Special Coverage

NASA Supercomputer Simulations Reveal 'Noisy' Aerodynamics
Robotic Gripper Cleans Up Space Debris
Soft Robot “Walks” on Any Terrain
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Using Microwaves to Produce High-Quality Graphene
Transducer-Actuator Systems for On-Machine Measurements and Automatic Part Alignment
Wide-Area Surveillance Using HD LWIR Uncooled Sensors
Heavy Lift Wing in Ground (WIG) Cargo Flying Boat
Technique Provides Security for Multi-Robot Systems
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
NASA Tests Lasers’ Ability to Transmit Data from Space

Vacuum System Powers Modular Soft Robot

Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have created the first functional robot powered entirely by vacuum. It is made up of soft building blocks that move by having air sucked out of them. The robot can be reconfigured to perform different tasks, like climbing vertical walls and grabbing objects.

Posted in: INSIDER, Robotics
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Multi-Legged Robot Reconfigures in Real Time

Scientists at Disney Research, Pittsburgh, PA have developed a modular, reconfigurable legged robot named Snapbot that can move forward, interact with its environment, and perform other tasks based on a number of possible configurations. This system identifies its current configuration using only internal sensors and utilizes a corresponding motion strategy to complete its task. The motion strategy changes as it is physically reconfigured in real-time.

Posted in: INSIDER, Robotics
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Creating the Future: An Industrial Robot Climbs to the Top

Petrochemical and liquid gas companies require a regular inspection of a vessel's welds and wall thicknesses — a dangerous task given the hazardous environment. A climbing robot, category winner in the 2017 “Create the Future” Design Contest, is potentially up to the challenge.

Posted in: News, Robotics
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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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