Bionic Woman for Real

May 18th, 2005 | Filed under: Biotech, Design, Future, Mechanical Tech, Technology | No Comments »

Dr Jane Burridge at Southampton University’s School of Health Professions and Rehabilitation Sciences has implanted the world’s first ‘bionic’ device that is capable of producing coordinated fine hand and arm movement into a 46-year-old woman. The system consists of 5 BION microstimulators and a control unit that act as ‘bionic neurons’ giving electrical stimulations to paralyzed muscles in her arm. [press release]

via MedGadget | New Scientist | Scotsman

Roach-Robot Hybrid

May 16th, 2005 | Filed under: AI, Design, Humor, Mechanical Tech, Programming | 2 Comments »

The roach (the robot’s CPU) sits on top of a ping pong ball (the robot’s trackball). The robot’s motion is controlled by infrared sensors that flash lights at the roach whenever it senses objects in its path. The light causes the roach to change directions. Find more details and other animal robot hybrids at conceptlab.

more »

Self-Replicating Robots : The First Steps to Grey Goo

May 11th, 2005 | Filed under: AI, Building Tech, Design, Future, Mechanical Tech, Technology | 2 Comments »

Hob Lipson and his colleagues at Cornell University have created modular cube robots or ‘molecubes‘ capable of self-replication. Each 10cm cube holds a microprocessor with a set of simple instructions and electromagnets. The scalable robots demonstrate self-replication (wma video 1, 2) by creating an identical copy of a formation of molecubes. Although the demonstration is crude in comparison to reproduction in nature, it shows that mechanical self-replication, given the proper elements, is possible. By reducing the size of the cubes and producing large quantities, the resolution of possible forms may reach that of gray goo.

via NS | PhysOrg

Nanomovies : Rapid Atomic Force Microscope

May 7th, 2005 | Filed under: Mechanical Tech, Nanotech, Photography, Technology, Video | No Comments »

Moshiur Anwar and Itay Rousso have demonstrated an atomic force microscope (AFM) that can take images of periodic processes with a time resolution of microseconds. Instead of sampling a surface by moving the microscopic probe, the probe is kept stationary in “force-sensing” mode as it records changes in up and down movements over time. The technique can only record repetitive nano-scaled movements which allow the microscope to move over and continue sampling the same movement for every pixel of the final constructed movie.

via physicsweb| Tech Review

Stratellites : 10 Mile High Antennaes

April 15th, 2005 | Filed under: Design, Internet, Mechanical Tech, Technology | No Comments »

The highly anticipated arrival of Stratellites has come a step closer to reality. Sanswire unveiled the almost complete solar powered robotic airship (April 12,2005). The Stratellite is self-sustaining for a period of 18 months as it transmits high speed two-way wireless communications at a high-altitude (65,000 ft), maintaining a clear line-of-sight of approximately 300,000 square miles.

via The Register

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TETwalker : NASA's Tetrahedral Nano Robot Swarm

March 31st, 2005 | Filed under: AI, Future, Mechanical Tech, Nanotech | 3 Comments »

NASA’s new shape-shifting robot, TETwalker, could help the endurance of future spacecrafts. Its structure is a tetrahedron, consisting of telescoping struts and motors which are coordinated to shift the robot’s center of gravity, causing a tumbling motion.

The robot’s inherently rigid geometry coupled with its mode of locomotion make it an ideal candidate for the harsh conditions of space exploration. The current prototype, though not nano-scaled, is going through rigorous test to help optimize its performance. When the nano-scaled robot is realized, it would have the capacity to connect and disconnect from other TETwalkers, allowing an entire swarm of robots to form any shape as “autonomous nanotechnology swarmsâ€?, or ANTS.

TETwalker concept animation

via endgadget

Hover Board for Real

March 30th, 2005 | Filed under: Design, Future, Mechanical Tech, Products | 19 Comments »

Remember those classified ads for hoverboards along with x-ray glasses? They’re still at it, but this time it’s for real. Future Horizons is offering construction plans for a ‘real’ hoverboard. Floating 1 inch off the ground, it’s not quite a dream hoverboard, but you could build it with non-fictional parts for $500 or buy one fully assembled for $9000.

watch the video

Hover Boardz | really real hoverboards, coming soon?
Design News (pdf)| not quite complete construction plans
Airboard | hoverboard from the Sydney Olympics

via The Red Ferret Journal

M-TRAN II : Autonomous Transforming Robot

March 27th, 2005 | Filed under: AI, Computing, Future, Mechanical Tech | No Comments »

Distributed Systems Design Research Group have developed M-TRAN II, an incredible modular robot, capable of self-assembly and transformations as it uses GA (genetic algorithms) to generate new methods of locomotion. Watch the video [mpg 24.9mb] [rm 6.6mb]. more vids.

via wmmna | Discover

Mechanical Scorpion

February 12th, 2005 | Filed under: Design, Mechanical Tech, Technology | No Comments »

The Scorpion is another great example of technology finding answers through biomimicry. It is a significant achievement as a mechanical robot with great maneuverability and also runs on an reactive behavior to maneuver local terrain and traverse without any human interaction. The Scorpion upon completion would be able to navigate itself autonomously for days at a time. Watch the video.

via nature | we make money not art | gearlive

Insect Powered Robot

December 31st, 2004 | Filed under: Biotech, Mechanical Tech, Technology | 1 Comment »


Scientists at the University of the West of England (UWE) have designed a robot that does not require batteries or electricity to power itself.

Instead, it generates energy by catching and eating houseflies.

Dr Chris Melhuish and his Bristol-based team hope the robot, called EcoBot II, will one day be sent into zones too dangerous for humans, potentially proving invaluable in military, security and industrial areas.

via CNN