Palm-Sized Soft Octopus Robot Farts Its Way into Your Heart

KS TechnologyPeople creating robots that resemble nature is nothing new, but engineers at Harvard University have made something spectacular – a completely soft bodied Octobot with zero batteries or wires that uses gas (and farts) to move. 🐙

robopus

Scientists made this adorable tiny bot by pouring silicone gels of varying stiffness into an octopus mold. A 3D printer finishes the legs. At its heart is a tiny circuit board like controller which ultimately controls its movements.

Wanna hear the fun part? The Octobot moves completely on its own, powered by gas. The controller at the bot’s center shunts liquid hydrogen peroxide through platinum reaction chambers in the legs, turning the fluid fuel into gas. The gas flows through the ‘tentacles’ and inflates the compartments inside the eight limbs.

The blueprint for this soft, autonomous robot was published in the journal Nature.

Figure 1: Fully soft, autonomous robot assembly - Nature
Figure 1: Fully soft, autonomous robot assembly – Nature

All that gas has to go somewhere! The team gave the robot small orifices so the gas has a place to escape. This makes sure the Octobot doesn’t burst leaving an ugly mess.

Now, I don’t want you thinking this little soft robot is running around the lab farting its way into the history books. According to the BBC, the circuit sets up an alternating movement, inflating four limbs at a time. So it is more of a twitching movement than a walking demonstration. But still very cool!

This exciting technology could pave the way toward more effective soft robots that could be used in search and rescue, exploration and to more safely interact with the fleshy world of humans.


krystian science spaceDo you love robots? Me too! Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more epic tech stories + check out these posts:

 

Palm-Sized Soft Octopus Robot Farts Its Way into Your Heart

6 Reasons Robots are Going to Kill Us All: You’ve Been Warned

KS Technology

When I told my boyfriend I was writing a post about robots killing us all he simply said, “duh, just tell people to go watch Terminator 2.” So, if you have 2 hours to kill and want to watch some good ol’ fashioned cyborg destruction, be my guest.

I get it. The idea of a robot uprising isn’t new. But, there have been too many alarming signs recently. Robots are driving our cars, mimicking human emotion, checking us into hotels, and sleeping around.

Here are 6 reasons why robots are bound to kill us all:

1) ROBOT BULLYING IS A THING

It looks like bullying in the year 2016 just got a little more interesting. Boston Dynamics worked hard to make a human-like robot that can navigate tough terrain, recover from stumbles, and pick up boxes – just to bring in a human to knock the boxes out of its cold metal hands.

boston-dynamics

All joking aside, the hockey stick exercise you see in the clip above was done to gauge the robot’s responsiveness.

But, this isn’t the first time Boston Dynamics has made headlines for bulling one of its creations. They released a video in February 2015 of their four-legged robot named Spot – where they repeatedly kick the robot to try and throw off its balance.

2) We like to have sex with them

I think its safe to say my most popular video for IBTimes was a story about sex robots being the future of prostitution. It was even mocked by Lewis Black on The Daily Show.

I don’t know about the future of robot prostitutes, but I do know people are already having sex with them. As far as I’m concerned, that means robots now hold all the power.

3) Robots run hotels

When you enter Japan’s Henn-na Hotel you are greeted by an English speaking robotic dinosaur in a bow tie, next to a multi-lingual fembot, ready to check you in.

Other robots greet guests and serve coffee – a robot even brings your luggage to your room. They have also ditched traditional room keys for face recognition technology, making them one of the first hotels to do so.

One things the robots don’t do? Make the beds. So we have that going for us…

Henn-na Hotel Dinosaur

4) Your car wants to drive off without you

Self driving cars are a reality! According to Business Insider, companies like Mercedes, BMW, and Tesla have already released, or are soon to release, self-driving features that give the car some ability to drive itself.

Tech companies like Google have also joined the game with their Google Self-Driving Car Project.

5) Drones are now NAVY Seals

Engineers at Rutgers University have developed a drone that can swim and fly – and the Office of Naval Research wants in! According to Rutgers, the Navy has agreed to fund the development of the special air-and-water craft.

This way, in the future, robots can turn into flying and swimming death machines. Click here for video!
swimming-flying-drone

6) Robots are learning how to manipulate People

University of California San Diego researchers made a creepy robot baby named Diego-san. Their android child is designed to mimic the expressions of a one year old human child as it learns to control its body and interact with humans. NO THANK YOU.


If you love robot news, check out more popular Krystian Science posts and share with your friends! 🤖

6 Reasons Robots are Going to Kill Us All: You’ve Been Warned

Boston Dynamics’ Latest Atlas Humanoid Robot Fights Bullying and the Snow

KS TechnologyI always get a little giddy when Boston Dynamics is in the news, because it usually means I get to watch video of drunken robots. The Alphabet-owned robot company released a video this week of the latest version of Atlas – the super cool humanoid robot.

In the video you see the new and improved Atlas stomp around in the snow, complete simple chores, pick itself up off the ground, open doors, and oh yeah… get bullied by a human! 😯 Scroll down and check out the footage for yourself.

boston-dynamics-atlas-bully

The next generation Atlas is smaller than the last version, more powerful, and much more agile. In its last iteration, Atlas was tethered to an external power source. This version is battery powered, roughly 5’9″ and weighs 180 pounds. Watch it pick up boxes like a pro.

boston-dynamics

Also impressive? Atlas’ new ability to recover from a fall. Watch the robot get shoved in the back, fall to the ground, and pick itself back up. What a champ.

boston-dynamics

It looks like bullying in the year 2016 just got a little more interesting. Boston Dynamics worked hard to make a human-like robot that can navigate tough terrain, recover from stumbles, and pick up boxes – just to bring in a human to knock the boxes out of its cold metal hands.

All joking aside, the hockey stick exercise you see in the video was done to gauge the robot’s responsiveness. A quick, sudden impact like that can be really hard to recover from – but not for Atlas!

boston-dynamics

This isn’t the first time Boston Dynamics has decided to torment its creations. They released a video in February 2015 of their four-legged robot named Spot – where they repeatedly kick the robot to try and throw off its balance. You even feel bad for the little guy.

I’m just saying, don’t be surprised if this common mistreatment of robots comes back to bite us in the ass. Enjoy the new version of Atlas below. 🤖 #endrobotbullying

Video

NASA’s Newest Robot Prepares to Build Largest Composite Rocket Parts Ever Made

KS Technology

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, just received a very sophisticated tape dispenser. The latest addition to Marshall’s Composites Technology Center is one of the largest composites manufacturing robots created in America. It will help NASA build the biggest, lightweight composite parts ever made for space vehicles.

The robot’s head has 16 spools of composite fiber tape that it releases in precise patterns to make both small and large objects. As the fibers are released they are heated so that they adhere to various surfaces. The head can be changed out for different projects. Credits: NASA/MSFC/Fred Deaton
The robot’s head has 16 spools of composite fiber tape that it releases in precise patterns to make both small and large objects. As the fibers are released they are heated so that they adhere to various surfaces. The head can be changed out for different projects. Credits: NASA/MSFC/Fred Deaton

According to NASA, composites are the materials of the future for aerospace because they are lighter and cheaper than traditional materials, like metals.

“Marshall has been investing in composites for a long time,” said Preston Jones, deputy director of Marshall’s Engineering Directorate. “This addition to Marshall’s Composites Technology Center provides modern technology to develop low-cost and high-speed manufacturing processes for making large composite rocket structures. We will build and test these structures to determine if they are a good fit for space vehicles that will carry humans on exploration missions to Mars and other places.”

Lightweight composites have the potential to increase the amount of payload that can be carried by a rocket – the lighter the rocket, the more crew, food, equipment, and science instruments the rocket can ferry into space. NASA is doing research to determine whether composites can be part of their new Space Launch System and other exploration spacecraft, such as rovers and landers.

In order to make large composite structures, the robot travels down a 40-foot-long track, placing carbon fibers onto a tooling surface in precise patterns. The head at the end of its 21-foot robot arm holds up to 16 spools of carbon fibers that are as thin as human hairs! The robot will build structures larger than 26 feet (8 meters)  in diameter, which are some of the largest composite structures ever built for space.

Click the video below to see the new robotic system in action. 🚀

NASA’s Newest Robot Prepares to Build Largest Composite Rocket Parts Ever Made

NASA Wants to Build a ‘Robo-Squid’ to Search for Life on Other Planets – I Say Make a Movie!

KS Technology

NASA’s latest proposal looks like a sci-fi film in the making. The project calls for the use of a soft-robotic rover that resembles a squid -tentacles included- for missions that can’t be accomplished with conventional power systems.

The ‘robosquid’ looks like an eel with a short antenna on its back. The antenna harvests power from locally changing magnetic fields. Ideally, NASA would like to enable amphibious exploration (both land and sea) of gas-giant moons like Europa!

This artist's rendering depicts 2015 NIAC Phase I Fellow Mason Peck's soft-robotic rover for planetary environments for missions that cannot be accomplished with conventional power systems. It resembles a squid, with tentacle-like structures that serve as electrodynamic 'power scavengers' to harvest power from locally changing magnetic fields. The goal is to enable amphibious exploration of gas-giant moons like Europa. Credits: NASA/Cornell University/NSF
This artist’s rendering depicts 2015 NIAC Phase I Fellow Mason Peck’s soft-robotic rover for planetary environments for missions that cannot be accomplished with conventional power systems. It resembles a squid, with tentacle-like structures that serve as electrodynamic ‘power scavengers’ to harvest power from locally changing magnetic fields. The goal is to enable amphibious exploration of gas-giant moons like Europa. Credits: NASA/Cornell University/NSF

Side Note: If they made Sharknado they can make Robosquid. I grew up loving movies like Anaconda, Congo, and Sphere. I’m picturing the same vibe, starring Nathan Fillion, Jon Bernthal, Ludacris, and Kate Upton. Hey J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon – Think about it! 😉

Image: KrystianScience
Image: KrystianScience

NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC)

NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC)

The ‘robosquid’ is just one of 15 proposals selected by NASA for study under Phase I of the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC), a program that aims to turn science fiction into science fact through the development of pioneering technologies.

“The latest NIAC selections include a number of exciting concepts,” said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “We are working with American innovators to reimagine the future of aerospace and focus our investments on concepts to address challenges of current interests both in space and here on Earth.”

NASA hopes the knowledge gained from these proposed studies will bring it closer to its goal of exploration beyond low-Earth orbit, and missions to asteroids and Mars.

The projects are chosen through a peer-review process that evaluates their potential, technical approach and benefits that can be realized in a reasonable timeframe. All concepts are very early in the development cycle and represent multiple technology areas, including aircraft propulsion, human life support, science instruments, unique robotic concepts and exploring other diverse technology paths needed to meet NASA’s strategic goals.

NIAC Phase I awards are valued at approximately $100,000, providing awardees the funding needed to conduct a nine-month initial definition and analysis study of their concepts.

NASA Wants to Build a ‘Robo-Squid’ to Search for Life on Other Planets – I Say Make a Movie!