Mimicking biological movements with soft robots

Designing a soft robot to move organically — to bend like a finger or twist like a wrist — has always been a process of trial and error. Now, researchers have developed a method to automatically design soft actuators based on the desired movement.

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Skillful rescue robot with remote-control function

A group of researchers has developed a prototype construction robot for disaster relief situations. This prototype has drastically improved operability and mobility compared to conventional construction machines.

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New robot has a human touch

Most robots achieve grasping and tactile sensing through motorized means, which can be excessively bulky and rigid. Scientists have now devised a way for a soft robot to feel its surroundings internally, in much the same way humans do. Stretchable optical waveguides act as curvature, elongation and force sensors in a soft robotic hand.

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Wall-jumping robot is most vertically agile ever built

Roboticists have designed a small robot that can leap into the air and then spring off a wall, or perform multiple vertical jumps in a row, resulting in the highest robotic vertical jumping agility ever recorded.

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Birds flying through laser light reveal faults in flight research, study shows

Parrotlets flying through a field of lasers and microparticles helped test three popular models that predict the lift generated by flying animals. The work could help develop better flying robots.

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What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

Machine learning is a powerful tool used for a variety of tasks in modern life, from fraud detection and sorting spam in Google, to making movie recommendations on Netflix. Now a team of researchers has developed a novel approach in using it to determine whether planetary systems are stable or not.

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Toddler robots help solve how children learn

Children may learn new words using the same method as robots. New research suggests that early learning is based not on conscious thought but on an automatic ability to associate objects, which enables babies to quickly make sense of their environment.

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Tech would use drones and insect biobots to map disaster areas

Researchers have developed a combination of software and hardware that will allow them to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and insect cyborgs, or biobots, to map large, unfamiliar areas — such as collapsed buildings after a disaster.

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Real men don’t say ‘cute’

What’s in a tweet? From gender to education, the words used on social media carry impressions to others. Using publicly available tweets, social psychologists and computer scientists are helping us to parse out the stereotypes formed by word choices on the social media channel Twitter. Utilizing natural language processing (NLP), a form of artificial intelligence, the researchers show where stereotyping goes from “plausible” to wrong.

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Dike inspection robot with an innovative powertrain

Future robots that continuously inspect our dikes won’t come across an electrical charging station every few hours. Using a smart gear box for the robot, a researcher has managed to drastically reduce the energy consumption. The energy-autonomous robot comes closer.

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World’s first light-seeking synthetic nanorobot

A team of researchers has developed the world’s first light-seeking synthetic nanorobot. With size comparable to a blood cell, those tiny robots have the potential to be injected into patients’ bodies, helping surgeons to remove tumors and enabling more precise engineering of targeted medications.

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Drones take off in plant ecological research

Long-term, broad-scale ecological data are critical to plant research, but often impossible to collect on foot. Traditional data-collection methods can be time consuming or dangerous, and can compromise habitats that are sensitive to human impact. Micro-unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, eliminate these data-collection pitfalls by flying over landscapes to gather unobtrusive aerial image data.

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