TAG: Robotics

Robotic healthcare has arrived

iRobot's healthcare assistance robot

In 2009, the household robot manufacturer iRobot Corp. announced their newest department, iRobot Healthcare. Since then they have remained silent about their developments. Then in 2012 they publicly debuted an amazing teleprescence robot in collaboration with inTouch Health. The robot, christened the iRobot RP-Vita, stands at a height of 5’4″, and has two touch-screen monitors built-in. The Vita works as a remote-controlled robot, and functions using wheels and remote sensors to navigate hallways and avoid obstacles. Rather than directing the robot’s movements using a joystick or similar controller, operators simpy click on the robot’s pre-programmed destinations. iRobot is currently being rented out… read more

Google Preparing Big Plans For The Future

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The “Do No Evil” company has been on a record buying spree these past few months, purchasing billions of dollars worth of companies, startups, patents, and more, which is causing quite a few head-scratches in Silicon Valley. Perhaps the biggest indicator of how Google plans on moving forward in the near future was the hiring of futurist Ray Kurzweil last year, which made him their new Director of Engineering. Kurzweil has been one of the biggest propagators of “The Singularity” — a moment in the future when humanity and technology merge in one fashion or another, irreversibly changing our way… read more

A Robotic Boat That Records Ocean Data

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This week, we’ll be highlighting our favorite eco-tech projects that have successfully received funding on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. Today’s choice is the ‘Robotboat Mark VI‘ from Auto Marine Systems. The boat is part of an ongoing project to send automatic “drone” boats out into the seas to record ocean data and send it back to the research team on the shore. The type of data the boats collect is mostly used to monitor the ocean’s health and look for problem areas affected by disasters, oil spills, and natural erosion. The boats will also be sent into rivers and lakes…. read more

Is this the future we wanted?

The Future For Us?

A recent movie called Idiocracy paints a depressing future in which society has become unintelligent and feeble minded to the point of ridicule. Likewise, H.G. Wells’ famous novel, The Time Machine, also shares a similar tomorrow where humanity has dumbed down into obscurity. Could it be that we are on a correspondent path? In a world where convenience is paramount, and everything from vehicles to homes is automated, we’ve increasingly built a society of demanding and dependent people. The desire to create is slowly being replaced with the need to consume– a stark contrast compared to the mindset of previous… read more

This badminton bot helps pioneer energy-efficiency

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Researchers at Flander’s Mechatronics Technology Centre in Belgium have created the ultimate man-vs-robot simulation: a badminton-playing bot that kicks butt. While the robot was designed to play badminton, it actually has a much more important purpose, namely, acting as a guinea pig for software that will make robots more energy efficient. Take a look:

Robotic Oil Spill Cleaner

Robot Prototypes

Could tiny robots be our nation’s future go-to cleaning solution for massive oil spills? The University of Colorado Boulder seems to think so. In fact, they’ve created a lab specifically designed for building tiny swarms of robotic balls that work together to clean up oil. The lab consists of 20 ping-pong ball sized robots, which the students refer to as “droplets”. The droplets work together to create a “liquid that thinks”. It’s quite incredible to consider a future where robots think autonomously to solve problems, but that’s exactly what UCB Assistant Professor Nikolaus Correll imagines will one day become reality…. read more

Inside The Tesla Factory

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Tesla Motors, the company behind the award-winning ‘Tesla Model S‘ electric car, gave a behind-the-scenes exclusive to Wired magazine a few weeks ago. They displayed their latest robotic assembly line, and discussed how car companies will soon adopt their efficient construction model. Below is a video showing us how the company manufactures their eco-friendly cars. It’s revolutionary, to be sure. Have a thought? Share it in the comments below.

The Solar Powered Tank

Student-built solar powered tank

Watch this solar-powered tank as it explores Greenland. Created by students of Goddard engineering bootcamp, a future iteration will eventually be used by NASA to study climate change phenomenon…

SunnyBot Solar Robot Focuses Sun’s Rays

SunnyBot Solar Robot Focuses Sun's Rays

It can be quite frustrating to see brilliant sunshine just outside the window, yet be sitting or working in a dimly lit room and having to use electric lighting to see what you’re doing. But if you had a small personal heliostat, such as this little solar robot, the SunnyBot, you could focus and redirect the sun’s rays right into your room, bringing the full spectrum of sunlight inside. The SunnyBot, from Solenica, is a cordless solar-tracking device that can be set up to reflect the light hitting it onto a particular object or room, sending up to 7000 lumen of… read more

Robots Cut Solar PV Installation Time in Half

Robotic Installation Cuts PV Installation Time in Half

Building a huge utility-scale solar farm that has thousands upon thousands of panels that all need to be transported and mounted and wired is an incredibly labor- and time-intensive affair. But there is another way, and it calls for robots. According to Alion Energy, by using robotic installation technologies, utility-scale solar PV plants can be built two times faster than with conventional techniques, while also requiring 75% less labor. The company’s approach uses extruded concrete rails as a combination mounting rack and cable trench, to which the Alion’s robotic installation vehicle, ROVER, attaches the PV panels, which are then secured… read more