The idea of a tiny, flexible robot crawling around inside your body might give you the creeps. But that might be preferable to having exploratory surgery, or being subjected to radiation from imaging gadgetry. So keep an open mind about this new breakthrough from researchers at Israel's Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. They've developed what they're calling the Single Actuator Wave-like Robot, or SAW, which produces a pure wave motion using a single motor. Think of the dance move called The Worm, then multiply that over and over and over again. The researchers, led by senior mechanical engineering lecturer David Zarrouk, drew inspiration from the way that snakes move in nature, and the results were published in the journal Bioinspiration & Biomimetics. This is an example of biomimicry, in which technology uses nature for ideas. The prototype SAW robot, which is made of a series of rigid, 3-D-printed plastic links attached to a metal helix rotated by a motor, looks to be about … [Read more...] about Slithering Medical Robots Could Snake Inside Your Body Some Day
A close up of the woks in the robotic kitchen at Spyce in Boston, Massachusetts. Grace Uvezian/Spyce Food Co. At Spyce, a recently-opened restaurant in Boston, diners can choose from a menu of meals-in-a-bowl that draws upon international influences ranging from Thai to Moroccan cuisine, which they can have customized to their individual tastes with vegetarian, pescatarian, gluten-free and vegan options. But it's not just the quality of the food and the relatively low price — bowls start at $7.50 — that's creating a buzz about the eatery. At Spyce, diners also can watch as their meals are cooked by a robotic kitchen designed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates. (Here's an article from MIT's website about the restaurant.) After a customer orders a meal via one of the touchscreens mounted on the restaurant tables, the information is relayed to a 14-foot-long (4.27meters), nine-foot-tall (2.74 meters) machine, which retrieves the ingredients … [Read more...] about Robot Revolution: Coming to a Restaurant Near You
An AMP Robotics creation nicknamed Clarke was built to sort cartons in a recycling setting. Clarke's artificial intelligence programming allows it to learn more efficient ways of performing its task. WCCO - CBS Minnesota/YouTube/Screenshot: HowStuffWorks When you hear terms like robotics and artificial intelligence tossed around, you probably expect the conversation to be about some lofty futuristic subject. Mining on asteroids, perhaps, or doing heart-transplant operations by remote control. The last thing you'd guess is that talking about sorting trash to separate out the recyclables. Well, guess again. For years, researchers have been looking to robots as a possible answer for coping with the mountains of refuse generated by our throwaway civilization. To that end, a company called AMP Robotics — in collaboration with carton industry group the Carton Council and Denver-based Alpine Waste & Recycling — has developed a recycling robot called Clarke, that uses … [Read more...] about Robotic Sorting Could Be the Efficient Future of Recycling
FoldiMate is one of two machines designed to automatically fold laundry that may be available to consumers in the near future. FoldiMate, Inc. How would you like to have a machine fold your clean clothes for you? It could happen if laundry robots catch on — and, naturally, if you have several thousand dollars to become an early adapter. At least two companies plan to debut laundry-folding robots in the near future. The machines Laundroid and FoldiMate configure the dimensions of each piece of clothing, then fold it into its ideal shape before delivering a stack of expertly folded clothes. Both are the size of a large appliance, measuring roughly between an apartment-sized refrigerator and an oven. In the case of Laundroid, the robot's interior arms can grab, analyze and fold about 30 different articles of clean clothing and insert them into each of the four small drawers it contains. "The robot arm picks up the clothes one by one and then artificial intelligence recognizes if … [Read more...] about Is the Age of Laundry-folding Robots Nearly Upon Us?
MIT researchers have designed a system that can 3-D print the basic structure of an entire building. The system consists of a tracked vehicle that carries a large industrial robotic arm, which has a smaller, precision-motion robotic arm at its end. Steven Keating, Julian Leland, Levi Cai, and Neri Oxman/Mediated Matter Group Compared to other industries that have been transformed by technology, construction has been lagging behind, with builders relying on methods and materials that have been around for decades — or centuries, even. But that could change in a hurry, thanks to the advent of sophisticated robotics and 3-D printers that rapidly can fabricate objects layer by layer. We're already seeing an increasing number of examples of builders using 3-D printing to make big pieces out of concrete and then assembling them to create structures. In 2016, for example, architecture firm Gensler partnered with engineering firms Syska Kennessy and Thornton Tomasetti to erect the … [Read more...] about Mobile MIT Robot Can 3-D Print Entire Building Structure in Hours