Aerial Additive Manufacturing (Aerial-AM): Flying 3D Printing Drones Inspired by Bees and WaspsDon’t fret! This swarm is just here to build some structures.Experts from the Imperial College of London have developed a new kind of drone that can actually print 3D materials while flying in mid-air. The flying robots were created with the collective building methods of bees and wasps in mind. These drones make up a system called Aerial Additive Manufacturing (Aerial-AM), where all of them work together to create something. There are two different kinds of robots in the said system.The first is called BuilDrones and is in charge of depositing materials during their flight. The second kind is called ScanDrones which measures the BuilDrones’ output and directs them to what they would do next. The researchers, led by professor Mirko Kovac of the college’s Department of Aeronautics, believe that the Aerial-AM’s in-flight 3D printing capabilities will be of great use for the construction industry. These drones will be perfect for building in difficult-to-access areas, such as tall buildings or even locations that got devastated by natural disasters. “We’ve proved the concept that drones can work autonomously and in tandem to construct and repair buildings, at least in the lab. This scalable solution could help construction and repair in difficult-to-reach areas, like tall buildings,” professor Kovac stated. Image credit: Yusuf Furkan KAYA, Aerial Robotics Laboratory of Imperial College London#robots #drones #3DPrinting #AerialAM #ImperialCollegeLondon #construction #manufacturing #technology #robotics #aeronautics 
Pac-Man Shaped Xenobots are Lab-Made Living Robots that Can Replicate ThemselvesXenobots are these interesting entities created by scientists just a couple of years ago. Made out of stem cells from frogs and built according to AI-created blueprints, these can knit themselves into small spheres and move around lab dishes. But scientists found something even more interesting about xenobots a few months ago. As it turns out, they can self-replicate, and they do so by moving.Xenobots, according to study co-author Douglas Blackiston, find loose, "sort of like robotic parts" in their environment, and they cobble them together. The result from these cobbled parts is a new generation of xenobots. Blackiston and the other researchers called this reproduction method by movement "kinematic self-replication."​Generally, the spheroid xenobots can only create one generation before they die out. Scientists, however, helped the xenobots spawn to up to four generations through the use of an AI program that predicted the optimal shape a progenitor xenobot should have — a C-shape (or a hungry Pac-Man).Kirstin Petersen, an engineer who studies groups of robots, describes this as an "incredibly exciting breakthrough." He points out the possible use of xenobots in biomedicine and therapeutics.(Image Credit: Douglas Blackiston and Sam Kriegman)#Xenobots #Robotics #Engineering #Reproduction #Engineering #PacMan #Biomedicine #AI
AI-Powered Simulations Let Robot Cheetah Teach Itself How to Run Faster Than EverA robot developed at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has successfully broken the record for the fastest run ever recorded.The unique aspect about this android cheetah was that it wasn’t programmed to run at an incredible speed, it was tasked to figure out how to run that fast through trial and error. Usually, programming machines involve humans doing all the work. Humans typically install precise instructions on what to do and how to do it. According to Gabriel Margolis and Ge Yang, the problem with this approach is that it isn’t scalable. A huge chunk of time is needed to manually program a robot to operate in many different environments. The robot cheetah is a manifestation of experts attempting to create a robot that functions through a learn-by-experience model. Through the project, the robot was able to hit a top speed of 3.9 meters per second, or roughly 8.7 mph, when sprinting. Check out MIT’s video on the project and its results below. image credit: MIT #robotics #MIT #research #AI #reinforcementmodel #programming 
RHP Bex by Kawasaki Robotics: A Robot Ibex Mountain Goat You Can RideLive your wild fantasies of riding a mountain goat without feeling the stress of the animal having its personal space invaded by some enthusiastic human! Introducing the RHP Bex, an android mountain goat created by Kawasaki Robotics. The robot was modeled after the Ibex, a species of wild goat native to some parts of Eurasia and Africa.Bex is capable of being friendly to humans, so have fun riding this guy in the future without the fear of being rejected. In addition, the robot can withstand body weight and take human companions out on a ride. Nice. This badass machine can carry up to 220 pounds of cargo, which is perfect for not only carrying passengers on its back but for transportation of other materials. The company envisions the robot goat to be dynamic and fully modular so that it can fully adapt to finish different tasks. “The upper body of Bex is not fixed and we are thinking of adapting it according to the application,” its designers describe.Image credit: Kawasaki Robotics#robotics #KawasakiRobotics #RPHBex #mountaingoat #android #technology
Microrobot Drone Weighs less than a Penny and Can Fly Around with Bug-Like AgilityOne problem that scientists encountered when it came to creating tiny robots was the need for their soft actuators to have higher voltages than rigid actuators that were similar in size. Recently, researchers from MIT may have found a solution to this problem.Using a new fabrication technique, the researchers were able to build soft actuators that only needed 75% lower voltage while carrying 80% more payload. Using these soft actuators that act like muscles that make the robot's wings fly, the MIT researchers have created these tiny drones, each the size of an insect, with the speed and toughness comparable to a real bug.The tiny robots in question are rectangular microbots that weigh less than one-fourth a penny. These robots could prove to be useful in pollinating plants, and when searching for survivors in collapsed buildings.Image Credit: Chen et al. via MIT News#Microbots #Robot #Technology #Electronics #Robotics #drone
A'seedbot: This Real Life Wall-E is an Adorable Seed Planting RobotMeet A’seedbot, an autonomous robot that plants seeds upon finding fertile areas. The miniature robot is the graduation project of Mazyar Etehadi from the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation. Etehadi developed A’seedbot in the hopes of seeking a solution for desertification in the UAE."I just wish that there were more plants, more greenery out there," Etehadi told CNN. The real life version of Wall-E is 20 cm long. Its venture in the desert lands are powered by solar panels, designed to recharge during the day and power A’seedbot at night as it works. The robot’s 3D-printed legs are capable of traversing through sand to search for areas that have the right levels of moisture so it could plant a seed. Image credit: Global Grad Show #robotics #UAE #Aseedbot #environment 
Shape-Shifting Blackworm "Blobs" May Serve as Models for Future Robot SwarmsFound in the shallow marshes, ponds, and swarms in Europe and North America are the distant relatives of rainworms. Called the blackworms, these invertebrates feed on microorganisms and debris. But what did scientists find interesting in them that they studied these creatures? The answer to that is the effective collective movement that they do. In times of drought, hundreds of these worms would aggregate into "blobs" to protect themselves. According to scientists, these blobs could serve as a model for biological systems that are either too small or large to be observed. The study of these blobs could also be applied to develop new robotic systems and build new materials that can reorganize to repair themselves. More about this over at Frontiers Science News. (Image Credit: Harry Tuazon) #Blob #Robotics #Biology #CollectiveMovement
Robeetle: The Lightest Crawling Robot Ever Created is Powered by the Catalytic Combustion of MethanolMeet the Robeetle, the lightest crawling robot ever created!Developed by Néstor O. Pérez-Arancibia from the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering in Washington State University, the robot uses air flow and pneumatics instead of electronics to move about. In addition, it is powered by the catalytic combustion of methanol. The Robeetle weighs just 88 milligrams or the weight of three grains of rice, and is about the size of a real beetle. Despite its miniscule size, the tiny robot can climb slopes and haul objects up to 2.6 times its own weight. The world’s smallest beetle-like robot will be featured in the upcoming Guinness Book of World Records. Check the unique robot in action on the video below! Image credit: Pérez-Arancibia / Washington State University #TinyRobots #Robeetle #LightestCrawlingRobot #Robotics 
Dad Builds Exoskeleton That Enables Wheelchair-bound Son to Walk"Dad, you're a robotic engineer, why don't you make a robot that would allow us to walk?" This is what Oscar Constanza told his father, Jean-Louis Constanza, and he didn't get disappointed. This year, he is able to use one.Image Credit: REUTERS/Christian Hartmann