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Computer Science / Telecom - Microtechnics - 24.06.2019
Teaching robots what humans want
Told to optimize for speed while racing down a track in a computer game, a car pushes the pedal to the metal... and proceeds to spin in a tight little circle. Nothing in the instructions told the car to drive straight, and so it improvised. Researchers are trying to make it easier for humans to tell autonomous systems, such as vehicles and robots, what they want them to do.

Microtechnics - 13.03.2019
Cities of the future could be built by robots mimicking nature
Cities of the future could be built by robots mimicking nature
Drones and robots could build and repair future cities, but only if they can work together ' by copying the tactics of nature. A new review, published today in Science Robotics and co-authored by Imperial researcher Dr Mirko Kovac , who directs the Aerial Robotics Laboratory in the Department of Aeronautics, looks at the state-of-the-art in robot construction and where we need to go next to make a robot-built environment a reality.

Microtechnics - 18.01.2019
Smart microrobots that can adapt to their surroundings
Smart microrobots that can adapt to their surroundings
Scientists at EPFL and ETH Zurich have developed tiny elastic robots that can change shape depending on their surroundings. Modeled after bacteria and fully biocompatible, these robots optimize their movements so as to get to hard-to-reach areas of the human body. They stand to revolutionize targeted drug delivery.

Microtechnics - 20.12.2018
Artificial muscle’ takes origami to the next level
Imagine an electrically-powered device as thin as paper, as powerful as human muscle, and capable of lifting 1,000 times its own weight. Researchers from the University of Bristol have done precisely that, creating an artificial 'muscle' that could boost the power of anything from microrobots to space structures.

Computer Science / Telecom - Microtechnics - 19.12.2018
Self-driving rovers tested in Mars-like Morocco
Self-driving rovers tested in Mars-like Morocco
Robots invaded the Sahara Desert for Europe's largest rover field test, taking place in a Mars-like part of Morocco. For two weeks three rovers and more than 40 engineers performed testing of automated navigation systems at up to five different sites. This marked the end of the first phase of the strategic research cluster on space robotics technologies, a scheme funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 programme.

Computer Science / Telecom - Microtechnics - 19.12.2018
Self-driving rovers field tested in Mars-like Morocco
Self-driving rovers field tested in Mars-like Morocco
Robots invaded the Sahara Desert for Europe's largest rover field test, taking place in a Mars-like part of Morocco. For two weeks three rovers and more than 40 engineers performed testing of automated navigation systems at up to five different sites. This marked the end of the first phase of the strategic research cluster on space robotics technologies, a scheme funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 programme.

Microtechnics - 12.12.2018
New foldable drone flies through narrow holes in rescue missions
New foldable drone flies through narrow holes in rescue missions
A research team from the University of Zurich and EPFL have developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters. Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them.

Microtechnics - 25.10.2018
Small flying robots able to pull objects up to 40 times their weight
Researchers from EPFL and Stanford have developed small drones that can land and then move objects that are 40 times their weight, with the help of powerful winches, gecko adhesives and microspines. A closed door is just one of many obstacles that no longer pose a barrier to the small flying robots developed jointly by Stanford University and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland.

Microtechnics - 26.09.2018
Robots may need lizard-like tails for 'off-road' travel
Robots may need lizard-like tails for ’off-road’ travel
Robots may one day tackle obstacles and traverse uneven terrains thanks to collaborative research analysing the motion of lizards. The study, which featured a University of Queensland researcher, used a slow motion camera to capture the nuanced movement of eight species of Australian agamid lizards that run on two legs - an action known as ‘bipedal' movement.

Microtechnics - 24.08.2018
An avatar uses your gait to predict how many calories you will burn
An avatar uses your gait to predict how many calories you will burn
New avatar-based software developed at EPFL looks at how people walk in order to predict their energy expenditure. The software, originally intended for roboticists and for researchers who develop prosthetics and exoskeletons, could have many uses in both medicine and sports. It can be tested online through a downloadable app.

Computer Science / Telecom - Microtechnics - 22.08.2018
Kids connect with robot reading partners
THIS NEWS IS EMBARGOED BY THE JOURNAL SCIENCE ROBOTICS UNTIL 1 P.M. CDT ON AUG. 22, 2018 × Kids learn better with a friend. They're more enthusiastic and understand more if they dig into a subject with a companion. But what if that companion is artificial? Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have built a robot, named Minnie, to serve as a reading buddy to middle school kids, and Minnie's new friends grew more excited about books and more attached to the robot over two weeks of reading together.

Computer Science / Telecom - Microtechnics - 08.08.2018
’Sheepdog robot’ herds birds away from flight paths
Scientists have equipped a drone with a new algorithm to herd birds without human input, saving aeroplanes and birds alike. The technology, developed by CalTech , Imperial College London, and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), allows a single drone to herd an entire flock of birds away from the airspace of an airport, without harming individual birds or the flock's formation.

Microtechnics - 25.07.2018
An insect-inspired drone deforms upon impact
An origami-like drone developed at EPFL is flexible enough to absorb shocks without breaking before returning to its initial shape. This new type of drone, which was inspired by insect wings, draws on the advantages of both stiff and flexible structures. In recent years, robotics experts have taken a page from the traditional Japanese practice of origami and come up with light and flexible - and highly innovative - robots and drones.

Microtechnics - Physics - 18.06.2018
Diamond watch components
Diamond watch components
Researchers have developed a new technique for carving materials to create micromechanical systems. In particular, they have created a miniscule watch component out of synthetic single-crystal diamond. Diamond is very hard and elastic, a very good thermal conductor and highly transparent, which makes it ideal for many mechanical and optical applications.

Microtechnics - Computer Science / Telecom - 23.01.2018
Drones learn to navigate autonomously by imitating cars and bicycles
Drones learn to navigate autonomously by imitating cars and bicycles
All today's commercial drones use GPS, which works fine above building roofs and in high altitudes. But what, when the drones have to navigate autonomously at low altitude among tall buildings or in the dense, unstructured city streets with cars, cyclists or pedestrians suddenly crossing their way?

Life Sciences - Microtechnics - 08.11.2017
A robotic spy among the fish
A new miniature robot developed by EPFL researchers can swim with fish, learn how they communicate with each other and make them change direction or come together. These capabilities have been proven on schools of zebrafish. Researchers at EPFL's Robotic Systems Laboratory (LSRO), which is headed by Professor Francesco Mondada, have developed a miniature robot that can integrate perfectly into schools of zebrafish.

Microtechnics - Innovation / Technology - 12.09.2017
A drone for last-centimeter delivery
A drone for last-centimeter delivery
A new drone developed at EPFL uses cutting-edge technology to deliver parcels weighing up to 500 grams.

Microtechnics - 30.08.2017
New soft robots really suck
EPFL scientists have created the first functional robot powered entirely by vacuum: made up of soft building blocks, it moves by having air sucked out of them.

Microtechnics - Computer Science / Telecom - 07.08.2017
Spectacular images thanks to an efficient algorithm
Spectacular images thanks to an efficient algorithm
Filming of spectacular action scenes is expensive and the creative possibilities are often limited. An ETH doctoral student has developed an algorithm that allows drones to implement the desired picture compositions independently.

Materials Science - Microtechnics - 10.07.2017
Magic off the cuff
Magic off the cuff
Moving things with a wave of the hand: thanks to Empa technology this dream could soon become real. A sensor made of piezo-resistive fibers integrated in a wristband measures wrist movements and converts them into electrical signals.