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South West College Installs First Robotic Solar System in Europe
11/25/14 — The first of a new generation of solar PV systems has been installed at the South West College campus in Enniskillen. The 48kW array has been installed to supply renewable power to the new CREST (Centre for Renewable Energy & Sustainable Technology) Passive Pavilion being built on the site. The system is designed to fully meet the annual energy requirement of the new Passive Pavilion allowing the building to be Carbon Neutral. The project utilises an intelligent Robotic Tracking System for the first time in Europe. The robots, which travel on rails between the solar Photovoltaic panels, ensure that the…


Meet iCub: the Cute Italian Humanoid that is Stealing Hearts
11/20/14 — STMicroelectronics, at this week’s Embedded Technology 2014 show, trotted out the latest thing in robotics: an Italian humanoid called iCub, loaded with STs, sensors, and microcontrollers. Japan’s love affair with robots is well-known. So, predictably, Japanese attendees here are gushing over this little Italian -- about as big as a four-year-old child (roughly 3’4”, 55 pounds) -- which they praise as smart, sophisticated, and gentle. Capable of seeing, hearing, and touching, the iCub is designed to maintain natural interaction with people and learn from humans. Using clues it gathered from its sensors, the iCub not only identifies objects but also…



Fuzzy Baby Robots Used to Research Shy Emperor Penguins
11/13/14 — Most animals are skittish around people which makes observing them in the wild, a challenging endeavor for researchers. The issue is exacerbated with naturally shy creatures like emperor penguins, who show signs of physical distress in the presence of humans. While scientists try their best to observe the birds from a distance, they sometimes have to get close…

New Drone Testing Lab to be Built at Imperial College London
11/06/14 — A new £1.25m drone testing lab is being built in South Kensington as part of Imperial College London’s investment into next-generation robotics. Construction of the Brahmal Vasudevan aerial robotics lab starts in 2016 and will see a two-story lab and workshop built on the roof of Imperial College’s City and…

Robotics Scientists Ponder Possibility of Repurposing Robots for Ebola
10/30/14 — Robotics scientists nationwide are pondering an intriguing possibility: Might robotic technologies deployed in rescue and disaster situations be quickly repurposed to help contain the Ebola epidemic? A robot that could perform even some of the tasks of a human, such as waste removal or the burial of bodies, would have…

Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak Teaching Robotics in Australia
10/23/14 — Apple Computer co-founder Steve "Woz" Wozniak has joined the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) as adjunct professor – the first adjunct appointment he has accepted at any university. The pioneer inventor, electronics engineer and computer programmer is working with staff and students in the Magic Lab (Innovation and Enterprise Research…

Mind-Controlled Robotic Arms Now a Reality
10/09/14 — For the first time, robotic prostheses controlled via implanted neuromuscular interfaces have become a clinical reality. A novel osseointegrated (bone-anchored) implant system gives patients new opportunities in their daily life and professional activities. In January 2013 a Swedish arm amputee was the first person in the world to receive a…

Canadarm2 Robotic Arm to Install Cameras on International Space Station
10/02/14 — Canada's robotic Canadarm2 will install the next two Urthecast cameras on the International Space Station, removing the need for astronauts to go outside to do the work themselves, the company announced today.Urthecast plans to place two Earth-facing cameras on the United States side of the station (on Node 3) to…

Robot Octopus Takes to Sea, Swims Faster Than Ever
09/25/14 — Early last year, we wrote up some betentacled research from Greece that explored what gaits were most effective at propelling a robotic octopus through water. The researchers commented that they were working on adding another physical feature flaunted by the biological version of the octopus: a web between their tentacles,…

Autonomous Marine Vehicles Improve Tracking of Phytoplankton
09/18/14 — Four Wave Glider autonomous marine vehicles spent most of 2012 bobbing across the Pacific Ocean and collecting oceanographic measurements. It was a record-setting journey meant to demonstrate the technology and set scientists loose on the data.A recently published study using data from the expedition shows that the platforms could prove…

Untethered Soft Robot Can Survive Fire, Snow, Being Hit by Car
09/11/14 — The latest in robotic design is leading to ‘new creatures' that can move without constraint, withstand harsh temperature changes, ambulate over a variety of surfaces and even ‘limbo'. The newest model has recently been let off the leash.The latest 'soft' robot from Professor George M. Whitesides Research Group at Harvard…

UC San Diego Launching New Robotics Institute
09/04/14 — With many robotics companies and a call for the FAA to designate the region an unmanned aerial vehicle center of excellence, San Diego has been making a big push in the past few months to become the center of the rapidly expanding drone industry.The University of California, San Diego and…

Robo Brain Helps Robots Learn Skills Using the Internet
08/28/14 — A super-intelligent robotic "brain" that can learn new skills by browsing millions of web pages has been developed by US researchers. Robo Brain is designed to acquire a vast range of skills and knowledge from publicly available information sources such as YouTube. The information it learns can then be accessed…

Hitchhiking Robot Completes Trip Across Canada
08/21/14 — Three weeks and 3,700 miles later, the hitchhiking-robot appropriately named hitchBOT has completed its journey through Canada, having relied entirely on the kindness of strangers and its tablet-and-Arduino brains. The robot's adventure, which began in Halifax on July 27, ended in Victoria on Saturday. Despite the journey having taken only 21 days,…

Robo-AO Autonomous Telescope Hunting for Planets
08/14/14 — Tracking down Earth-like exoplanets with a terrestrial telescope is no easy feat because our planet's atmosphere makes distant solar systems even harder to see. Adaptive optic technology can help make things go a little faster, but it does so at a snail's pace - requiring up to 10 minutes per…

Autonomous Underwater Vehicles to Track Endangered Whales
08/06/14 — Sleek yellow gliders will soon cruise the waters off Nova Scotia in a high-tech bid to track down one of the world's most endangered marine mammals and possibly provide clues to an ecological mystery. Canadian and American scientists are getting ready to deploy autonomous underwater vehicles around the Scotian shelf…

ESA Launching Reusable, Robotic Space Plane
07/31/14 — The launch of a robotic space plane prototype in November could pave the way toward the creation of a reusable cargo vehicle that would survive the blistering re-entry into Earth's atmosphere, according to the European Space Agency. ESA officials plan to launch the unmanned space plane, called the Intermediate eXperimental…

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,”…

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…

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…




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