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All posts tagged "robotics"

  • 15 techy things we’re giving thanks for this Thanksgiving [Gallery]

    It’s Thanksgiving again after an exciting but long year in the tech sphere. Although down here in South Africa we love our turkey as much as any North American, we normally wait until 25 December to pop them on the “braais” and enjoy a family meal. However, we also know how to give thanks for the brilliant things and moments in life. This year has been particularly kind to the technology industry — journalists, consumers and companies alike. There have been landmark gadget releases, like Apple’s iPhone 6, Google’s next iteration of the Nexus series and Nvidia’s range of Tegra-based mobile devices....

  • Humanoid robots will someday fly our planes

    Pibot is the first ever humanoid robot designed to fly a plane autonomously. Researchers at South Korea’s Advanced Institute of Science and Technology responsible for developing Pibot hope their robot will offer several advantages over drones when it comes to dangerous missions that require the control of larger rescue aircraft. Although autonomous drones are good at providing surveillance and air support during warfare, lead researcher Shim Hyung-Chul explains that robots are needed to fly a variety of existing aircraft specific to any number of dangerous situations, the most notable being the Fukushima tragedy in Japan: “When Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant got damaged...

  • Ebola-combatting robots under consideration for West African deployment

    The world’s current Ebola outbreak is quickly turning into the planet’s worst nightmare, and a realization of some of Hollywood’s scariest post-apocalyptic movies, but an equally futuristic solution might be on the cards if robotics experts get their way. According to Computerworld, scientists are developing a new breed of robot that could act as “rolling interpreters, autonomous vehicles that could deliver food and medicine” and even specialised ones tasked with cleansing equipment and burying those who succumbed. This will remove the human element from the treatment and containment of the virus, which may lead to a more effective solution. Taking into...

  • NASA spiderbots begin construction on ‘Death Star’ in space

    Ok, so perhaps the title is a bit of stretch. But NASA’s plan to use robots in space to build massive space stations, space craft, and satellites is real. It also provides us a clear example of the current state of our nation’s space program, and assurance that the future of space travel and space exploration remain promising. For decades, key hurdles to space exploration has been the enormous cost in lives and dollars of developing and launching space craft. Most of us growing up in the 1980s can remember the horrific experience of watching NASA’s Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Seven brave crew...

  • ACHIRES the bipedal robot will somersault into your heart

    I’m not completely sure if robots chasing humans on wheels is scarier than robots chasing humans on two legs, but the University of Tokyo just took one step closer to the latter. Its latest bipedal robot can reach speeds of 4.2km/h — fast enough to chase a very unfit human being. As fate (or a slow news week) would have it, a robot clocked at the speed of melting butter is not anything special. Tokyo’s little sprinter, dubbed ACHIRES, can only keep the pace for a mere ten seconds, not nearly enough to take it to Usain Bolt, or Haile...

  • This production-ready robotic exoskeleton gives shipbuilders superhuman strength

    Superhuman robotic exoskeletons are the stuff of legend. Tony Stark, the World Cup and even the U.S. Military have explored the possibilities that a post-humanist cage could grant its wearers. But comics are mere comics, the World Cup suit was used but once and the U.S. Military haven’t exactly progressed much in their research. Enter South Korea, where Daewoo Shipbuilding is experimenting with a robotic exoskeleton that will propel its labourers into superhuman levels of productivity. Uncovered by New Scientist, the suit currently allows its wearer to lift up to 30kg of steel as if it were a bag of...

  • $150 3D-printed prosthetic hand changes one young boy’s life

    Rich Van As, a South African carpenter had a horrific accident, chopping off four fingers in a workshop related incident. On the other end of the scale was a South African boy named Liam, who was born without fingers on his right hand. Throw in Ian Owen, a mechanical special effects artist from Bellingham, Washington, and you get a 3D printed mechanical hand for about US$150 that has changed the boy’s life. After...

  • Brave Robotics develops 3D printed Transformer-like toy car

    Japanese developer group Brave Robotics recently showcased its latest endeavor, a 1/12 scale transformable robot car that walks, turns and even shoots darts. This iteration is the company’s latest development, coming full circle in a process that began in 2002. After 10 years of failure and frustration, Brave Robotics finally have something to offer the public, on the proviso you have two million yen, which roughly translates to US$24 000. Not exactly within everyone’s tax bracket. The robot is currently listed on the company’s online store and is said to take one month to deliver. This is part in...

  • Creepy robot can run faster than you [Video]

    The robots are coming for you. The boffins over Boston Dynamics have built a robot that can run 18mph (almost 29km/hr) — smashing the previous land speed record by almost 5mph. Built with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the “Cheetah” can outrun most humans — which is a comforting thought, considering it looks like a cross between a rabid dog and a metallic spider from your worst nightmares. The Cheetah...