News 2019



Results 1 - 20 of 26.

Microtechnics - Electroengineering - 18.12.2019
A soft robotic insect that survives being flattened by a fly swatter
A soft robotic insect that survives being flattened by a fly swatter
Researchers at EPFL have developed an ultra-light robotic insect that uses its soft artificial muscles to move at 3 cm per second across different types of terrain. It can be folded or crushed and yet continue to move. Imagine swarms of robotic insects moving around us as they perform various tasks.

Computer Science - Microtechnics - 21.11.2019
New Algorithm trains AI to avoid bad behaviors
Robots, self-driving cars and other intelligent machines could become better-behaved thanks to a new way to help machine learning designers build AI applications with safeguards against specific, undesirable outcomes such as racial and gender bias. Artificial intelligence has moved into the commercial mainstream thanks to the growing prowess of machine learning algorithms that enable computers to train themselves to do things like drive cars, control robots or automate decision-making.

Computer Science - Microtechnics - 19.11.2019
Trash Talk Hurts, Even When It Comes From a Robot
Trash talking has a long and colorful history of flustering game opponents, and now researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have demonstrated that discouraging words can be perturbing even when uttered by a robot. The trash talk in the study was decidedly mild, with utterances such as "I have to say you are a terrible player," and "Over the course of the game your playing has become confused." Even so, people who played a game with the robot - a commercially available humanoid robot known as Pepper - performed worse when the robot discouraged them and better when the robot encouraged them.

Environment - Microtechnics - 18.11.2019
Bees "Surf" Atop Water
Walking on Caltech's campus, research engineer Chris Roh (MS '13, PhD '17) happened to see a bee stuck in the water of Millikan Pond. Although it was a common-enough sight, it led Roh and his advisor, Mory Gharib (PhD '83), to a discovery about the potentially unique way that bees navigate the interface between water and air.

Microtechnics - Physics - 06.11.2019
On the way to intelligent microrobots
On the way to intelligent microrobots
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and ETH Zurich have developed a micromachine that can perform different actions. First nanomagnets in the components of the microrobots are magnetically programmed and then the various movements are controlled by magnetic fields. Such machines, which are only a few tens of micrometres across, could be used, for example, in the human body to perform small operations.

Computer Science - Microtechnics - 22.10.2019
Rebel robot helps researchers understand human-machine cooperation
In a new twist on human-robot research, computer scientists at the University of Bristol have developed a handheld robot that first predicts then frustrates users by rebelling against their plans, thereby demonstrating an understanding of human intention. In an increasingly technological world, cooperation between humans and machines is an essential aspect of automation.

Life Sciences - Microtechnics - 11.10.2019
DeepFly3D: the deep-learning way to design fly-like robots
DeepFly3D: the deep-learning way to design fly-like robots
EPFL scientists have developed a deep-learning based motion-capture software that uses multiple camera views to model the movements of a fly in three dimensions. The ultimate aim is to use this knowledge to design fly-like robots. "Just think about what a fly can do," says Professor Pavan Ramdya, whose lab at EPFL's Brain Mind Institute , with the lab of Professor Pascal Fua at EPFL's Institute for Computer Science, led the study.

Computer Science - Microtechnics - 10.10.2019
Sensitive robots are safer
Sensitive robots are safer
Sensitive synthetic skin enables robots to sense their own bodies and surroundings - a crucial capability if they are to be in close contact with people. Inspired by human skin, a team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed a system combining artificial skin with control algorithms and used it to create the first autonomous humanoid robot with full-body artificial skin.

Astronomy / Space - Microtechnics - 02.10.2019
Controlling robots across oceans and space - no magic required
Controlling robots across oceans and space - no magic required
This Autumn is seeing a number of experiments controlling robots from afar, with ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano directing a robot in The Netherlands and engineers in Germany controlling a rover in Canada. Imagine looking down at the Moon from the Gateway as you prepare to land near a lunar base to run experiments, but you know the base needs maintenance work on the life-support system that will take days.

Life Sciences - Microtechnics - 01.10.2019
New Biological Approach Helps Robots Sense Chemicals
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are one step closer to creating biological-mechanical hybrid machines as they work to develop soft robots that can sense and respond to chemical signals. "A lot of the inspiration actually comes from looking at different kinds of species around us that can interact and respond to their surrounding environment in exciting ways," said Kyle Justus, who graduated with a Ph.D.

Environment - Microtechnics - 12.09.2019
"Flying fish" robot can dive and fly
A bio-inspired bot uses water from the environment to create a propelling gas and launch itself from the water's surface. The robot had been developed by researchers at Imperial College London. It can travel 26 meters through the air after take-off and could be used to collect water samples in hazardous and cluttered environments, such as during flooding or when monitoring ocean pollution, report the team lead by Mirko Kovac, who also heads the joint "Materials and Technology Center of Robotics" at Empa, in the latest issue of "Science Robotics".

Environment - Microtechnics - 11.09.2019
’Flying fish’ robot can propel itself out of water and glide through the air
A bio-inspired bot uses water from the environment to create a gas and launch itself from the water's surface. The robot, which can travel 26 metres through the air after take-off, could be used to collect water samples in hazardous and cluttered environments, such as during flooding or when monitoring ocean pollution.

Health - Microtechnics - 11.09.2019
Importance of EU for UK robotic surgery research
Collaborations with EU researchers and institutions have been critical to the UK's success in robotic surgery research and innovation. This is according to a new study which examines the UK's global research collaboration network and models how the UK might compensate for any loss of EU collaborations after Brexit.

Microtechnics - Materials Science - 09.09.2019
Soft-bodied swimming robot uses only light for power and steering
In a paper in Science Robotics, materials scientists from the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering describe a new design for a swimming robot that's both powered and steered by constant light. The device, called OsciBot because it moves by oscillating its tail, could eventually lead to designs for oceangoing robots and autonomous ships.

Microtechnics - 30.08.2019
Key step in robotic disassembly
Engineers at the University of Birmingham have successfully designed a robotic system that can perform a key task in disassembling component parts. The research is an important advance for manufacturers looking for more efficient ways to build products from a combination of reused, repaired and new parts.

Microtechnics - 28.08.2019
Robotic thread is designed to slip through the brain's blood vessels
Robotic thread is designed to slip through the brain’s blood vessels
Magnetically controlled device could deliver clot-reducing therapies in response to stroke or other brain blockages. Etherington explains that the new robotic threads could "potentially make it easier and more accessible to treat brain blood vessel issues like blockages and lesions that can cause aneurysms and strokes." Gizmodo reporter Andrew Liszewski writes that a new thread-like robotic work developed by MIT researchers could be used to quickly clear blockages and clots that lead to strokes.

Computer Science - Microtechnics - 19.08.2019
How ergonomic is your warehouse job? Soon, an app might be able to tell you
UW researchers have used deep learning to develop a new system that can monitor factory or warehouse workers and tell them how risky their behaviors are in real time. In 2017 there were nearly 350,000 incidents of workers taking sick leave due to injuries affecting muscles, nerves, ligaments or tendons - like carpal tunnel syndrome - according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Computer Science - Microtechnics - 14.08.2019
A miniature stretchable pump for the next generation of soft robots
A miniature stretchable pump for the next generation of soft robots
Scientists at EPFL have developed a tiny pump that could play a big role in the development of autonomous soft robots, lightweight exoskeletons and smart clothing. Flexible, silent and weighing only one gram, it is poised to replace the rigid, noisy and bulky pumps currently used. The scientists' work has just been published in Nature.

Microtechnics - 09.08.2019
Robots Need a New Philosophy to Get a Grip
Robots need to know the reason why they are doing a job if they are to effectively and safely work alongside people in the near future. In simple terms, this means machines need to understand motive the way humans do, and not just perform tasks blindly, without context. According to a new article by the National Centre for Nuclear Robotics , based at the University of Birmingham, this could herald a profound change for the world of robotics, but one that is necessary.

Microtechnics - Innovation - 12.07.2019
New dual-propeller drone can fly twice as long
New dual-propeller drone can fly twice as long
EPFL startup Flybotix has developed a novel drone with just two propellers and an advanced stabilization system that allow it to fly for twice as long as conventional models.