Category: Robotics

First-Of-Its-Kind Bioengineered Robotic Hand To Sense Touch

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.

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Flexible ‘skin’ can help robots, prosthetics perform everyday tasks by sensing shear force

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.

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Case Western Reserve University researchers design soft, flexible origami-inspired robot

A Case Western Reserve University researcher has turned the origami she enjoyed as a child into a patent-pending soft robot that may one day be used on an assembly line, in surgery or even outer space. Kiju Lee, the Nord Distinguished Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and her lab have moved from paper robots to 3-D-printed models that bend, contract, extend and twist.

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Landmark study suggests risks vary widely in drone-human impacts

New Virginia Tech research suggests there’s wide variation in the risk that unmanned aircraft pose to people on the ground. Many of the most promising applications for these aircraft — including package delivery, public safety, and traffic management — entail flights over people and raise the possibility, however unlikely, of an impact between the aircraft and a human.

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Drones can almost see in the dark

UZH researchers have taught drones how to fly using an eye-inspired camera, opening the door to them performing fast, agile maneuvers and flying in low-light environments. Possible applications could include supporting rescue teams with search missions at dusk or dawn.

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A drone for last-centimeter delivery

A new drone developed at EPFL uses cutting-edge technology to deliver parcels weighing up to 500 grams. The device will never get stuck in traffic, it’s programmed to avoid obstacles, and it can reach destinations on steep or uneven terrain. Its protective cage and foldable design mean that it can be carried around in a backpack and used in total safety.

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Click beetles inspire design of self-righting robots

Robots perform many tasks that humans can’t or don’t want to perform, getting around on intricately designed wheels and limbs. If they tip over, however, they are rendered almost useless. A team of University of Illinois mechanical engineers and entomologists are looking to click beetles, who can right themselves without the use of their legs, to solve this robotics challenge.

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Clever Modular Robots Turn Legs Into Arms on Demand

CMU’s new gait-generating method means you can teach a dodecapod robot to transition into a nonapod robot that can carry stuff with two arms while using a third to point a camera. Robots that can be physically reconfigured to do lots of different things are, in theory, a great way to maximize versatility while saving time and effort.

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DNA Triggers Shape-Shifting in Hydrogels, Opening a New Way to Make ‘Soft Robots’

Biochemical engineers at Johns Hopkins University have used sequences of DNA molecules to induce shape-changing in water-based gels, demonstrating a new tactic to produce soft robots and “smart” medical devices that do not rely on cumbersome wires, batteries or tethers. The team members reported that their process used specific DNA sequences called “hairpins” to cause a centimeter-size hydrogel sample to swell to 100 times its original volume.

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One Step Closer to Lifelike Robots

A self-contained soft actuator three times stronger than natural muscle, without the need of externals, signals a breakthrough in soft robotics. Researchers at Columbia Engineering have solved a long-standing issue in the creation of untethered soft robots whose actions and movements can help mimic natural biological systems

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