An innovative underwater robot known as Mesobot is providing researchers with deeper insight into the vast mid-ocean region known as the “twilight zone.” Capable of tracking and recording high-resolution images of slow-moving and fragile zooplankton, gelatinous animals, and particles, Mesobot greatly expands scientists’ ability to observe creatures in their mesopelagic habitat with minimal disturbance. This advance in engineering will enable greater understanding of the role these creatures play in transporting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to the deep sea, as well as how commercial exploitation of twilight zone fisheries might affect the marine ecosystem.
Artificial intelligence is part of our modern life by enabling machines to learn useful processes such as speech recognition and digital personal assistants. A crucial question for practical applications is how fast such intelligent machines can learn. An experiment at the University of Vienna has answered this question, showing that quantum technology enables a speed-up in the learning process.
Scientists often look to nature for cues when designing robots – some robots mimic human hands while others simulate the actions of octopus arms or inchworms. Now, researchers in the University of Georgia College of Engineering have designed a new soft robotic gripper that draws inspiration from an unusual source: pole beans.
Researchers in Japan and Italy are embracing chaos and nonlinear physics to create insectlike gaits for tiny robots — complete with a locomotion controller to provide a brain-machine interface. Biology and physics are permeated by universal phenomena fundamentally grounded in nonlinear physics, and it inspired the researchers’ work. In the journal Chaos, the group describes using a system of three nonlinear differential equations as a building block for central pattern generators to control the gait of a robotic insect.
A University of Washington-led team has developed Smellicopter: an autonomous drone that uses a live antenna from a moth to navigate toward smells. Smellicopter can also sense and avoid obstacles as it travels through the air.
A bioethicist lays out the ethical rationale to develop robots for isolated and disabled older people – a population increasingly alone due to COVID-19. Many lonely seniors would value a robot for companionship and sexual gratification, writes Nancy Jecker at the Univ. of Washington School of Medicine.
With a training technique commonly used to teach dogs to sit and stay, Johns Hopkins University computer scientists showed a robot how to teach itself several new tricks, including stacking blocks. With the method, the robot, named Spot, was able to learn in days what typically takes a month.
A team of researchers is creating mobile robots for military applications that can determine, with or without human intervention, whether wheels or legs are more suitable to travel across terrains. The adaptable Wheel-and-Leg Transformable Robot can traverse over varying surfaces, including staircases, more efficiently.
Engineers at the University of California San Diego have built a squid-like robot that can swim untethered, propelling itself by generating jets of water. The robot carries its own power source inside its body. It can also carry a sensor, such as a camera, for underwater exploration. The researchers detail their work in a recent issue of Bioinspiration and Biomimetics.
A team of University of California researchers is working to improve telepresence robots and the algorithms that drive them to help children with disabilities stay connected to their classmates, teachers and communities. The effort is funded by a $1 million grant from the National Robotics Initiative at the National Science Foundation.
Engineering researchers have developed soft robots inspired by jellyfish that can outswim their real-life counterparts. More practically, the new jellyfish-bots highlight a technique that uses pre-stressed polymers to make soft robots more powerful.
For the next several months, visitors to the Atlanta Botanical Garden will be able to observe the testing of a new high-tech tool in the battle to save some of the world’s most endangered species. SlothBot, a slow-moving and energy-efficient robot that can linger in the trees to monitor animals, plants, and the environment below, will be tested near the Garden’s popular Canopy Walk.
By chasing cockroaches through an obstacle course and studying their movements, the Johns Hopkins engineers that brought you the cockroach robot and the snake robot discovered that animals’ movement transitions corresponded to overcoming potential energy barriers and that they can jitter around to traverse obstacles in complex terrain.
Built with wheeled appendages that can be lifted and wheels able to wiggle, a new robot known as the “Mini Rover” has developed and tested complex locomotion techniques robust enough to help it climb hills covered with granular material – and avoid the risk of getting stuck on some remote planet or moon.
Detecting gender bias against robots was the original intent of a study that revealed two surprises: The gender bias didn’t appear. In its place, people were predisposed to find robots mostly incompetent, regardless of gender.
“Look beneath the fears that fracture our society,” says Dustin Abnet, “and you’re likely to find a robot lurking there.” Even during a global health crisis such as COVID-19, robots — or at least desires for them — are present. Whether…
Bioengineers have created a blood-drawing robot that performed as well or better than technicians. The device could increase blood draw success from difficult- to-find veins and allow healthcare workers more time to treat patients.
In a new Science Robotics editorial published today, experts discuss the potential use of robots to combat COVID-19 by decreasing risks posed to humans, safely resuming halted manufacturing and making teleoperations more efficient. Much of the work required in combatting…
Rutgers engineers have created a tabletop device that combines a robot, artificial intelligence and near-infrared and ultrasound imaging to draw blood or insert catheters to deliver fluids and drugs. Their research results, published in the journal Nature Machine Intelligence, suggest that autonomous systems like the image-guided robotic device could outperform people on some complex medical tasks.
In the future, robots could take blood samples, benefiting patients and healthcare workers alike. A Rutgers-led team has created a blood-sampling robot that performed as well or better than people, according to the first human clinical trial of an automated blood drawing and testing device.
A Tufts University team is one of four grand prize winners in the National Science Foundation’s search for big ideas to inform its research agenda for the coming decade.
New Brunswick, N.J. (Jan. 27, 2020) – Robots can be programmed to perform tasks such as painting to generate exposure data on potentially harmful contaminants, according to a study in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology that was co-led…
Scientists repurposed living frog cells—and assembled them into entirely new life-forms. These tiny “xenobots” can move toward a target and heal themselves after being cut. These novel living machines are neither a traditional robot nor a known species of animal. They’re a new class of artifact: a living, programmable organism.