Current Robot News and Events

Current Robot News and Events, Robot News Articles.
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The appearance of robots affects our perception of the morality of their decisions
Artificial intelligence and robotics are advancing at a rapid pace, with the number of autonomous intelligent machines making moral choices among us continuously on the rise. Knowledge in moral psychology pertaining to artificial intelligence and robotics is important when discussing the ethics of their development. (2021-02-22)

Time-lapse reveals the hidden dance of roots
New time-lapse videos capture something that's too slow for our eyes to see: the growing tips of plant roots make corkscrew-like motions, waggling and winding in a helical path as they burrow into the soil. By using time-lapse footage, along with a root-like robot to test ideas, researchers have gained new insights into how and why rice root tips twirl as they grow. (2021-02-19)

This robot doesn't need any electronics
Engineers at the University of California San Diego have created a four-legged soft robot that doesn't need any electronics to work. The robot only needs a constant source of pressurized air for all its functions, including its controls and locomotion systems. The team, led by Michael T. Tolley, a professor of mechanical engineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, details its findings in the Feb. 17, 2021 issue of Science Robotics. (2021-02-17)

Collective worm and robot 'blobs' protect individuals, swarm together
Individually, California blackworms live an unremarkable life eating microorganisms in ponds and serving as tropical fish food for aquarium enthusiasts. But together, tens, hundreds, or thousands of the centimeter-long creatures can collaborate to form a 'worm blob,' a shape-shifting living liquid that collectively protects its members from drying out and helps them escape threats such as excessive heat. (2021-02-09)

Robots sense human touch using camera and shadows
Cornell University researchers have created a low-cost method for soft, deformable robots to detect a range of physical interactions, from pats to punches to hugs, without relying on touch at all. Instead, a USB camera located inside the robot captures the shadow movements of hand gestures on the robot's skin and classifies them with machine-learning software. (2021-02-08)

How modern robots are developed
Robots are interesting to neuroscience and neuroscience is interesting to robots - this is what the article 'Neuroengineering challenges of fusing robotics and neuroscience' was about in the journal Science Robotics. Such collaborative development contributes to progress in both fields, bringing us closer to developing more advanced android robots and a deeper understanding of the structure of the human brain. And, to some extent, to combining biological organisms with machines, to create cybernetic organisms (cyborgs). (2021-02-03)

Dynamic 3D printing process features a light-driven twist
The speed of light has come to 3D printing. Northwestern University engineers have developed a new method that uses light to improve 3D printing speed and precision while also, in combination with a high-precision robot arm, providing the freedom to move, rotate or dilate each layer as the structure is being built. The method introduces the 'on-the-fly' ability to manipulate the original design layer by layer and pivot the printing direction without recreating the model. (2021-02-03)

Physics of snakeskin sheds light on sidewinding
Sidewinders' bellies are studded with tiny pits and have few, if any, of the tiny spikes found on the bellies of other snakes. The discovery includes a mathematical model linking these distinct structures to function. (2021-02-01)

Designing customized "brains" for robots
MIT researchers have developed an automated way to design customized hardware that speeds up a robot's operation. The system, called robomorphic computing, accounts for the robot's physical layout in suggesting an optimized hardware architecture. (2021-01-21)

Squid-inspired robot swims with nature's most efficient marine animals
Scientists at the University of Southampton and University of Edinburgh have developed a flexible underwater robot that can propel itself through water in the same style as nature's most efficient swimmer - the Aurelia aurita jellyfish. (2021-01-20)

Appreciating a flower's texture, color, and shape leads to better drone landings
A team of TU Delft and the Westphalian University of Applied Sciences researchers present an optical flow-based learning process that allows robots to estimate distances through the visual appearance (shape, color, texture) of the objects in view. This artificial intelligence (AI)-based learning strategy increases the navigation skills of small flying drones and entails a new hypothesis on insect intelligence. (2021-01-19)

How to train a robot (using AI and supercomputers)
Computer scientists from UT Arlington developed a deep learning method to create realistic objects for virtual environments that can be used to train robots. The researchers used TACC's Maverick2 supercomputer to train the generative adversarial network. The network is the first that can produce colored point clouds with fine details at multiple resolutions. The team presented their results at the International Conference on 3D Vision (3DV) in Nov. 2020. (2021-01-19)

Robot learns fast but safe navigation strategy
A research group from the Active Intelligent System Laboratory (AISL) at Toyohashi University of Technology (TUT) has proposed a new framework for training mobile robots to quickly navigate while maintaining low collision rates. The framework combines deep reinforcement learning (DRL) and curriculum learning in the training process for robots to learn a fast but safe navigation policy. (2021-01-18)

How insects activate muscles to adapt to limbs removed
Adaptability explains why insects spread so widely and why they are the most abundant animal group on earth. Insects exhibit resilient and flexible locomotion, even with drastic changes in their body structure such as losing a limb. (2021-01-14)

Taking the lab into the ocean: A fleet of robots tracks and monitors microbial communities
A new paper describes how researchers at MBARI, the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa (UH Mānoa), and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, enabled a trio of self-driving robots to locate, follow, and sample a layer of oceanic microbes as they drifted in an open-ocean eddy north of the Hawaiian islands. (2021-01-13)

Robotic swarm swims like a school of fish
A team of Harvard researchers have developed fish-inspired robots that can synchronize their movements like a real school of fish, without any external control. It is the first time researchers have demonstrated complex 3D collective behaviors with implicit coordination in underwater robots. (2021-01-13)

Tapping the brain to boost stroke rehabilitation
Stroke survivors who had ceased to benefit from conventional rehabilitation gained clinically significant arm movement and control by using an external robotic device powered by the patients' own brains. (2021-01-12)

Robot displays a glimmer of empathy to a partner robot
Like a longtime couple who can predict each other's every move, a Columbia Engineering robot has learned to predict its partner robot's future actions and goals based on just a few initial video frames. The study, conducted at Columbia Engineering's Creative Machines Lab led by Mechanical Engineering Professor Hod Lipson, is part of a broader effort to endow robots with the ability to understand and anticipate the goals of other robots, purely from visual observations. (2021-01-11)

A phantom training program may help acclimate heifers to an automatic milking system
A new study appearing in the Journal of Dairy Science indicates that heifers that participated in a training program using a phantom before introduction to an automated milking system (AMS) visited the actual AMS more frequently, thereby potentially increasing milk yield. Acclimating the herd to an unfamiliar milking robot in advance is a potential solution to decrease stress for animals and farm employees. (2020-12-17)

'Chaotic' way to create insectlike gaits for robots
Researchers are embracing chaos and nonlinear physics to create insectlike gaits for tiny robots -- complete with a locomotion controller to provide a brain-machine interface. Biology and physics are permeated by universal phenomena fundamentally grounded in nonlinear physics, and it inspired the researchers' work. In the journal Chaos, the group describes using a system of three nonlinear differential equations as a building block for central pattern generators to control the gait of a robotic insect. (2020-12-15)

Engineers develop soft robotic gripper
Scientists often look to nature for cues when designing robots - some robots mimic human hands while others simulate the actions of octopus arms or inchworms. Now, researchers in the University of Georgia College of Engineering have designed a new soft robotic gripper that draws inspiration from an unusual source: pole beans. (2020-12-15)

How computer simulation will accelerate development of human-interactive "smart robots"
Lehigh University's Jeff Trinkle, along with colleagues at other institutions, has co-authored a ''Perspective'' paper called ''On the use of simulation in robotics: Opportunities, challenges, and suggestions for moving forward'' that appears in the latest issue of PNAS arguing that ''...well-validated computer simulation can provide a virtual proving ground that in many cases is instrumental in understanding safely, faster, at lower costs, and more thoroughly how the robots of the future should be designed and controlled for safe operation and improved performance.'' (2020-12-14)

'The robot made me do it': Robots encourage risk-taking behaviour in people
New research has shown robots can encourage humans to take greater risks in a simulated gambling scenario than they would if there was nothing to influence their behaviours. Increasing our understanding of whether robots can affect risk-taking could have clear ethical, practiCal and policy implications, which this study set out to explore. (2020-12-11)

Robots could replace real therapy dogs
Robotic animals could be the 'pawfect' replacement for our real-life furry friends, a new study published today by the University of Portsmouth has found. (2020-12-10)

Aquatic robot inspired by sea creatures walks, rolls, transports cargo
Northwestern University researchers have developed a first-of-its-kind life-like material that acts as a soft robot. It can walk at human speed, pick up and transport cargo to a new location, climb up hills and even break-dance to release a particle. (2020-12-09)

A study predicts smooth interaction between humans and robots
According to a new study by Tampere University in Finland, making eye contact with a robot may have the same effect on people as eye contact with another person. The results predict that interaction between humans and humanoid robots will be surprisingly smooth. (2020-12-07)

Computer-aided creativity in robot design
RoboGrammar is a new system that automates and optimizes robot design. The system, developed at MIT, creates arthropod-inspired robots for traversing a variety of terrains. It could spawn more inventive robot forms with enhanced functionality. (2020-11-30)

Robot probes the Red Sea's carbon storage system
Little of the organic carbon in the Red Sea could be reaching the depths necessary for long-term storage. (2020-11-29)

Showing robots how to drive a car...in just a few easy lessons
USC researchers have designed a system that lets robots autonomously learn complicated tasks from a very small number of demonstrations--even imperfect ones. While current state-of-art methods need at least 100 demonstrations to nail a specific task, this new method allows robots to learn from only a handful of demonstrations. (2020-11-19)

Machine learning guarantees robots' performance in unknown territory
As engineers increasingly turn to machine learning methods to develop adaptable robots, new work by Princeton University researchers makes progress on safety and performance guarantees for robots operating in novel environments with diverse types of obstacles and constraints. (2020-11-17)

Could your vacuum be listening to you?
A team of researchers demonstrated that popular robotic household vacuum cleaners can be remotely hacked to act as microphones. (2020-11-17)

Could robots for sex, friendship improve our aging society?
The current U.S. marketplace for sex robots is geared to fulfilling the needs of young, white, able-bodied, heterosexual males - a population perhaps least in need of such assistance - and simultaneously overlooks a vast demographic of potential customers: senior citizens. A bioethicist identifies the opportunity among socially isolated and disabled people age 65 and over in aging societies: Many would value a robot's companionship and, yes, even its ability to provide sexual gratification. (2020-11-16)

On the way to lifelike robots
In order for robots to be able to achieve more than simple automated machines in the future, they must not only have their own ''brain''. Empa researchers postulate that artificial intelligence must be expanded to include the capabilities of a Physical Artificial Intelligence, PAI. This will redefine the field of robotics and the relationship between man and machine. (2020-11-11)

Skills development in Physical AI could give birth to lifelike intelligent robots
New research suggests combining educational topics and research disciplines to help researchers breathe life into lifelike intelligent robots. (2020-11-10)

Two motivational artificial beings are better than one for enhancing learning
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba have found that offline consolidation of a motor task was enhanced by praise delivered by robots, whether they were presented on a screen or were physically present. Further, simultaneous praise from two agents had a stronger effect than praise from just one, regardless of whether the agents were physically present or virtual. Such effects could be helpful for facilitating education and for general enhancement of human-robot interactions. (2020-11-05)

A breakthrough of the mechanism of energy saving in collective swimming
Professor Xie Guangming's group in the College of Engineering at Peking University has found a simple yet previous unknown rule, explaining how do schooling fish save energy in collective motion. (2020-11-03)

Cockroaches and lizards inspire new robot developed by Ben-Gurion University researcher
'The AmphiSTAR uses a sprawling mechanism inspired by cockroaches, and it is designed to run on water at high speeds like the basilisk lizard,' says Ben-Gurion University Prof. Zarrouk. 'We envision that AmphiSTAR can be used for agricultural, search and rescue and excavation applications, where both crawling and swimming are required.' (2020-11-02)

Research lowers errors for using brain signals to control a robot arm
Brain-computer interfaces have seen a large influx of research in an effort to allow precise and accurate control of physical systems. By measuring brain signals and implementing a clever feedback scheme, researchers from India and the UK have reduced the positional error in brain-controlled robot arms by a factor of 10, paving the way to greatly enhancing the quality of life for people suffering from strokes and neuro-muscular disorders. (2020-10-28)

Robots help to answer age-old question of why fish school
Study using biomimetic fish-like robots shows that swimming closely together offers fish hydrodynamic benefits - research project with participation from University of Konstanz researchers provides first experimental validation of an answer to an old question. (2020-10-26)

Dog training methods help JHU teach robots to learn new tricks
With a training technique commonly used to teach dogs to sit and stay, Johns Hopkins University computer scientists showed a robot how to teach itself several new tricks, including stacking blocks. With the method, the robot, named Spot, was able to learn in days what typically takes a month. (2020-10-26)

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