Robotics-1 Nature-0

February 27, 2017

It isn’t very often that a robot beats nature at its own game. Usually biologically inspired robotics is about figuring out evolution’s clever tricks and then trying to apply them to your robot to make it faster or more efficient or more skilled. However, evolution is a very intelligent designer, and because of this robotics and roboticists are going up against a half billion years of trial and error. In an…

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Mission Impossible self-destructing gadgets not so impossible

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February 22, 2017

A new self-destruct mechanism can destroy electronics within 10 seconds through wireless commands or the triggering of certain sensors. Many government agencies and corporations would value such an extra layer of security for computing devices that might get lost or stolen. But past experiments with self-destructing electronics have either relied on new specialized chip designs or have taken far longer than 10 seconds. By comparison, the new self-destruct mechanism proposed…

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Surreal robo-artist soars over his canvas

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February 22, 2017

When the artist Dragan Ilić realised he was no longer agile enough to create exactly what he wanted at the ages of 68, he wasn’t deterred. The Serbian artist makes massive abstract works using pencil and paint, filling whole rooms. “When I noticed I had got old and less able, I knew I needed a helper,” explains Ilić. “That helper turned out to be a robot.” By using an industrial…

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Bandages light up when in contact with certain chemicals

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February 17, 2017

A new ‘living material’—a tough, stretchy, biocompatible sheet of hydrogel injected with live cells that are genetically programmed to light up in the presence of certain chemicals has been designed by a team of engineers and biologists at MIT. In a paper published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers demonstrate the new material’s potential for sensing chemicals, both in the environment and in…

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Revolutionizing robot mobility

February 14, 2017

A company has taken a focus on legged locomotion which could revolutionize robot mobility and enable robots to go anywhere people can go. The business is one of the first from the rapidly expanding robotics program in the College of Engineering at Oregon State University. The firm, Agility Robotics, is based in Albany, Oregon, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; already has several of its first customers; will license some technologies first developed…

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Orb-shaped cargo robot with wheels lightens the load

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February 6, 2017

A new bot is about to join the aspirational ranks of robots in the business or carrying and delivering, and it’s made by Piaggio — the same company that created the Vespa scooter. This bot is called Gita, and it’s a bright blue orb-shaped cargo robot with wheels that Piaggio says has the same “braking, balancing and vehicle dynamics that you would expect of a high-performance motorcycle,” which is a…

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STEAM: Creative coding for children

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February 2, 2017

At the Bett Show 2017 at London Excel, there was a theme; coding for children. Below are three highlights from the show, aimed at teaching children how to code and programme in conjunction with other STEM projects. From robotics to algorithms, in the form of both products and programs, the collective mission was clear. Make coding fun. PHIRO coding and robotics platform Robotix USA has a mission to give children…

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BinaryBots for coding kids at the Bett Show 2017

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January 31, 2017

Launched at the Bett Show 2017 by EduTech firm CBiS Education based in Leeds, BinaryBots create an accessible platform to help children learn to code. BinaryBots are card robots that work in conjunction with the BBC micro:bit and Microsoft Block Editor. It comes in the form of a kit for £25.99 + VAT, and comes with everything needed for a child to build their very own robot, including stickers for customization,…

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Everything is awesome about the DIY Mini Lego Drone Kit

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January 23, 2017

Drone popularity is soaring high. A new Tractica report states that consumer drone sales will increase tenfold by the end of the decade, leading to a whopping 67.9 million drones to be shipped annually by 2021. But what about those who want to get a little more creative? Introducing Kitables, the company ‘on a mission to create a world with more Do’ers in it.’ Crowdsourcing on Kickstarter, Kitables has released a…

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Droneboarding is the new winter sport

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January 23, 2017

Latvia’s remote Lake Ninieris, skirted on all sides by snow-clad pine forests, would be the perfect picture of winter tranquility—were it not for the huge drone buzzing like a swarm of angry bees as it zooms above the solid ice surface. The powerful three-meter-long (nine-foot) drone, sporting 16 spinning propellers, is fitted with long tow ropes with handles, the kind used in water-skiing. Two snowboarders gripping them glide across the…

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