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NOVA: The Great Robot Race

Teams compete in the DARPA Grand Challenge by creating and programming a completely autonomous robot in attempts to successfully navigate itself through 142 miles of desert terrain in less than 10 hours. See how the different teams approached this problem through various hardware and software implementations! Among the competing teams include Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford University. If you’re interested, you can catch the show on Hulu.


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Sound Machines 2.0 String Quartet

Festo is back at it again! Sound Machines 2.0 is made up of 5 robots capable of self-playing musical instruments. After “listening” to a recording of a song, it composes a new piece of music suitable for it to play.
Using complex control algorithms, mathematical models, and communication interfaces, each individual instrument-robot can “listen” to one another which provides extreme precision.

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Robot Kangaroo

Did you know that when a kangaroo is born, it resembles a pink, hairless worm? And when it matures, it’ll be able to hop forwards at over 40 miles per hour, but won’t even be able to walk backwards!

This incredibly realistic robot kangaroo was built by a company called “Robotechnology” for a movie, that unfortunately was never made. And you’ll never guess when it was built — 1991; over 20 years ago!

Nowadays, animatronics technology continues to be used in the film industry, but the art of creating a fully functional robot has largely been replaced with CGI.


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Bionic Eye

People with vision problems have always lived troubled lives, having to navigate around without one of the most important senses of the human species. But that’s all about to change.

Researchers at Second Sight, an organization trying to help those with eye problems, have developed the Argus II, a revolutionary vision system that allows people with Retinitis Pigmentosa, the so called “tunnel vision,” to actually see. Using a wireless video camera on a pair of glasses along with a sensor installed directly onto the eye, the user is able to receive information about what the camera is looking at. Although the resolution of the image is only about 60 black-and-white pixels, due to lack of space next to the eye, this is still a huge step up from having no vision at all. Scientists are further improving on the project to allow more resolution, and hopefully even color vision into the agenda.

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Printed Paper Robot

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is leading an ambitious new project to reinvent how robots are designed and produced. Funded by a $10 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the project will aim to develop a desktop technology that would make it possible for the average person to design, customize and print a specialized robot in a matter of hours.

“This research envisions a whole new way of thinking about the design and manufacturing of robots, and could have a profound impact on society,” said MIT Professor Daniela Rus, leader of the project and a principal investigator at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). “We believe that it has the potential to transform manufacturing and to democratize access to robots.”
“Our goal is to develop technology that enables anyone to manufacture their own customized robot. This is truly a game changer,” said Professor Vijay Kumar, who is leading the team from the University of Pennsylvania. “It could allow for the rapid design and manufacture of customized goods, and change the way we teach science and technology in high schools.”
Though the robots in the link are primitive, they are fully customizable by simple designing and printing out a sheet of paper!

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One Step Closer to Avatar’s AMP

Remember, in Avatar, when Colonel Quaritch is in the AMP (amplified mobility platform) and he can control a giant robot\’s hand by moving his own in a glove, well Festo has once again designed something extremely similar to that but on a smaller scale.

These 3D-printed gloves make all movements extremely precise and can amplify force exerted by the user.

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Stompy Is Coming


The people who designed Big Dog and PETMAN are at it again—this time to build a massive ridable hexapod.

This particular hexapod seems to have been designed to avoid the pains of traffic: standing at over six feet from the ground, it can easily walk over and around stopped traffic:

Visit the project website here http://projecthexapod.com/blog/

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