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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 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.

Materials Science - Microtechnics - 19.08.2020
Biomorphic batteries could provide 72x more energy for robots
Like biological fat reserves store energy in animals, a new rechargeable zinc battery integrates into the structure of a robot to provide much more energy, a team led by the University of Michigan has shown. This approach to increasing capacity will be particularly important as robots shrink to the microscale and below-scales at which current stand-alone batteries are too big and inefficient.

Microtechnics - Computer Science - 14.08.2020
Sounds of Action: Using Ears, Not Just Eyes, Improves Robot Perception
Carnegie Mellon builds dataset capturing interaction of sound, action, vision People rarely use just one sense to understand the world, but robots usually only rely on vision and, increasingly, touch. Carnegie Mellon University researchers find that robot perception could improve markedly by adding another sense: hearing.

Life Sciences - Microtechnics - 15.07.2020
A GoPro for beetles: Researchers create a robotic camera backpack for insects
A GoPro for beetles: Researchers create a robotic camera backpack for insects
In the movie "Ant-Man,” the title character can shrink in size and travel by soaring on the back of an insect. Now researchers at the University of Washington have developed a tiny wireless steerable camera that can also ride aboard an insect, giving everyone a chance to see an Ant-Man view of the world.

Microtechnics - Pharmacology - 14.07.2020
Robot jaws shows medicated chewing gum could be the future
Robot jaws shows medicated chewing gum could be the future
Medicated chewing gum has been recognised as a new advanced drug delivery method but currently there is no gold standard for testing drug release from chewing gum in vitro. New research has shown a chewing robot with built-in humanoid jaws could provide opportunities for pharmaceutical companies to develop medicated chewing gum.

Microtechnics - 23.06.2020
Deep Drone Acrobatics
Deep Drone Acrobatics
A navigation algorithm developed at the University of Zurich enables drones to learn challenging acrobatic maneuvers. Autonomous quadcopters can be trained using simulations to increase their speed, agility and efficiency, which benefits conventional search and rescue operations. Since the dawn of flight, pilots have used acrobatic maneuvers to test the limits of their airplanes.

Economics / Business - Microtechnics - 04.05.2020
How many jobs do robots really replace?
This is part 1 of a three-part series examining the effects of robots and automation on employment, based on new research from economist and Institute Professor Daron Acemoglu.   In many parts of the U.S., robots have been replacing workers over the last few decades. But to what extent, really? Some technologists have forecast that automation will lead to a future without work, while other observers have been more skeptical about such scenarios.

Computer Science - Microtechnics - 27.03.2020
COVID-19 Should Be Wake-Up Call for Robotics Research
Pandemic response requires "dull, dirty, dangerous" jobs suited for robots Robots could perform some of the "dull, dirty and dangerous" jobs associated with combating the COVID-19 pandemic, but that would require many new capabilities not currently being funded or developed, an editorial Robotics argues.

Microtechnics - Computer Science - 19.03.2020
This Drone Can Play Dodgeball - And Win
This Drone Can Play Dodgeball - And Win
Using a novel type of cameras, researchers from the University of Zurich have demonstrated a flying robot that can detect and avoid fast-moving objects. A step towards drones that can fly faster in harsh environments, accomplishing more in less time. Drones can do many things, but avoiding obstacles is not their strongest suit yet - especially when they move quickly.

Computer Science - Microtechnics - 16.03.2020
Allowing robots to feel
Allowing robots to feel
With the help of machine learning, ETH researchers have developed a novel yet low-cost tactile sensor. The sensor measures force distribution at high resolution and with great accuracy, enabling robot arms to grasp sensitive or fragile objects. We humans have no problem picking up fragile or slippery objects with our hands.

Computer Science - Microtechnics - 09.03.2020
Robots that admit mistakes foster better conversation in humans
Three people and a robot form a team playing a game. The robot makes a mistake, costing the team a round. Like any good teammate, it acknowledges the error. " Sorry, guys, I made the mistake this round," it says. "I know it may be hard to believe, but robots make mistakes too." This scenario occurred multiple times during a Yale-led study of robots' effects on human-to-human interactions.

Computer Science - Microtechnics - 05.03.2020
Showing robots how to do your chores
Showing robots how to do your chores
By observing humans, robots learn to perform complex tasks, such as setting a table. Roboticists are developing automated robots that can learn new tasks solely by observing humans. At home, you might someday show a domestic robot how to do routine chores. In the workplace, you could train robots like new employees, showing them how to perform many duties.

Computer Science - Microtechnics - 12.02.2020
"Sensorized" skin helps soft robots find their bearings
Flexible sensors and an artificial intelligence model tell deformable robots how their bodies are positioned in a 3D environment. For the first time, MIT researchers have enabled a soft robotic arm to understand its configuration in 3D space, by leveraging only motion and position data from its own "sensorized" skin.

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.
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