• Cockroaches gait informs search-and-rescue robot design

    More than 70 percent of Earth’s land surface is not navigable by wheeled or tracked vehicles, so legged robots could potentially bridge the gap for ground-based operations like search and rescue and defense. New insights on how cockroaches stabilize could help engineers design steadier robots for operating on difficult terrain.

  • Jumping soft robots avoid obstacles during search and rescue operations

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    These soft robots can already stand, walk, wriggle under obstacles, and change colors. Now researchers are adding a new skill to the soft robot tool kit: jumping. Researchers make the robots jump by using combustible gases. This ability to jump could one day prove critical in allowing the robots to avoid obstacles during search and rescue operations.

  • NASA engineers building sturdy blue-collar mining robot

    After decades of designing and operating robots full of scientific gear to study other worlds, NASA is working on a prototype that leaves the delicate instruments at home in exchange for a sturdy pair of diggers and the reliability and strength to work all day, every day for years.

  • Four-legged robotic mule now voice-controlled

    DARPA researchers demonstrated new advances in the Legged Squad Support System (LS3) four-legged robot’s control, stability, and maneuverability, including “Leader Follow” decision making, enhanced roll recovery, exact foot placement over rough terrain, the ability to maneuver in an urban environment, and verbal command capability

  • Marine robot completes 9,000 mile cross-Pacific journey, setting new world record

    A wave-powered robot completes a 9,000 nautical mile (16,668 kilometers) scientific journey across the Pacific Ocean to set a new world record for the longest distance traveled by an autonomous vehicle

  • Two small, long-endurance UAVs unveiled

    Danvers, Massachusetts-based CyPhy Works, a new robotics company, the other day unveiled two revolutionary small unmanned air vehicles (UAVs): EASE and PARC; the Extreme Access System for Entry (EASE) is an indoor flying UAV to help police, soldiers, and inspectors remain at safe standoff distances; the Persistent Aerial Reconnaissance and Communications (PARC) is designed to fly vertically and remain hovering for unprecedented long durations without operator intervention

  • Squirrels-inspired deceptive robots to help the military

    Using deceptive behavioral patterns of squirrels and birds, researchers have developed robots that are able to deceive each other; the applications could be implemented by the military in the future

  • Tetrapod robot developed for investigative, recovery work inside post-accident nuclear plants

    Toshiba has developed a tetrapod robot able to carry out investigative and recovery work in locations which are too risky for people to enter; the multiple joints of its legs are controlled by a dedicated movement algorithm which enables the robot to walk on uneven surfaces, avoid obstacles, and climb stairs, securing access into areas which are challenging to be reached by wheeled robots or crawlers

  • Flying robot avoids obstacles

    Researchers have created an autonomous flying robot which is as smart as a bird when it comes to maneuvering around obstacles; able to guide itself through forests, tunnels, or damaged buildings, the machine could have tremendous value in search-and-rescue operations

  • "Stutter jump" could improve performance of search and rescue robots

    A new study shows that jumping can be much more complicated than it might seem; in research that could extend the range of future rescue and exploration robots, scientists have found that hopping robots could dramatically reduce the amount of energy they use by adopting a unique two-part “stutter jump”

  • The DARPA Robotics Challenge begins

    The DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) began yesterday, and DARPA wants to know whether you will be part of it; DARPA introduces teams for Tracks A and B, opens registration for Tracks C and D, and launches simulation software for download; the goal of the competition is to help advance robotic technology to the point where it can have a tangible impact on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief

  • Smart robots to advance science, perform rescue missions

    Researchers see a day in the not-so-distant future when intelligent robots will be working alongside humans on a wide range of important tasks from advancing science, to performing deep sea rescues, to monitoring our natural habitats; it is a bold leap from the pre-programmed factory robots and remote-controlled drones we are most familiar with today

  • Four-legged “pack mule” robots demonstrate their capabilities

    Two completed prototype robotic “pack mules” exhibit reduced noise, new gaits, and improved perception, the two functioning platforms have started to run through the paces similar to what they could one day experience carrying gear for a squad of Marines or Soldiers

  • Border Patrol kiosk detects liars trying to enter U.S.

    The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is using border crossing stations in Arizona to test new technology to detect liars as they attempt to enter the country; travelers are subjected to a 5-minute interview with the kiosk, while microphones monitor vocal pitch frequency and quality, an infrared camera monitors eye movement and pupil dilation, and a high definition camera monitors facial expression

  • Drone use spreads to more areas and missions

    As security challenges in the United State and around the globe change, many countries have one thing in common: unmanned drones will be a significant part of the future of security; advancements in technology are driving the use of UAVs into newareas