Robotics






Viking LanderReports Irene Klotz on Discovery News:

New analysis of 36-year-old data, resuscitated from printouts, shows NASA found life on Mars, an international team of mathematicians and scientists conclude in a paper published this week.

Further, NASA doesn’t need a human expedition to Mars to nail down the claim, neuropharmacologist and biologist Joseph Miller, with the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, told Discovery News.

“The ultimate proof is to take a video of a Martian bacteria. They should send a microscope — watch the bacteria move,” Miller said. “On the basis of what we’ve done so far, I’d say I’m 99 percent sure there’s life there,” he added. Miller’s confidence stems in part from a new study that re-analyzed results from a life-detection experiment conducted by NASA’s Viking Mars robots in 1976.


The bee population may be collapsing, which potentially means a big blow to our food supply and civilization itself. But, at least we have an idea of the replacement that will emerge from the rubble — the beautiful, tiny, easily mass-produced robo-bee that will flutter through the future:

The Harvard Monolithic Bee is a millimeter-scale flapping wing robotic insect produced using Printed Circuit MEMS (PC-MEMS) techniques.

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Stan Schroeder writes on Mashable:

The typical soldier can only carry about 100 lbs. worth of gear, but not indefinitely. DARPA’s (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) new robotic mule, however, can carry 400 lbs. of gear and never get tired — and it can do it with a surprising degree of agility.

Physical overburden of soldiers is one of the top five biggest challenges for the U.S. army, according to DARPA, and a semi-autonomous legged robot, officially named the Legged Squad Support System (LS3), might be one way of fixing that problem …



My prediction — in the future, if you do not meet a husband/wife by age 40, you will have the option of being given a robot boyfriend/girlfriend:

Pretty interesting where robotics is going. It will really get interesting with the merging of artificial intelligence, prosthetic development, innovative CPU processing developments, low cost storage (SSD) and a connected Internet…. the next 50 years will allow for some crazy and perhaps scary, developments.


It depends on what purpose we want them to serve. we make money not art looks at plans for several robots equipped with odor-emitting “sweat glands” which both make the machines seem…


small_bht96voreeoOnce again, the creepiness threshold in robotics has been shattered. Developed by Professor Hideyuki Sawada at Japan’s Kagawa University, this robotic mouth is singing the traditional children’s song “Kagome Kagome”. It’s the most accurate android simulation of human vocal abilities to date, with artificial vocal cords, an artificial nasal cavity, et cetera. It’s designed to somehow help hearing-impaired people improve their speech, and to haunt your dreams.



Never been kissed? Now there’s a robot for that. It’s from Japan, obviously, and watching its graduate student creator perform a demonstration is even more awkward than one would have imagined.


Completely real and available for purchase now from Japanese startup outfit Neurowear. Being a bionic cyber-feline has never looked cuter. Via Wired UK:

The ears twitch through a range of different positions, which correspond to different brain activity. So when you concentrate, the ears point upwards and when you relax the ears flop down and forwards. Mind control isn’t new, but lately advances have been made to make mass market control devices at affordable prices.


Cyriaque Lamar writes on io9:

The notion of a panhandling robot may sound like pure fiction, but roboticists in South Korea have worked together with MIT Media Lab to create with DONA, a motion-sensing bot built to solicit street donations.

DONA’s makers are donating the robot’s earnings to fund education in the Ivory Coast, so you won’t feel suckered dropping some won in its collection cup.


Qatar 2022BBC Sport reports:

Scientists at Qatar University claim to have developed artificial clouds to provide shade for stadia and training grounds at the 2022 World Cup.

The fierce summer heat in the Gulf has led to concerns about conditions for players and fans at the tournament. Temperatures in June and July can reach up to 50 C.

Qatar were announced as hosts in December, and Fifa president Sepp Blatter initially said he expected the 2022 competition to be moved to winter.

But Blatter has since stated that he feels the tournament will go ahead as planned in the summer months. Qatar plan to air condition their World Cup stadia via solar power, and now scientists have designed the ‘clouds’, which can be produced at a cost of $500,000 (about £310,000) each.



Is this the beginning of machines relying on machines? BBC News reports: Robots could soon have an equivalent of the internet and Wikipedia. European scientists have embarked on a project to let…


Gives literal meaning to “office drone”:

Business Week reports:

Between the global economic downturn and stubborn unemployment, the last few years have not been kind to the workforce. Now a new menace looms. At just five feet tall and 86 pounds, the HRP-4 may be the office grunt of tomorrow. The humanoid robot, developed by Tokyo-based Kawada Industries and Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Sciences and Technology, is programmed to deliver mail, pour coffee, and recognize its co-workers’ faces. On Jan. 28, Kawada will begin selling it to research institutions and universities around the world for about $350,000…


Lost a limb, but dissatisfied with the normal prosthetic options? Recent University of Washington industrial design graduate Kaylene Kau built a functioning prosthetic tentacle. Powered by an internal motor with control buttons,…


I always liked the Robot Wars organized by Mark Pauline’s Survival Research Laboratories in the ’80s and ’90s. I wasn’t the only one and eventually they graduated from cool underground happenings to…


In case you don’t have a dance partner, or need someone to star in your up and coming musical, Japan has the robot for you! From Daily Mail:

The age of robots being used in everyday homes has come a step nearer with the development of a new humanoid. And once they’ve done the dishes, they can join you in bop round the living room.

For the catchily named HRP-4C, dubbed Divabot, which has a realistic face and moveable features, can sing too. And yesterday she showed off her neatest dance steps at an exhibition in Tokyo.


There’s just not something right about this. Duncan Geere writes in Wired UK: Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology may have made a terrible, terrible mistake: They’ve taught robots how to…