Robotics in the Second Machine Age
We are entering an age of robots that are infiltrating many areas of work and life in general. This department is following the development of robotics in this new machine age.
The sense of touch is often taken for granted. For someone without a limb or hand, losing that sense of touch can be devastating. While highly sophisticated prostheses with complex moving fingers and joints are available to mimic almost every hand motion, they remain frustratingly difficult and unnatural for the user. This is largely because they lack the tactile experience that guides every movement.
Imagine you are moving a couch with a friend. As you start, you both need to crouch down, securely grab it and simultaneously lift it up. As you carry it, you may say a word here and there, but that is not enough to coordinate your actions. You mostly communicate...
Physicists at Aalto University have made a breakthrough in revising methods largely discarded 15 years ago. They have discovered a microscopic mechanism that will allow gallium nitride semiconductors to be used in electronic devices that distribute large amounts of electric power.
Hybrid robot could perform search and rescue missions, research studies, environmental monitoring. We’ve seen RoboBees that can fly, stick to walls, and dive into water. Now, get ready for a hybrid RoboBee that can fly, dive into water, swim, propel itself back out of water, and safely land.
A microscopic ‘pen’ that is able to write structures small enough to trap and harness light using a commercially available printing technique could be used for sensing, biotechnology, lasers, and studying the interaction between light and matter.
New insights into the behaviour of electrons as liquids transform to glass are deepening our understanding of this transition phase. Researchers at Tohoku University have gained new insight into the electronic processes that guide the transformation of liquids into a solid crystalline or glassy state. The ability of some liquids to transition into glass has been exploited since ancient times. But many fundamental aspects of this transition phase are far from understood.
Engineers from the University of Washington and UCLA have developed a flexible sensor “skin” to accurately convey information about shear forces and vibration to grasp, manipulate objects. If a robot is sent to disable a roadside bomb — or delicately handle an egg while cooking you an omelet — it needs to be able to sense when objects are slipping out of its grasp.
How many robots does it take to screw in a light bulb? The answer: just one, assuming you’re talking about a new robotic gripper developed by engineers at the University of California San Diego.
Scientists have invented a way to morph liquid metal into physical shapes. Researchers at the University of Sussex and Swansea University have applied electrical charges to manipulate liquid metal into 2D shapes such as letters and a heart.
UC Riverside research invokes quantum mechanical processes that occur when two atomically thin materials are stacked together. Physicists at the University of California, Riverside have developed a photodetector – a device that senses light – by combining two distinct inorganic materials and producing quantum mechanical processes that could revolutionize the way solar energy is collected.
Robotics Department Head