human body after a while or when emerged in a certain bodily solution.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has funded a project which promises to become the quickest two-legged robot in the world. Using technology inspired from pogo sticks, the robot could be useful for getting in and out of areas too dangerous for human rescuers.
In a breakthrough in robotics, researchers have programmed a swarm consisting of a whooping 1,024 members which can assemble in programmable 2-D shapes. The demonstration might provide insights in how natural self-assembling swarms operate, like ants who join up to form bridges for the good of the colony.
Inspired by the ancient Japanese art of Origami, engineers at Harvard and MIT have developed an amazing robot that stats off as one single sheet, then folds itself into a complex shape in under four minutes, before making a gentleman’s exit. The potential applications of this display are numerous. For instance, launching payload in space is extremely expensive so any
Designed by the world’s foremost social robotics expert, MIT’s Cynthia Breazeal, Jibo looks like a cross between HAL 9000 and Eve from Wall-E. The robot seeks to become the first in a line of truly intelligent robot helpers that not only assist the family with chores, but become part of it as well. Is this cute, crawling white desktop nothing more
Rashid Bashir, the head of bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is one of the pioneers leading a new field of robotics which deals with bio-bots. These tiny robots, less than a centimeter in size, combine biological and mechanical components to meet a certain purpose. Recently, Bashir and his team demonstrated a bio-bot that’s powered by muscle cells