At age 12, he built the “Cleaning Car,” a remote-control vehicle that could mop and vacuum the floor.
When his sixth-grade science teacher mused about how nice it would be to have a device that got people to hush or clap on cue, he arrived at school the next day with a homemade quiet/applause sign with lights . . . Read Complete Report
[IROS 2012] AR Drone Helps Swarm of Self-Assembling Robots to Overcome Obstacles
POSTED BY: EVAN ACKERMAN / TUE, OCTOBER 23, 2012
We’re used to thinking of robot swarms as consisting of lots and lots of similar robots working together. What we’re starting to see now, though, are swarms of heterogeneous robots, where you get different robots combining their powers to make each other more efficient and more capable. One of the first projects to really make this work was Swarmanoid, with teams of footbots and handbots and eyebots, and researchers presented a similar idea at IROS earlier this month, using an AR Drone to help a swarm of self-assembling ground robots to climb over a hill. . . . Read Complete Report
[IROS 2012] Robotic Airplane, Boat, and Submarine Team Up to Monitor Coral Reefs
POSTED BY: EVAN ACKERMAN / TUE, OCTOBER 09, 2012
Designing a robot that can do everything is hard. Robots work best when they’re given one specific task to perform and have been constructed with that task in mind, so if you’re trying to, say, monitor coral reefs from the air, the surface of the ocean, and under water all at once, you can either drive yourself nuts trying to come up with some sort of autonomous submersible seaplane, or you can just teach a robotic airplane, robotic boat, and robotic submarine to all work together. . . . Read Complete Report
ScienceDaily (Sep. 7, 2012) — The erstwhile planet Pluto (now officially a dwarf planet.) was known for decades as a small, dark planet — hidden, difficult to spot, and on a quiet, determined course all its own. And so, when the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) needed a target semi-submersible to detect the hidden but determined maritime smuggling operations of the South American drug cartels, it created its own vessel and called it “PLUTO,” after the planet that is so difficult to spot. S&T’s PLUTO is a small, semi-submersible that is representative of what are popularly called “narco subs,” and serves as a realistic practice target for the detection systems of DHS and its national security community partners. . . . Read Complete Report
This month, NASA engineer Eric Stackpole hiked to a spot in Trinity County, east of California’s rough Bigfoot country. Nestled at the base of a hill of loose rock, peppered by red and purple wildflowers, is Hall City Cave. For part of the winter the cave is infested with large spiders, but is mostly flooded year-round. Locals whisper the cave’s deep pools hold a cache of stolen gold, but Mr. Stackpole isn’t here to look for treasure.
He had, under his arm, what might appear to be a clunky toy blue submarine about the size of a lunchbox. The machine is the latest prototype of the OpenROV–an open-source, remotely operated vehicle that could map the cave in 3D using software from Autodesk and collect water in places too tight for a diver to go.
For now, it is exploring caves because it can only go down 100 meters. But it holds promise because it is cheap, links to a laptop, and is available to a large number of researchers for experimentation. . . . Read Complete Report