WASEDA University’s Rubble Walking Robot

WAREC-1WASEDA University in Tokyo Japan has unveiled a 4 legged robot called WAREC-1.

The robot is able to climb over rubble to assist in search and rescue operations.

Sporting four limbs with seven degrees of freedom each, WAREC-1 weighs 150 kg und is able to move around by creeping forward on it’s stomach.  The WAREC-1 can also walk on two legs and climb ladders.

Eventually the researchers hope to replace the hooks on it with arms so it can also perform tasks with tools.

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Helsinki Embraces Driverless Buses

street-sign-finland

Photo from SOHJOA.

In Finland a driver is not legally required in a vehicle.  This fact has helped pave the way for a project in Helsinki called Sohjoa.  The goal of this project is to reduce private cars in Helsinki  and their emissions.

To accomplish part of the goal, Helsinki is testing driverless buses.  The buses are “taught” a particular route by having someone drive them on the route they need to go on.

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Kobi, Your Grass, Leaf and Snow Robot

Kobi

(Photo/The Kobi Company)

The Kobi Company has introduced Kobi, your all purpose yard care robot. Kobi comes with three attachments for grass, leaves and snow.

Fully autonomous and controlled by your cell phone, Kobi also come with a docking station where it recharges all by itself.

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Soft Robots Mimic Human Muscles

researchers_and_robotsThree researchers at EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Luasanne) are working on soft robots.

Soft robots have a wide range of applications such as gripping, locomotion on uneven terrain, biomedical rehabilitation and more.

Soft pneumatic actuators are a great choice for soft robots because there are easy to make and don’t cost a lot.

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Is Farming Ready for Robots?

Robot TractorStarting in 2009 we started seeing hints of robotic farming equipment.  Arduino forum user Lance posted about his automating a combine harvester.

Lance was able to get the harvester to stay within 3 inches of the desired path which is very good for homemade gear relying on GPS.

Now we are seeing several companies unveiling tractor concepts that don’t involve someone driving them.  Case IH and New Holland have both unveiled robotic concepts.

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