tech e blog

Pacific Rim Exoskeleton

Daniele Benedettelli has created a wearable, Pacific Rim-inspired LEGO exoskeleton that can be used to wirelessly control a smaller Cyclops MK II humanoid robot. While wearing the suit, you can command the robot to carry out various movements, such as bending their arms or waving goodbye, by simply moving. The smaller robot you see is based on a pair of LEGO Mindstorms NXTs, six motors and Bedettelli's very own custom Android smartphone app. How does the movement work? Well, the robot is connected via Bluetooth with an Arduino fitted to the back of the suit that transmits motion signals. Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos of today, including one of a person who watched too much Fast and Furious.

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MAARS Robot Tank


When a miniature tank meets an advanced weapons system and robotics, you get the MAARS (Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System). It's basically a 3-foot tall, remote-controlled ground vehicle that can assist in anything from camera surveillance disarming IEDs to keep soldiers out of harm's way. The MAARS can move at 7 mph and travel 800-1000 meters from its controller. It has a seven cameras for driving, situational awareness, and for the weapon that can operate in daytime or thermal modes. MAARS is armed with an M240B machine gun and four M203 grenade launcher tubes on a 360 degree rotating turret. It carries 450 rounds of machine gun ammo and four grenade rounds. Grenades can include sponge, buckshot, and tear gas for less-lethal purposes, and explosive and airburst for lethal purposes. Each tube is loaded individually, allowing lethal and less-lethal capabilities to be available and selected when needed. If weapons aren't needed, they can be replaced with a manipulator arm that can lift 120-pounds, which is enough strength to pick up 155mm artillery rounds. Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos of today, including a genius who solved a 7x7 Rubik's Cube in record time.

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Hotel Run by Robots

The Henn-na Hotel in Sasebo, Japan is staffed entirely by humanoid robots. In addition to looking cool, they welcome guests, carry their luggage and clean their rooms. That's right, guests are greeted by a multilingual lady humanoid or a velicoraptor dinosaur upon check-in. There are other robots designed to organize the cloakroom, lift heavy suitcases and moving them around into the appropriate place. To keep things moving, a red wheeled-porter take guests' belongings and guides them to their rooms. Continue reading for two videos and more information.

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Robo-Mate Exoskeleton

When wearing the Robo-Mate exoskeleton, users will be able to lift a 10-kilogram object as if it weighed just 1-kilogram, thanks to super-strong supports in the arms, legs and back. The eventual goal is for these suits to enable its wearers to perform complex tasks and maneuvers that require human intelligence, but the brawn of a robot - cyborgs come to mind. Continue reading for a video of the suit in-action and more information.

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3D Printed Robot

The HMS Boudicca, by Singapore toy maker Michael Sng, isn't just a static sculpture, it's a fully-functional, 3D-printed robot tank. That's right, it was painted and assembled entirely by hand, boasting a hexapodal walking motion, powered toy guns, along with a host of other electronics. Believe it or not, you can actually buy this robot for a cool $5,000. Continue reading for two videos and more information.

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Robot Kills Worker

Skynet is slowly, but surely, becoming a reality, as a rogue robot reportedly killed a technician at a Volkswagen plant in Germany. The 22-year-old man was picked up and then crushed by a robotic arm while working on the production line. It's believed to be the first death in Europe caused by an industrial robot. The robotic arm, normally used to lift machine parts, seems to have grabbed the worker and crushed him against a large metal plate. Continue reading for the news report and more information.

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Brick Laying Machine

Let's face it, even a livable tiny home with all the amenities you need to live comfortably takes at the very least weeks to build, that is unless...you're using Fastrick Robotics' latest high-tech robot. Introducing Hadrian, named after the Roman emperor who built defense walls in England. This robot can endlessly, laying up to 1,000 bricks per hour, and capable of building 150 homes in a single year. It's claimed to be the world's first fully automated bricklaying robot. Continue reading for a video showing how it works and more information.

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MIT Cheetah Robot

MIT researchers have developed the first robotic cheetah that can see and jump over hurdles autonomously as it runs. The robot plans out its path, similar to humans, to get a running jump, and as it detects an approaching obstacle, the algorithm estimates that object's height and distance. The robot then gauges the best position from which to jump, and adjusts its stride to land just short of the obstacle, before exerting enough force to push up and over. Lastly, it applies a certain amount of force to land safely, based on the obstacle's height. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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TARS Robot Interstellar

Ochre Jelly, best known for his LEGO creations, has built a real-life TARS suit. It consists of a wood frame clad in aluminum, complete with camera, LCD display, audio amplifier as well as a headset to help him navigate his surroundings while staying hidden inside. Weighing in at 40-pounds, Heath's TARS suit is human-powered and moves thanks to a couple of handles and arm rests built into the back, unlike the 200-pound puppet used in the actual Interstellar film. Continue reading for the video and more information.

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Festo Robotic Butterfly

Festo is known for their biologically-inspired flying robots, but these butterflies are definitely the most beautiful. They are all autonomous, using independently controllable wings to steer itself and fly pre-programmed routes. Ten high-speed (160fps) infrared cameras mounted in fixed positions around their flight area continuously track the butterflies to keep them from crashing into one another. There's also a pair of active infrared beacons on each butterfly that replace the round reflectors found on many indoor quadcopters. Each robot may only have a 50cm wingspan and weigh a mere 32g, but they carry two servo motors to independently actuate the wings, an IMU, accelerometer, gyro, compass, as well as two small 90-mAh lithium-polymer batteries. The wings are covered with an ultra thin elastic capacitor film and are paired with thin carbon rods for structure. Click here to view the first image in this week's funny school pictures gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of a breathtaking sun halo.

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