Robots that develop and display emotions as they interact with humans, and become attached to them, will be exhibited at the ICT’08 event organized by the European Commission in Lyon next week. Dr Lola Cañamero, of the University of Hertfordshire’s School of Computer Science, is co-ordinating a European project which is developing robots that are capable of growing emotionally, responding to humans and of expressing their own emotional states as they interact with people.
The Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory (RoMeLa) of the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech won the grand prize at the 2008 International Capstone Design Fair with a trio of pole-climbing serpentine robots designed to take the place of construction workers tasked with dangerous jobs such as inspecting high-rises or underwater bridge piers.
The autonomous robots are designed to climb scaffolding and buildings by wrapping around a poll or beam and then rolling upward via an oscillating joint motion. Using built-in sensors and cameras, the robots would then inspect the structures or handle other dangerous tasks now done by humans, said Dennis Hong, director of Virginia Tech’s Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory and the faculty adviser on the project.
Engineers and scientists spend countless hours learning in the classroom and poring over academic journals, but nothing compares to the training they receive in the laboratory. Hands-on education allows them to experience the backbone of engineering and science--conducting experiments, testing hypotheses, learning from their mistakes, and reaching their own conclusions.
Whether driving on the highway or walking down the street, we pick up on both deliberate signals and unconscious cues to predict what other people are going to do and act accordingly. But robots have trouble following each other around, for example, when a leader turns a corner and disappears from sight.
Researchers and students from St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center and Arizona State University's Math Department are applying weather forecast technology to model and track the growth patterns of brain tumors. The technology allows researchers to study various growth patterns of brain tumors and apply treatment parameters to determine the best option for patients. It will forecast how a patient's tumor may grow with different treatment scenarios, help physicians make a much more informed prognosis and be used as a patient consulting tool.
The first robot that can jump like a grasshopper and roll like a ball could play a key role in future space exploration. The ‘Jollbot’ has been created by Rhodri Armour, a PhD student from the University of Bath. It’s hoped his creation, which can jump over obstacles and roll over smoother terrain, could be used for space exploration or land survey work in the future.
It can hold a credit card, use a keyboard with the index finger, and lift a bag weighing up to 20 kg – the world’s first commercially available prosthetic hand that can move each finger separately and has an astounding range of grip configurations. For the first time worldwide a patient at the Orthopedic University Hospital in Heidelberg has tested both the “i-LIMB” hand in comparison with another innovative prosthesis, the so called ”Fluidhand”. Eighteen-year-old Sören Wolf, who was born with only one hand, is enthusiastic about its capabilities.
A new energy-capturing knee brace can generate enough electricity from walking to operate a portable GPS locator, a cell phone, a motorized prosthetic joint or an implanted neurotransmitter, research involving the University of Michigan shows. The wearable mechanism works much like regenerative braking charges a battery in some hybrid vehicles, said Arthur Kuo, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at U-M and an author of the paper.
Researchers at Arizona State University's Polytechnic campus and the Military Amputee Research Program at Walter Reed Army Medical Center are teaming up to create the next generation of powered prosthetic devices based on lightweight energy storing springs. The device, nicknamed SPARKy, short for Spring Ankle with Regenerative Kinetics, will be a first-of-its-kind smart, active and energy-storing transtibial (below-the-knee) prosthesis.
A surgical procedure performed by a team from Boston University, Massachusetts led by Professor Frank Guenther, has enabled a mute man to speak again. An electrode implanted in the patient’s brain made it possible for the patient to produce vowels by thinking them, using a speech synthesizer. In the future, this breakthrough may help patients with similar injuries produce entire sentences, using signals from their brains.
The multi-talented Motoman SDA10, a dexterous dual-arm industrial robot manufactured by Yaskawa Electric, is demonstrating its ability to cook okonomiyaki at the International Next-Generation Robot Fair now underway in Osaka. Designed to operate independently alongside humans in the workplace, the 135-centimeter (4.5 ft) tall, 220-kilogram (480 lb) industrial robot has 15 joints — 7 in each arm and one in the torso — allowing a wide range of motion for the job, whether it be on the factory floor or behind the kitchen counter.
The Wakamaru is best known as a domestic robot that can greet guests and provide information like weather forecasts. But soon, it may be signing autographs and being trailed by paparazzi. Tuesday marked the theatrical debut for the bot, which appeared onstage alongside real-life actors in a play that's being hailed as a first in robot-human artistic collaboration. Hataraku Watashi ("I, Worker"), by playwright Oriza Hirata, focuses on a couple who own two housekeeping robots, one of which loses its motivation to work.