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Woman Makes Quadcopter/Drone Out of Chocolate—and It Flies!
07/24/14 — So, you are in a happy relationship with your dream man/woman. You are the nerdy type, always building stuff, tinkering with electronics and so on, and your partner loves cooking and baking. How do you find something to do together that will satisfy both hobbies?..Easy! Build a quadcopter out of chocolate! Hey and while you’re at it, why not build one out of ice too! This is exactly what one couple chose to do. They decided to combine their skills, quench their curiosity, and see if it could be done. They went ahead and built a wooden prototype, so that…


Material-Handling Robots Are the Future of Industry
07/24/14 — The use of material-handling robots has increasingly become a solution to raise productivity and manufacturing versatility, while enhancing worker safety as they historically have. Material handling is a natural extension of robotics and an area where the technology has already been predominant for many years, but robots are finding new applications. Safety has been one of the most important hallmarks of materials handling in manufacturing and production environments. For workers, the job of lifting heavy and awkwardly sized containers in addition to operating material-handling equipment like forklifts can be hazardous in itself. Robotics came into their own when there were…



Can a Robot Learn How to Build Lego Turtles?
07/24/14 — If we want to build our robot army of helpers, everyone needs to pitch in. That's the conclusion drawn by a team of electrical engineers from the University of Washington, which harnessed the power of the crowd to teach a robot to build a Lego turtle. Just as Siri and…

What’s Better than Five Human Fingers? An Extra Two Robotic Fingers
07/23/14 — Another day, another awesome robotics discovery from MIT. This week it turns out to be robotic fingers. Two of them. Long, black-and-orange, and stick-like-looking. One on each side of a special sensory glove that goes over a human hand. Don’t let the relative visual inelegance dissuade you. By harnessing “synergy,”…

Drones on Defense: How Robots Protect Nature
07/23/14 — Drones have gotten a bad rap in the press lately. But there is a whole other dimension to the robotic planes, and that’s the good they can do to help, not hurt, what most mainstream minds freely acknowledge is very vulnerable – the environment. As The New York Times reports:…

Logitraxx FPGA-based Robot Kit Launches on Kickstarter
07/23/14 — Attention DIY robot hobbyists thinking Christmas in July: If the Logitraxx Tracked Robot Kit is sufficiently funded on Kickstarter by the Aug. 24 deadline, it will be made available to its backers in time for the holiday season. At press time, the learning kit had 16 backers and riased nearly…

Meet Jibo: A Social Robot Designed to be Part of Your Family
07/17/14 — Cynthia Breazeal, an MIT professor and pioneer of social robotics, has unveiled Jibo, a desktop-sitting robot that is designed to be an interactive companion and helper to families. Dubbed "the world's first family robot," the 11-inch-tall robot will have a variety of abilities that will help people manage their daily…

MIT’s Andy McAfee to Deliver Keynote at RoboBusiness 2014
07/17/14 — That the organizers of RoboBusiness 2014 - on the tenth anniversary of this annual robotics event - sought to have MIT's Andy McAfee keynote at the upcoming venue (October 15-17, 2014) is a perfect fit for the audience that he will address. Actually, he's more than just a keynoter, rather,…

Drones Can Automatically Set up Photography Lighting
07/17/14 — It's been demonstrated in recent years – and in a particularly dramatic way this past Independence Day – that drones can carry cameras and take amazing pictures. But now drones can also set up lighting for photography. Lighting is crucial when taking pictures, particularly portraits, but these lights take lots…

Marines Test LS3 Robot Mule During RIMPAC
07/16/14 — This summer's Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC), the world's largest international maritime warfare exercise, is nothing new, but one of the soldiers is. That's because the soldier is a robot – the latest and greatest from Boston Dynamics, DARPA and Google. As a news release explains, "The LS3 is experimental…

MIT Phase-Changing Robots Switch Between Hard, Soft States
07/15/14 — Robots that change between solid to squishy material as needed are being made by academic researchers in league with private industry and the federal government. The practical implications include delicate internal surgery and search-and-rescue scenarios, both arenas wherein robots that could transform as needed would shine, according to engineers at…

iPhone 6 Will be Made by Foxconn Robots
07/14/14 — Folks eagerly awaiting the availability of the iPhone 6 in Sept. 2014 might not spend much time thinking about who made it and how. But for those of us interested in more than snapping selfies, robots will be making the iPhone 6 a reality. The Fiscal Times reports that "Foxconn parent…

Students Spend Summer Perfecting Robotic Arm to Help Patients
07/10/14 — The summertime heat and humidity for which Texas is infamous (this reporter personally managed just one year of it) can’t stop the budding roboticists at Rice University and the University of Houston. Both schools have startup accelerators, and for the first time they —Houston’s RedLabs and Rice’s OwlSpark —are working together…

Robots with Green Thumbs in Space: Yes, It Could Happen
07/10/14 — Robots gardening in space. Yes, you read that right. Astronauts need to eat, and the government and a small group of graduate students are figuring out a way to grow food with help from robots to grow fruits and vegetables on the way to another planet. The University of Colorado…

Racing Robots Contend for First Place
07/10/14 — Fast robots have numerous potential practical applications. “Outside of just being cool, running robots are of high interest to the military,” says Element 14, the design engineer community for sharing electronic engineering solutions. “Having a speedy, remote-controlled robot means more precise attacks without putting soldiers in harm’s way. There has…

Robotic Hand Can Feel and Function Much Like a Real One
07/10/14 — A robot hand that “knows” both how -- and how hard -- to grip objects of widely differing size and delicacy is being developed by ShadowRobot. In both photos and videos released in recent days, the dramatic-looking, shiny black hand is shown variously holding a light bulb, a business card,…

Meet BugJuggler: The 70-foot, Car-Juggling Robot
07/03/14 — Former NASA engineer Dan Granett thinks he's created the "new frontier in robotic entertainment." We're not so sure we agree, but fans of the 1999 film Iron Giant will certainly be on board. Granett has designed a 70-foot-tall robot called BugJuggler that can juggle three cars, namely a Volkswagen Beetle…

Researchers Create UK’s First Robot Security Guard
07/03/14 — G4S, the world's largest provider of security officers, has a new autonomous robot called Bob that is now patrolling its offices in England. Bob is there to monitor the environment, make suren doors are properly closed and gather other information. Bob is completely autonomous, stands 5 feet 10 inches tall…

Children’s Book to Teach about Robots, Physics and Diversity
07/03/14 — A robotic dystopia that aims to teach both physics and diversity in a story co-written by children? That’s one of the newest crowdfunding appeals, with an interesting premise, adorable artwork and even a public plea to eventually take it into the cinema. So far it has 83 backers donating a…

Professors: Robots to Steal 50% of Global Jobs
07/03/14 — If you're worried robots are going to steal your job in the near future and take over the world, you're not going to like what a few professors recently said at the Financial Times Camp Alphaville event. Professors from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Oxford University and Sussex University agree…




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