Scientists develop a soft robot that mimics a spider’s leg

A spiders legs inspired mm-scale soft exosceleton touching plants anthers. Credit: Tartu University Italian Institute of technology Researchers Indrek Must and Kadri-Ann Valdur of the Institute of Technology of the University of Tartu have created a robot leg modeled after the leg of a cucumber spider. The soft robot created in cooperation with the Italian […]

To optimize guide-dog robots, first listen to the visually impaired

Guide dog and robotic guide dog. Credit: Zinj Guo What features does a robotic guide dog need? Ask the blind, say the authors of a recent paper. Led by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a study identifying how to develop robot guide dogs with insights from guide dog users and trainers won a […]

New compound eye design could provide inexpensive way to give robots insect-like vision

Schematic illustration and images of PHCE camera and integrated components. Credit: Zhiyong Fan A team of engineers and roboticists at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has developed an electronic compound eye design to give robots the ability to swarm efficiently and inexpensively. In their paper published in the journal Science Robotics, the group […]

Animal-brain-inspired AI game changer for autonomous robots

Photo of the “neuromorphic drone” flying over a flower pattern. It illustrates the visual inputs the drone receives from the neuromorphic camera in the corners. Red indicates pixels getting darker, green indicates pixels getting brighter. Credit: Guido de Croon A team of researchers at Delft University of Technology has developed a drone that flies autonomously […]

Biohybrid robotic hand may help unravel complex sensation of touch

Researchers have developed a novel biohybrid neuro-prosthetic research platform comprised of a dexterous artificial hand electrically interfaced with biological neural networks. Credit: Florida Atlantic University Brain-machine interfaces are devices that enable direct communication between a brain’s electrical activity and an external device such as a computer or a robotic limb that allows people to control […]

Artificial tactile system study: Robots’ sense of touch could be as fast as humans

Optical image of the hardware-implemented artificial tactile afferent network. The hardware comprises an array of artificial receptors fabricated on a hand-shaped polyimide film, and a PCB circuit that convert analog signals into spike trains. Credit: Science (2024). DOI: 10.1126/science.adf3708 Research at Uppsala University and Karolinska Institutet could pave the way for a prosthetic hand and […]

New snail-inspired robot can climb walls

Credit: Tianqi Yue A robot, designed to mimic the motion of a snail, has been developed by researchers at the University of Bristol. Adding to the increasingly innovative new ways robots can navigate, the team, based at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, fitted the robot with a sliding suction mechanism enabling the device to slide on […]

Swiss nursery lets robot do the talking

Nao, nao… Swiss children in a Lausanne creche have some fun with their new robot friend, Nao. Sat in a circle on the nursery floor, a group of Swiss three-year-olds ask a robot called Nao questions about giraffes and broccoli. By the time these children become adults, interacting with robots may well be as commonplace […]

Manipulation technology makes home-helper robot possible

Ding Zhao (center), with children from the Cyert Center, interacting with the home-helper robot. Credit: Carnegie Mellon University Mechanical Engineering Parents spend roughly 300 hours each year cleaning up after their kids. That’s nearly two weeks that could be otherwise spent doing anything else. Researchers in Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, in collaboration […]

Cat collaboration demonstrates what it takes to trust robots

A selection of iterations showcasing the enclosure design from initial inspiration by the art of Verner Panton, to 3d renderings and scale models, to the final full sized installation. Credit: Proceedings of the CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (2024). DOI: 10.1145/3613904.3642115 Would you trust a robot to look after your cat? New […]

A better way to control shape-shifting soft robots

Reconfigurable soft robots. In this paper, we address challenges in controlling reconfigurable—or shape-shifting—robots, who can change their morphology to accomplish desired tasks. The figure illustrates a task where a circular robot needs to alter its body shape to fit within a confined chamber to manipulate the square cargo to the target point (right). We introduce […]

Robotic system feeds people with severe mobility limitations

A robotic system developed by Cornell researchers feeds a student participant during a lab demonstration. Credit: Cornell University Cornell researchers have developed a robotic feeding system that uses computer vision, machine learning and multimodal sensing to safely feed people with severe mobility limitations, including those with spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis. “Feeding […]

New approach uses generative AI to imitate human motion

Central pattern generator (CPG) and reflex network coordinated by speed adjustment commands from a higher-level nerve center (a), and overall control framework (b). Credit: Tohoku University An international group of researchers has created a new approach to imitating human motion by combining central pattern generators (CPGs) and deep reinforcement learning (DRL). The method not only […]

Teaching robots to move by sketching trajectories

Credit: arXiv (2023). DOI: 10.48550/arxiv.2309.03835 Getting robots to perform even a simple task requires a great deal of behind-the-scenes work. Part of the challenge is planning and executing movements, everything from turning wheels to lifting a robotic arm. To make this happen, roboticists collaborate with programmers to develop a set of trajectories—or pathways—that are clear […]

Video shows how swarms of miniature robots simultaneously clean up microplastics and microbes

To clean water, researchers have designed swarms of tiny, spherical robots (light yellow) that collect bacteria (green) and small pieces of plastic (gray). Credit: Adapted from ACS Nano 2024, DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.4c02115 When old food packaging, discarded children’s toys and other mismanaged plastic waste break down into microplastics, they become even harder to clean up from […]

Scientists create robot snails that can move independently using tracks or work together to climb

a Morphological evolution from a snail to a snail robot. b Snails outdoors may climb onto another snail’s shell for various reasons. Inspired by this, snail robots can also interconnect with each other. c Comparative illustration of snail foot adhesion and snail robot connection mechanism under varying external forces. Credit: Nature Communications (2024). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-024-47788-2 […]

Stretchable e-skin could give robots human-level touch sensitivity

Nanshu Lu. Credit: University of Texas at Austin A first-ever stretchy electronic skin could equip robots and other devices with the same softness and touch sensitivity as human skin, opening up new possibilities to perform tasks that require a great deal of precision and control of force. The new stretchable e-skin, developed by researchers at […]

Leveraging robots to help make wind turbine blades

Robot cell with a band saw attachment and a 5-m test blade section (top left), Pushcorp grinding tool with custom dust collection shroud (top right), Tyrolit sanding tool (bottom left), and the Zivid II structured light camera (bottom right). Credit: Wind Energy (2024). DOI: 10.1002/we.2913 Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy […]

Random robots are more reliable: New AI algorithm for robots consistently outperforms state-of-the-art systems

Although the current study tested the AI algorithm only on simulated robots, the researchers have developed NoodleBot for future testing of the algorithm in the real world. Credit: Northwestern University Northwestern University engineers have developed a new artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm designed specifically for smart robotics. By helping robots rapidly and reliably learn complex skills, […]

Natural language boosts LLM performance in coding, planning and robotics

Three new frameworks from MIT CSAIL reveal how natural language can provide important context for language models that perform coding, AI planning, and robotics tasks. Credit: Alex Shipps/MIT CSAIL, with components from the researchers and Pixabay Large language models (LLMs) are becoming increasingly useful for programming and robotics tasks, but for more complicated reasoning problems, […]

A miniature wireless robot that can effectively move through tubular structures

The wireless miniature flow-powered tube robot capable of navigating complex tubular environments. Credit: Chong Hong and Yingdan Wu. Robots have already proved to be promising tools to complete complex and demanding maintenance tasks. While engineers have developed a wide range of robots that could help to maintain and repair infrastructure, many of these robots need […]

Paper power: Origami technology makes its way into quadcopters

In this study, researchers developed a self-folding origami gripper that abruptly changes conformation when force is applied. By mounting this low-cost and biodegradable structure on top of a quadcopter, it is possible to hold onto and carry objects from one place to another in a convenient way. Credit: Hiroki Shigemune from Shibaura Institute of Technology; […]

Trotting robots reveal emergence of animal gait transitions

Guillaume Bellegarda, Milad Shafiee and Auke Ijspeert. Credit: EPFL/Jamani Caillet—CC-BY-SA 4.0 A four-legged robot trained with machine learning by EPFL researchers has learned to avoid falls by spontaneously switching between walking, trotting, and pronking—a milestone for roboticists as well as biologists interested in animal locomotion. With the help of a form of machine learning called […]

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