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Robot Programming Used to Measure Effectiveness of Virtual Learning
01/21/10 — Using robot programming as a measure for teaching effectiveness, four senior academics in the UK and Japan are looking into how virtual environments such as Second Life contribute to high quality teaching and learning. Discovering whether virtual environments play an effective role in the way that humans learn is the…

Virginia Tech Team to Build Battlefield Robots for 2010 Competition
01/05/10 — A team of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students from Virginia Tech’s Virginia Center for Autonomous Systems in building a team battle-ready robots as part of an international war games challenge. The roving, walking robotic soldiers of the “Terminator” films are becoming less sci-fi, and more certain future every day.…

Cockroaches Offer Inspiration for Running Robots
12/29/09 — Oregon State University researchers are working to apply basic biological and mechanical principles that allow certain animals to run effortlessly over rough terrain to running robots. By By David Stauth The sight of a cockroach scurrying for cover may be nauseating, but the insect is also a biological and engineering…

UB Professor Studies the Flight of Hummingbirds To Develop Self-Propelled Surveillance Devices
12/18/09 — To better understand how a three-dimensional vortex forms, University at Buffalo researchers are conducting experiments using lasers and rectangular flapping “wings” in a water tank. The secret to the flight of the hummingbird and other tiny birds and insects lies in the looping, swirling flow of air, called a vortex,…

Virginia Tech Team to Build Battlefield Robots for 2010 Competition
12/16/09 — The roving, walking robotic soldiers of the “Terminator” films are becoming less sci-fi and more certain future every day. Now, a team of robotics researchers from the Virginia Tech College of Engineering will build a team of fully autonomous cooperative battle-ready robots as part of a 2010 international war games…

iRobot Launches New Initiative to ‘SPARK’ STEM Education in the Classroom
12/09/09 — iRobot’s new education initiative – the Starter Programs for the Advancement of Robotics Knowledge (SPARK) – centers on a comprehensive library of robotics educational resources designed to increase interest in the subjects of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in K-12 students. Live demos are also included in the program.…

Researchers Demonstrate a Better Way for Computers to ‘See’
12/07/09 — Taking inspiration from genetic screening techniques, researchers from MIT and Harvard have harnessed the processing power of dozens of high-performance NVIDIA graphics cards and PlayStation 3s gaming devices to create a high-throughput screening process that teases out the best parameters for visual object recognition tasks. The neural processing involved in…

SPARKy Device Helps Amputees Return to Normal Lives
12/07/09 — Arizona State University researchers employ regenerative kinetics in the design of an new prosthetic ankle named after ASU’s mascot – SPARKy. Arizona State University researchers have developed a prosthetic device that literally puts the spring back into an amputee’s step. They have developed and refined SPARKy (for spring ankle with…

Cornell Search-and-Rescue Robots to Compete Internationally
12/02/09 — Segway based search-and-rescue robots from Cornell are semifinalists in the first Multi-Autonomous Ground-robotic International Challenge (MAGIC), co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense and the Australian Defense Science and Technology Organization. By Anne Ju Scouring an earthquake site or other disaster area is treacherous for humans and often leads to…

This Smart Wheelchair Has Laser Vision
11/16/09 — Lehigh University researcher uses a National Science Foundation grant to develop a robotic wheelchair that navigates on its own, with no human guidance or remote control, through a crowded city. Disability, John Spletzer believes, should no longer pose any obstacle to mobility. A blind person may not be able to…

Robotic Perception, on Purpose
11/12/09 — European researchers have developed technology that enables a robot to combine data from both sound and vision to create combined, purposeful perception. In the process, they have taken the field to a new level. Currently, computer vision is good at recognizing objects in images and videos and has been successfully…

MU Research Leads to Improved Human, Object Detection Technology
11/09/09 — University of Missouri scientists develop software that detects humans and objects in videos, creating new possibilities for safety and surveillance. When searching for basketball videos online, a long list of websites appears which may contain a picture or a word describing a basketball. But what if the computer could search…

UCI Robot to Aid Brain Research
11/04/09 — Researchers from the University of California Irvine and University of California San Diego study adaptive decision-making in humans using a robot controlled by a computer model of a rodent brain. A robot powered by a computerized model of a rodent brain will help researchers from UC Irvine and UC San…

Caltech Scientists Create Robot Surrogate for Blind Persons in Testing Visual Prostheses
10/23/09 — A mobile, four-wheeled platform, CYCLOPS can simulate the “visual” experience of a blind person who has been implanted with a visual prosthesis, such as an artificial retina, and thereby can be used as a research tool to help refine and enhance the design of visual prostheses. Scientists at the California…

Like Humans, Monkeys Fall Into the ‘Uncanny Valley’
10/20/09 — Princeton University research points to evolutionary basis for ‘the uncanny valley’, the name given to the feeling of unease that results when individuals view realistic representations of humans, such as in computer generated images or humanoid robots, that fall just short of perfection. The ramifications for developers of androids and…

Is My Robot Happy to See Me?
10/19/09 — Scientists at Georgia Tech tested the ability of humans to interpret a robot’s “emotion” by reading its expression to see if there were any differences between the ages. They found unexpected differences in the way older adults read a robot’s face compared to younger adults. People are social creatures. Robots…

Virginia Tech College of Engineering’s Improved Robotic Hand Captures Top Award
10/08/09 — Virginia Tech students develop a robotic hand, the RAPHaEL (Robotic Air Powered Hand with Elastic Ligaments), powered by compressed air that does not require the use of motors or other expensive and bulky actuators. The Virginia Tech College of Engineering’s Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory (RoMeLa) has captured another top award…

Lasers Generate Underwater Sound
10/05/09 — Naval Research Laboratory research could find application for undersea communications, navigation, and acoustic imaging, including use in unmanned underwater systems. Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory are developing a new technology for use in underwater acoustics. The new technology uses flashes of laser light to remotely create underwater sound. The…




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