Soft robots are made of silicone and use hydraulic controls to move across a surface or lift an object. Researchers at Harvard University have gotten these guys to walk around (albeit while tethered to a heavy control unit) and now they’ve gotten them to change color.
Some folks we met in Charlotte had a mission: they wanted to win a contest (sponsored by Red Bull) for the coolest Arduino project in the land. I think they may have nailed it. The project, built by engineers and designers for Edison Nation, turns an ordinary desk into a booze-infused party zone when the clock hits five (or when you slap the Swingline stapler.) → Read More
Europe in the mid to late 18th century was not as backwards as some people may believe. In fact, much of the developed world was at a point of incredible intellectual advancement. In Switzerland, for example, a man named Jaquet Droz and his team were building real, honest-to-HAL robots. They didn’t call them that back then, but these automaton androids were incredibly advanced even by today’s… → Read More
In some of the old science fiction stories I remember from Weird Tales and Ray Bradbury and the like, robots always figured. But they always came the way you might expect a new dryer or hot water heater to arrive. In a big box, packed in straw or foam, heavy and metal of course as they always were back in the day. But the world of robots is different from the way they imagined it then: the… → Read More
Seriously: this is what is going to do our fighting soon. Imagine stand-off situations with this bastard rolling through the door and then skittering across the marble floor of Oslo City Hall straight into a crowd of hostages, aiming right at the gunman. The design is based on Big Dog, our former favorite dangerous monster robot, but this guy can to 18 miles an hour, five miles faster than the… → Read More
This video is making the nerd rounds today and it’s pretty amazing. It shows a set of quadrocopters first righting themselves after a catastrophic failure and returning to a certain point (the scientists throw the little guys into the air and they turn over and fly back to their hands light frightened starlings) and then we see how these monsters can fly in formation around obstacles and through… → Read More
Do you like nature? Do you have a beard? Then you’ll love these things. Cubelets are essentially robotic building blocks. By connecting sensors, motors, and feedback devices, you can create clever little automatons that can interact with the world around them (within reason). Most important, however, is that Cubelets has decided to feature a bearded, Dutch spokes-mountain-man to sell their… → Read More
Whoa. I thought Pleo was hot but this thing is out of this world. It’s basically a little walking robot that can see, hear, and recognize you from a distance. Originally designed to help teach autistic children, the Nao is now a fully-featured and surprisingly friendly-looking robot that can walk, play catch, and talk to you. The company, Aldebaran Robotics, updated their original Nao robot… → Read More