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The Robust Robotics Group at MIT has developed an algorithm that allows a fixed wing plane to fly indoors.
AUVs usually fly outside and rely on GPS to help navigate. Using a fixed 2 meter winged plan indoors without GPS makes the challenge even harder.
Nick Roy, an associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics and head of the Robust Robotics Group states:
The reason that we switched from the helicopter to the fixed-wing vehicle is that the fixed-wing vehicle is a more complicated and interesting problem, but also that it has a much longer flight time.
In the video below, the plane has already been given a map of where it is going, but it still needs to figure where it is on the map in real time by using sensors. The next step is to get the plane to generate a map on the fly.
MIT recently received a $10 million grant from the National Science Foundation. CSAIL (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) at MIT is using the funding to develop a printable robot.
Daniel Rus, MIT professor and the project leader states:
This research envisions a whole new way of thinking about the design and manufacturing of robots, and could have a profound impact on society.
Someday you could head to a local printing store and select a robot that suits your need. Then it would be printed out and you could take it home, all within 24 hours. While this sounds great, I’m not quite sure what they are printing already. Is MIT printing just the origami legs shown here in the origami insect, or are they also printing the actual circuits?
Today one can already print out plastic items and parts if you own a Makerbot, but just imagine being able to someday print out an entire robot! Now that is exciting! Also involved in the program called An Expedition in Computing for Compiling Printable Programmable Machines are the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University.
Fall is upon us and winter is almost here. Along with that come the holidays and lots of eating and drinking. A time when most people put on an extra pound or two. Well, along comes Autom, your personal diet and eating coach robot to help out from Intuitive Automata.
Autom is a diet and weight loss coach with nothing negative to say. By having daily conversations and inputting diet and exercise information Autom helps you lose weight.
Autom is available for pre order now. The pricing is a tad confusing, but it looks like you pay $195 down as a deposit, plus a balance of $668.46 plus a monthly fee. Autom also comes with a book called Diet Companion: Simple behaviors to lose weight and gain more energy and vitality for life if ordered by 9/25, otherwise the book is $14.95
See our previous post on Autom.
Check out the entire email/press release Autom now available for pre order.
Click through for a quick clip of Autom.
The recent crisis in Japan has spurred the United States and other countries to think harder about nuclear power and safety. Nuclear facilities in the US may get a pipe inspecting robot to help them out.
Harry Asada, the director of MIT’s d’Arbeloff Laboratory for Information Systems and Technology and his colleagues are working on a way to inspect the pipes at a nuclear facility.
“We have 104 reactors in this country”, says Harry Asada. “Fifty-two of them are 30 years or older, and we need immediate solutions to assure the safe operations of these reactors.”
The round robots will have a series of valves with openings on either end. The robot can open and close the valves to use the moving water in the pipe to make it move in different directions.
The robots will eventually be able to pan and tilt the exterior camera and will transmit images in real time using laser optics.
The robots will be used for several excursions or patrols and then break down from radiation.
Traffic accidents are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Researchers at MIT are working on a system to make cars smarter and avoid crashes.
The researchers are developing an algorithm modeled on human driving behavior that would warn the driving of an accident and possibly take over control of the car.
The trick here is to avoid false positives. If a driver receives too many warnings , they may just ignore the warnings, thinking the system did not work properly.
The other problem, is that anything developed now will only effect cars in the future, so they must take into account cars that do not have this smart system built in.
This new algorithm was tested in the lab on two overlapping circular tracks with a 97% success rate. One autonomous car and one driver controlled care were used in the testing.
Here’s to one day having our cars drive themselves!