Mechanical Bird uses its own wings to fly

by Mark R

I remember seeing pictures from DaVinci’s manuscripts of flying machines. Many of them were ornithopters, flying machines that use the flapping power that birds use to defy gravity. I remember even reading a short story once called “DaVinci Rising” that depicts the Renaissance great actually succeeding in his accomplishment. Festo’s SmartBird is able to replicate the process, and has created a gigantic herring gull that can take off by flapping …

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Cyberdyne’s HAL-5 Exoskeleton, that’s right, Cyberdyne

by Mark R

While I was at CES last January, I passed a booth for Cyberdyne. I saw that and wondered: “don’t they know that this is the organization that ended the world in the Terminator movies?” Just to let you know, this company isn’t making Skynet, but it is making some serious exoskeletons that you see here known as the HAL-5. Cyberdyne isn’t stealing from another science fiction film with the name …

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Check out this 26 foot snakebot camera!

by Mark R

Even though I am based in the United States, I am constantly thinking about Japan after the tsunami and earthquake. A while ago, we reported on a snake-like robot known as the Omnitread that is essentially a train of treaded cars that can got through rubble. It is a design that I have seen before in the Firegard, and this model here. This particular device is a self-propelled snakebot developed …

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Equipois x-Ar makes repetitive tasks easier

by Mark R

This is the x-Ar exoskeletal arm from Equipois, and it is designed for lifting. You might think that this thing is designed to be one limb from a Power Loader like in Aliens, but it is not designed to be a strong arm to give you superhuman strength. The purpose of the x-Ar exoskeletal arm is to make repetitious tasks easier. So, if you have the job of moving things …

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Georgia Tech has taught Simon the robot to make certain we pay attention to it

by Mark R

One of the things that I have noticed about robots is that developing an actual functioning one is a lot of baby steps. I seems like someone develops a good robot arm, someone else has a robot eye, and someone else has to figure out how to make a robot do some minor thing like snap its fingers. In the case of the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech, …

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Skeletonics Exoskeleton

by Mark R

We have reported on a lot of interesting Power Loader suits before, you know, like the type that were used in Aliens. I still can’t figure out how they did that effect without computer generated effects. I believe that the reason for creating exo-suits is so that you can lift really heavy objects, but the Skeletonics exoskeleton just seems to be made so you can walk around in an exo-suit. …

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Attack of the RoboRoach

by Mark R

Do you remember when we did that report on the the Hexbug? Now some people have taken this robot bug toy and somehow grafted the technology onto an actual bug. Welcome to the age of the RoboRoach, where some circuitry can be put into an insect’s nervous system so it can be steered around the room. You can watch the video of it after the jump if you want to …

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Someone taught a Robot Seal to shoot a basketball with a 99 percent success rate

by Mark R

Say hello to Paro, the Japanese robotic seal. It is the creation of some roboticists at National Chiao-Tung University in Taiwan. Even though a robot seal would be pretty interesting, this is just a robot arm dressed up to look like a seal. For some reason, they made it so the arm/seal can shoot baskets. After all, who wouldn’t want to train a real seal to shoot a basket? I …

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