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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 of time and knowledge to properly set up. That's why researchers from MIT and Cornell University have co-developed small, light-equipped robots that automatically position themselves to create the best lighting for pictures. From Stephanie Rosenow in Product Handling Concepts: "With the new system, the photographer indicates the direction from which…


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 with joint mentor meetings and social hours towards a shared demo day next month, “Bayou Showcase.” (Houston is known as the Bayou City, founded as it was on and near a series of waterways, or what most of us would call swamps.) The students have developed robotic arms that they…



FDA Approves ReWalk Robotics’ Exoskeleton
07/02/14 — The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved ReWalk Robotics' personal exoskeleton for marketing in the U.S for those whose lower body is paralyzed from a spinal cord injury The $69,500 motorized, robotic device is worn over the legs and part of the upper body that helps an…

Robot Valet Parking Cars at German Airport
06/24/14 — Running late for a flight and don't have time to park your car? If you're flying out of Dusseldorf airport in Germany, you're in luck. A robot valet named Ray has started parking cars at the airport and can be booked with a smartphone. The best part? Ray doesn't even…

Tiny, 3-Armed Robot Could Perform Surgery on Babies in Womb
06/18/14 — Researchers in Europe are developing a tiny surgical robot hand that can take 3D images of and treat unborn babies with spina bifida and other congenital conditions, according to the International Business Times. The scientists envision that it could also carry out surgery or deliver stem cells to an unborn infant’s…

Paraplegic in Exoskeleton to Kick Off World Cup [Updated with Video]
06/12/14 — The 2014 World Cup in Brazil kicks off today, providing incredible displays of physical skill. However, the most impressive performance won’t come from the likes of Rooney or Ronaldo. During the opening ceremony in Sao Paolo today, a paralyzed teenager (who remains anonymous) will rise from a wheelchair, take several…

MIT Develops Wearable Robotic Arms
06/03/14 — How many times have you said, "Man, I could really use an extra pair of hands." Now you're in luck. Researchers at the d'Arbeloff Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created lightweight, wearable robotic arms. The Supernumerary Robotic Limbs (SRLs) aren't designed to replace biological limbs, but…

Space Robot Performs Surgery on Itself
05/30/14 — For the first time in history, a robot out in space has used its own mechanical dexterity to fix itself without any assistance from astronauts on the scene. The Canadian built Canadarm2 robotic arm used its own mechanical hand called Dextre to perform a series of operations to replace two…

Robohand Designing 3D-Printed Roboleg Prosthetic
05/22/14 — Richard Van As and Ivan Owen, co-founders of Pretoria, South Africa-based Robohand, are using robotics to help amputees obtain affordable prosthetics. Van As was inspired to create robotic prothestics after a woodworking accident in 2011 where he lost all his fingers on his right hand.Their latest creation, Roboleg, is an…

‘Luke Skywalker’ Robotic Arm Wins FDA Approval
05/15/14 — The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new "Luke Skywalker" robotic arm, or DEKA Arm System, that is controlled by electromyogram (EMG) sensors activated by the wearer. The black and silver prosthetic, which is manufactured by DEKA Integrated Solutions in Manchester, New Hampshire, was inspired by Luke…

Sporobot to Automate Production of Malaria Vaccine
05/07/14 — Sanaria, a Maryland-based biotechnology firm, recently developed the PfSPZ Vaccine that was 100 percent effective against malaria in clinical trials. Malaria causes illness in over 200 million people worldwide and 600,000 deaths each year. Before the PfSPZ Vaccine, there was no vaccine that fully protected against the malaria parasite. The…

Startup Avidbots Targets Robotic Cleaning of Commercial Areas
05/01/14 — Vacuuming is one of the few markets where robots have proven that they can be consistently commercially successful. There's a good reason for this: vacuuming is a repetitive, time-intensive task that has to be performed over and over again in environments that are relatively constrained. Despite the success of several…

Obama: Japanese Robots ‘Were a Little Scary’
04/24/14 — President Obama played soccer Thursday with a Japanese robot -- and came away a bit scared. Obama's visit to the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, or Mirikan, aimed to highlight both Japan's technological  prowess and the renewal of a 10-year scientific collaboration agreement between the two countries. While the…

Panasonic Robot Bed/Wheelchair Earns Global Safety Certification
04/16/14 — There's a lot of talk about Japan's rapidly aging society, and how it is expected to literally place a heavy burden on the island nation's caregivers. Among the many projected problems is a smaller pool of health care workers amidst a growing tide of elderly who require around-the-clock care. With…

SRI Wearable Robots Make Soldiers Better, Stronger, Faster
04/10/14 — In the heart of Silicon Valley, lining the wall in one of the world’s most advanced robotics labs, is a row of sewing machines. It’s a different tool for a different type of robot. A team of researchers at SRI International, which gave the world the mouse, surgical robots and Siri, is…

Mini Robot Could Perform Life-Saving Surgery on Astronauts
04/03/14 — It could one day answer the prayers of astronauts who need surgery in deep space. The miniature surgeon slides into the body through an incision in the belly button. Once inside the abdominal cavity – which has been filled with inert gas to make room for it to work –…

Robbie the Robot: Personal Assistant for Limbless Teenager
03/27/14 — Joanne O’Riordan, 18, was born without limbs. She is one of nine people currently living with Total Amelia, a condition that prevents arms and legs from developing. O’Riordan spoke at a United Nations-sponsored conference in April 2012 and challenged roboticists to create a personal assistant to help her pick up…

Exoskeleton Lets Paralyzed Veteran Walk Again
03/18/14 — Three years ago, a powerful bomb blast ripped the earth apart along a remote road in Afghanistan, leaving U.S. Army Sgt. Dan Rose paralyzed from the chest down. Since then, the Wisconsin man has plied Rocky Mountain poweer in especially adapted skis, completed his first marathon in a wheelchair and…

Amputee Drummer Gains Third Arm With Robotic Prosthesis
03/13/14 — Two years ago, drummer Jason Barnes was electrocuted and lost his right arm below the elbow. The tragedy could have ended his career, but, instead, it led Gil Weinberg, founder of the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology, to turn him into a three-armed power-drumming cyborg. Barnes, a student at the Atlanta Institute…

Whole-Arm Haptics Aid Neurorehabilitation Research
03/04/14 — Barrett's WAM technology was designed from the beginning as human-centric, to be a robot that would be safer to work alongside people. This forward thinking approach now has the WAM in high demand as researchers and innovative companies realize the many benefits from effective collaboration between robots and humans. One…




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