Unmanned drones aren’t just being used in the air. Liquid Robotics has announced the latest version of its floating sensor robots (Wave Glider SV3), which includes a hybrid propulsion system. The upgraded model uses solar power for propulsion; previously, the robots used solar cells to power onboard sensors and communications systems, while wave energy alone provided propulsion. Continue reading
As someone with a whole house full of IKEA furniture, this video immediately caught my attention: it features a robot assembling some of the Swedish company’s flat-packed furniture. (It also answers the age-old question, “How many people does it take to assemble an IKEA table?” The answer: two guys and a robot.) Continue reading
When I think of robots, the image that comes to mind is still that of a clunky humanoid, unmanned aerial vehicles or the tracked, boxy models used by the army and bomb disposal units. While this remains true of certain designs, modern robots are becoming increasingly sophisticated in both application and design.
Festo’s new BionicOpter looks more like something from da Vinci’s dreams than the maid from the Jetsons. The new ultralight flying robot bears an uncanny resemblance to the dragonflies upon which its design was based. Only the size, with a 48 cm (18.9 in.) long body and a wingspan of 70 cm (27.6 in.), would distinguish it from its brethren buzzing over a pond. Continue reading
Scientists from the universities of Lincoln and Newcastle have replicated the way locusts use visual input to keep from flying into things to develop a computer simulated model that could be used in advanced collision avoidance systems for vehicles and in other applications. The simulation has already been used to help a robot autonomously navigate a path using visual input. Continue reading
Cleaning up a nuclear reactor meltdown is a messy, dangerous undertaking, one that the Japanese government is searching for innovative ways to address. The country is still coping with the clean-up of the Fukushima nuclear plant two years ago (the full decommissioning could take decades), and teams of developers are creating new robotic solutions to help. The plant was damaged during the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011.