Sunday, February 27, 2011

Carnegie Mellon University & Biorobotics

Carnegie Mellon University's biorobotics lab has been working on a project involving snake-like locomotion in a robot.  I'm linking a video of it rolling itself up the base of a small tree below.  As you can see, it's demo is still tethered for power which is one issue that will take some work to resolve.  Could be an interesting strategy for movement through difficult terrain in military applications, and definitely for surveying and searching for survivors in wreckage caused by natural disasters.  Having robots like this (search robots are already being used for natural disaster survivor searches) raising questions on what is and isn't possible currently is what will drive the industry forward.  CMU is awesome, if I can't afford RPI this fall I'm definitely applying there to finish my undergrad, heh.  Anyway, enjoy the video and let me know what you think.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Robotic Movement Translations

Just found this video on researchers in Japan working on programming synchronization between video recognition of human arm/hand movements and a computer model of a robotic hand/arm setup.  This is really interesting to me not because of the nice movement of the robotic arm, but of the possibilities (as they mention in the video) of adapting the program model to manipulation of displayed data environments on a computer in 3-d. Might seem crazy, but it could be a way to another step in interfacing humans and machines for faster input and manipulation of data.  What do you guys think?  Here's the video:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Boston Dynamics and Big Dog

In case you don't know about "Big Dog", several years ago the company Boston Dynamics, with funding from DARPA, developed a quadruped robot to transport loads for U.S. military troops.  The videos released from testing were very impressive, with adaptive balancing in real-time and the ability to move over complex terrain very well.  I'm interested in their LS3 robot they're developing for the marines.  It could be very cool how they'll adapt and improve on what they've already created and proven to be worthwhile engineering in the released test videos.  Here's a video of "Big Dog" in case you have no idea what I'm talking about.  Go robots!

IBM's Watson explained at RPI's EMPAC

After checking out RPI's panels at EMPAC discussing IBM's Jeopardy challenge I must say I'm impressed with what they've done.  There are videos linked at that really give some insight into how Watson works.  The videos are about an hour each (and no, they don't show any of the Jeopardy games), check them out if you're interested in what went on last week.