A robot in a University of Michigan lab can run like a human—a feat that represents the height of agility and efficiency for a two-legged machine. With a peak pace of 6.8 miles per hour, MABEL is believed to be the world's fastest bipedal robot with knees.
The editors of R&D Magazine have opened the nominations for the 2012 R&D 100 Awards competition, which will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the awards. If your organization introduced a new product this year, or is planning to, you can begin the entry process now.
Researchers at Caltech have taken a major step toward creating artificial intelligence—not in a robot or a silicon chip, but in a test tube. The researchers are the first to have made an artificial neural network out of DNA, creating a circuit of interacting molecules that can recall memories based on incomplete patterns, just as a brain can.
In a nod to Sandia National Laboratories' contributions to the field of robotics, the Smithsonian Institution has obtained nine of Sandia's historically significant robots for its permanent collection at the National Museum of American History.
Researchers at the Stanford School of Engineering have made a nanoelectronic synapse that might drive a new class of microchips that can learn, adapt, and make probability-based decisions in complex environments. The device emulates synaptic plasticity using phase-change material, and makes a leap past two-state transistors by demonstrating the ability to convey at least 100 values from each synapse.
MIT mechanical engineers are working to develop a new intelligent transportation system (ITS) algorithm that takes into account models of human driving behavior to warn drivers of potential collisions, and ultimately takes control of the vehicle to prevent a crash.
Millions of Americans have implantable medical devices. Most of these devices have wireless connections, so that doctors can monitor patients' vital signs or revise treatment programs. But recent research has shown that this leaves the devices vulnerable to attack. However, researchers from MIT and UMass developed a new system for preventing such attacks.
Digitally mimicking the photographic blur caused by moving objects is surprisingly hard, but new research offers ways to make it easier.
New algorithms make it easier to write rules for distributed-computing systems, such as networks of sensors, servers, or robots.
Imagine a robot able to retrieve a pile of laundry from the back of a cluttered closet, deliver it to a washing machine, start the cycle, and then zip off to the kitchen to start preparing dinner. This may have been a domestic dream a half-century ago, when the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence first captured public imagination. However, it quickly became clear that even "simple" human actions are extremely difficult to replicate in robots. Now, MIT computer scientists are tackling the problem with a hierarchical, progressive algorithm that has the potential to greatly reduce the computational cost associated with performing complex actions.
IBM is still perhaps two years from marketing a medical Watson, but Columbia Univ. medical school professor Dr. Herbert Chase, who is working with the company to adapt the computer for medical tasks, says its ability to understand plain language and access medical history and symptoms might mean quicker diagnoses and treatments.
Learning how to program a computer to display the words "Hello World" once may have excited students, but that hoary chestnut of a lesson doesn’t cut it in a world of videogames, smartphones, and Twitter. One option to take its place and engage a new generation of students in computer programming is a Carnegie Mellon Univ.-developed robot called Finch.
A new MIT-developed algorithm ensures that robotic environmental sensors will be able to focus on areas of interest without giving other areas short shrift.
Researchers have been examining the diverse behaviours of caterpillars to find solutions for the new generation of search and rescue soft robots.
DARPA's Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE) program aims to fundamentally alter conventional designs by developing biological-scale neuromorphic electronic systems that mimic important functions of a human brain. So far, SyNAPSE has successfully demonstrated all the core hardware, architecture, and simulation. Now, the agency plans to build prototypes.
Motoman Robotics’ (West Carrollton, Ohio) SDA-series robots have human-like flexibility and movement to perform assembly, handling, machine tending packaging, and part transfer applications that formerly could only be done by humans.
In March, FANUC Robotics, Rochester Hills, Mich. introduced the M-3iA, a delta-style, parallel-link robot designed to maximize speed and flexibility for assembly, small part handling, and picking applications.
Named after the fastest land animal, Cheetah is a four-legged robot under development by Boston Dynamics of Waltham, Mass., which features a flexible spine, articulated head and neck—and potentially a tail—that will run faster than humans.
The Anybot QB is a telepresence robot from Anybots, Inc . , Mountain View, Calif., that enables users to work remotely through a Web interface and have "eyes and ears" at their work environment.
How can robots use non-verbal communication to interact more naturally with humans? Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, found that when robots move in a more human-like fashion, with one movement leading into the next, that people can not only better recognize what the robot is doing, but they can also better mimic it themselves.
Astronauts at the International Space Station unpacked Robonaut on Tuesday, more than two weeks after arriving at the space station. Prying open its “coffin”, the crew was surprised to find the robot was missing. They soon found the ‘bot in front of a work station, already attempting to gain system control, HAL 9000-style.
Harvard University professor Leslie Valiant has been awarded a top technology prize for research that has paved the way for computers that more closely mimic how humans think, including "Jeopardy!" tournament-winning Watson. The $250,000 award is considered the Nobel Prize of computing.
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.
How can robots use non-verbal communication to interact more naturally with humans? Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology found that when robots move in a more human-like fashion, with one movement leading into the next, that people can not only better recognize what the robot is doing, but they can also better mimic it themselves.
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.