Tag Archives: robotics

Robots accidentally kill us all – THE STUDY

from BBC News:

A future in which robots help around the home could prove harmful to humans, suggests a study.

German researchers studied what happens in accidents involving robots using sharp tools alongside humans.

They used a robot arm holding a variety of bladed tools programmed to strike test substances that mimic soft tissue.

In some cases, the researchers found, the robots managed to accidentally inflict wounds that would prove “lethal”.

Brain-controlled exoskeletons advance with MindWalker

from WIRED.uk:

A team of European experts is working on a mind-controlled robotic exoskeleton that could enable people currently confined to wheelchairs to walk again and also help astronauts rehabilitate to Earth gravity after prolonged periods in the weightlessness of space.

The MindWalker system, which is being developed as part of a three-year, 2.5 million euro project, consists of a brain-computer interface (BCI), a virtual reality training environment and a robotic exoskeleton attached to the legs.

Video: ‘Building of the Future’ has swarm-robotic guides, AR, touchscreen walls & more

from Singularity Hub:

Set on the massive 16 hectare compound of Santander Bank outside of Madrid, El Faro awes its guests with technology that transforms their surroundings into a interactive mesh of the physical and digital worlds.

Integrated technologies providing humans with an enhanced environment – welcome to the future, boys and girls.

Japanese scientists unveil female android

from dailymail.co.uk:

Japanese professor Hiroshi Ishiguro yesterday unveiled a female android that can laugh and smile as it mimics human expressions.

Using a motion-capture system, the robot, called Geminoid TMF, can move its rubber face to imitate a smile, a toothy grin, and a grim-looking frown.

The developers said they expected the robot to be eventually used in real-life situations, such as in hospitals.’We’ve already got some data showing that the robot gave patients psychological security by nodding and smiling at them, when patients were checked on by doctors,’ Satoko Inoue, spokeman for Kokoro, told Dawn.com.

New robots build prototype solar cells in 30 minutes, then evaluate their own work

from PopSci:

One squat multitasking robot can build semiconductors for solar cells on six-inch-square plates of glass, plastic or flexible metals in just over half an hour.

Six of these tireless mechanical workers, chugging away at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Colorado, will allow private companies to come rapidly prototype and test their newest formulas for creating solar cells.

Kojiro – Could this be the robot who will serve you breakfast in bed?

from MailOnline:

Researchers at Tokyo University’s JSK Robotics Laboratory, have created a humanoid called Kojiro, who is learning how to mimic how we walk.

What makes him unique is that he has a skeletal structure similar to that of humans, which means he moves in a more natural fashion, and bends and twists via his artificial spine.

Japanese baby-robot teaches parenting skills

from The Sydney Morning Herald:

“Yotaro is a robot with which you can experience physical contact just like with a real baby and reproduce the same feelings,” said Hiroki Kunimura of Tsukuba University’s robotics and behavioral sciences lab north of Tokyo.

Yotaro’s face, made of soft translucent silicon with a rosy hue, is backlit by a projector connected to a computer to simulate crying, sneezing, sleeping and smiling, while a speaker can let out bursts of baby giggles.

Robot bred in Wales to seek life on red planet

from WalesOnline:

A Welsh academic will today showcase “world-leading space research” on a camera-snapping robot designed to look for signs of life on Mars.

Stephen Pugh, from Aberystwyth University’s computer science department, is focusing on fine-tuning the robotic planetary rover’s on-board panoramic cameras.

He is also teaching it to point and shoot at features on the planet’s surface that catch its eye when it is sent there in 2018.

Video: 3D printed robot arm

from Shapeways: (via Bruce Sterling)

It is early days yet but the first iteration of Kris Reed’s actuated robot arm looks very promising.

You can check out Kris’ blog post on how he came to make his arm here or see the 3D printed robot arm that will one day subjugate humanity in action below.

Light-activated on/off switch for DNA nanomachines

from rsc.org:

A light-activated switch to turn nanomachines on and off has been developed by Japanese researchers. The team showed how tiny tweezers made with DNA could be triggered to open and close in response to UV and visible light. The clever mechanism is hoped to find useful roles in designing future nano-robots.

‘We are designing DNA nano-robotics that are mechanically operated by light rather than chemical fuel,’ says Hiroyuki Asanuma, who led the research at Nagoya University, Japan. ‘In other words, we are creating “environment-friendly” nano-robotics.’

Artificial robot skin will use quantum tunneling

from MIT’s Technology Review:

Peratech makes an electrically conductive material called quantum tunneling composite (QTC). When the material is compressed electrons jump between two conductors separated by polymer insulating layer covered with metallic nanoparticles.

QTC robot skin could perhaps let a robot know precisely where it has been touched, and with how much pressure. It could also be helpful in designing machines that have better grasping capabilities, and for developing more natural ways for machines to interact with humans.

DARPA seeks smart robotic hands

from PopSci:

National Defense reports that the DARPA program aims to create inexpensive robotic hands that can perhaps also replace existing prosthetics for amputees.

Engineers can already design specialized robotic arms better suited for any number of specific tasks than human hands. But DARPA specifically hopes to see arms and hands that can mimic the general adaptability and flexibility of human hands.

Robot teachers in Korean classrooms by 2012

from Engadget:

We’d had some indication that robot teachers could be headed to classrooms sooner or later, but it looks like things may now be progressing faster than anyone thought.

According to South Korea’s etnews, the country has announced plans to invest in a so-called “R-Learning” program that promises to put robotic teaching assistants in up to 400 pre-schools by 2012, and expand to a full 8,000 pre-schools and kindergartens the following year.

Guilty Robots: Virtual ethics based on guilt

from ABCNews:

Dr. Arkin has begun work on an ethical system for robots based on the concept of “guilt.” As a robot makes decisions, such as whether to fire its weapons and what type of weapon to use, it would constantly assess the results and learn.

If the robot established that its weapons caused unnecessary damage or casualties, it would scale back its use of weapons in a future encounter. If the robot repeatedly used excessive force, it would shut down its weapons altogether  though it could continue to perform its other duties such as reconnaissance.

DARPA looks to build real-life C3P0

from WIRED:

Darpa, the military’s experimental research agency, is launching the Robust Automatic Translation of Speech program to streamline the translation process.

The RATS software will be programmed with voice-recognition technology, to identify people on a military most-wanted list. It’ll also be able to automatically detect specific, preselected “key words or phases.”

Dwarf helicopters, smart subs and mining robots to automate Australia

from COMPUTERWORLD:

Durrant-Whyte, research director at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems (CAS), has designed robots for industries including mining, sea exploration and agriculture that can outperform human ability in a variety of specialised skills.

For instance, some farmers are using his unmanned dwarf helicopter to automatically seek and destroy two plant species over a 500km area, eliminating the need to carpet-bomb crops with dangerous pesticides. The farmers may also soon be able to send out unmanned prime movers to sow fields.

Cisco Systems futurist: Robots will replace all workers in 25 years

from itWorldCanada:

If you believe Cisco Systems Inc. futurist Dave Evan, in five years we’ll be creating the equivalent of 92 million Libraries of Congress worth of data a year, in 20 years artificial brain implants will be available and in 25 years robots will replace all workers.

“Things are no longer growing at a linear rate,” he argues. “Because of the law of large numbers things are accelerating at an exponential rate.”

Video: LEGO robot solves any Rubik’s Cube in less than 12 seconds

from SingularityHub:

First arrest via drone (video)

UPDATE: Merseyside force did not have permission

from Tomorrow’s Trends:

[...] Using the device’s on-board camera and thermal-imaging technology, the operator was able to pick up the suspect through his body heat and direct foot patrols to his location.

Humanoid robots to gain advanced social skills

from WIRED UK:

A pan-European team of robotics researchers began a project this year that could see humanoid bots interact with groups of people in a realistic, anthropomorphic way, for the first time.

The “Humanoids with auditory and visual abilities in populated spaces” (HUMAVIPS) project has the ambitious goal of making humanoid bots just that bit more human by building algorithms that will enable bots to mimic what psychologists call the “cocktail party effect” -– the human ability to focus attention on just one person in the midst of other people, voices and background noise.