I started the third in series of singularity blogs, Robosingularity. The focus, as you may guess, is advances in robotics.In similar vein to to this blog and nanosingularity I will be posting articles on recent advances related to robotics and artificial intelligence. The site will also feature many cool videos that showcase the amazing abilities of ever advancing robots and cyborgs. Enjoy 🙂
Some 40 years after the release of the classic science fiction movie Fantastic Voyage, researchers in the NanoRobotics Laboratory of École Polytechnique de Montréal’s Department of Computer Engineering and Institute of Biomedical Engineering have achieved a major technological breakthrough in the field of medical robotics. They have succeeded for the first time in guiding, in vivo and via computer control, a microdevice inside an artery, at a speed of 10 centimetres a second.
Continue reading “Fantastic voyage: From science fiction to reality?”
A group of European researchers has developed a spinal cord model of the salamander and implemented it in a novel amphibious salamander-like robot. The robot changes its speed and gait in response to simple electrical signals, suggesting that the distributed neural system in the spinal cord holds the key to vertebrates’ complex locomotor capabilities.
A robotic exoskeleton controlled by the wearer’s own nervous system could help users regain limb function, which is encouraging news for people with partial nervous system impairment, say University of Michigan researchers.
The ankle exoskeleton developed at U-M was worn by healthy subjects to measure how the device affected ankle function. The U-M team has no plans to build a commercial exoskeleton, but their results suggest promising applications for rehabilitation and physical therapy, and a similar approach could be used by other groups who do build such technology.
Continue reading “Robotic exoskeleton replaces muscle work”
A classic science-fiction scene shows a person wearing a metal skullcap with electrodes sticking out to detect the person’s thoughts. Another sci-fi movie standard depicts robots doing humans’ bidding. Now the two are combined, and in real life: University of Washington researchers can control the movement of a humanoid robot with signals from a human brain.
Rajesh Rao, associate professor of computer science and engineering, and his students have demonstrated that an individual can “order” a robot to move to specific locations and pick up specific objects merely by generating the proper brain waves that reflect the individual’s instructions.
Continue reading “Researchers demonstrate direct brain control of humanoid robot”
University of Texas at Dallas nanotechnologists have made alcohol- and hydrogen-powered artificial muscles that are 100 times stronger than natural muscles, able to do 100 times greater work per cycle and produce, at reduced strengths, larger contractions than natural muscles. Among other possibilities, these muscles could enable fuel-powered artificial limbs, “smart skins” and morphing structures for air and marine vehicles, autonomous robots having very long mission capabilities and smart sensors that detect and self-actuate to change the environment.
A highly dexterous, bio-inspired artificial hand and sensory system that could provide patients with active feeling, is being developed by a European project.
The CYBERHAND project aims to hard wire this hand into the nervous system, allowing sensory feedback from the hand to reach the brain, and instructions to come from the brain to control the hand, at least in part. Continue reading “Bionic fiction becomes science fact”
Robots using artificial polymer “muscles” are real slowpokes, as the polymers react a hundred times slower than human muscle. But in the future, robots could run circles around humans, with synthetic muscles 1000 times faster than ours.
The possible breakthrough comes from work showing how the polymer muscles work at a fundamental level, and suggests a way of triggering them that could make the muscles less bulky and vastly quicker.
Continue reading “Robots with synthetic muscles”