10 amazing robots: dragonfly robot moves its wings like real insect
1. NASA's new polar robot GROVER
GROVER, an acronym for either Greenland Rover or Goddard Remotely Operated Vehicle for Exploration and Research was initially designed by engineering students at Goddard, later being transferred to Boise State University for enhancement at NASA’s expense.
Powered by solar-charged batteries, the 800-pound robot was expected to function non-stop for 12 hours, but due to tough weather conditions its operating time was reduced. Uneven icy terrain was another obstacle that hindered the device from 100 percent success. The engineers had to constantly adjust the robot’s speed and power on its tracks to prevent it from getting stuck in the snow. Nevertheless, GROVER managed to fulfill its basic assignments: it scanned Greenland’s landscape and transmitted information on its own performance in real time.
The researchers say that though this model still needs upgrading, it still proved to be a successful properly functioning model to be launched very soon.
2. Rosphere - Spherical robot-agronomist
Engineers at the
Its appearance is a lot like a hamster ball and functions on the same principle – by means of shifting the center of gravity. In the case of Rosphere – this is the name of the device – it is a pendulum rotating on an axle to roll and steer back and forth. The pendulum consists of ballast, which includes the battery and electronics; the axle carries Wi-F-fi antennas. It is guided by on-board sensors and is GPS-navigated
The creators say it could become essential for collecting data on the growing patterns, soils, and ecological factors. The device runs comfortably on rough terrains and performs its duties without damaging the plants. Though the idea of spherical robots isn’t unique, however the scientists gave it a fresh spin, in an effort to create a monitoring device both low cost and effective. With the help of Rosphere it will be easier to apply targeted use of fertilizers and provide timely care for plants which need it.
3. BionicOpter - Dragonfly robot
A fully functional robotic dragonfly is the product of an engineering genius from the German technology company
In terms of size, however, the BionicOpter has bypassed its living model with 19 inches in length and a wingspan of 27 inches. The electronic creature weighs 175 grams and has a pair of independently-functioning wings and a pale blue head.
Festo’s biggest boasting point is the successful realization of the complex dragonfly’s flying techniques, which are a challenge: the dragonfly can fly backwards, hover or glide without moving its wings. This will give the robot a significant edge over already existing aircraft. The dragonfly’s wings are made of foil and carbon-fiber, each supplied with a separate motor allowing 90-degree mobility. The flight control is done by adjustments to the rate of speed at which its wings flap. The robot is battery-powered and is controlled by a single processor.
Though no particular plan on how to put this robot to good use has been introduced, obviously, it has bright future, first of all, by totally revolutionizing the shipping industry in addition to the military sectors. Magazines and newspapers, as well as urgent documentation, could be transported within a short time by such flying robots, this type of delivery can be made possible in any weather of political conditions.
4. Air hockey robot
The whole system includes a table, a four-axis robotic arm, two high-speed cameras, and an external PC. The camera’s recording speed is 500 frames per second, the pictures are then sent to the PC to be processed and analyzed, and, based on the result, the machine picks an attack strategy.
To make things more challenging the robot functions on three levels. The first layer is responsible for movement and basic functions. The second layer is responsible for the immediate strategy, while the third layer accumulates all the data and creates a strategy.
This robot is part of a bigger program aimed at creating machines which not only perform functions, but are also able to analyze data, store it and basically make educated decisions and predictions based on it. So far the Japanese geniuses are doing very well: the air hockey machine is practically impossible to beat.
5. Cyber cockroach
The RoboRoach creators do not aspire to produce controlled cyborgs for the roach races. According to them, this project will help them study brain functions and the nervous system.
6. Cheetah–Cub - Feline robot
The Swiss University
The Cheetah-Cub researchers are also planning on enhancing the robot’s cross-country skills, as creating robots with legs of such exceptional flexibility are a very tough task to achieve, and according to Sproewitz, they are still very unlikely to outrun human beings.
As far as practical application of this robot goes, there hasn’t been any particular agenda yet, the research is conducted for purely scientific purposes, as there is still a long way before such mechanical animals become an integral part of our lives, and the process requires a lot more work not only from pure engineers, but their collaboration with corresponding disciplines like computational neurocontrol.
7.Toyota’s assistant robots
Once strapped in a paralyzed human leg this
In 2011 Toyota came up with a line of devices with the ambitious goal of aiding paralyzed patients to walk and maintain balance or assist their caretakers to tend to them. The whole package is scheduled to be introduced to the market shortly after 2013.
One of Toyota's new robots helps patients stride merely by detecting his or her intention to walk. The Walk Training Assist robot has sensors which detect movements of the hips when placed on a paralyzed leg, helping the knee swing forward and facilitate walking.
The second wonder product of the line is Independent Walk Assist. It is made to train people how to walk. Aside from its ability to sense the intention to move and assist in moving feet forward, it also has the ability to carry a patient’s weight. The weight support can be adjusted to the patient’s improving or deteriorating condition. In addition to that, the machine also monitors the patient’s condition to help doctors keep track of progress.
Toyota’s third rehabilitation device is the Balance Training Assist, a Segway-looking two-wheeled balancing game. The patient can select any of the three games on the machine and play special exercises to improve balance under robot’s supervision.
The fourth robot is designed to take a load off the caregivers’ shoulders in addition to helping patients. The Patient Transfer Assist is a platform with weight-supporting arms, which helps to transport an immobile patient as gently as if it were done by a real person.
The robots designed with the active participation of the Fujita Health University Hospital in Aichi Prefecture, Japan, provide the most urgent and adequate feedback on the robots’ functioning.
8. NASA’s new Mars rover Zoe
Zoë runs on solar batteries and has sensors, cameras, and a drill. It is not only meant to collect the usual samples, but more importantly to search for any evidence of microbes or other forms of life. NASA also plans to test the robot and its endurance in the harsh climate on Earth as Zoe is meant to replace the Curiosity rover in 2020.
As many experts agree, life on Mars, if any, rests deep below the surface, therefore, Zoe would be just the right device to go hunting for it. David Wettergreen, research professor at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute, where the Atakama project had been launched, said, “Chances improve with greater depth but we are first developing one-meter capability and integrating with a mobile robot.”
If before the researchers’ major interest were the capabilities of the rover, now the focus has been move to the actual lab needs. As Wettergreen pointed out, “Now, we think of the robot as a tool to collect specific data from specific locations, rather than as a machine that drives around.”
9. FastRunner -The world’s fastest robot
The Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (
Though FastRunner – the name granted to the ostrich’s electronic brother – may eventually lose its leadership as the fastest robot to Cheetah, according to MIT, it is ready to navigate more problematic environments.
10. Panasonic's hair-washing robot
According to Panasonic, the mastermind behind the robot, this robot had been designed for those who can’t handle the task on their own. It might be of use to nursing home or hospital patients. It successfully performs the whole process of hair care from washing to drying. The whole procedure is performed by sophisticated robot fingers after an exploratory head scan.
The machine has 16 fingers, which, according to the product’s creators, have the same dexterity as real human fingers and perform the job after sensors have collected data on the client’s head, determining the degree of greasiness and calculating the proper amount of shampoo.
The machine also keeps a record of each head it washes.
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