Tag Archives: robotic arm

UW startup creates underwater robotics with a human touch

It should be just as easy to use a robotic arm as it is to use your own hand. That’s the thinking behind University of Washington startup BluHaptics, which is taking telerobotics — controlling robots from a distance — to a new level: underwater.

Using technology developed by Howard Chizeck’s lab in the Department of Electrical Engineering, a team of UW scientists and engineers working at the Applied Physics Laboratory is creating a control system for underwater remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs. (more…)

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International Space Station to Beam Video via Laser Back to Earth

A team of about 20 working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., through the lab’s Phaeton early-career-hire program, led the development of the Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS) investigation, which is preparing for an April 14 launch to the International Space Station aboard the SpaceX-3 mission. The goal? NASA’s first optical communication experiment on the orbital laboratory.

Scientific instruments used in space missions increasingly require higher communication rates to transmit gathered data back to Earth or to support high-data-rate applications, like high-definition video streams. Optical communications-also referred to as “lasercom”-is an emerging technology where data is sent via laser beams. This offers the promise of much higher data rates than what is achievable with current radio frequency (RF) transmissions and has the advantage that it operates in a frequency band that is currently unregulated by the Federal Communications Commission. (more…)

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Curiosity Resumes Science after Analysis of Voltage Issue

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity resumed full science operations on Saturday, Nov. 23.

Activities over the weekend included use of Curiosity’s robotic arm to deliver portions of powdered rock to a laboratory inside the rover. The powder has been stored in the arm since the rover collected it by drilling into the target rock “Cumberland” six months ago. Several portions of the powder have already been analyzed. The laboratory has flexibility for examining duplicate samples in different ways. (more…)

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Easy Guider: Intuitive Visual Control Provides Faster Remote Operation of Robots

Using a novel method of integrating video technology and familiar control devices, a research team from Georgia Tech and the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is developing a technique to simplify remote control of robotic devices.

The researchers’ aim is to enhance a human operator’s ability to perform precise tasks using a multi-jointed robotic device such as an articulated mechanical arm. The new approach has been shown to be easier and faster than older methods, especially when the robot is controlled by an operator who is watching it in a video monitor. (more…)

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SBRT Can Be a Lifesaver for the Right Patients

Radiation delivered in high doses with pinpoint precision is becoming a useful tool for some patients who are otherwise running out of options.

Roy Decker, MD, PhD, keeps a photograph in his desk drawer of a woman in her 80s with the horse she still loves to ride. It’s a testament to life after lung cancer.

In 2008, doctors told the woman she was not a candidate for surgery and there was nothing else they could do. Then she found her way to Yale and became one of the first patients here to be treated with stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), which delivers high doses of radiation with pinpoint precision. Just a few treatments wiped away her disease. (more…)

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Color View from Orbit Shows Mars Rover Beside Crater

NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has nearly completed its three-month examination of a crater informally named “Santa Maria,” but before the rover resumes its overland trek, an orbiting camera has provided a color image of Opportunity beside Santa Maria.

The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter acquired the image on March 1, while Opportunity was extending its robotic arm to take close-up photos of a rock called “Ruiz Garcia.” From orbit, the tracks Opportunity made as it approached the crater from the west are clearly visible. Santa Maria crater is about 90 meters (295 feet) in diameter. (more…)

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