from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Robot research has made some remarkable advances over the years, but we don’t quite have Star Wars servant droids or helpful general-purpose household bots from the Jetsons yet. While we’ve gained some autonomous vacuum cleaners, there’s still plenty of room for improvement. Here are just a few robotic advances to be aware of before droids try to conquer their wetware creators.
- DARPA’s robotics programs have been developing cool and useful robots for decades, and one of its latest demonstrations is a set of robotic hands (and arms) that can change a tire (almost). This bot won’t be replacing F1 pit crews any time soon, since it hasn’t quite mastered putting the tire back on (and it’s painfully slow), but it shows that robot hands are almost ready to do some everyday tasks without human supervision. [url]
- Mechanical computers aren’t too common nowadays, but they could make a comeback in artificial muscles. Robot muscles that can respond reflexively to stimuli might lead to better robots that can navigate dynamic environments. [url]
- Boston Dynamics’ BigDog robot is almost creepy in how it moves like an animal — hitting that Uncanny Valley of robotic movement. Recently, BigDog has been given a head/neck appendage that can hold and throw heavy things, adding to its Frankenstein-look of a cobbled together collection of robot body parts. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.