Robots are increasingly accepted as the first line in automation, human-computer interfaces and even entertainment. However, they are often thought of in a limited way, as machines that could be designed to resemble humans, or body parts such as arms, designed to perform in a manner that is a variation on how a human would. Therefore, robots are often in a fixed shape with relatively limited dimensions of movement, articulation and manipulation.
Scientists at the University of Sheffield claim that it’s possible for machines to learn how natural or artificial systems function simply by observing them, without being told what to look for. This discovery was published in the scientific journal Swarm Intelligence and was inspired by the Turing Test, a test named after the computer scientist Alan Turing.
Scientists are constantly looking for inspiration when it comes to revolutionary ideas. For decades, Hollywood movies provided original and innovative material for technology industries. A San Francisco-based company named Anki, tried to steal a little bit of that Hollywood magic and bring it into our everyday lives. As a result, a tiny robot with a big brain and an even bigger personality was created. His name is Cozmo and he is a palm-sized robot, based on Pixar’s character WALL-E.
There is always room for improvement! Using this motto, roboticists have taken on the challenge of producing advanced robots with unique characteristics and functionalities. In order to achieve this aim, researchers are employing specialized tools, and building models specially to benefit areas of healthcare, medicine and the rescue operation domain.
It has been established that robots can easily perform tasks that we give them. But, it was noticed that the digits of their robotic arms were missing a certain dexterity when the bots held or picked up objects with odd structures and those of smaller configurations, sometimes squashing or destroying them.
Cerebral palsy affects muscle tone, movement and motor skills and is usually caused by brain damage occurring before or at birth, or during the first five years of a child’s life. The word cerebral refers to the brain and palsy to a disorder of movement and posture
Given the current lack of housing across many countries in the world, it’s not surprising that the industry is looking for fast and efficient alternatives to traditional building techniques. These traditional techniques are generally slow, costly and require a large amount of labor. Construction is also a dangerous industry, with many work-related deaths per year.
Ever observed the agility of an insect? Mimicking the locomotion of bees, cockroaches, earthworms, larvae etc, presents immense potential and application in the world of technology and robotics. The ability of these creatures to navigate challenging environments in their biological state has awed and (bio)inspired scientists!
In any classroom, teachers have to strike a fine balance between making sure that learning objectives of their lessons are being met, whilst also taking into account the emotional and social needs of their students. This is particularly important at primary school level, as student’s experiences at this age often shape their views of education throughout school and into the world of further education and work.
Over the last few years, the fields of bionics and robotics have reached such great new heights that artificially intelligent robots are now capable of competing in jobs and working alongside people. Yes, with the very same ones who created them! Many have advised that the future will see more such advanced professional and technological developments in bots. Although facing ethical issues and the potential risks of robots replacing people for certain tasks, scientists and innovators have made sure that not all skills of humans can be completely replaced by a machine.
New advances in science are often inspired by the natural world and a new type of hydrogel robot is no exception. It aims to emulate glass-eel larvae which are clear when hatched. This near transparency provides the eels with an effective camouflage mechanism, designed to help them complete their long journey from the ocean to the rivers where they carry out the adult part of their life cycle.
Periplaneta americana, commonly known as the American cockroach, one of the most dreaded pest of them all, has now crept its way into robotic studies, thankfully far from the reaches of our homes!
When robots arrive, they do so in style! We stand witness to some of the greatest technological inventions in history, an area of pioneer research being the use of robotics in medicine and healthcare. The aim is to enhance quality of living by means of artificial intelligence. Non-rigid or soft robots have certainly evolved over generations of trial and error, and taken precedence over traditional robots due to their low weight, customizable nature, their capacity to easily mimic human activity and in most cases, their awareness to the environment.
Whilst the majority of flying drones have so far been based on a quadcopter design with four rotating blades, there are safety issues with these coming into close contact with humans, as well as a lack of efficiency and agility which limits their use in rescue operations.
Researchers are therefore looking for more efficient flying drones and to that end, the National Science Foundation in the US gave researchers $2.2 million to come up with a new design.
Most people have heard of the Great Barrier Reef, even if they haven’t been there themselves. The world’s largest coral reef contains over 3000 individual reef systems and is the only living thing on earth which is visible from space.
Kids accidentally swallow inedible objects a fair number of times and parents reflexively panic hoping for it to pass through the body soon and not get caught in the esophagus or gut, the waiting raising their anxiety levels! The United States records about 3,500 cases every year of hazardous button batteries, found in toys, watches etc, that are being ingested resulting in a detriment to the consumer’s health like chemical burning of tissues and sometimes even death.
Whilst salmon often used to be considered a luxury item, thanks to the advances in fish farming it is now a weekly item on many people’s shopping lists. In fact, worldwide consumption of salmon is now three times higher than it was in 1980. The transition from high-cost food to weekly commodity is in part thanks to the aquaculture system of farming salmon in oceanic pens.
Remember the adorable droid C-3PO from the Star Wars movies? Envision something along similar lines and you have ‘Atlas’. Sci-fi is no more just a fantasy!
Robots are getting more and more advanced but it’s generally accepted they have yet to match up too many of their natural counterparts. The GRASP Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania intend to change all that. Led by Vijay Kumar, the team have created a tiny robot inspired by the stag beetle.
When you’re bound by domestic duties, have fallen prey to weather changes or are constrained by location in general but still have an important meeting and office gathering to attend, what do you do?