Robot Box is Facebook for your Robots. Share your robots and make friends.

Robot Box is a place to share your robots and make friends.

Robot Box is a community oriented site where users share the robots they have created. Local robotics groups, user created robot showcases, and part reviews are popular features of the site. Robot Box allows you to create relationships with other users, almost like a supped’ up Facebook for your robot creations!

Robot Box Logo. Robot Box is a place to share your robots and make friends.

Robot Box is a place to share your robots and make friends.

You can almost think of RobotBox like a cross between your personal portfolio and a social network. Gather all your projects in one place, and share them with the world. It’ll be good for you, and good for other people! – RobotBox About Page

This site is pretty impressive, there are lots of things to do there. Remember that it is a new site, still being developed, so some kinks here and there are to be expected.

You can check out the Robot Box page I have created here: My Robot Box Page.

Are you looking for a Robotics Job? Get Robotics Jobs Will Help You Get Hired.

If you are looking for jobs within the robotics industry, Get Robotics Jobs is a great place to start. We’ve added them to our Robotics Blog Friends Page.

Get Robotics Jobs is a great resource for robotics professionals or hiring managers to seek or fill jobs in the robotics industry. Their listings are easy to use and don’t require you to login like other job search sites. One click allows a job hunter to quickly sort listings by country, state, and keyword. Get Robotics Jobs’ listings are up to date and plentiful. This site is an excellent tool for anyone looking for employment in the field of robotics.

We recommend taking a look at getroboticsjobs.com if you are trying to find a job in robotics.

Rat Brain Controls Small Cyborg Robot! With Video!

This small robot is controlled entirely by lab grown rat brain cells. The team grows neurons on an electrode array, which via wireless (bluetooth) communication receives signals from the robot’s ultrasonic sensors. The rat neurons then process that information and send a signal back to control the robot’s movement.

When the neurons that connect together both sides of the electrodes first receive signals from the robot’s ultrasonic sensors, they do not always respond well. With time and ‘practice’, the neurons begin to form stronger pathways. These stronger pathways result in the robot learning to avoid walls. According to the video each brain lasts a few months and is unique. Some brains are better than others or behave differently. Fascinating!

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Neurons and dendrites interconnect in the brain.

Neurons and dendrites interconnect in the brain. Image: Journal of Cell Biology, CC:NC-SA

The next step is to increase the amount of neurons in the brain from roughly 100,000 to 30 million by creating a 3D-array of cells. Further research also includes using human brain cells!

Using human brain cells brings up important ethical questions. What constitutes a person? If a ‘human’ brain can be created in the lab using genetically human materials, with human characteristics, thoughts, and personality, should it be its own legal person? If a future ‘robot’ is exactly like a human in every way, is it not actually a human?

Kevin Warwick at University of Reading is the man behind this project. He is known for other robotics and cyborg projects, including implanting both a RFID chip and electrodes to control a robotic hand remotely!

Here is an excerpt from his website:

Kevin Warwick is Professor of Cybernetics at the University of Reading, England, where he carries out research in artificial intelligence, control, robotics and biomedical engineering. He is a Chartered Engineer (CEng.) and is a Fellow of The Institution of Engineering & Technology (FIET). He is the youngest person ever to become a Fellow of the City & Guilds of London Institute (FCGI). Source: http://www.kevinwarwick.com/

We will be keeping a close eye on his future work.

via [Spectrum]

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Robotic Deer Helps Officers Thwart Illegal Hunting!

This robotic deer helps protect wildlife and citizens from illegal hunting. The remote controlled deer has a moving head and tail. Officers bust hunters shooting from their cars shortly after the shooters are tricked by this life-like animatronic deer. Watch the video below!

Robotic Deer Helps Catch Poachers

Robotic Deer Helps Catch Poachers Image Credit: Planet Green




This is not a new problem in wildlife management. Robotic deer have been used in Indiana, Florida, Missouri, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and many other states to help stop illegal hunters. This just shows how a little application of technology can make a deer look realistic enough to fool hunters from a distance.

What are your thoughts?

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Electroadhesive Gripper Gives Robots Sticky Hands

Using electricity in a robot hand to pick up objects! This new technology is called electroadhesive gripping, and it allows robots to grip a wide array of objects and surfaces.

Traditionally, robots have had a hard time gripping objects because there are few good universal grippers. Most objects are very different from each other, with different textures, sizes, and physical properties. Using electroadhesion, grippers may be designed to pick up many more objects than previous robot grippers could.

Below is an example of electroadhesive gripping applications. The grippers are even used to give robots traction to climb up brick walls, glass windows, and a variety of other difficult surfaces!

Electroadheive Robot Gripper Picking Up Objects

Electroadheive Robot Gripper Picking Up Objects

By inducing charges on the surfaces, the electroadhesive gripper makes robotic hands “sticky”. Because this gripper uses electricity to run, it makes it more convenient for robot builders to use; there is no need for pneumatic vacuum pumps like many other universal grippers require.

Electroadhesion Illustration

Electroadhesion Illustration, How the gripper works. Source: SRI.com

As the name implies, electroadhesion is an electrically controllable adhesion technology. It involves inducing electrostatic charges on a wall substrate using a power supply connected to compliant pads situated on the moving robot. SRI has demonstrated robust clamping to common building materials including glass, wood, metal, concrete, etc. with clamping pressures in the range of 0.5 to 1.5 N per square cm of clamp (0.8 to 2.3 pounds per square inch). The technology works on conductive and non-conductive substrates, smooth or rough materials, and through dust and debris. Unlike conventional adhesives or dry adhesives, the electroadhesion can be modulated or turned off for mobility or cleaning. The technology uses a very small amount of power (on the order of 20 microwatts/Newton weight held) and shows the ability to repeatably clamp to wall substrates that are heavily covered in dust or other debris.

 — Source: SRI International

This new technology from SRI is certainly one we will see in the next generation of robots.

Surgical Robots With Tactile Force Feedback Allow Surgeons to Feel Their Cuts.

A surgical robot made by Linda van den Bedem has tactile “force feedback” which allows surgeons to feel their cuts and sutures.

This technology was developed so that surgeons would know how much resistance and back pressure tissue was giving. The robot, named Sofie, is smaller and more compact than other surgical robots like the Da Vinci Surgical Robot.

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Sofie the surgical robot

Sofie the surgical robot is smaller and more compact that other surgical robots, and now has force feedback. (Photo Credit: Bart van Overbeeke)

Sofie is not currently on the market, and it may be another five years until she is.

This is one more advancement in the important field of robotic medicine. While the concept is not new, force feedback is an important step in bringing on mainstream usage of surgical robots. Sofie’s small size further facilitates adoption of such robotic surgery technology.

What are your thoughts?
[Source]

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Google Car Drives by Itself In the City, humanless for 1000 Miles.

Google’s autonomous car, which is a highly modified Toyota Prius, has logged over 1000 miles of humanless driving!

Several DARPA challenges, in the desert, and in an urban environment, have showcased autonomous vehicles which navigate harsh and complex terrain with zero human interaction. It appears that Google’s foray into this emerging field has produced a formidable opponent to the DARPA challenge’s winning teams.

The car might be able to run autonomously most of the time, but the times it cannot… That scares me!

Apparently the only accident so far was when someone rear ended the Google car while stopped at a stoplight! Robots will end up replacing us :(.

Check out this infographic from NYT:

Google's Autonomous Toyota Prius

Google's Autonomous Toyota Prius

Segway RMP 200 Bots Used To Train Snipers as Moving Targets.

Check out this video of modified Segway bots being used to simulate human targets in a live fire sniper training exercise. The bots are programmed to react much like real humans would. After a target is hit the bots are programmed to scatter.

The Segway bots have attached to them a realistic looking upper-body and wear black hooded sweatshirts. They can even enter buildings.

CMU Biorobotics Lab Shows Off Its “Unified Snake” Robot Sidewiding, Climbing Up A Pole, and Rolling.

cmu biorobotics unified snake climbing pole

CMU Biorobotics Unified Snake Climbing

Carnegie Mellon University’s Biorobotics Lab shows off their new modular snake robot, Unified Snake. Watch as it climbs up a pole, performs rolls, and sidewinds.

cmu biorobotics unified snake sidewinding

CMU

cmu biorobotics unified snake rolling

CMU Biorobotics Unified Snake Rolling

This work considers two issues: snake robot locomotion and modular robot design. We achieve snake robot locomotion by designing gaits, which are cyclic internal motions that allow the mechanism to interact with the environment to propel itself forward. Our gaits enable snake robots to maneuver through a variety three-dimensional terrains and include swimming and climbing. The robots, themselves, are a modular chain of single degree of freedom units each powered by a low-cost, yet modified, hobby servo that we call the Super Servo. We have updated the internal electronics in the servo as well as created new mechanism designs so as to optimize efficiency and robustness.

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~biorobotics/index.html