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Microtechnics - 07.10.2021
Flying High-Speed Drones into the Unknown with AI
Flying High-Speed Drones into the Unknown with AI
Researchers at the University of Zurich have developed a new approach to autonomously fly quadrotors through unknown, complex environments at high speeds using only on-board sensing and computation. The new approach could be useful in emergencies, on construction sites or for security applications. When it comes to exploring complex and unknown environments such as forests, buildings or caves, drones are hard to beat.

Microtechnics - Life Sciences - 14.09.2021
Tuning Collagen Threads for Biohybrid Robots
Carnegie Mellon University The idea of incorporating actual muscles or neurons into a robotic system might sound like some sort of science fiction, but researchers in Carnegie Mellon University's Mechanical Engineering (MechE) Department are taking steps to make it a reality. This field, known as "biohybrid robotics," is the central focus of the Biohybrid and Organic Robotics Group (B.O.R.G.), led by Victoria Webster-Wood , an assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

Materials Science - Microtechnics - 20.08.2021
Tantalizing Tantalum Actuators and Sensors
Carnegie Mellon University Accelerometers in mobile phones, microprocessors in laptops, and gyroscopes that balance drones each rely on microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS for short. Within these small systems are even smaller devices, called actuators and sensors, that perform various physical functions.

Computer Science - Microtechnics - 13.08.2021
Faster path planning for rubble-roving robots
Faster path planning for rubble-roving robots
Robots that need to use their arms to make their way across treacherous terrain just got a speed upgrade with a new path planning approach, developed by University of Michigan researchers. The improved algorithm path planning algorithm found successful paths three times as often as standard algorithms, while needing much less processing time.

Microtechnics - 21.07.2021
New Algorithm Flies Drones Faster than Human Racing Pilots
New Algorithm Flies Drones Faster than Human Racing Pilots
For the first time an autonomously flying quadrotor has outperformed two human pilots in a drone race. The success is based on a novel algorithm that was developed by researchers of the University of Zurich. It calculates time-optimal trajectories that fully consider the drones' limitations. To be useful, drones need to be quick.

Microtechnics - 07.06.2021
Shoot Better Drone Videos With a Single Word
Carnegie Mellon University Research maps emotions to robotic behavior The pros make it look easy, but filmmaking with a drone can be anything but. It takes skill to fly the often expensive piece of equipment smoothly and without crashing. Once one has mastered flying, there are still camera angles, panning speeds, trajectories and flight paths to plan.

Computer Science - Microtechnics - 01.06.2021
Researchers create a camera that knows exactly where it is
Researchers create a camera that knows exactly where it is
Researchers from the University of Bristol have demonstrated how a new special type of camera can build a pictorial map of where it has been and use this map to know where it currently is, something that will be incredibly useful in the development of smart sensors, driverless cars and robotics. Knowing where you are on a map is one of the most useful pieces of information when navigating journeys.

Microtechnics - 18.05.2021
Helping drone swarms avoid obstacles without hitting each other
Engineers at EPFL have developed a predictive control model that allows swarms of drones to fly in cluttered environments quickly and safely. It works by enabling individual drones to predict their own behavior and that of their neighbors in the swarm. There is strength in numbers. That's true not only for humans, but for drones too.

Microtechnics - 05.05.2021
Robots could safeguard people from pain
Robots could safeguard people from pain
Interview: Why robots need reflexes Robots could safeguard people from pain Reflexes protect our bodies - for example when we pull our hand back from a hot stove. These protective mechanisms could also be useful for robots. In this interview, Prof. Sami Haddadin and Johannes Kühn of the Munich School of Robotics and Machine Intelligence (MSRM) of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) explain why giving test subjects a "slap on the hand" could lay the foundations for the robots of the future.

Microtechnics - Art and Design - 26.03.2021
Contemplate the nature of robotics at EPFL Pavilions
Contemplate the nature of robotics at EPFL Pavilions
EPFL Pavilions re-opens its exhibition Nature of Robotics which offers perspective on robotics in a human and organic environment. At the entrance of Nature of Robotics a couple of robotic snails slither around the floor, leaving behind slimy trails. Two visitors, young boys, enter the exhibit and squat next to the slimy creatures, trying to follow both of them at once.

Astronomy / Space Science - Microtechnics - 05.03.2021
Army of robots pushes the limits of astrophysics
Army of robots pushes the limits of astrophysics
One thousand newly-minted microrobots created in EPFL labs will soon be deployed at two large-scale telescopes in Chile and the United States. These high-precision instruments, capable of positioning optical fibers to within a micron, will vastly increase the quantity of astrophysics data that can be gathered - and expand our understanding of the Universe.

Microtechnics - 17.02.2021
Credit card-sized soft pumps power wearable artificial muscles
Credit card-sized soft pumps power wearable artificial muscles
Robotic clothing that is entirely soft and could help people to move more easily is a step closer to reality thanks to the development of a new flexible and lightweight power system for soft robotics. The discovery by a team at the University of Bristol could pave the way for wearable assist devices for people with disabilities and people suffering from age-related muscle degeneration.

Computer Science - Microtechnics - 15.02.2021
Under the Sea
Soft robots are better suited to certain situations than traditional robots. When interacting with an environment, humans or other living things, the inherent softness built into the structure of a robot made of rubber, for example, is safer than metal. Soft robots are also better at interacting with an unstable or uncertain environment - if a robot contacts an unpredicted object, it can simply deform to the object rather than crashing.

Microtechnics - 13.01.2021
How to Keep Drones Flying When a Motor Fails
How to Keep Drones Flying When a Motor Fails
Robotics researchers at the University of Zurich show how onboard cameras can be used to keep damaged quadcopters in the air and flying stably - even without GPS. As anxious passengers are often reassured, commercial aircrafts can easily continue to fly even if one of the engines stops working. But for drones with four propellers - also known as quadcopters - the failure of one motor is a bigger problem.

Microtechnics - Materials Science - 24.11.2020
Miniscule robots of metal and plastic
Miniscule robots of metal and plastic
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a technique for manufacturing micrometre-long machines by interlocking multiple materials in a complex way. Such microrobots will one day revolutionise the field of medicine. Robots so tiny that they can manoeuvre through our blood vessels and deliver medications to certain points in the body - researchers have been pursuing this goal for years.

Health - Microtechnics - 17.11.2020
Robotics Engineers Take on COVID-19
Methods used to help robots walk and autonomous cars drive can also help epidemiologists predict the spread of the pandemic When the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns brought an abrupt halt to their research this spring, robotics engineers at Caltech and the University of Michigan took tools that were originally created to help robots to walk and autonomous cars to drive safely and applied them to the development of an epidemiological methodology that accounts for human interventions (like mask mandates and stay-at-home orders).

Computer Science - Microtechnics - 11.11.2020
On the way to lifelike robots
On the way to lifelike robots
In order for robots to be able to achieve more than simple automated machines in the future, they must not only have their own "brain". Empa researchers postulate that artificial intelligence must be expanded to include the capabilities of a Physical Artificial Intelligence, PAI. This will redefine the field of robotics and the relationship between man and machine.

Environment - Microtechnics - 03.11.2020
Drones to monitor ecological changes
Drones to monitor ecological changes
A team of researchers from Empa and Imperial College London developed drones that can attach sensors to trees to monitor environmental and ecological changes in forests. Sensors for forest monitoring are already used to track changes in temperature, humidity and light, as well as the movements of animals and insects through their habitats.

Earth Sciences - Microtechnics - 30.10.2020
Specially-adapted drones gather new data from unexplored volcanoes
Specially-adapted drones developed by an international team including Bristol scientists have been gathering data from never-before-explored volcanoes that will enable local communities to better forecast future eruptions. The cutting-edge research at Manam volcano in Papua New Guinea is also improving scientists' understanding of how volcanoes contribute to the global carbon cycle, key to sustaining life on Earth.

Microtechnics - Computer Science - 25.08.2020
Researchers Train Autonomous Drones Using Cross-Modal Simulated Data
To fly autonomously, drones need to understand what they perceive in the environment and make decisions based on that information. A novel method developed by Carnegie Mellon University researchers allows drones to learn perception and action separately. The two-stage approach overcomes the "simulation-to-reality gap," and creates a way to safely deploy drones trained entirely on simulated data into real-world course navigation.
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