Robots work better with humans when you treat them like humans

Chances have it, if you’re working in the field of manufacturing, medicine, research or even sales, that some of your co-workers are robots. Which is no wonder, since robots today are a lot cheaper and efficient than most humans when simple or repetitive tasks are required, or on the contrary when high precision and delicate maneuvers are needed, unsuited for

Silicon robot hops 30 times its own height using combustion

Researchers at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, have developed a three-legged silicon robot that uses chemical reactions to help it leap up to 30 times its own height. Combustion is typically used in hard systems like internal combustion engines where the heat generated by the chemical reaction can be withstood, but this latest demo proves that the material can withstand high

Robots: reviving the American economy, killing the workforce

The whole point of technology is that of aiding mankind, and it has done so since the advent of fire and will continue to do for a long time. In today’s fast pacing world, however, technology is evolving so fast that it has caught the workforce by surprise. Of course, we’re primarily referring to robots, be them physical like a

A swarm of ping-pong ball-sized robots could be the next multi-purpose tinkers

A team of scientists at University of Colorado Boulder is currently working on self-assembling robots the size of a ping-pong ball that may fit together to serve various purposes. The researchers envision swarms of such tiny robots could assemble to build or repair satellites in space, contain an oil spill or form into other complex systems. Nikolaus Correll, an assistant Professor at

Wave-powered swimming robots completes epic 9,000 journey at sea

After it was first cast out to sea less than a year ago from San Francisco’s bay, the PacX Wave Glider, also known as Papa Mau, finally reached the end of its epic journey after it reached Queensland, Australia setting a new world record for the longest distance traveled by an autonomous vehicle. PacX swam over 9,000 miles. Designed for data

Precursurs to real-life Transformers: tiny robots join together and fold into shapes

Scientists at MIT have created tiny, millimeter-scale robots inspired by proteins that join together and can fold into various shapes. Though the research is still in its incipient form, these tiny robots could pave the way for the first real-life Transformers. Appropriately called milli-moteins, the robots can’t shape into complex shapes like a car or spaceship. Actually, at first glance they might

US waters have a new guardian – the tuna robot

This might sound hilarious, but the Department of Homeland Security takes no humor when US waters are concerned. Collaborating with Boston Engineering Corporation’s Advanced Systems Group, the DHS science division have created a tuna inspired robot designed for versatile maneuvrability in harsh conditions, like tumultuous waters and crammed ship tanks. Called the BIOSwimmer, the tuna robot can swim inside the interior voids of ships such as

What are the mechanics of trustworthiness? You need to ask a robot, ironically

Trust is in your genes. Humans are social beings, and from the dawn of the first community humans had to work together in order to survive. One of the most important elements of social interactions is trust, and evaluating trust has becoming deeply rooted in our subconscious. For years psychologists have been studying what exactly causes people to award trust,

The “clothbot” climbs up your pants and shirt. Yes, it’s creepy.

But, not in China, where researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese University of Hong Kong developed this versatile, fabric-climbing robot. Using a pair of gripper wheels to create and cling to a fold in the cloth, the robot creates a resulting wrinkle onto which it can roll easily; an omnidirectional tail allows for re-balancing. The machine has

Boston Dynamics’ Sand Flea robot can jump over 10-meters-high obstacles

Boston Dynamics is at the forefront of robotic research and development at the moment, fact very easily attested just by checking out a few of their amazing robots developed during the past year alone, like the cheetah-bot which broke the robot land speed record, the gecko-like bot which can climb walls effortlessly or the terrifyingly realistic Petman. The company’s latest creation,

Robot jellyfish that runs on hydrogen can swim forever in the ocean

After a three year effort, researchers at Virginia Tech have successfully managed to create a silicone robot that functions underwater by mimicking the  motion of a jellyfish. The robot can propel itself thanks to the heat-producing reactions catalyzed by its surface, and since it uses hydrogen and oxygen found in the water as fuel, the Robojelly can theoretically swim indefinitely in an ocean.

Leaping lizard tails could provide massive advances in robotics

Researchers at Berkley University have developed an extraordinary robotic toy car called the “Tailbot”, equipped with a stabilizing tail, which is able to correct and adjust its position during mid-air leaps to land safely. The biologists and engineers involved in the study were inspired by lizards that swing their tails upward to prevent them from pitching head-over-heels into a rock. From Jurassic

Finally, robot that can make you a sandwich is invented [with video]

Scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) working at the Intelligent Autonomous Systems Group reported creating a robot that can finally make you a beverage and get you a beer. TUM Rosie TUM-Rosie and TUM-James, as the two robots have been called are quite special; for one, Rosie has what is called a “very high degree of cognition”, which

Gecko-like robot climbs walls effortlessly

The gecko is one of the most fascinating lizards, because of its feet’s unique ability of dry adherence to solid surfaces allowing it to surmount any geometry and making it an excellent climber in the process. Unlike other animals which employ a liquid or some kind of suction to climb walls, the gecko uses inter-molecular attraction forces known as van der Waals. Scientists have

Check out the Petman robot workout – frighteningly realistic [VIDEO]

I’m pretty sure some of you went out costumed as robots this Halloween weekend, be it as Star Wars’ C3PO (there’s always one at every party, and it never gets lame) or you simply strapped on a drawn out cardboard box. Well, I hope you all had your fair share of laughs and scares, but although we’re all back to

Foambot can build new robots on the spot [VIDEO]

Another one from the realm of James Cameron’s movies – a robot that can build other robots. While the technology is still not exactly Skynet material, University of Pennsylvania’s Modlab foambot is an extremely interesting working concept capable of deploying itself with modular robot components, and practically assemble a new bot on the spot depending on the task it needs to perform.

Talking robot mouth learns how to sing. Tries at least

There were a lot of crazy exhibits on display at this year’s Robotech 2011, and one of the most impressive stands was that of Professor Hideyuki Sawada from Kagawa University in Japan who showed off an bizarre looking artificial mouth designed to look and function as close as possible to the real thing. With this faithful approach to nature, Sawada’s

[VIDEO] android ‘tea party’ with their human counterparts

Humanoid robots, affectionately called androids, have fascinated SciFi writers for generations now, leading to the creation of some of the most memorable characters in cinema, like Start Trek’s Data or Blade Runner, but as technology keeps progressing the line between reality and fiction seems to get ever thinner. It’s enough to check out the video from above featuring three Geminoids,

Kaspar the friendly robot – helping autistic children smile

Pictured on the left is Eden Sawczenko, an autistic four year girl from Stevenage, that has had a lot of problems bonding with other children, not being able to understand emotions and actually frawining upon them. Her best friend in the world is Kaspar, a very friendly human-like, child-sized robot built by scientists from University of Hertfordshire specifically to help

Japan plans a Moon base by 2020, built by the robots, for the robots

While America seems to have delayed it’s Moon base ambitions, Japan seems to have no such plans; according to their own statements, they have absolutely no intention of letting perfectly good lunar lands go to waste. An ambitious plan of (just?) $2.2 billion investments is in the works at JAXA (Japan’s space agency), with the goal of landing humanoid robots