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SkySweeper robot makes inspecting power lines easy and inexpensive (w/video)

Mechanical engineers at the University of California, San Diego invented a robot designed to scoot along utility lines, searching for damage and other problems that require repairs. Made of off-the-shelf electronics and plastic parts printed on an inexpensive 3D printer, the SkySweeper prototype could be scaled up for less than $1,000, making it significantly more economical than the two models of robots currently used to inspect power lines.

Posted: Aug 6th, 2013

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Researchers create 'soft robotic' devices using water-based gels

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new technique for creating devices out of a water-based hydrogel material that can be patterned, folded and used to manipulate objects. The technique holds promise for use in 'soft robotics' and biomedical applications.

Posted: Aug 2nd, 2013

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Top robotic helicopter team sets sights on impossible mission (w/video)

If the mission sounds impossible, that's because it is - at least with today's technology: Build a three-pound flying machine that can, under its own control, take off, fly through a window into a model building, avoid security lasers, navigate the halls, recognize signs, enter the correct room, find a flash drive in a box on a desk, pick it up, leave a decoy, exit and land in under 10 minutes.

Posted: Aug 1st, 2013

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Robots strike fear in the hearts of fish

The latest in a series of experiments testing the ability of robots to influence live animals shows that bio-inspired robots can not only elicit fear in zebrafish, but that this reaction can be modulated by alcohol. These findings may pave the way for new methodologies for understanding anxiety and other emotions, as well as substances that modulate them.

Posted: Jul 31st, 2013

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NASA successfully tests the Surface Telerobotics exploration concept

On June 17 and July 26, NASA tested the Surface Telerobotics exploration concept, in which an astronaut in an orbiting spacecraft remotely operates a robot on a planetary surface. In the future, astronauts orbiting other planetary bodies, such as Mars, asteroids or the moon, could use this approach to perform work on the surface using robotic avatars.

Posted: Jul 30th, 2013

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Visio.M e-mobility project unveils remote control driving technology

Scientists at the Technische Universität München (TUM) believe that full-size remote control cars could be hitting the roads within the next five to ten years. So if your next rental car turns up to your door driverless, the chances are that the actual driver is sitting in the car rental headquarters.

Posted: Jul 26th, 2013

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Kinect makes dangerous work processes safer

Siemens is using a Microsoft Kinect sensor familiar from computer games in a virtual planning system for work processes. Kinect technology recognizes a person's movements and posture and transfers them to an avatar in a virtual environment. In the same way that a player moves intuitively within the scenes of a computer game, technicians can use Kinect to simulate movements in the workplace.

Posted: Jul 17th, 2013

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