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How to keep drones flying when a motor fails

How to keep drones flying when a motor fails

As anxious passengers are often reassured, commercial aircrafts can easily continue to fly even if one of the engines stops working. But for drones with four propellers—also known as quadcopters—the failure of one motor is a bigger problem. With only three rotors working, the drone loses stability and inevitably crashes unless an emergency control strategy sets in.

Tech Xplore January 18, 2021
Fish-inspired robots coordinate movements without any outside control

Fish-inspired robots coordinate movements without any outside control

Schools of fish exhibit complex, synchronized behaviors that help them find food, migrate and evade predators. No one fish or team of fish coordinates these movements nor do fish communicate with each other about what to do next. Rather, these collective behaviors emerge from so-called implicit coordination—individual fish making decisions based on what they see their neighbors doing.

Tech Xplore January 18, 2021
Robots with rhythm: Boston Dynamics' dancing androids a hit

Robots with rhythm: Boston Dynamics' dancing androids a hit

Boston Dynamics released scary robot videos, but this one is clearly a playful attempt to close the books on 2020. “Our whole crew got together to celebrate the start of what we hope will be a happier year,” the Waltham, Massachusetts, company says in the caption.

Tech Xplore January 5, 2021
Spontaneous robot dances highlight a new kind of order in active matter

Spontaneous robot dances highlight a new kind of order in active matter

Predicting when and how collections of particles, robots, or animals become orderly remains a challenge across science and engineering. In the 19th century, scientists and engineers developed the discipline of statistical mechanics, which predicts how groups of simple particles transition between order and disorder, as when a collection of randomly colliding atoms freezes to form a uniform crystal lattice.

Tech Xplore January 5, 2021
An open-source and low-cost robotic arm for online education

An open-source and low-cost robotic arm for online education

Researchers at Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico have recently created a low-cost robotic arm that could enhance online robotics education, allowing teachers to remotely demonstrate theoretical concepts explained during their lessons.

Tech Xplore December 20, 2020
Engineers develop soft robotic gripper

Engineers develop soft robotic gripper

Scientists often look to nature for cues when designing robots—some robots mimic human hands while others simulate the actions of octopus arms or inchworms. Now, researchers in the University of Georgia College of Engineering have designed a new soft robotic gripper that draws inspiration from an unusual source: pole beans.

Tech Xplore December 20, 2020
Dyson pledges new investment into AI, robotics and batteries

Dyson pledges new investment into AI, robotics and batteries

Dyson will invest an additional £2.75bn on developing technologies and products over the next five years, as the appliances brand pushes deeper into areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics and energy storage.

Financial Times December 9, 2020
Miniscule robots of metal and plastic may revolutionize the field of medicine

Miniscule robots of metal and plastic may revolutionize the field of medicine

Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a technique for manufacturing micrometer-long machines by interlocking multiple materials in a complex way. Such microrobots will one day revolutionize the field of medicine.

Tech Xplore December 9, 2020
Previewed Reality: A system that allows users to predict future changes in their environment

Previewed Reality: A system that allows users to predict future changes in their environment

When robots and humans interact in a shared environment, it is important for them to move in ways that prevent collisions or accidents. To reduce the risk of collisions, roboticists have developed numerous of techniques that monitor an environment, predict the future actions of humans moving in it, identify safe trajectories for a robot and control its movements accordingly.

Tech Xplore December 9, 2020
Why soft skills could power the rise of robot leaders

Why soft skills could power the rise of robot leaders

What would the world look like if socially skilled robots stepped into the roles normally reserved for humans? Recruitment experts have long predicted that AI technology will make “uniquely human” soft skills such as emotional intelligence and creativity more highly prized in the workplace.

Tech Xplore December 9, 2020
A system to improve a robot's indoor navigation

A system to improve a robot's indoor navigation

Over the past decade or so, roboticists developed increasingly sophisticated robotic systems that could help humans to complete a variety of tasks, both at home and in other environments. In order to assist users, however, these systems should be able to efficiently navigate and explore their surroundings, without colliding with other objects in their vicinity.

Tech Xplore November 18, 2020
A self-balancing robot with a tail-like component

A self-balancing robot with a tail-like component

Nature is one of the greatest sources of inspiration for engineers and computer scientists developing new technological tools. Over the past decade or so, roboticists have developed countless robots inspired by the behavior and biological mechanisms of snakes, fish, cheetahs, birds, insects and countless other animals.

Tech Xplore November 18, 2020
Origami-inspired miniature manipulator improves precision and control of teleoperated surgical procedures

Origami-inspired miniature manipulator improves precision and control of teleoperated surgical procedures

Minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, in which a surgeon uses tools and a tiny camera inserted into small incisions to perform operations, has made surgical procedures safer for both patients and doctors over the last half-century.

Tech Xplore October 8, 2020
Robotic arms extend the reach of UV disinfection

Robotic arms extend the reach of UV disinfection

Since the pandemic began, people are focused on keeping their home and workspaces squeaky clean as an important step to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Hospitals and labs, especially, are meticulous.

Tech Xplore October 8, 2020
Study examines robotic exoskeletons and bodily fit

Study examines robotic exoskeletons and bodily fit

A shoddily tailored suit or a shrunken T-shirt may not be the most stylish, but wearing them is unlikely to hurt more than your reputation. An ill-fitting robotic exoskeleton on the battlefield or factory floor, however, could be a much bigger problem than a fashion faux pas.

Tech Xplore October 8, 2020
Connected Roombas get smarter with iRobot’s ‘Genius’ update

Connected Roombas get smarter with iRobot’s ‘Genius’ update

For iRobot, much of the last several years has been devoted to making its line of home-cleaning robots smarter. There hasn’t been much in the way of new hardware in a while, as the company focuses on things like connectivity, smart home integration and smarter cleaning. This latest update touches on all three, but primarily focuses on the latter.

Tech Crunch October 8, 2020

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