Now, thanks to a group of National University of Singapore engineering undergraduates, the Raspberry Pi has also conquered water. Dubbed the Coconut Pi, the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) uses the Raspberry Pi for memory-intensive functions, while it relies on Arduino for precise control. … Read more
After setting a world record for the longest distance traveled on Earth's surface by a robot, Liquid Robotics today unveiled the latest version of its Wave Glider technology.
The updated platform is capable of autonomously prowling the world's seas while analyzing, processing, and transmitting data gathered from a wide variety of on-board sensors.
The new Wave Glider SV3 is essentially a self-powered sea-faring data center, a system that gives users the ability to investigate the world's water ways for months on end. The SV3 features a hybrid propulsion system, Silicon Valley's Liquid Robotics said, that can … Read more
If you're missing a hand, getting a replacement isn't exactly cheap. The BeBionic -- which is, admittedly, a higher-end model -- can cost up to $35,000. We imagine that's a little out of the price range of many amputees.
It's unsurprising, then, that some have taken it upon themselves to find a more accessible solution. Robohand, for example, has been creating 3D-printed robotic hands for children, with a free, open-source 3D-printing pattern available on Thingiverse for people who wish to make their own.
We've decided: Cars are nonsense. Who needs cars? Matt Denton's Mantis hexapod robot clearly represents the transportation of the future.
Denton, an animatronics and special-effects designer whose portfolio includes "Prometheus" and "Lost in Space" with company Micromagic Systems, has an interest in hexapods that goes way back. Over the years, he has built a few miniature hexapods at Micromagic.
Mantis is his first giant-sized model, the result of four years of research, development, design, and building, and is, Denton claims, the biggest operational hexapod in the world. The thing comes in at 9.2 feet tall, weighing 2 tons. It's powered by a 2.2-liter turbo diesel engine and is designed to take on any terrain. … Read more
"We're gonna need a bigger jellyfish." I imagine that's what the Navy and researchers at Virginia Tech were thinking when they started development on Cyro, a robot jellyfish that is 5 foot 7 inches across and weighs a hefty 170 pounds.
The Navy has been into robot jellyfish before, but none have been on this scale for sheer size. This big boy is a much larger version of an earlier robot called the Robojelly, which was only about as large as a hand.… Read more
Saudi Arabia wants to spend over $100 billion to build vast solar arrays and reduce its dependency on oil to generate electricity. But desert sandstorms pose a major challenge to keeping solar panels clean and efficient.
Japanese startup Miraikikai is developing a solution to getting rid of this pesky dust and grit: a cleaning robot that doesn't need water.
The firm has produced the Wall Walker wall and ceiling robot, and recently unveiled a prototype solar panel cleaner built with researchers at Kagawa University.
It weighs about 24 pounds -- light enough to be carried by one person -- and measures about 22 inches across. … Read more
It's hard not to get freakishly excited when science fiction becomes scientific fact -- especially when the origins of that science are rooted in Star Wars.
Think back, young Jedis, to the scene where a fresh-off-Tatooine Luke Skywalker is honing his light saber skills under the tutelage of Obi-Wan Kenobi. A round, floating robot called a remote helps Luke practice his Force-finding mojo. Now, NASA is running experiments with miniature satellites, or nanosatellites, that were inspired by that fictional robot.
When we first set eyes on the Telenoid, we were convinced it was not a gadget we'd be comfortable having in our lives. The robot was designed as a telepresence interface; it would act as a sort of speaker phone, expressing emotions and giving you a human face to speak to.
The "human" part needs a little work.
Apparently, though, the Telenoid R1 is perceived as less strange when presented as alien in origin. While on display at the Ars Electronica Futurelab in Austria, visitors received a leaflet about the robot. Each leaflet contained the same information about the robot's functions, but contained one of two different origin stories, or no origin story at all.
The first story was completely dry and straightforward, describing the robot as "a communication robot that could become an alternative for mobile phones or video conferences within a few years time."
However, the second -- the one that made visitors most receptive to the robot -- was described it as a creature from outer space. … Read more
I can't say I'm a fan of the "Star Trek" reboot, preferring the days when the franchise was so bad it was good, but I have to admire this marketing stunt for "Into Darkness."
We've seen LED quadrotor displays before, and there's no denying that lighting up the night sky with small flying machines has enormous potential.
Ars Electronica Futurelab, the same outfit that illuminated the skies over Linz, Austria, last year, launched 30 quadrotors near London's Tower Bridge and flew in a formation that any Trekkie would salute.… Read more
We first met Salamandra robotica back in 2007 when it was helping researchers study vertebrate locomotion. Like a real salamander, the manmade critter has evolved over time and we now have Salamandra robotica II, the next generation of the creepy-crawly-swimmy thing.
The original robot looked like a bunch of blocks stacked together. The new one looks like it could star in a sci-fi movie called "Robo-salamanders on a Spaceship." (Hey, isn't that already in production on the SyFy channel?) The robot didn't just get an upgrade in the looks department, it also can swim twice as fast, has foldable limbs, and sports more powerful micro-controllers that simulate muscles.… Read more