MantaDroid

MantaDroidMantaDroid is an underwater Manta ray shaped robot. Developed by researchers Chew Chee Meng and Yeo Khoon Seng from the National University of Singapore (NUS) Department of Mechanical Engineering, the robot is driven by flexible pectoral fins.

The robot can swim for at 0.7m per second for up to 10 hours and could be used for underwater mapping or reconnaissance. Manta rays are considered to be very graceful and efficient swimmers.

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Artificial Muscles Lift 1,000 Times Their Own Weight

A study published this week in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) is authored by researchers from Harvard’s Wyss Institute and MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). The researchers have developed artificial muscles capable of lifting 1,000 times it’s own weight.

The artificial muscles are not expensive to create and are “programmed” by using origami techniques.  Using a combination of a skeleton, fluid medium and flexible skin, the muscles can grip, lift and even twist.

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Secret Agent Fish

RobofishResearchers at EPFL’s Robotic Systems Laboratory have developed a “secret agent” fish robot.  The idea is that the robot will mimic the behavior of the fish and join in the school to better understand the fish behavior.

Led by Professor Francesco Mondada, the group demoed the robotic fish at the Adaptive Motion of Animals and Machine (AMAM) symposium in Sapporo Japan earlier this year. See the second video below.

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Waymo

WaWaymo vanymo, a company that spun off from Google in 2016, is set to have completely driverless cars with passengers in Phoenix soon.

They are currently testing Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans with no humans at all inside on public roads in Phoenix.  If they get this right, adding a passenger via their early rider program will be easy.

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Sony’s New aibo

aiboSony is re-introducing it’s robotic dog aibo. Originally called Aibo and available from 1999 – 2006.  Starting in January of 2018 if you live in Japan, you can purchase the new aibo for 179,000 yen (about $1,739 US).

The new aibo will respond to petting and voice commands.  Aibo features a camera in it’s nose and one near the tail as well as 4 microphones for listening. With 22 axes of movement, aibo can move much more realistically. Battery life is about 2 hours and charging takes 3 hours.

Aibo is expected to grow with you and mature.  It can also learn the layout of your house.  But of course all of this comes at a cost.  Subscription cost about $27 a month and will back up aibo’s personality and allow you wi-fi connectivity.

You can pre-orer now if you live in Japan.
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