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Robots, Drones and Bots

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Drones’ Next Job: Construction Work. Robotic Micro-Scallops Can Swim Through Your Eyeballs. Designing robots on the micro or nano scale (like, small enough to fit inside your body) is all about simplicity.

Robotic Micro-Scallops Can Swim Through Your Eyeballs

There just isn’t room for complex motors or actuation systems. There’s barely room for any electronics whatsoever, not to mention batteries, which is why robots that can swim inside your bloodstream or zip around your eyeballs are often driven by magnetic fields. However, magnetic fields drag around anything and everything that happens to be magnetic, so in general, they’re best for controlling just one single microrobot robot at a time.

Results Report: Robots Created for Competitions to Help Ebola Response. Challenge competitions were recently highlighted as two potential solutions to help with the Ebola crisis responses.

Results Report: Robots Created for Competitions to Help Ebola Response

The first is a grand challenge launched Oct. 17, 2014, by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID): Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development. The goal: To help health care workers on the front lines provide better care and stop the spread of Ebola. Engage the global community to identify ingenious ideas that deliver practical and cost-effective innovations in a matter of months, not years;Forge public private partnerships necessary to test and scale these innovations and;Provide critical funding to get some of the most promising ideas into the field quickly.

The second highlights how the results from an earlier robotics challenge now has the potential to help with some of the tasks that could be considered dangerous for humans. An excerpt from the article: The problem, scientists say, is that the technology is still limited when it comes to medicine. Next Big Trend: Robots That Follow You Around.

Five Elements Robotics’ Budgee is a robotic assistant designed to follow you around and carry your stuff.

Next Big Trend: Robots That Follow You Around

Tim Moynihan Dozens of robots will descend upon the Back Bay for the RoboBusiness conference in Boston this week. A few of them may even try following you home. Within the world of robots and drones, there is a growing trend toward tailing you—with your permission in this case. It’s great for recreational use, where unmanned aerial vehicles, equipped with GoPro cameras, create mesmerizing video selfies for far less than the cost of renting a helicopter and hiring a film crew. 3D Robotics’ Iris+ drone and its DroidPlanner 2.0 software have a “Follow Me” mode for just these kinds of shots, as do models from Hexo+ and AirDog.

Follow the leader Such tech makes sense in a drone, but more and more terrestrial machines are adopting “follow the leader” functions. The use cases extend beyond entertainment. Budgee is easily folded and weighs just 20 pounds, yet it lugs up to 50 pounds of stuff. The Rise of Robotics. Robotic applications have evolved over time.

The Rise of Robotics

Historically, robots were used in manufacturing largely for repetitive tasks that require speed, strength, and moderate precision, such as material handling and processing, welding and soldering, and assembly. With their growing computing power and the development of miniature precision sensors, robots are moving from making cars to driving them. As they become more affordable and application programming becomes easier with more sophisticated user interfaces, robots are making small-batch production economically more feasible, because line changeovers are much faster. Given that product life cycles are getting shorter and just-in-time manufacturing helps minimize the need for inventory, robotic flexibility and responsiveness are important benefits. And since many of the new robots have multiple arms, they can multitask with ease—and without losing focus. Industries with complex supply chains may also benefit from robotics. Tracking the march of the robot economy.

Are the robots about to rise? Google's new director of engineering thinks so… It's hard to know where to start with Ray Kurzweil.

Are the robots about to rise? Google's new director of engineering thinks so…

With the fact that he takes 150 pills a day and is intravenously injected on a weekly basis with a dizzying list of vitamins, dietary supplements, and substances that sound about as scientifically effective as face cream: coenzyme Q10, phosphatidycholine, glutathione? With the fact that he believes that he has a good chance of living for ever? He just has to stay alive "long enough" to be around for when the great life-extending technologies kick in (he's 66 and he believes that "some of the baby-boomers will make it through"). Or with the fact that he's predicted that in 15 years' time, computers are going to trump people.

That they will be smarter than we are. But then everyone's allowed their theories. Swarms Of These Adorable Robots Can Build Massive Houses Without A Blueprint. For many humans, accomplishing major tasks in teams can be a challenge.

Swarms Of These Adorable Robots Can Build Massive Houses Without A Blueprint

Termites, though, might be some of the most ruthlessly efficient team-builders on the planet. Now, robots have learned their secrets. "You have millions of insects a centimeter long building tremendous, magnificent mounds. The largest is 42 feet long," says Justin Werfel, a research scientist at Harvard University's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. "Millions of independent agents based on what they themselves know, not having instructions based on an individual coordinator, can build these amazing structures.