The bearer cables and tethers of bridges, elevators, and cable cars are exposed to high levels of stress. For this reason, their functional reliability must be monitored on a regular basis. A new robot recognizes fissures before they pose a danger.
Moving a robot from one place to another in an area with many obstacles and people moving around is not an easy task. Researchers have solved these problems by introducing a novel motion planning algorithm for mobile robots called Heuristic Arrival Time Field-biased (HeAT) Random Tree.
Researchers are using video game technology to remotely control cockroaches on autopilot, with a computer steering the cockroach through a controlled environment. The researchers are using the technology to track how roaches respond to the remote control, with the goal of developing ways that roaches on autopilot can be used to map dynamic environments - such as collapsed buildings.
Alion Energy, an innovative installation and maintenance service company that uses automated technologies to optimize utility scale solar plants, today unveils ROVER and SPOT, a pair of patented robotic installation and cleaning technologies. Together, they enable the fastest construction and lowest EPC costs for utility scale solar while producing more energy than standard fixed-tilt projects.
Students from Stanford's Experimental Robotics course put their programming chops to work by teaching robots to play golf, tennis and soccer goalie; line up dominoes; and swat balloons in the style of King Kong swatting at airplanes.
Attaching a platform to a high-rise building to evacuate people in an emergency, or creating a landing stage for an aircraft on uneven terrain - these are just two areas in which flying robots could have a huge impact - potentially saving lives. The ARCAS ('Aerial Robotics Cooperative Assembly System') team is 18 months into a 4-year project to develop such machines.
What does the Office of Naval Research want with a bunch of fish? To help design a better Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), of course. Dr. Sheryl Coombs, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Bowling Green State University, received a grant to help do just that.
Researchers have demonstrated that when humans use this technology - called a brain-computer interface - the brain behaves much like it does when completing simple motor skills such as kicking a ball, typing or waving a hand. Learning to control a robotic arm or a prosthetic limb could become second nature for people who are paralyzed.
Engineers in the Coordinated Robotics Lab at the University of California, San Diego, have developed new image processing techniques for rapid exploration and characterization of structural fires by small Segway-like robotic vehicles. A sophisticated on-board software system takes the thermal data recorded by the robot's small infrared camera and maps it onto a 3-D scene constructed from the images taken by a pair of stereo RGB cameras.