PLUG & PLAY: Ozobots Follow Lines On Screen and Off, Respond to Colors

Ozobots race along a track made of printed lines as well as those on the screen of a tablet. Photo courtesy of Evollve Inc.

Imagine racing real toy cars in a video game world. The Ozobot, by Evollve Inc., makes this concept a reality. The tiny, line following robot can interpret colors. To program the robot, simple draw a colorful line according to the directions that come with the bot. Ozobot can be programmed with hundreds of moves to perform a choreographed dance, or simply wander along ... Read More »

LERN: Iron-Man Inspired, Light Up Prosthetic Hand for Kids

Pat Starace says his light-up Iron Man prosthetic was designed to be "awesome." Photo courtesy of PatStarace.com.

A new Arduino-powered prosthetic hand not only looks like Iron Man’s, it also lights up in multiple ways. Mechanical designer and animator Pat Starace says he designed the child-sized hand with three goals in mind. “It had to look awesome, it had to perform awesome, and there would be no strings or mechanics that could distract from the visual impact,” ... Read More »

LERN: EyeCane Offers Better Navigation for Visually Impaired

Two sensor beams, one pointing directly ahead, and one pointing towards the ground collect data on obstacles. Photo Courtesy of the Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience.

A new electronic travel aid for the visually impaired could offer a major improvement on the white cane, by providing information about obstacles using sound and motion. Weighing less than 100 grams, the device provides information simultaneously for two directions: directly ahead for far away obstacles, and downwards at an angle of 45 degrees, for an assessment of what’s on the ground. ... Read More »

LERN: Turn your Car into a Tele-operated Vehicle in Ten Minutes

The Pronto4 Robotic Applique Kit can bring semi-autonomous driving capabilities to any ground vehicle. Photo courtesy of Kairos Autonomi.

Kairos Autonomi won a Game Changer Award at RoboBusiness last week for an artificially intelligent robot driver: the Pronto4 Uomo (pronounced wo-mo). While the robot’s appearance isn’t very slick, the specs are impressive. In 10 minutes, the Uomo can turn a normal car into a tele-operated vehicle, or one that can follow a course laid out in a GPS. A semi-autonomous vehicle can be created in under ... Read More »

LERN: Robotic Surgeon Performs Brain Surgery For Epilepsy via the Cheek

A fake patient in an MRI machine shows how the surgical robot that can perform epilepsy surgery through the cheek.

Researchers at Vanderbilt University have developed a working prototype for a robot that will perform precise brain surgery to treat epilepsy by entering the brain via the cheek. The approach will be less invasive than traditional surgery, which involves drilling into the skull. The Vanderbilt system nvolves specially designed, steerable needles made of a shape-memory, nickel-titanium, alloy. The needles will be inserted into the ... Read More »

PLUG & PLAY: Draw Working Circuits with Conductive Ink

The Circuit Scribe Developers Kit lets builders draw ink-based circuits with sensors and buzzers. Photo courtesy Autodesk.

Sick of breadboards and soldering? Want to teach basic electronics in a whole new way? Electroninks is now selling a fast-drying, conductive ink designed to make learning about circuits fast and fun. Made of silver flake, Circuit Scribe ink can be used to draw lines between batteries, sensors, lights and servos to make simple circuits. Just be sure to set your paper on top ... Read More »

LERN: Rescue Robots Fly High in the Alps

Scientists at the University of Twente are working on robots that are expected to save lives in calamity situations in the Alps. Photo courtesy of University of Twente

Scientists involved in a special project to develop rescue robots for the Alps met last week, so that different teams could discuss, test, and integrate some parts of the robot. By January 2017, the researchers hope to have a team of robots capable of assisting human rescuers in an emergency, such as an avalanche. Known as the Smart collaboration between Humans and ground-aErial Robots for imProving rescuing ... Read More »

NEWS: Qualcomm, RobotShop Launch Robot Business Accelerators

Two new accelerators launched this week could help entrepreneurs take their robot designs to the next level. Qualcomm announced today that it will host approximately 10 robotics companies at its San Diego offices for a four-month start-up program. Qualcomm has committed $1 million dollars to participants, as well as technology and business guidance via mentors. The Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator will help the fledgling firms make ... Read More »

PLUG & PLAY: Keecker Robot Hits Kickstarter

The Keeker robot might look like a space heater, but inside the white dome is a host of entertainment equipment. Photo courtesy of Keeker.

Deeply discounted Keecker robots were offered up today on Kickstarter, as the company tried to raise funds to support the project. Twenty “super early birds” paid just $1,990 for the robot, which will later sell for more than twice that price. Billed as a home entertainment and security robot, Keecker is designed to create immersive experiences for users at home. ... Read More »

LERN: Open-Source Tricorder You Can Make with Your Toaster Oven

Peter Jansen's open-source tricorder puts a variety of sensors at your fingertips!

Interested in exploring the universe? Open-source tool developer Peter Jensen has created a device much like a Star Trek tricorder, using mostly off-the-shelf parts that were soldered in his toaster oven. The small device, which Jensen calls the Arducorder Mini, uses a PIC32MX795F512L with 128k of RAM and 512k of flash. It includes an array of sensors, including a radiation sensor, a magnetometer, ... Read More »

LERN: Quantum Mechanics to Accelerate Progress in Robotics

Both the classical and the quantum RPS are characterized by their internal Markov chains over the clip space. The procedures the quantum agent performs in order to choose the desired actions are listed.

Researchers from Spain, Austria, and Croatia believe the field of quantum mechanics holds great promise for advancing robotics. Specifically, the researchers believe that integrating quantum physics and artificial intelligence will provide a “quadratic speedup” in robotic learning. According to the study, many robots are unable to function adequately in “moderately realistic environment” because they simply can’t think fast enough to respond from ... Read More »

PLUG & PLAY: BERO Robot Brings the Beats

Teach the Bero robot how to dance, on those slow days at the office.

A new robot called BERO is a tiny dancer with its own light show and speakers. BERO can be controlled via Bluetooth 2.0, using an Android or iOS device. At four-inches tall, the BERO robot is ideal for small spaces such as a coffee table or desk. Optical navigation sensors in the body help the robot avoid obstacles. Analogue position sensors are in the ... Read More »

PLUG & PLAY: Robot Bartender Mixes Adults Beverages

Using Monsieur Robot's touch screen, customers can select from hundreds of drinks.

Monsieur, the robotic bartender, has mastered the art of mixing drinks. More like an Automat than a waiter, Monsieur knows hundreds of cocktail recipes and can mix them on demand. Users can even select a drink from an array of scrolling photos on a touch screen, and then indicate how strong they’d like it to be, using a slider goes from “Light” to ... Read More »