Future Products and Trends (Part II)
Next-Gen Flexible Robots Move and Heal like Us (CU Boulder Today)
The Keplinger Research Group at the University of Colorado Boulder is developing soft robots whose makeup and movements mirror that of biological muscle tissue. Soft robotics allows the machine to be as forceful or gentle as they need to be. The students behind the project say the muscle-like electrical actuators can be produced for about 10 cents. This technology will have widespread applications in the industrial and commercial sectors. (We’re getting one step closer to robots taking over the world. Kidding, kidding…hopefully.)
Coyote III: Highly Mobile and Modular Micro Rover for Cooperative Tasks (German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence)
Boldly going where no man (or woman) has gone before…the Coyote III, a micro rover initially designed for space exploration, is now being used for search and rescue missions as well as for identifying gas leaks in buildings. The German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence developed the Coyote and proved that it was capable of handling any kind of terrain. Its on-board computer allows autonomous exploration. The Coyote III also has sensors that allow it to respond to data for practical purposes here on Earth.
Electronic skin that lets you manipulate virtual objects is poised to replace bulky VR wearables. Researchers from Germany have combined two existing technologies to develop a barely perceptible electronic skin that uses magnetic fields to track movement. Sounds a little like something from a Sci-Fi movie, but we’re on board. The next step is to ditch permanent magnets and incorporate the use of geomagnetic fields for positioning the way that sharks can.
The SecondHands project, which has received funding from the European Union, is designing robots with predictive action to help humans. ARMAR-6 is a human-like robot that can aid maintenance technicians by recognizing what they’re doing and offering help at the right time. It’s like having your own personal J.A.R.V.I.S., except even better because it’s real life.
This is the kind of stuff we feed on—though this installment was a bit heavy on the robot thing.