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Robots designed to assist people with disabilities, aid doctors

Robots enhance mobility for visually and physically impaired, improve treatment for atrial fibrillation
October 28, 2013

Cane with description_nih

Three projects have been awarded funding by the National Institutes of Health to develop innovative robots that work cooperatively with people and adapt to changing environments to improve human capabilities and enhance medical procedures. Funding for these projects totals approximately $2.4 million over the next five years, subject to the availability of funds.

The awards mark the second year of NIH’s participation in the National… read more

Robots Detect Behavioral Cues to Follow Humans

August 22, 2008

University of California, Davis researchers have developed a system that allows follower robots to use behavioral cues from human leaders and other robots in order to track and follow them.

Behavioral cues that robots might use could include any action or signal that the leader exhibits that hints at a future action. These might be intended behaviors, such as pointing or waving. Other cues might be unconscious, such as… read more

Robots Display Predator-Prey Co-Evolution, Evolve Better Homing Techniques

January 29, 2010

Robots are learning how to navigate a maze, cooperate and share, and develop complex predator-prey interactions at the Swiss Laboratory of Intelligent Systems in the Ecole Polytechnique Federale.

Robots ‘Evolve’ the Ability to Deceive

August 19, 2009

Robots equipped with artificial neural networks and programmed to find “food” eventually learned to conceal their visual signals from other robots to keep the food for themselves, researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland have found.


The team “evolved” new generations of robots by copying and combining the artificial neural networks of the most successful robots, and added random changes to their code… read more

Robots Find a Muse Other Than Mayhem

May 31, 2002

“ArtBots,” held at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn on Saturday, featured ten robot-created art projects.

The robots’ art included Japanese brush painting, kinetic sculptures, art created with speaker-driven brushes, music, and sampled sounds.

Robots find high levels of radiation, throwing doubt on ‘road map’ to control Fukushima crisis

April 19, 2011

Remoted-controlled robot in number 1 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (credit: Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

Two remote-controlled robots from iRobot found high radiation levels in reactor buildings 1 and 3 Monday.

The finding could make it impossible for workers to enter the Fukushima plant to carry out crucial fixes under a a six-month “road map” for bringing radioactivity under control, Christian Science Monitor reported Monday.

The robots detected radiation leaking at a rate of 49 millisieverts per hour in the No.… read more

Robots for No Man’s Land

February 2, 2004

The military is moving more machines into battle to save both money and lives. “Well before the end of the century, there will be no people on the battlefield,” said Robert Finkelstein, a professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Management and Technology.

Stryker, one of the U.S. Army’s newest infantry vehicles, is fitted with a “ladar” scanner, the equivalent of a mounted pair of eyes that see… read more

Robots for the masses

January 10, 2003

Evolution Robotics announced a robot for industrial and consumer uses that can determine its position relative to its environment based on wheel sensors and a Webcam that cost less than $50. The robot uses a “visual simultaneous localization and mapping” system that creates a map of a space from the distance and direction that its wheels travel and from objects it recognizes with its camera and software.

Robots get an artificial skin

July 1, 2010

Artificial skin that can cover robots and floors for safety has been developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation.

Consisting of conductive foam, textiles and an intelligent evaluation circuit, the sensor system detects points of contact and differentiates between gentle and strong contact. It registers people immediately.

Robots Get Down to Business

April 17, 2009

Robots designed to work as firefighters, receptionists, gardeners, and handymen were demonstrated at the RoboBusiness conference in Boston on Thursday.

Robots get sensitive

July 1, 2004

An electronic skin as sensitive to touch as our own is being developed for robots by scientists in Japan.

It consists of a sheet of rubbery polymer, impregnated with flakes of electrically conducting graphite. The electrical resistance of the sheet changes when it is squeezed, and this change is detected by an array of transistors beneath the rubber.

The skin could also find applications in sport, security and… read more

Robots get smarter by asking for help

September 18, 2009

Willow Garage researchers are training a robot to ask humans to identify objects it doesn’t recognize, working with Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, an online marketplace that pairs up workers with employers that have simple tasks they need completing.

A cleaning robot, for example, could spend its first week in a new building taking pictures and having people label them, helping it to build up a model of the space and… read more

Robots go Where Scientists Fear to Tread

May 27, 2008

Georgia Institute of Technology and Pennsylvania State University researchers have build autonomously collaborating robots called SnoMotes to collect data from dangerous ice-shelf environments.

On-site measurements of ice-shelves can be more accurate than satellite or static weather station data, but they are difficult and dangerous for scientists to collect.

The two-foot by one-foot SnoMotes are based on a snowmobile kit, with sensors, AI algorithms, and cameras added. The robots… read more

Robots hunt neurons to record brain activity

August 29, 2012


Automated assistance may soon be available to neuroscientists tackling the brain’s complex circuitry, according to research presented last week at the Aspen Brain Forum in Colorado.

Robots that can find and simultaneously record the activity of dozens of neurons in live animals could help researchers to reveal how connected cells interpret signals from one another and transmit information across brain areas — a task that would be… read more

Robots improve patient care in the ICU: physicians

July 11, 2012


Physicians who employ remote presence “robots” (actually, teleoperated devices) to supplement day-to-day patient care strongly support the positive clinical and social impact of using robots, according to a report published in Telemedicine and e-Health, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

The article is available free on the Telemedicine and e-Health website.

“The technology used is a semi-autonomous, Internet-enabled, real-time, two-way audiovisual… read more

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