tech e blog

DARPA Robotic Suspension System

DARPA's new advanced suspension system adapts to rough terrain and lets robots easily glide over obstacles without trouble. It's based on a modified iRobot 510 PackBot, and is durable enough to withstand rocks being thrown directly at its treads. Currently, it's being used for such tasks as bomb disposal and surveillance. Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including one of Stephen Hawking taking on Paul Rudd in a match of quantum chess.

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Rubik's Cube Solving Robot

Rubik's Cube-solving robots are nothing new, but friends Jay Flatland and Paul Rose managed to build one you won't believe is real. Though the setup may look complex, it's only comprised of several webcams, 3D-printed frames and Arduino stepper motors. The custom software takes the image input from the cameras and converts it into a 'unrolled' that the solver can comprehend. After a few blazing runs, they managed to get the times down to 1.047s and an unreal 1.019s. Continue reading for more.

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SWAT-Bot


SWAT-Bot by Howe and Howe Tech is the world's first mid-sized robot designed exclusively for SWAT/SERT applications, and serves as a robotic ballistic shield, door breacher and /or vehicle/debris remover in dangerous situations. Also known as the Robotic Ballistic Shield (RBS1), this machine utilizes the RS1 base platform, a collapsible ballistics shield, and a hardened AR400 steel nose shield to protect those in the line of fire. Practical applications include: providing the operator and team adequate cover from hailing gunfire and explosive scenarios while approaching a hostile environment. Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including one showing Tesla's new auto-park function.

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Wall-Climbing Robot

H/T: Disney Research

There are remote-controlled cars, and then VertiGo, a wall-climbing robot capable of transitioning from the ground to wall modes in seconds. This amazing bot was created in collaboration between Disney Research Zurich and ETH. It sports two tilting propellers that provide thrust onto the wall, and four wheels. One pair of wheels is steerable, and each propeller has two degrees of freedom for adjusting the direction of thrust. The robot is able to traverse over indentations such as masonry, thanks to the propellers providing thrust. "The choice of two propellers rather than one enables a floor-to-wall transition - thrust is applied both towards the wall using the rear propeller, and in an upward direction using the front propeller, resulting in a flip onto the wall," said the team. Click here to view the first image in this week's geek life gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of a modern Empire Strikes Back trailer that will want to make you watch it again.

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Thomas the Train Robot

H/T: Laughing Squid

Y Nakajima, a sculptor from Japan, has transformed Thomas the Tank Engine into a creepy post-apocalyptic hexapod robot, complete with a frickin' working laser canon. Not just for looks, this nightmare fuel creation is capable of popping a balloon, lighting matches, or just scaring away intruders. One thing's for sure, you don't want to leave this alone with your kids, or else Thomas may wreak serious havoc. Click here to view the first image in this week's funny work pictures gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of a daredevil skiing through an impossibly narrow mountain gap, captured with an action cam.

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Crabster CR200

Created by the Korean Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST), the Crabster CR200 robot is designed to inspect seabeds, pipelines and shipwrecks. Instead of propellers, this underwater submarine robot comes equipped with six legs for easy maneuverability around obstacles - the front two legs can be fitted with manipulators for grasping objects. Continue reading for two more videos and additional information. Click here for more pictures.

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Portal Wheatley

Photo credit: The Prop Solve

For those who don't follow the games, Wheatley is basically artificial intelligence from the Portal franchise - first introduced in Portal 2. He's voiced by British comedian Stephen Merchant, and created in part by Portal 2‍ '​s designer Erik Wolpaw. To date, he has appeared in Portal 2, Team Fortress 2, the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards and Lego Dimensions. Initially serving as a comedic foil to the player-character Chell during the first half of Portal 2, Wheatley becomes the main antagonist of the second half. Modder Evie Bee decided to make a real-life version. Continue reading for two more Whatley videos.

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4-Wheel Learning Robot

We have seen the future of 4WD robots (possibly vehicles), and it can move in all directions without even turnings its wheels. This particular machine is called the "4WD 100mm Mecanum Wheel Learning Arduino Kit C009". This Arduino-powered robotics car can be made to move in any direction and turn by varying the direction and speed of each wheel. By moving all four wheels in the same direction, it causes forward / backward motion, running left / right sides in opposite directions for rotation, and running front / rear in opposite directions results in sideways movement. The platform's rear wheels are mounted in a special way, so that the suspension structure ensures that all four wheels can adhere to the ground, even on uneven terrain. Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including the first Captain America Civil War trailer.

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Electronic Skin

Photo credit: Mail Online

Researchers at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, led by Professor Jonghwa Park, have developed electronic skin that can detect changes in both temperature and pressure, thanks to composites made of a polymer as well as reduced graphene oxide. That's right, this two-play (top for pressure and bottom biochemical signals) electronic skin can detect sensory changes created by water droplets falling at different pressures and temperatures. The artificial skin could detect a tiny amount of pressure created by a human hair, making it perfect for future caregiver robots. It can also used to monitor pulse pressure by detecting the changes in skin temperature that occur when blood vessels dilate or constrict, when attached to a human wrist. Continue reading for another video and more information.

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Festo Bionic Kangaroo

BionicKangaroo is essentially a robotic model developed and made by Festo in the form of a real-life kangaroo. Applying methods from kinematics, bionics, and biomimetics, the company's researchers and engineers studied the way kangaroos move, and applied that to the design of a robot that moves in a similar way. The robot actually saves energy from each jump and applies it to its next jump, much as a real kangaroo does. Continue reading for two videos of Festo's equally impressive SmartBird.

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