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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.

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.

Jul 30th, 2013

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

Scientists at the Technische Universit�t M�nchen (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.

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.

Jul 17th, 2013

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Older adults don't speak 'robot', study finds

In order to effectively program robots that ultimately could be used to aid seniors, researchers at the University of Notre Dame and University of Missouri studied the type of language older adults used when describing the location of a desired object to either a robot or human-like avatar. It turns out that seniors become tongue-tied when talking to robots.

Jul 16th, 2013

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NIST workshop gets a 'grip' on robotics challenge

Even though modern industrial robots are becoming nimbler and more capable, they still need to get a good grip on things - the equivalent of hands that are as agile and dexterous as the human variety. The NIST Dexterous Manipulation Testbed features a seven degree-of-freedom highly dexterous robot and a seven degree-of-freedom, three fingered robotic hand. The testbed is used to investigate new measurement science to gauge the operational characteristics of manipulation for manufacturing tasks.

Jul 11th, 2013

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