Robotics, Automation & Control

Will "print-and-go" structures lead to printable robots?

As seen in this week's Tech Briefs TV video, MIT researchers envision many possibilities for devices that self-fold without external stimuli.

Do you?

Will "print-and-go" structures lead to printable robots?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Robotics
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Robotic Rubber ‘Skin’ Senses Temperatures. What’s Next?

A rubber “skin” developed at the University of Houston allows a robotic hand to sense the difference between hot and cold temperatures. The semiconductor material supports new applications in stretchable electronics, including medical implants, health monitors, and human-machine interfaces.

Posted in: News, Materials, Automation, Robotics, Semiconductors & ICs
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Self-Folding Electronics Could Enable Advanced Robotics

MIT researchers have developed a way to print flat electronics that can fold themselves into a desired shape. The researchers say the development could have applications in robotics and human-machine interfaces.

Posted in: INSIDER, Electronics, Motion Control, Robotics
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Off-Highway Vehicles: Taking Torque Measurement from the Lab to the Production Floor and Out into the Field

As the demand for higher performance from off-highway vehicles grows, the industry will see breakthroughs in the advancement of telemetry torque technology. By allowing for the economical transmission of highly accurate and reliable rotating torque measurement data, these advances make it possible to move beyond the controlled environments of the lab or field testing and into production-level vehicles themselves allowing the industry to take a big step forward in the quest for lower emissions, fuel savings, and vehicle stability control.

Posted in: White Papers, Automotive, Defense, Automation
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Will origami-inspired crawler robots support pipe inspection?

This week’s lead story featured an origami-inspired robot. Assistant professor Aimy Wissa sees possible pipe inspection applications for the crawler.

"Pipes have different kinds of diameters, and you want something that can fit in there with ease," Wissa said in our Tech Briefs Q&A.

What do you think? Will origami-inspired crawler robots support pipe inspection?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Robotics
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3D Printing Buyers Guide

3D printing has become a powerful force in today’s manufacturing industry from prototyping to end-use production. Many businesses struggle to find the right additive manufacturing solutions that suit their needs and provide return on investment (ROI). Selecting the right platform to prevent manufacturing roadblocks is vital to optimizing your manufacturing line productivity.

Posted in: White Papers, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials, Automation, Robotics
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Learning to Crawl: Origami Robot Moves Like an Earthworm

A new mechanical innovation unfolded this month at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a team of engineers built a new kind of crawler robot. The wheel-less design takes inspiration from two unconventional sources: origami and the earthworm.

Posted in: News, Materials, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Robotics
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Robotic Gripper Cleans Up Space Debris

Currently there are about 500,000 pieces of human-made debris in space, orbiting our planet at speeds up to 17,500 miles per hour. This debris poses a threat to satellites, space vehicles, and astronauts aboard those vehicles. However, cleaning up the debris is problematic. For example, suction cups don’t work in a vacuum, and traditional sticky substances like tape are largely useless because the chemicals they rely on can’t withstand extreme temperature swings.

Posted in: INSIDER, Motion Control, Robotics
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Wireless Magnetic Field Powers Folding Robots

A team of researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) at Harvard University has created battery-free folding robots that are capable of complex, repeatable movements powered and controlled through a wireless magnetic field. The system requires only basic, passive electronic components on the robot to deliver an electric current, and the structure of the robot itself takes care of the rest.

Posted in: INSIDER, Motion Control, Robotics
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Sound-Off: How Do Collaborative Robots Spot Human Operators?

In a “speed and separation” manufacturing scenario, a safe distance must be maintained between a collaborative robot and a human operator. When the gap reaches below a specific threshold, the cobot then initiates a monitored stop. But how does the robot “see” the human?

Posted in: News, Automation, Robotics
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