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Spiders are very agile, and some can even jump. They owe this capability to their hydraulically operated limbs. Researchers have now designed a mobile robot modeled on the same principle that moves spider legs. Created using a 3-D printing process, this lightweight can explore terrain that is beyond human reach.
Using an elastic drive bellows, the eight legs are pneumatically controlled. The robot is light , quick to produce and not costly thanks to a 3D printing method. The spider robot is so cheap that Fraunhofer envisions throwing it away after being only used once. Anyone want a cheap 3D printable robotic spider army?
The robot will be shown at the upcoming Euromold trade show in Frankfurt Germany from November 29 – December 12.
We previously posted about this project in 2007 in a post called Eye-bot, and boy has a lot happened since then.
Swarmanoid is a research collaboration between various European agencies like the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems (LIS) and is funded by the European Commission.
The latest Swarmanoid video just won an award from the AAAI 2011 Video Competition. Check after the break for the video.
The Swarmanoid project continues to expand on the work of the Swarm-bots project. The Eye-bot, the Foot-bot and the Hand-bot all work together to comprise the elements of the Swarmanoid project.
The Foot-bot is the basic wheeled foot soldier in this operation. They can dock with each other and dock with as well as carry the Hand-bot.
The Eye-bot is a quadrotor capable of sticking to the ceiling and is the eyes of the project.
The Hand-bot can dock with the Foot-bot, use it’s two grippers to climb and also has a rope laucher that can attach to the ceiling.
All three different robots can communicate with each other and work in harmony to retrieve a book from a book shelf. Quite amazing work here.
Wave Glider is a self sufficient robot that can be used to monitor the ocean. Made by Liquid Robotics, the robot has 2 main parts. One part floats on the surface of the ocean and the second part is attached and floats underwater. The floating part is Float: 208 cm x 60 cm while the glider part is 40 cm x 191 cm with a wingspan of 191 cm.
Recently Liquid Robotics raised it’s first round of funding, getting a $22 million investment, partially from VantagePoint Capital Partners.
The Wave Glider uses a combination of solar panels and wave motion to move forward. The robot uses no fuel, but has made long voyages over 2,500 miles. The robot can also transmit real time signals via satellite ans is capable of carrying various payloads and sensors. Waypoints can be programmed as a course for the robot to follow and it’s progress can be monitored online.
Watch the Wave Glider in action after the break.
Students and a professor from the University of Waterloo in Canada have developed a robot that does one thing, shoot hockey pucks with a stick. The idea behind this is to study how the stick bends and build a better hockey stick that doesn’t break. The real problem is hockey sticks are made of a composite material that breaks and can cost up to $250 and $300 CDN each.
The increased amount of hockey stick breakage over the past few years have been observed in almost every league and every part of the world that plays hockey. From the University of North Dakota players who mention they break “24-36 sticks a year” to NHL players mentioning that every hockey company’s sticks are breaking, the problem is becoming increasingly important. For competitive leagues, the real problem lies in the fact that composite sticks break unexpectedly and sometimes during scoring opportunities, whereas wooden sticks failed little by little, and players could normally switch sticks in time.
They have even formed a new company called Hockey Robotics. The robot called Slapshot XT has many degrees of freedom and grips the stick in two places to replicate a players hands. It is able to replicate a slapshot at over 110 MPH and quickly be ready for another shot.
And now back to your regularly scheduled Stanley Cup playoffs. Go Bruins!
One last thing, see the movie Slaphot with Paul Newman if you haven’t already.
Click through for a video of Slaphot XT in action.
Link via (Globe and Mail)
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See the project poster here (pdf).
The airship was designed for aerial photography, advertising and to have a flight time of 30 minutes with a payload of up to 500g .