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Robots working at the accident scene in Fukushima

Robots working at the accident scene in Fukushima

A powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 9.0 followed by a tsunami hit the northeastern coast of Japan’s Honshu Island in March 2011. Unfortunately, the Fukushima I nuclear power plant was at the epicenter of the disaster and three of its reactors melted down, causing hazardous radiation to spread over a huge area. It is too risky for human rescue workers and technicians to be in the affected area; however, Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, the company in charge of the clean up operation, has engaged robots in the heavily contaminated locations deep inside the power plant. Robots working at the accident…

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Tesla is building car charging robotic snakes

Tesla is building car charging robotic snakes

SpaceX founder and CEO of Tesla Elon Musk posted an interesting tweet on New Year’s eve; according to him, Tesla is building car charging robotic snakes. Owners of Tesla electric cars won’t have to worry about plugging their vehicles in for recharging; the robotic snake arm will perform that job for them. The robotic snake charger will not only be compatible with future models of Tesla; Musk has confirmed that these chargers will be compatible with the existing Model S cars as well. Scientists at the Carnegie Mellon University have been working to develop a robotic snake arm since years;…

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MIT now has algorithm for robot object recognition

 MIT now has algorithm for robot object recognition

Researchers have moved a step closer toward achieving the ability to provide us the means by which we may one day have the lifestyle of the Jetsons, a family that is central to a science fiction cartoon show. Although we are still far away from expecting robots to perform household duties like serving dinner and cleaning the dishes or cooking meals for the family, scientists have been successful in enabling robots to recognize objects. MIT now has an algorithm for ‘robot object recognition’ that lets them ‘perceive’ objects from different alternative perspectives and hence, several hypotheses about how an object should…

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This robot hostess can talk, sing and has realistic expressions

This robot hostess can talk, sing and has realistic expressions

Japanese electronics manufacturer Toshiba has made remarkable advances in robotics and the company has unveiled a humanoid robot at the 2015 CES in Las Vegas. Dubbed as “ChihiraAico”, it will remind people of the character “Rosie” from Jetsons; but the robot is actually inspired by the traditional concept of Geisha, a hostess. This robot hostess can talk, sing and has realistic expressions that will create “real heart-warming” interaction with humans. According to Toshiba, ChihiraAico is equipped with the highest level of facial expressions that would seem quite natural and realistic to us. The robot, which has the appearance of a female,…

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This robot is a beer pong expert

This robot is a beer pong expert

Beer pong is a popular drinking game where 6 – 10 beer filled cups are laid on a table in a triangular shape and players of two opponent groups through ping pong ball in those cups to earn each drink. A group wins against the other group by eliminating all their beer cups first. If you are an “excellent” beer pong player, you may accept the challenge of VERSABALL; however, before accepting the challenge please remember that this robot is a beer pong expert. Built by Empire Robotics, VERSABALL is a robotic arm that has a soft green orb at…

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US will be regulating drone usage in 2015

US will be regulating drone usage in 2015

The technology that allows us to fly UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles), or drones, is wonderful as it can monitor important terrains, track criminals and contribute in rescue operations. Nevertheless, drones have terrible usage as well; such as invasion of privacy, committing violent acts, and disrupts regular airplanes. Considering the complex nature of the technology, there should be rules regarding the use of drones. Therefore, government agencies in the US will be regulating drone usage in 2015. The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) had previously promised to make drone rules public before the year ends; however, it is unlikely to be done…

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Soon we’ll see robots running like cheetah

Soon we’ll see robots running like cheetah

The animal that can run with the fastest speed on land, the cheetah, is admired by many for its remarkably swift motion generating from a well balanced body. There is no other animal that can match its skill in that manner; however, soon we’ll see robots running like cheetah at a speed that is more than 16 kilometers per hour. The machine has been designed to cover 40 centimeters of space on a single jump, land itself safely and continue running for 15 minutes in a row requiring less power than a microwave oven needs. It took researchers at MIT…

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China gets Wall.e restaurants with robot employees

China gets Wall.e restaurants with robot employees

Remember the Disney-Pixar movie “Wall.E” that was a blockbuster hit in the summer of 2008? As the best animated feature film, it won the Golden Globe award in 2008 and was nominated for five different categories at the Academy award as well. Written and directed by Andrew Stanton, the movie tells the story of a robot whose name is Wall.E and he falls in love with EVE, another robot.The movie was praised highly because it addressed several social and environmental issues. Wall.E was a great Disney success, but China gets Wall.e restaurants with robot employees; the only difference is that…

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Future of robots lies in diving turtles

Future of robots lies in diving turtles

There has been remarkable advancement in the field of robotics recently as scientists have started taking inspiration from nature. A team of researchers at NUS (National University of Singapore) headed by associate professor S.K. Panda has developed a prototype of a mechanical turtle capable of performing difficult underwater tasks. Apparently, partial future of robots lies in diving turtles as these creatures can dive vertically deep into the ocean just by moving their front and hind limbs. The prototype “turtle robot” does not need a ballast system, a common element in underwater robots; it maneuvers through gait movements created by its…

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Hector takes his first steps into history

Hector takes his first steps into history

It’s a hexapod cognitive autonomously operating robot, or “Hector” in short, created by scientists at Bielefeld University, Germany. The robot is shaped like a giant insect that has six legs; each controlled independently allowing it to stay stable. Moreover, the legs are supported by 18 highly elastic joints aiding Hector in reacting effectively to (unexpected) uneven surfaces. Watch how Hector takes his first steps into history in the realization of a concept in the You Tube video released by CITEC (Cognitive Interaction Technology Center of Excellence) of Bielefeld University. Every single leg Hector has is equipped with a bunch of…

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