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  • Jellyfish-inspired soft robots can outswim their natural counterparts
    Engineering researchers at North Carolina State University and Temple University have developed soft robots inspired by jellyfish that can outswim their real-life counterparts. More practically, the new jellyfish-bots highlight a technique that uses pre-stressed polymers to make soft robots more powerful.

  • Coordinating complex behaviors between hundreds of robots
    In one of the more memorable scenes from the 2002 blockbuster film Minority Report, Tom Cruise is forced to hide from a swarm of spider-like robots scouring a towering apartment complex. While most viewers are likely transfixed by the small, agile bloodhound replacements, a computer engineer might marvel instead at their elegant control system.

  • Mobile robot cleaner takes production hygiene to a higher level
    Production lines and hygiene zones have to be spotlessly clean. And absolute cleanliness is critical wherever food is processed and medical instruments are handled. Now Fraunhofer researchers have come up with a mobile cleaning device that sanitizes equipment and production spaces to standards in a reproducible way. Equipped with self-learning and autonomous motility systems, this robot automatically detects the degree of fouling and selects the appropriate cleaning procedure.

  • MIT robot disinfects Greater Boston Food Bank
    With every droplet that we can’t see, touch, or feel dispersed into the air, the threat of spreading COVID-19 persists. It’s become increasingly critical to keep these heavy droplets from lingering—especially on surfaces, which are welcoming and generous hosts.

  • A scheme to enhance how swarm robots search for multiple targets
    Over the past decade or so, researchers have been trying to develop techniques that could enable effective collaborative strategies among teams of robots. One of the tasks that teams of robots could complete better than individual robots is simultaneously searching for several targets or objects in their surrounding environment.

  • Artificial skin heals wounds and makes robots sweat
    Imagine a dressing that releases antibiotics on demand and absorbs excessive wound exudate at the same time. Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology hope to achieve just that, by developing a smart coating that actively releases and absorbs multiple fluids, triggered by a radio signal. This material is not only beneficial for the health care industry, it is also very promising in the field of robotics or even virtual reality.

  • Deep drone acrobatics
    A navigation algorithm developed at the University of Zurich enables drones to learn challenging acrobatic maneuvers. Autonomous quadcopters can be trained using simulations to increase their speed, agility and efficiency, which benefits conventional search and rescue operations.

  • From HAL 9000 to Westworld's Dolores: The pop culture robots that influenced smart voice assistants
    Last year, nearly one third of Australian adults owned a smart speaker device allowing them to call on “Alexa” or “Siri.” Now, with more time spent indoors due to COVID-19, smart voice assistants may be playing even bigger roles in people’s lives.

  • Model helps robots think more like humans when searching for objects
    Robots can learn how to find things faster by learning how different objects around the house are related, according to work from the University of Michigan. A new model provides robots with a visual search strategy that can teach them to look for a coffee pot nearby if they’re already in sight of a refrigerator, in one of the paper’s examples.

  • How robots could help injured workers recover
    Training robots to guide injured workers through simulated tasks could make return-to-work evaluations and treatment programs more effective and accessible, according to researchers at the University of Alberta.

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