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Robot Self-Assembles And Walks

by Michael Keller

Roboticists have developed a flat machine that can fold itself into an operational form and take a walk. 

Built mostly from paper and polystyrene plastic that shrinks into a memorized shape when heated, the robot can assemble in around four minutes. It can crawl at roughly 2 inches per second and make turns. The work by Harvard and MIT engineers represents the first time that a robot has self-assembled and performed a function without humans needing to intervene.  

“Here we created a full electromechanical system that was embedded into one flat sheet,” said Harvard Microrobotics Lab researcher and doctoral student Sam Felton. “Imagine a ream of dozens of robotic satellites sandwiched together so that they could be sent up to space and then assemble themselves remotely once they get there–they could take images, collect data and more.”

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when you mama hit you up for dinner

Source: txchnologist
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7 Finger Robot

"The device, worn around one’s wrist, works essentially like two extra fingers adjacent to the pinky and thumb. The robot, which the researchers have dubbed "supernumerary robotic fingers," or "SR fingers," consists of actuators linked together to exert forces as strong as those of human fingers during a grasping motion."

Robot tech, YES.




MIT Robot on the Shoulder Control

via Techcrunch:

MIT researchers have created a pair of robotic arms that connect to your shoulders and give you another pair of pinchers to help you lift heavy objects, keep objects in place while you attach them overhead.

The arms “watch” what your real arms are doing and, using video analysis, try to pitch in when needed. The project is sponsored by Boeing and the company hopes to use the technology, called Supernumerary Robotic Limbs, to help its workforce in factories and loading docks.

The system weighs ten pounds and attaches to your upper or lower back. The creators, Baldin Llorens-Bonilla and H. Harry Asada, call the system “A Robot on the Shoulder” and hope to bring it to market soon. Another system would include arms that can move back and create a sort of pair of tripod-like legs to help support humans as they lift large objects. These tools are superior to exoskeletons in that they are much lighter and won’t trap the user if they break or run out of battery.

Exoskeleton and extra limbs. Cool!

Source: fuckyeahdarkextropian
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Theo Jansen  Strandbeest

Side note: These don’t have motors. They’re completely momentum/wind-powered and literally just wander around beaches unsupervised like giant abstract monsters.

these are both amazing and COMPLETELY TERRIFYING

i’m unreasonably freaked out and disturbed by these

That last one is some Silent Hill shit.

I’m just…really about this. This is brilliant!

Source: rocketumbl


World’s First Family Robot?

This is exciting. 

Read more on the indiegogo

Source: mirkokosmos
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Some pictures from the trip!

The last few days (Sunday-Tuesday) involved seeing a bunch of robotics labs at a university. I didn’t get photos of everything, but here are a few.

Above are two views of the nanofabrication laboratory - we didn’t get to go in (that would have been really cool) but we got a short tour from the outside. If you look closely at the pictures, you may be able to see holes in the floor - the air system replaces the entire air content of the rooms every few minutes. It’s impressive. The lab’s is actively used by hundreds of people to do research and development that needs nanometer or micrometer-sized equipment. Some of the tools are for imaging devices so small that it’s impossible to view them using any light microscope, regardless of the magnification.

Below are two views of a walking robot. There’s a reasonable chance that you saw the predecessor of this one online somewhere (if you’ve seen the videos of a robot running in a circle attached to a center post) - this one is different in that it doesn’t require a supportive tether. (It has one in this photo because it’s depowered, but it can stand and walk on its own.)

We got to see a set of fourteen robots that won something like a $750,000 prize in a competition in Australia where they mapped out an area and performed other functions more effectively than other robots. (Think robots helping military personnel in areas with rebel fighters.)

We also got to see some point-cloud recordings from a computer-controlled car, but the car wasn’t actually there so we couldn’t see that.

(Of course, I asked lots of questions about the electronics and software on all of these. Not that it’s all that unusual for me to be interested in those. I’m happy that I was able to understand a lot of the information.)

Source: computationalalchemist


It’s alive! Speaker hack into #biomimicry #insectothopter as part of #organicelectrics #robobug project! So fun to use #flytying technique to create crafty #robotics!

Source: organicelectrics


Open Loop Pronking with RHex

Stable behavior uses a fixed splay angle between the legs, has minimal toe stubbing, and does not fully recirculate the legs. The outdoor behavior runs at about 1.68m/s with 26% duty factor, meaning that all of the legs are in the air 74% of the time.

Source: otnld


World’s first family robot designed, stirring questions about social interaction
Daily Digest
The concept is called “social robotics,” and it’s a field that Cynthia Breazeal has worked in for years. In fact, she has specifically been focusing on developing personal robots. The robot can currently perform functions such as take photos and videos, tracking …

and more »
Source: space-robotics


Norwegian engineer Kåre Halvorsen’s latest robotics project is the MorpHex MKII, a six-legged freak of a robot that can walk and roll around.
The way it morphs into different shapes is eerily similar to something out of the Transformers series.
While the MorpHex is a creepy hexapod robot, it is definitely not the first weird robot from Halvorsen.