Did you catch that? Robot’s speed of light communication could protect you from danger

If you were monitoring a security camera and saw someone set down a backpack and walk away, you might pay special attention — especially if you had been alerted to watch that particular person. According to researchers, this might be a job robots could do better than humans, by communicating at the speed of light and sharing images.

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When industrial robots overheat: Continuous fitness check predicts potential machine faults

It keeps a constant eye on the condition of the machine, it carries out diagnostic analyses and it notifies the operator when a part needs to be replaced. The research team has developed an early warning system for industrial assembly, handling and packaging processes. Intelligent sensors continuously collect a wide array of measurement data from inside plant machinery and compare the signal patterns against those for normal operating conditions. If the system detects a difference in the patterns that indicates a potential fault, it immediately notifies the equipment operator about what remedial measures should be taken. This helps engineers to plan maintenance more effectively and protects them from unpleasant surprises and unexpected production losses.

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‘Doctor’ robot could help solve sports-concussion dilemma in rural America

From bustling cities to tiny farming communities, the bright lights of the local stadium are common beacons to the Friday night ritual of high school football. But these stadiums are commonly far from doctors who could quickly diagnose and treat head injuries that have brought so much scrutiny to the sport. A first-of-its-kind study shows the technology exists to ease this dilemma: By using a remote-controlled robot, a neurologist sitting hundreds of miles from the field can evaluate athletes for concussion with the same accuracy as on-site physicians.

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Controlling soft robots using magnetic fields

Engineering researchers have made a fundamental advance in controlling so-called soft robots, using magnetic fields to remotely manipulate microparticle chains embedded in soft robotic devices. The researchers have already created several devices that make use of the new technique.

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Printable device points toward sensor-laden robot skin

In this age of smartphones and tablet computers, touch-sensitive surfaces are everywhere. They’re also brittle, as people with cracked phone screens everywhere can attest. Covering a robot — or an airplane or a bridge — with sensors will require a technology that is both flexible and cost-effective to manufacture in bulk. A team of researchers thinks that 3-D printing could be the answer.

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Controlling turtle motion with human thought

Researchers have developed a technology that can remotely control an animal’s movement with human thought.

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Quadruped robot exhibits spontaneous changes in step with speed

A research group has demonstrated that by changing only its parameter related to speed, a quadruped robot can spontaneously change its steps.

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‘Tree-on-a-chip’ passively pumps water for days

Engineers have created a ‘tree-on-a-chip’ — a microfluidic pump inspired by the way trees and plants circulate nutrients. The chip pumps water for days, at constant rates that could power small robots.

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Using big data to analyze images, video better than the human brain

Improving traffic safety, better health services and environmental benefits: Big Data experts see a wide range of possibilities for advanced image analysis and recognition technology.

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New flexible sensor holds potential for foldable touch screens

Picture a tablet that you can fold into the size of a phone and put away in your pocket, or an artificial skin that can sense your body’s movements and vital signs. A new, inexpensive sensor could help make advanced devices like these a reality.

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Machine learning writes songs that elicits emotions from its listeners

Music, more than any art, is a beautiful mix of science and emotion. It follows a set of patterns almost mathematically to extract feelings from its audience. Machines that make music focus on these patterns, but give little consideration to the emotional response of their audience. Scientists have developed a new machine-learning device that detects the emotional state of its listeners to produce new songs that elicit new feelings.

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Robot uses social feedback to fetch objects intelligently

By enabling them to ask a question when they’re confused, an algorithm helps robots get better at fetching objects, an important task for future robot assistants.

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