3D printing blends rigid and soft to improve robot performance

Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences released an interesting demo of blending rigid and soft materials during 3D printing to create hybrid robots with enhanced performance for tasks like jumping and landing. Read the rest

Non-metal robot performs prostate surgery inside MRI


Researchers are developing a robot made from plastic and ceramic motors that can perform surgery on a patient inside a magnetic resonance imaging machine where metal is a no-no. Read the rest

Robotic dog pants, dribbles warm saliva, and tries to bite you


Here's some fun: "Place hand in dog's cage and hold it there for as long as you dare. Dog pants, dribbles warm saliva and other disgusting things." It's a coin-operated amusement built by Tim Hunkin, and you can see a customer trying it out in this video.

Tim Hunkin is a brilliant cartoonist, inventor, and TV show host. He wrote some great articles for me at Make magazine and I'm always happy to learn about anything he creates. In this video, we get to see Test Your Nerve and some of the other one-of-a-kind coin-operated machines Tim has built for his new-ish mechanical amusement arcade in London.

Some of the machine's at Tim's arcade: MONEY LAUNDERING: Pick up cash from the gutter and deposit it in the city without the regulators spotting MICROBREAK: Sit in the chair and travel on holiday, moved by the magic carpet. ALIEN PROBE: Investigate the captive alien BUT try not to annoy it. DIVORCE: Race to separate, then see the results. PET OR MEAT: Spin the arrow and see where it lands. Then view what happens to the lamb in detail. AUTOFRISK: Stand in position and let the rubber gloves give you a thorough frisk. MY-NUKE: Use the remote manipulator arm to open the fuel box and load the fuel pellets into the reactor. INSTANT WEIGHTLOSS: Watch weightfree nutrients prepared especially for you and then watch yourself lose weight in the mirror. EXPRESSIVE PHOTOBOOTH: Sit inside and the booth activates mechanisms to provoke a wide range of expressions while taking the photos. Read the rest

WATCH: Bricklaying robot ushers in semi-automated masonry

Construction Robotics developed this bricklaying robot SAM (Semi-Automated Mason) after addressing two key challenges: mortar application and onsite variables that can hinder precision. Read the rest

Evolution of the robotic roach (now with a shell)


UC Berkeley researchers have now outfitted tiny RoACH robots with shell-like exoskeletons to protect the electromechanical innards from dust and water and help the bots slip easily through tight, cluttered spaces, just like real roaches. Videos below. Read the rest

Researchers developing tiny robots to travel through body and fire projectiles


Researchers demonstrated an early proof-of-concept system in which tiny robots inside your body, controlled by an MRI machine, could self-assemble into a Gauss gun and fire projectiles to clear blockages or deliver drugs. Video below. Read the rest

WATCH: Adding a cockroach shell improves microbot mobility


The fields of bioinspiration and biomimetics look at animal evolution to improve machine function. Chen Li at UC Berkeley's Poly-PEDAL Lab found that an oval cockroach shell atop a small robot helps it squeeze through tight spaces more easily. Read the rest

Deal: Arduino Robotic Vehicle Kit


Meet Cherokey 4WD, a versatile mobile platform compatible with most microcontrollers, and the heart and soul of your robotic vehicle. By assembling the included hardware and tuning the software, you will construct a rapid, rugged, outdoor-friendly truck controlled by an iOS app on your phone. Learn to install sensors on the robot to trigger specific movements and actions, and take your newfound Arduino expertise onto limitless future projects.

Enjoy high-quality micro-speed motors Drive your truck on rough terrain w/ its durable & solid aluminum body Expand upon the highly versatile modular design Easily control w/ your iOS device Write your own code to take advantage of its ultrasonic sensor, BLE-ready microcontroller, IR sensor & LEDs Start your project immediately without the need for an additional motor driver or wireless shield Use for educational purposes, robot competitions, home automation protyping or research projects Read the rest

Incredible tiny tentacles for microrobots


This is microrobotic tentacle grabbing an ant. Iowa State University engineers developed the spiraling microrobotic pneumatic tentacles, just 8 millimeters long and less than a hundredth of an inch wide, as a delicate gripper for tiny medical robots that could manipulate tissue or even blood vessels inside our bodies. Read the rest

WATCH: BioBots, remote-controlled iBionic insects


North Carolina State University researchers are wiring up Madagascar hissing roaches with remote-control steering, with a long-term goal to use roaches, moths, and other insects as data-gathering vehicles in inaccessible places like disaster sites. Read the rest

People love kicking robotic dogs

The robotic dogs won't forget. When the day comes that they operate silently, the human race is toast. Read the rest

Watch DARPA unveil untethered ATLAS for 2015 robotic challenge


The 2015 DARPA Robotic Challenge (DRC) is upping the ante, making the ATLAS robot used in competition self-contained and redesigned from the knees up. The robot that best completes a series of difficult physical tasks wins $2 million for the team. Read the rest

Weird SPAM-colored soft robot moves like a zombie hot dog


Harvard University released video of this unnerving soft robot that can move untethered through punishing conditions, including snow and fire, yet will remain resilient. It looks a bit like reanimated sliced SPAM in the time-lapse crawling footage, and like SPAM, it retains its shape even when its appendages are run over by a car. Read the rest

Future "squishy" robots

MIT researchers and Google-owned Boston Dynamics developed a new wax-and-foam material that can shift between hard and soft states as a basis for future "squishy robots." Read the rest

FDA approves robotic exoskeleton for paraplegics

The FDA has approved Rewalk Robotics' personal exoskeleton for personal use by paraplegics. Read the rest

Self-assembling, printed lamp

Harvard engineers created a self-assembling lamp whose components are printed, including some of the electronics. Read the rest

Teaching robots “gaze aversion” to make humans feel more comfortable

.picture { background-color: #FFFFFF; font: 12px/1.5em Arial; color:#888888; sans-serif; } .picture img { vertical-align:middle; margin-bottom: 3px; } .right { margin: 0.5em 0pt 0.5em 0.8em; float:right; } .left { margin: 0.5em 0.8em 0.5em 0; float:left; } A University of Wisconsin-Madison engineer is teaching robots “gaze aversion.” They have found that having a robot look around a room while in a conversation improves communication with humans and makes them feel more human-like. -- IEEE

UW student researches ways to make robots seem more human Read the rest

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