Boston Dynamics’ New Jumping Robot is Terrifying

KS TechnologyBoston Dynamics is at it again! Who is Boston Dynamics? Glad you asked. Boston Dynamics builds crazy advanced robots with amazing abilities. They are mobile, agile, fast, and completely mind-blowing. We’ve seen them march through rough snowy terrain, race like cheetahs, beg like dogs, and now – roll and leap over tables.

I’d like to introduce you to Handle, the new research robot that has wheels and legs. It is truly an evolutionary marvel. See for yourself:

Boston Dynamics: “Handle is a research robot that stands 6.5 ft tall, travels at 9 mph and jumps 4 feet vertically. It uses electric power to operate both electric and hydraulic actuators, with a range of about 15 miles on one battery charge.

Handle uses many of the same dynamics, balance and mobile manipulation principles found in the quadruped and biped robots we build, but with only about 10 actuated joints, it is significantly less complex. Wheels are efficient on flat surfaces while legs can go almost anywhere: by combining wheels and legs Handle can have the best of both worlds.”

These robots could be used to patrol warehouses or provide security. The options are endless (and potentially scary). Boston Dynamics is trusted by organizations worldwide, including DARPA, the US Army, Navy and Marine Corps. Even companies like Sony Corporation look to Boston Dynamics for advice and guidance when building the most sophisticated robots on the planet. DROP THE ROBOT MIC!


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Boston Dynamics’ New Jumping Robot is Terrifying

KRYSTIAN SCIENCE TV Roundup: Giant Robot Duel, New ‘Gnarly’ Dinosaur, and a Shark Photobomb

KS_LOGOs2_TVbroadcastIN CASE YOU MISSED IT!


1) AMERICA CHALLENGES JAPAN TO A GIANT ROBOT DUEL

2) NEW DINOSAUR ‘WENDICERATOPS’ ROCKS GNARLY HOOKS & HORNS

3) NASA BRINGS SPACE FLIGHTS BACK TO AMERICAN SOIL

&

4) GREAT WHITE SHARK PHOTO-BOMB

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Japan Lets Robots Run the World’s Wackiest New Hotel – There is Even a Dinosaur in a Bow Tie

KS TechnologyWhen you enter Japan’s new 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.

This innovative low-cost hotel claims to be the ultimate destination for efficiency and productivity, which makes sense given the fact that its almost entirely run by ‘state-of-the-art’ environmentally friendly smart robots.

Henn-na Hotel Dinosaur

One night at the Henn-na Hotel, which roughly translates to ‘strange hotel’ in English, starts at 9,000 yen ($80).

The hotel in Sasebo, Japan, opens to the public today. Some feel the robot staff is a bit gimmicky – but the hotel claims the theme is cutting edge and will help them save on labor costs.

A few things robots are not in charge of at the Henn-na Hotel include monitoring security footage and making the beds. 🏨

 

Japan Lets Robots Run the World’s Wackiest New Hotel – There is Even a Dinosaur in a Bow Tie

Japan Says ‘It’s ON!’ To USA’s Giant Robot Duel Challenge

KS TechnologyFirst, the U.S. beat Japan in the Women’s World Cup Final. Now, Japan and the United States have a new matchup lined up – except this time it involves giant robots.

YouTube: Suidobashi Heavy Industries
YouTube: Suidobashi Heavy Industries

American robotics company, MegaBots, challenged Japan’s Suidobashi Heavy Industries to a robot duel and we finally have the answer… it’s ON!

MegaBots Published this Message on Jun 30, 2015 – SUIDOBASHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES! MegaBots, Inc. challenges you to a duel! You have a giant robot, we have a giant robot – we have a duty to the science fiction lovers of this world to fight them to the death.

Suidobashi’s CEO and founder Kogoro Kurata said ‘I’ll fight – absolutely’ via youtube, sending the internet into a transformers-sized frenzy. Kurata is apparently not intimidated by the American machine and refuses to let a nation known for its love of robots not rise to the monster tech challenge. “We can’t let another country win this—giant robots are Japanese culture,” he said.

Both companies have yet to work out the logistics, including combat rules, official date, and location of the battle. I’ll keep you posted on Suidobashi’s KURATAS vs. MegaBots’ MARK II! Click below to see Japan’s response for yourself.

Japan Says ‘It’s ON!’ To USA’s Giant Robot Duel Challenge

Bio-Inspired Robot Given Insect Vision to Hunt Like a Dragonfly

KS TechnologyA bio-inspired robot is under development at the University of Adelaide that has insect vision. In hopes of improving robot visual systems, researchers have applied the way insects see and track their prey. Insects have this amazing ability to detect and follow small objects against complex backgrounds, which is no easy task.

UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE PH.D. STUDENT ZAHRA BAGHERI AND SUPERVISOR PROFESSOR BENJAMIN CAZZOLATO (SCHOOL OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING) WITH THE ROBOT UNDER DEVELOPMENT. CREDIT: THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE
UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE PH.D. STUDENT ZAHRA BAGHERI AND SUPERVISOR PROFESSOR BENJAMIN CAZZOLATO (SCHOOL OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING) WITH THE ROBOT UNDER DEVELOPMENT. CREDIT: THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE
In a new paper published in the Journal of The Royal Society Interface, researchers describe how the abilities of both insects and humans can be applied in a model virtual reality simulation, allowing artificial intelligence to literally ‘pursue’ an object. Lead author of the study, Mechanical Engineering PhD Student Zahra Begheri, explains the human connection.

“Consider a cricket or baseball player trying to take a match-winning catch in the outfield. They have seconds or less to spot the ball, track it and predict its path as it comes down against the brightly coloured backdrop of excited fans in the crowd – all while running or even diving towards the point where they predict it will fall… Robotics engineers still dream of providing robots with the combination of sharp eyes, quick reflexes and flexible muscles that allow a budding champion to master this skill,” she said.

Dragonflies have excellent vision, making them the key insect for this project. They have the ability to chase mates or prey in the presence of distractions, like swarms of insects. They can do this despite their low visual acuity and tiny brain. According to Bagheri, the dragonfly chases prey at speeds of up to 60 km/h, capturing them with a success rate of over 97%.

 

How do you convince a robot to view the world like a dragonfly?

A team of neuroscientists and engineers have developed a unique algorithm to emulate the visual tracking system found in flying insects. Instead of trying to center the target in the robots field of view, this “active vision” system locks on to the background and waits for the target to move against it. This keeps the background from being a big distraction and gives the robot time to adjust its gaze, rotating towards the target, keeping it front and center.

Dr Steven Wiederman, who is leading the project, is currently transferring the algorithm to a hardware platform… a bio-inspired, autonomous robot. DUH DUH DUH!

Bio-Inspired Robot Given Insect Vision to Hunt Like a Dragonfly

VIDEO: MIT’s Amazing (Slightly Creepy) Robotic Cheetah Can Now Run and Jump Over Hurdles

KS TechnologyMIT’s lifelike DARPA-funded cheetah robot has picked up a few new skills! The slightly terrifying 70 pound robotic creature can now land a running jump and gauge obstacles in its path at varying heights. The new viral footage shows the ‘cheetah’ running at 5 mph on a treadmill and on solid ground, jumping over various hurdles – some up to 18 inches tall!

Published on May 28th – In a leap for robotic development, the MIT researchers who built a robotic cheetah have now trained it to see and jump over hurdles as it runs — making this the first four-legged robot to run and jump over obstacles autonomously.

According to WIRED, MIT will hold a live demonstration of the robot’s running jump at the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals in June, and present the findings from this latest round of tests at robotics conference in July.

The video below explains the technology behind MIT’s Cheetah and the latest testing process. Click here to watch the cheetah playing outside 🙂

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Festo’s New Robotic Ants, Butterflies, and Chameleon Tongue Will Make You Do a Double Take

KS Technology

Festo has unveiled a slew of new animal-inspired robotic creatures you need to see to believe.

I’d like to introduce you to  Festo’s BionicANTs, eMotionButterflies, and FlexShapeGripper!

BionicANTs – ‘Highly integrated individual systems to solve a common task’

Festo - BionicANTs
CREDIT: FESTO

The BionicANTs not only mimic the delicate anatomy of ants, but also their cooperative behavior. BionicANTs actually work together, under a clear set of rules, to coordinate their actions and movements. They even know when to branch off and use their ‘antennae’ to re-charge at the edge of their work space.

By pushing and pulling together, the ants are able to move an object across a defined area. This way, they are able to move loads that a single ant could not move alone. This technology seems playful, but it could greatly impact factories and production lines in the future.

Why ants? Ants are tough industrious workers that can carry a hundred times their own body weight. They live in big colonies with clear rankings and set rules. Ants know which tasks they need to fulfill, and they can work together to complete them.

eMotionButterflies – ‘Ultralight flying objects with collective behavior’

Festo - eMotionButterflies
CREDIT: FESTO

These might be the most beautiful robots I’ve ever seen! You have to admit they look real. Except for the large ‘Festo’ logo printed on their wings 🙂

These artificial butterflies feature highly integrated on-board electronics, allowing them to activate their wings individually with precision. No human pilot is required to control the eMotionButterflies. Thanks to indoor GPS and a complicated camera system, the bionic insects know where to fly and how to avoid collisions.

The wings are curved out of wafer-thin carbon rods and covered with an elastic capacitor film, which helps keep the eMotionButterfly’s weight as low as possible and its flight as natural as possible.

Why butterflies? Butterflies begin the world as caterpillars and later emerge as colorful flying creatures. They have large wings and slim bodies, making them light and aerodynamic.

FlexShapeGripper – ‘Gripping modelled on a chameleon’s tongue’

Festo - FlexShapeGripper
CREDIT: FESTO

Gripping applications have always played a key role in production, which explains Festo’s interest in the chameleon’s highly specialized tongue. The chameleon has the ability to shoot its tongue out light a rubber band and wrap around objects like a suction cup.

The FlexShapeGripper’s water-filled silicone cap allows it to wrap itself around various items in a flexible and form-fitting manner, much like a chameleon!

Why a chameleon? Chameleons can more their eyes independently of each other and change the color of their skin depending on their mood and temperature. Their unique tongues help them attack and retract prey as quick as lightening

All three of these ‘biomimetic’ devices will be on display at the industry trade show Hannover Messe in April.

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