These new soft actuators could make soft robots less bulky

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a way to build soft robots that are compact, portable and multifunctional. The advance was made possible by creating soft, tubular actuators whose movements are electrically controlled, which makes them easy to integrate with small electronic components. As a proof of concept, engineers used these new actuators to build a soft, untethered, battery-powered, walking robot and a soft gripper.

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The American Institute of Physics Announces 2019 Science Communication Award Winners

The winners of the 2019 AIP Science Communication Awards are announced for their topical works on robotics inspired by animals, the nature of the universe, climate change, the awe and excitement of space, and the mystery of black holes. The winners are David L. Hu, Marcia Bartusiak, Nathaniel Rich, Raman Prinja, and Rushmore DeNooyer.

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GIVING SMART VEHICLES THEIR SENSE OF DIRECTION

Before self-driving vehicles become a permanent fixture on our roads they need to overcome two challenges—figuring out where they are and their range of motion (localization) and modeling their surroundings to avoid running into stuff (mapping).
In the world of robotics, it’s called SLAM—simultaneous localization and mapping. Researchers at the University of Delaware have developed novel SLAM algorithms that offer the best solution to date for giving these vehicles a sense of direction.

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