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Nearly one billion people in rural areas live without access to all-season roads--meaning a large portion of the world's population can't get medication, food, and other supplies when they need them. The Matternet , a concept created by a group of students in this summer's class at Singularity University , aims to leapfrog road-based transportation altogether with a network of electric autonomous aerial vehicles (AAVs) in the developing world that transports supplies and people from place to place. Think of it as the Jetsons meets Mother Theresa. The Matternet concept was designed by a motley crew of entrepreneurs, engineers, hackers, and more--all of whom were challenged during Singularity University to solve a big problem related to world poverty (other groups focused on space, energy, education, security, and global health).
Robot Crash EPFL Flying robots are adept aviators, flipping through small openings, building structures and playing tennis . But what goes up must come down, and sometimes it’s not exactly as planned. A new flying robot can survive a crash, picking itself back up and taking flight again. This robot is from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology’s Laboratory for Intelligent Systems. It contains an active recovery system, which consists of four little legs that kick out to spring the robot upright.
Bot Vid: The Crashable Flying Machine Flying robots are all the rage--it seems everyone loves a good drone now. But one issue with flying robots is that at some point they must come down, and if that's due to a crash or an accidental collision you'd prefer them to get right back in the air again.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland – Swiss scientists have demonstrated how a partially paralyzed person can control a robot by thought alone, a step they hope will one day allow immobile people to interact with their surroundings through so-called avatars. Similar experiments have taken place in the United States and Germany, but they involved either able-bodied patients or invasive brain implants. On Tuesday, a team at Switzerland's Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne used only a simple head cap to record the brain signals of Mark-Andre Duc, who was at a hospital in the southern Swiss town of Sion 100 kilometers (62 miles) away. Duc's thoughts — or rather, the electrical signals emitted by his brain when he imagined lifting his paralyzed fingers — were decoded almost instantly by a laptop at the hospital. The resulting instructions — left or right — were then transmitted to a foot-tall robot scooting around the Lausanne lab.
Why buy multiple pieces of furniture, when you could have one piece of furniture that could transform itself into whatever you need at the moment--a chair, a sofa, a table? For that matter, why settle for static, inanimate furniture at all? This is the idea behind " Roombots ," miniature modular robots that are something like Legos -- except they're also autonomous, and can walk around. [A concept video the Roombots assembling into a chair. Voltron, unite!] [The working prototypes of the Roombots]
As if the Lego block itself wasn’t awesome enough, there are mammoth builds revealed on a daily basis. We have gone through all this before, and I don’t think I have to say that Lego really is the solution to everything. When it comes to creativity, it is certainly the most versatile toy ever created. I am sure we couldn’t even begin to count the number of children who started out playing with Lego only to become great architects, scientists and technology innovators when they eventually grew up. It’s a toy that will spark a lifelong love for innovation and building, and if you have ever lost yourself in the play then you know what I mean.
This is way more useful than the Lego pizza parlor I made when I was 7. (Credit: Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET) My greatest Lego triumph was the creation of a miniature monorail that required pushing the car down a little Lego track. YouTube user sumthinelse5790 (real name Max Shepherd ) has blown my childhood creation out of the water with a Lego robotic arm . Admittedly, this isn't the first Lego arm on the planet , but it does show off a high level of sophistication. Shepherd went in with the lofty goal of accurately mimicking the full range of motion of a normal human arm and hand.
In Western Switzerland, a new centre led by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) is combining research in evolutionary software with robots that mimic animals. An automated grasshopper, a gyroscope that allows a robotic cricket to balance itself before bouncing again and again, a small glider that flies and clings to walls like a flying squirrel… When Mirko Kovac is displaying his ultra-light robots in the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems (LIS) at the EPFL, it almost feels like standing in front of one of Alexander Calder’s graceful wire mobiles. Perhaps that’s because these tiny automatons, so different from the bulky and complex androids of Star Wars, take their inspiration from nature itself. The bio-inspired approach is one of the most promising avenues in robotics today, with the EPFL’s pioneering researchers leading the way.
At the age of 37, Parisian engineer Frédéric Kaplan divides his time between his laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne and his company in the centre of the same city. He has a sole objective in mind: design objects that will share their owners’ lives by combining the world of robotics with artificial intelligence. Are there any two things less alike than a book and a machine? A stone – perhaps.