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Electric Skin that Rivals the Real Thing
September 13, 2010 02:02 AM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
The tactile sensitivity of human skin is hard to re-create, especially over large, flexible surfaces. But two California research groups have made pressure-sensing devices that significantly advance the state of the art.

Colony Scout: Affordable robots for collaborative systems research
September 12, 2010 11:51 AM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
Many robots come with specific functions that generally can not be altered too much, but then that makes their functionality rather limited. These new Colony Scout swarm robots, however, are highly adaptable, as they can be given different jobs and be equipped with different tools.

Perching UAV Sticks To Walls
April 26, 2010 09:15 AM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
The perching UAV foam glider flies quietly into a city, maneuvering among the buildings. Upon identifying landing sites, each flier turns toward a wall, executes an intentional stall and, as it begins to fall, attaches itself using feet equipped with miniature spines that engage small asperities on the surface.

CMU Unified Snake Robot
April 21, 2010 03:03 AM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
One of the coolest things about snake inspired robots is how they’re in the process of transcending their biological models, as these videos from CMU’s biorobotics lab shows. The unified snake is the latest from the Carnegie Mellon research team, and demonstrates amazing biomimicry.

Proto-2 Humanoid Robot
January 30, 2010 10:26 PM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
The researchers from Advanced Robotic Systems Laboratories (or ARSL), who are now showing off their new Proto-2 robot, which boasts 38 degrees of freedom and an expressive face. Using a new dynamic toe-joint, the robot has a natural walking gait.

Omnitread Search & Rescue Snake Bot
January 01, 2010 12:38 AM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
The OmniTread serpentine robot is designed to traverse extremely difficult terrain, such as the rubble of a collapsed building. Designed to drive over sand and rocks, it can pass through small holes and climb over tall obstacles. Video after the jump.

DASH: Resilient Hexapedal Robot
December 28, 2009 02:28 PM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
Meet DASH - a cheap, lightweight, six-legged robotic cockroach that can survive a four-story drop, crawl over objects twice its height and run for an hour on special watch-size batteries. Video after the jump

A Tongue-Tracking Artificial Larynx
December 03, 2009 02:50 PM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
Researchers in South Africa are working on a new kind of artificial larynx that won't have the raspy voice of existing devices. The system tracks contact between the tongue and palate to determine which word is being mouthed, and uses a speech synthesizer to generate sounds.

Another fish swims into the robot pool
December 03, 2009 11:40 AM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
Michigan State University researchers are spawning robot fish to monitor the quality of lake water and the effect of harmful algae. An electric charge in the 9-inch MSU prototype causes its polymer fins to bend so the robotic perch can maneuver.

SensorFly for Hazardous Situations
November 23, 2009 12:48 PM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
Disaster recovery could become less risky thanks to Carnegie Mellon University's Pei Zhang and his students. They have created "SensorFly," a mobile-controlled flying sensor network that monitors changes in a dangerous environment — such as an earthquake or fire.

iRobot Seaglider Wanders Oceans
November 17, 2009 06:43 AM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
The mysterious beaked whale is the target of a new undersea glider trying to track the deep-diving mammals by their high-frequency clicks and squeals. A Seaglider unmanned underwater vehicle with an underwater microphone began patrolling the coast of Hawaii this October.

Older Adults Want Robots That Do More Than Vacuum
November 16, 2009 09:37 AM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
Researchers at Georgia Tech have discovered that, contrary to previous assumptions, older adults are more amenable than younger ones to having a robot "perform critical monitoring tasks that would require little interaction between the robot and the human."

The Return of the Blob … As a Robot
September 15, 2009 03:16 PM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
Dennis Hong, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and director of Virginia Tech’s RoMeLa, has developed a Whole Skin Locomotion (WSL) device that may be one of the world’s most unusual robots. It can move as long as any portion of its surface is in contact with the ground, and it can even squeeze through small spaces that are narrower than its own diameter.

Human-like Vision Lets Robots Navigate Naturally
September 09, 2009 09:15 AM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
A robotic vision system that mimics key visual functions of the human brain promises to let robots manoeuvre quickly and safely through cluttered environments, and to help guide the visually impaired.

RoboCar package gives students taste of things to come
August 25, 2009 07:27 AM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
For those who want a shot at the DARPA Grand Challenge but can't afford the gear, a Japanese company is offering a 1/10-scale robot-powered model car with all the bells and whistles so they can at least get their autonomous feet wet.

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