If you've ever tried jogging on the beach, you'll know how hard it can be to run on soft sand. Now a robot that can scamper across the desert has helped to explain how lizards pull off the trick so effortlessly - and could provide insights that will allow better Martian rovers to be built. Just 10 centimetres long and weighing 25 grams, the six-legged DynaRoach is certainly speedy. On sand, it can cover a distance equivalent to five of its own body lengths every second, reaching a top speed of 1.8 kilometres per hour.
Meet GATSBII. He’s a sturdy fellow who weighs about 450 pounds and stands at four foot four—unless he needs to reach something and extends to five foot five. He looks just like the classic robot of your imagination: a broad, rolling base that contains two operating computers; arms with clawlike pincers; a laser scanner that hums up and down; and a row of cameras and an Xbox Kinect atop his head. (Yes, we know you shouldn’t use personal pronouns for a robot, but who can resist? Just look at him.)
Through downsizings, layoffs and economic disaster, American productivity has excelled. Until now. According to the Labor Department, productivity grew last year  at the slowest pace in nearly a quarter century, after rising sharply in 2010. USA Today suggests that the “decline in productivity could be good news for jobseekers. It could show that companies are struggling to squeeze more output from their workers and must hire to meet rising demand.”
Using piezoelectric materials, researchers have replicated the muscle motion of the human eye to control camera systems in a way designed to improve the operation of robots. This new muscle-like action could help make robotic tools safer and more effective for MRI-guided surgery and robotic rehabilitation. Key to the new control system is a piezoelectric cellular actuator that uses a novel biologically inspired technology that will allow a robot eye to move more like a real eye.
There's a group of scientists who want you to forget the big clunky robots in the science fiction movies of old. Instead, say hello to the updated model: A robot designed to help people who need help the most.
In a lab deep in the Silicon Valley, robots are being programmed to do household chores like folding laundry, sorting socks and acting a little more human.
"I think robotic technology is awesome!" exclaimed Leila Takayama, who works at Willow Garage, a company that designs and tests personal robots, making them less intimidating.
Paper "Walking and running on yielding and fluidizing ground" has been awarded the Best Student Paper at the Robotics Science & Systems (RSS) 2012 meeting in Sydney, Australia. Ph.D. student Feifei Qian (School of Physics, advisor Professor Daniel I. Goldman) presented this paper, which studies the detailed locomotor mechanics of a small, lightweight robot (DynaRoACH, 10 cm, 25 g) which can move on a granular substrate of closely packed 3 mm diameter glass particles at speeds up to 50 cm/s (5 body length/s), approaching the performance of small, high-performing, desert-dwelling lizards.
Technology that will allow a robot's camera eye to move more like a human eye could help make robotic tools safer and more effective, U.S. researchers say. Biologically inspired technology that mimics muscle-like action could help make robots more effective for MRI-guided surgery and robotic rehabilitation, the Georgia Institute of Technology reported Thursday. "For a robot to be truly bio-inspired, it should possess actuation, or motion generators, with properties in common with the musculature of biological organisms.
Researchers at Georgia Tech’s Center for Music Technology have developed a one-foot-tall (30 cm) smartphone-enabled robot called Shimi, which they describe as an interactive “musical buddy.” Leveraging the power of a docked Android smartphone and the music library contained on the mobile device, Shimi can recommend songs, dance to the beat and play tunes based on listener feedback.
Recognizing the importance of advanced manufacturing in rebuilding the economy, the Obama administration created an Office of Manufacturing Policy and the $500 million “Advanced Manufacturing Partnership” (AMP), which calls for the creation of 500,000 credentialed workers in advanced manufacturing with industry certifications. The Georgia Institute of Technology, one of the six academic institutions that are part of the steering committee for the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, is a leader in manufacturing robotics technology.