Tag Archives: robot

Researchers help robots think and plan in the abstract

New research shows how robots can autonomously construct abstract representations of their surroundings and use them to plan.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Researchers from Brown University and MIT have developed a method for helping robots plan for multi-step tasks by constructing abstract representations of the world around them. Their study, published in the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, is a step toward building robots that can think and act more like people. (more…)

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Robot Monitors Chicken Houses and Retrieves Eggs

A new mobile autonomous robot could perform daily monitoring tasks while safely interacting with chickens in commercial chicken houses, according to researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). This advance could help farmers reduce the likelihood of disease outbreaks, lessen their labor costs, and allow them the freedom to take on more important tasks. (more…)

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Fruit flies – fermented-fruit connoisseurs – are relentless party crashers

That fruit fly joining you just moments after you poured that first glass of cabernet, has just used its poppy-seed-sized brain to conduct a finely-choreographed search, one that’s been described for the first time by researchers at the University of Washington.

The search mission is another example of fruit flies executing complex behaviors with very little “computational” power, their brains having 100,000 neurons compared to house flies with 300,000 neurons and humans with 100 billion. (more…)

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Innovative soft robotics technology spawns new products

The robot gripper invented by researchers at the University of Chicago and Cornell University is now available commercially. Empire Robotics, the company founded to commercialize the invention, is taking orders for the limited first release of its product called VERSABALL, scheduled to ship later this month.

“When we first started with the universal jamming gripper we did not think about industrial applications,” said Heinrich Jaeger, the William J. Friedman and Alica Townsend Professor in Physics at the University of Chicago. “But soon there were inquiries from various companies and in those early days we had to tell them that we are in basic research rather than R&D and that therefore we could not really make robotic grippers for sale.” (more…)

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CU-Boulder Team Develops Swarm of Pingpong Ball-Sized Robots

University of Colorado Boulder Assistant Professor Nikolaus Correll likes to think in multiples. If one robot can accomplish a singular task, think how much more could be accomplished if you had hundreds of them.

Correll and his computer science research team, including research associate Dustin Reishus and professional research assistant Nick Farrow, have developed a basic robotic building block, which he hopes to reproduce in large quantities to develop increasingly complex systems.

Recently the team created a swarm of 20 robots, each the size of a pingpong ball, which they call “droplets.” When the droplets swarm together, Correll said, they form a “liquid that thinks.” (more…)

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Driver’s ed for Robots

UD joins research team teaching robots to respond in disaster emergencies

How do you teach a robot to get into vehicle and drive it? Three University of Delaware professors plan to figure it out by the end of next year.

Christopher Rasmussen, Ioannis Poulakakis and Herbert Tanner are part of a team competing in a new U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Challenge. The team, with members from 10 schools, led by Drexel University, is one of several groups worldwide working to advance robotics technology for disaster relief. (more…)

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Training Your Robot the PaR-PaR Way

Berkeley Lab and JBEI Researchers Develop a Biology-Friendly Robot Programming Language

Teaching a robot a new trick is a challenge. You can’t reward it with treats and it doesn’t respond to approval or disappointment in your voice. For researchers in the biological sciences, however, the future training of robots has been made much easier thanks to a new program called “PaR-PaR.”

Nathan Hillson, a biochemist at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), led the development of PaR-PaR, which stands for Programming a Robot. PaR-PaR is a simple high-level, biology-friendly, robot-programming language that allows researchers to make better use of liquid-handling robots and thereby make possible experiments that otherwise might not have been considered. (more…)

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Robots Fighting Wars Could Be Blamed For Mistakes on The Battlefield

As militaries develop autonomous robotic warriors to replace humans on the battlefield, new ethical questions emerge. If a robot in combat has a hardware malfunction or programming glitch that causes it to kill civilians, do we blame the robot, or the humans who created and deployed it?

Some argue that robots do not have free will and therefore cannot be held morally accountable for their actions. But psychologists at the University of Washington are finding that people don’t have such a clear-cut view of humanoid robots. (more…)

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