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10 Mind-Blowing Oculus Rift Experiments
11/25/14 — The Oculus Rift’s official consumer release is still months away, but that hasn’t stopped developers from getting excited about the virtual reality headset and forging deeply innovative software that takes full advantage of VR’s breathtaking potential. And it’s not just gaming developers whipping up mind-blowing projects, either.   Although it was originally created for games, the Rift headset is already promising to transform more practical fields like tourism, filmmaking, medicine, architecture, space exploration, and the battlefield. Even the basic way we perceive ourselves is up for grabs when the lines between physical and virtual begin to blur. Here are ten of the…


Harvard’s Microrobotics Lab Developing “RoboBees”
11/20/14 — The “Terminator” movies gave us a glimpse of a robot future, and it was pretty scary. The real robots of the future, however, look nothing like Arnold Schwarzenegger. They look like bugs and belt buckles and boats. In fact, some of them are boats. But they do have one thing in common with the cyborg assassin: a considerable degree of autonomy, albeit benign. National Geographic recently reported on some cool work being done by Robert Wood at Harvard’s Microrobotics Laboratory. Wood is developing “RoboBees” that not only fly, but fly autonomously — or they will very soon. When they get their wings, they’ll be…



Boston Dynamics’ Atlas Robot Masters Karate Kid Crane Stance
11/13/14 — Atlas is back. While the robot itself may be from Google-owned Boston Dynamics, the balance algorithm is from IHMC (Institute for Human and Machine Cognition) who’s worked with the robotics company to get the six foot two biped walking better. IHMC has a strong track record in DARPA’s Robotics Challenge, coming first in…

NASA Team Developing Next-Gen 3D-Scanning Lidar
11/06/14 — Building, fixing, and refueling space-based assets or rendezvousing with a comet or asteroid will require a robotic vehicle and a super-precise, high-resolution 3-D imaging lidar that will generate real-time images needed to guide the vehicle to a target traveling at thousands of miles per hour. A team of technologists at…

MegaBots Launching Kickstarter Campaign to Fund Giant Fighting Robot Project
10/30/14 — Two giant, menacing robots march toward each other, blasting missiles and six-inch projectiles at over 100 mph... No, it’s not science fiction, it’s what a Somerville company plans on making reality. Part Transformers, part blockbuster movie “Real Steel” come to life, MegaBots is launching a Kickstarter campaign today to help fund the…

Jazz-Singing Humanoid Robot Wows in Tokyo
10/23/14 — Who says you need soul to sing jazz? A humanoid robot vocalist was the centerpiece of an ensemble serenading onlookers at the Marunouchi Building near Tokyo Station on Wednesday. Viewed from a distance, the band looked like a regular quartet. Up close, the alluring female singer proved to be an…

Search & Rescue Robots to Help Save Lives in the Alps
10/09/14 — Scientists at the University of Twente are working on robots that are expected to save lives in calamity situations in the Alps. The emphasis within this SHERPA project is on cooperation between human rescue workers, the ground robot ('ground rover') with a robotic arm and flying robots. This week all…

Robot Taste Tester to Combat Bad Thai Food
10/02/14 — For aficionados of Thailand's spicy national cuisine, the offerings at Thai restaurants outside the Asian kingdom are often disappointingly bland and neutered.But the government in Bangkok is launching a culinary crusade against poor Thai food by unveiling a robotic food taster that will issue a seal of culinary approval for…

Robotic Fabric Could Usher in New Era of Soft Robotics
09/25/14 — Researchers are developing a robotic fabric that moves and contracts and is embedded with sensors, an approach that could bring "active clothing" and a new class of "soft" robots. Such an elastic technology could make possible robots that have sensory skin, stretchable robotic garments that people might wear for added…

Tether-less Robot Cheetah Runs Faster Than Usain Bolt
09/18/14 — Researchers at MIT have built a robotic "cheetah" which may not be quite as fast as its feline counterpart but does have the ability to run and jump across a grass field without a tether. The four-legged robot, which can sprint at speeds of up to 10 miles per hour…

3D Robotics’ Iris+ Drone Follows Your Android Device
09/11/14 — Last year, 3D Robotics announced its Iris quadcopter drone. Like other similar products, it can either be flown manually using radio remote control, or it can use its onboard GPS to autonomously fly between a series of preprogrammed waypoints.[The company has now] announced its successor, the Iris+. Its big feature…

DARPA Wants Robots That Build Satellites in Space
09/03/14 — In five years the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) wants to launch a robotic servicing mission to inspect, fix, refuel or move satellites in geostationary Earth orbit. In order to move that plan along, the research agency today issued a Request for Information (RFI) calling on commercial and private…

Robird Flying Scarecrow Frightens Real Birds
08/28/14 — First there were electronic sheepdogs. Now flapping robotic drones disguised as birds of prey could act as another form of futuristic farming device, thanks to a Dutch inventor and his flying machine. The two models being developed might confuse birdwatchers from a distance as they are designed to resemble a…

1,000 Kilobot Swarm Shows the Future of Robotics
08/21/14 — The first thousand-robot flash mob has assembled at Harvard University. "Form a sea star shape," directs a computer scientist, sending the command to 1,024 little bots simultaneously via an infrared light. The robots begin to blink at one another and then gradually arrange themselves into a five-pointed star. "Now form…

Engineers Designing More Agile Robotic Legs for Uneven Ground
08/14/14 — Horses and other animals inspire new designs for smarter, faster, more agile robotic legs. One of the major challenges in robotics is designing robots that can move over uneven, loose or unexpected terrain.With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), computer engineer Luther Palmer and his team at the Biomorphic…

Researchers Developing Mind-Controlled Robotic Legs
08/06/14 — Thought-controlled robotic legs may still seem like the stuff of sci-fi, but for a group of scientists at the University of Houston in Texas, it is already a reality. A research group led by electrical and computer engineering expert Jose Luis Contreras-Vidal is working on a brain-machine interface that could…

Learn How 3D Printing has Revolutionized Manufacturing
07/30/14 — FISHER/UNITECH, a top reseller of SolidWorks 3D design software and Stratasys 3D Printers, will host a technical counsel on the advancement of 3D printing on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 10:00 AM at Automation Alley, located at 2675 Bellingham Dr. in Troy, MI.  FISHER/UNITECH has partnered with Stratasys Corp and…

Can a Robot Learn How to Build Lego Turtles?
07/24/14 — If we want to build our robot army of helpers, everyone needs to pitch in. That's the conclusion drawn by a team of electrical engineers from the University of Washington, which harnessed the power of the crowd to teach a robot to build a Lego turtle. Just as Siri and…

Meet Jibo: A Social Robot Designed to be Part of Your Family
07/17/14 — Cynthia Breazeal, an MIT professor and pioneer of social robotics, has unveiled Jibo, a desktop-sitting robot that is designed to be an interactive companion and helper to families. Dubbed "the world's first family robot," the 11-inch-tall robot will have a variety of abilities that will help people manage their daily…

Robotic Hand Can Feel and Function Much Like a Real One
07/10/14 — A robot hand that “knows” both how -- and how hard -- to grip objects of widely differing size and delicacy is being developed by ShadowRobot. In both photos and videos released in recent days, the dramatic-looking, shiny black hand is shown variously holding a light bulb, a business card,…




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