For people, being touched can initiate many different reactions from comfort to discomfort, from intimacy to aggression. But how might people react if they were touched by a robot? In an initial study, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology found people generally had a positive response toward being touched by a robotic nurse, but that their perception of the robot’s intent made a significant difference.
The Georgia Tech Research Institute may possess the secret to baking perfect buns. Its researchers have developed a production-line system that automatically inspects the quality of sandwich buns exiting the oven and adjusts oven temperatures if it detects unacceptable buns.
Researchers from the European Centre for Soft Computing and the UPM’s Facultad de Informática have developed an antonym-based technique for building maps for mobile robots. This technique can be applied to improve current robot navigation systems.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is teaming up with Willow Garage, a Silicon Valley robotics research and design firm, to launch an international “perception challenge” to drive improvements in sensing and perception technologies for next-generation robots.
More than 50 years after the invention of the laser, scientists at Yale Univ. have built the world's first anti-laser, in which incoming beams of light interfere with one another in such a way as to perfectly cancel each other out. The discovery could pave the way for a number of novel technologies with applications in everything from optical computing to radiology.
Scientists hoping to unravel the mystery of proton spin at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), a 2.4-mile-circumference particle accelerator at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, have a new tool at their disposal—the first to directly explore how quarks of different types, or “flavors,” contribute to the overall spin of the proton.
A new analytical model developed by scientists in Spain creates a virtual train lab. Spain, which has constructed a number of new high-speed rail lines, wants more data on how vibrations caused by trains impact people living or working near them.
Ask anyone who has ever tried to squash a skittering cockroach—they're masters of quick and precise movement. Now Tel Aviv Univ. is using their maddening locomotive skills to improve robotic technology too.
Surgeons of the future might use a system that recognizes hand gestures as commands to control a robotic scrub nurse or tell a computer to display medical images of the patient during an operation.
The National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), the National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) research and development center for ground-based astronomy, has announced its conditional approval of the BigBOSS Collaboration’s proposal to use 500 nights of valuable observing time on the NOAO 4?meter Mayall Telescope on Kitt Peak, Arizona. The time would be used to build the biggest-ever map of the universe, for investigating the mysterious dark energy that permeates the universe.
Princeton Univ. engineers have developed a new laser sensing technology that may allow soldiers to detect hidden bombs from a distance and scientists to better measure airborne environmental pollutants and greenhouse gasses.
Want to build a really tough robot? Forget about Terminator . Instead, watch a tadpole turn into a frog. Or at least that’s not too far off from what Univ. of Vermont roboticist Josh Bongard has discovered . In a first-of-its-kind experiment, Bongard created both simulated and actual robots that, like tadpoles becoming frogs, change their body forms while learning how to walk. And, over generations, his simulated robots also evolved, spending less time in “infant” tadpole-like forms and more time in “adult” four-legged forms.
Scientists at Los Alamos National Lab, N.M., have achieved a remarkable breakthrough with the Office of Naval Research's Free Electron Laser (FEL) program, demonstrating an injector capable of producing the electrons needed to generate megawatt-class laser beams for the Navy's next-generation weapon system.
Researchers at Northwestern Univ. have created a robotic fish that can move from swimming forward and backward to swimming vertically almost instantaneously by using a sophisticated, ribbon-like fin.
Using a common metal most famously found in self-cleaning ovens, Sossina Haile hopes to change our energy future. The metal is cerium oxide—or ceria—and it is the centerpiece of a promising new technology developed by Haile and her colleagues that concentrates solar energy and uses it to efficiently convert carbon dioxide and water into fuels.
The maker of the popular Prius hybrid car is developing a new type of electric motor to cut its dependence on rare earth metals and lower costs. The world’s No. 1 automaker hopes the new technology will free it from reliance on China, which produces 97% of the global output of rare earths.
We live in a world almost completely dependent upon machinery. Since the creation of the simple wheel, humans have found ways to increase quality of life and advance scientific knowledge using these devices. Though the prevalence of machinery has benefited us, our dependence upon them has limitations. Everything that moves can and will break, especially metals under strain. And when they fail, the consequences can be catastrophic. LSU's Michael Khonsari has developed and proven a novel method to avoid the danger that comes with reaching the breaking point.
Lasers have revolutionized the communications and medical industries. However, the physical length of an ordinary laser cannot be less than one half of the wavelength of its light, which limits its application in many industries. Now the Spaser, a new invention developed in part by Tel Aviv Univ., can be as small as needed to fuel nano-technologies of the future.
A new type of mechanical hand developed by researchers at Harvard and Yale promises to solve the issue of overthinking. In a makeover inspired by cockroach legs, the engineers chose not to make their robotic hand smarter, but to redesign its form to suit a dumb robot.
Industry hates the cost of prototyping, but when it does need to create one, it needs to do so quickly. The rise of rapid prototyping machines, such as 3-D printers, has gone some way to address this problem, but it might instead transform manufacturing methods themselves.
GTI Spindle Technology is partnering with InCheck Technologies to demonstrate InSite – a new online wireless predictive maintenance system – at a conference at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago, Ill., Sept. 13-18. InSite provides data collection, storage, and processing facilities for condition and performance monitoring.
Hybrid vehicles have the ability to stop an engine at idle and restart again automatically to contribute considerably to overall fuel economy. Toyota Motor Corp., with development assistance from a number of companies, has engineered the Permanently Engaged Gear Starting Mechanism for Stop & Start system to help streamline the integration of this capability into future vehicles.
Today’s large machine tools must be carefully calibrated to perform increasingly complex tasks, but diagnosing errors can be frustrating. A partnership led by Automated Precision Inc. has pioneered a methodology, Volumetric Error Compensation (VEC), to address the need for improving close tolerance and working accuracy.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Mobility Lab has developed the Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC), which is both maneuverable within the home and can travel long distances on rough roads rural or developing areas.
TriboMAM, from M4 Sciences LLC and Purdue University, is an industrial drilling system for computer-controlled machine tools that is based on the theory of modulation-assisted machining, which involves the introduction of a sinusoidal motion into the physics of mechanical drilling.