Log in   •   Sign up   •   Subscribe  feed icon

The Robot Roundup

A look at what has happened in the world of robots in the last week or so. This feature roundup will give you looks at what robots are doing, what researchers and making and how you can get into the world of robotics in at least a little way.

Robots Learn to Copy Art

When it comes to making great art the odds are good that you think about the makers of great art you think of a painter, bent over a canvass agonizing over where to put each stroke, but art can be made  by a robot. 

The machine in question, known simply as the e-David, is designed to do one thing: find great art and copy it.

Blind Robot Gets Around

When it comes to robots we don’t expect them to see the way that we do. But we do expect it to have some way to view the world around it. Maybe we expect that to be in the form of cameras, or perhaps with an infrared map. What we do not expect is for a robot to be completely blind to the world around it, but much like its living counterparts a blind robot can in fact figure out how to get around.

Ball Robot Gets Upgrade for Kids

Robots are, for the most part, the prevue of adults. We design them, we build them and we get to play with them, but a growing number of companies are bringing robots to the younger set and some of the companies that started out with adults are looking to kids as a new market for their products.

Can Mold Make Robots Happy?

When you think about what makes a robot work the odds are good that what you picture is chipsets and wires. What you probably do not picture is a big slimy hunk of mold, but that is exactly what is happening in the world of robots.

Robot Sensors Could Go Super Thin

When it comes to robots sensors make the world real. It allows a machine to help to make sense of the world around them. It tells them when they have made contact with a wall, or when they are in the presence of a desired chemical. One cross continent team is working on a very small sensor.

Intuitive Surgical Sued Again

Surgery always comes with risks, and so does technology. So when you add a new advanced technology to a surgical procedure there is always a risk. Patients and doctors however need to be aware of those risks in order to make good decisions about which courses of treatment are best for the situation at hand. Failing to make exactly that kind of a notification has a woman in the state of New Jersey suing Intuitive Surgical, the makers of the da Vinci surgical robot system.

Japan Makes Swimming Robots

Olympic swimmers have to train for years to get into the kind of peak physical condition that allows them to push the limits of the human body can do.  When it comes to robots with amazing physical capabilities it is the developers who work hard to create the almost super human like capabilities of the machine.

The Robot Barista in Texas

When it comes to getting your custom blend coffee drink, who do you picture getting it from? The odds are good that you probably picture a happy looking barista handing you a warm cup of your favorite drink with a paper capped straw peeking out of the top. One company in Austin, Texas, Briggo Coffee, has put a coffee robot on a University of Texas campus.

Cardboard Robot Decorates Mugs

Robots can do a lot of cool things. They can explore the depths of a volcano, or the far reaches of the solar system. But what about the less important tasks in life? Mug Marker spends his days, not too surprisingly, decorating mugs for use in the hot drink dreams of its makers.

NASA Tests Telepresence Robot

In a recent test done by the Ames Research Center, a part of NASA, Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano controlled a robot on California soil from the heights of the International Space Station. The robot he is controlling is a K-10 rover, which had made appearances in space before.

Mars Rover Hits Anniversary... and Lands Staff Dates!

Space may be the final frontier, but it seems that it is mostly going to be explored by robots, at least for the time being. Some of you may be aware of the Curiosity rover. Curiosity is currently on the surface of the planet Mars, but what you may not know is that the rover is coming up on a very big anniversary.

Rhex Robot Goes Everywhere

Some robots go into hospitals, others are getting ready to head into space, and some lucky robots are built to go just about anywhere that they need to. One of those robots in Rhex, whose name is pronounced rex, and with a funky set of semi-circle legs this bot can do some advanced manuvers.

Robots Learn to Hack

One new robot R2B2, or Robotic Reconfigurable Button Basher is the forfront of the new computer hacking, by allowing a robot to make brute force attacks to smart phones. It isn't much to look at, the main componet is a set of robotic fingertips that actually do the key entering. The robot has, thus far, been used to hack into Android phones with a fair rate of success.

IBIS Enters Robot Surgery

A team at the Tokyo Institute of Technology has created a robot surgical system, known as IBIS that is designed to undertake the same function as the da Vinci system at a much lower cost to the facility. This new competitor comes at a good time, when the current leader is having PR problems.

Robots Gain Glow Skin

A team of researchers at the University of California at Berkeley have created the world first light up robot skin. The robot works with a simple touch. When the skin is pressed it glows. The system has been dubbed eSkin and it users a series of organic light-emitting diodes to generate the light.

Robot to Do Magic

A robot, dubbed Baxter, is currently in training to work as an illusionist under the training of Marco Tempest, a magician of some note. Baxter is able to learn a simple task in about 30 minutes, and he is currently in training with the magician to act as his assistant. Though who knows, the robot may just show up in some nifty tricks when all is said and done.

Da Vinci Robot System Under Scrutiny

The da Vinci surgical system robot has gotten a lot of hype in the recent past. It has been used to help famous athletes repair damage done to their body from their job related injuries. But those issues are not without their risks. The company that makes the da Vinci surgical system, Intuitive Surgical, is coming under fire for a few concerns around the system.

Robots to Kill Ticks

Ticks suck, literally. Seeing as one of the things that they would like to suck on is our body we go to some lengths to stop them from sucking on us. A team of engineers at the Virginia Military Institute is currently in the testing phase of a tick-killing robot that could help to thin the population of the disease carrying insects.