A robot with a living brain

A robot that is controlled himself with his own brain composed of biological neurons in culture was manufactured by British scientists.The robot works with neurons in rats. University of Reading
This is probably the first hybrid machine / animal ever created. Gordon is “alive” since a big week in a laboratory at the University of Reading, England. His brain is composed of neurons from a fetal rat. They were placed in a solution, separated and then deposited on a bed of sixty electrodes.

This multi-electrode array (MTCT) is the interface between living tissue and machine. It allows the brain to send electrical impulses to lead the wheels, for example. And conversely, it receives information on its environment delivered by sensors.

The key here is to assess the learning capabilities of this robot with a living brain. Gordon already seems to learn by repetition. For example, when it hits a wall, brain stimulation and receives a habit he learned to work around the obstacle. The key to learning is the memory that occurs in neurons that have begun to forge connections and multiply in the brain. Continue reading

Phoenix does more

Active on the Red Planet last 6 months, the robot Phoenix has ceased to function on 02 November. NASA announced the end of the mission, but watches a final burst of the probe.


Initialement scheduled to run 90 days, the Phoenix will probe resisted more than five months in harsh conditions at the North Pole of Mars. But the winter was born in fatal Lander, which sent its last signal burst on November 2.

Since October 30, the robot was in idle mode to compensate for a sharp drop of energy related to the reduction of sun exposure but a storm of dust that has clogged its solar panels.

NASA said on Monday evening, the closure of Phoenix “while announcing maintain a listening watch during the next three weeks if the tube, like the mythical bird, raise. However, engineers consider this possibility very unlikely because of deteriorating weather conditions expected on Mars.

Phoenix arrived in May 2008 on the planet Mars. This project took much of the program of Mars Polar Lander, who had to land near the south pole but failed to landing. 

Artist’s view of the robot Phoenix in the fading light of the Sun. (NASA / JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona)

The purpose of this mission was to study the mineralogical composition of the soil near the north pole of Mars. According to data from the Mars Odyssey, the basement of the Arctic plain indeed holds large amounts of water ice. Continue reading

Robotics for Mars Exploration

Mars it is the most Earth-like of the nine planets that make up the solar system. The great distance from Earth (400 million km from the Earth at the farthest point of its orbit) makes travels to Mars long and dangerous. Hence its exploration has been so far carried out only by robotics means. Thanks to its similarities to Earth (i.e. a solid planet with atmosphere), Mars allows the use of the most diverse robotics means:

-Penetrometers and Robotics Moles for underground exploration
-Rovers (tracked, wheeled or legged) and hoppers for surface exploration
-Aerobots (balloons, blimps, planes and hoppers) for aerial exploration Continue reading

Designed a robot that jumps like a grasshopper

The first robot capable of jumping like a grasshopper and rolling like a ball, can play a key role in future space explorations. The ‘Jollbot’ has been created by Rhodri Armor, a PhD student at the University of Bath. It is expected that his creation, which can jump over obstacles and roll like a ball on stable ground, can be used for space exploration work or study of land in the future.
One of the biggest challenges facing those robots designed for space exploration is being able to move on steep terrain. The robots with legs are usually very complex, expensive to build and control, and it is difficult to design them to be able to recover after falling. The wheels are a simpler solution, but limit the size of the obstacles that can be overcome. Continue reading

Precise control of movement in robots

The Group of Automatic Control Department of Electrical and Electronics Faculty of Science and Technology is studying the stimulus-response characteristics of various types of materials for use in the generation and measurement of precise movements in electromechanical systems in miniature and in robotics.

A research team from the Department of Electrical and Electronics Faculty of Science and Technology in Leioa (UPV / EHU), led by Professor Victor Etxebarria, is studying the characteristics of various types of material for subsequent use in the generation and measurement of movement accurate. Continue reading

A new MIT robot RoboClam : Burrowing a robot inspired by a shell

How gear automated submarine could quickly and securely anchored in the sediment? Engineers have raised the issue and found the answer in kind, drawing the knife, this long shell which plunges deep and high-speed sand beaches. His secret: change the properties of the sediment that surrounds it.

All sailors know. Installing an anchor to hold the boat is a delicate art and must, moreover, consider how we emerge from the bottom to go back to the board. The problem is starkly gear for automated submarines that must arise on the merits without excessive movement.

robo-clam, Anette Hosoi, Amos Winter, razor clamMIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), a team of Hatsopoulos microfluids Laboratory, one led by Anette (known as Peko) Hosoi has taken on the task. Amos Winter, one of the researchers involved, presented the solution to the last congress of the American Physical Society: just imitate the knife. This mollusk bivalve (such as oysters and mussels) lives in the sand and can dip into it at a surprising speed to stay firmly plugged. There are several species, all characterized by a tapered shape, resembling a knife. The MIT researchers were interested in Ensis directus called American knife in France since it shows a marked tendency to invade our shores, to the detriment of local species.
Continue reading

Insects inspire Once More Robotics Research

The insects are proving to be an invaluable source of ideas for a researcher who hopes that the robots can perform the same types of collective tasks that make the ants and bees.
 Dr. Zhang Hong, a professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Alberta, and his team, working in the Multi-Robot Systems (MRS by its acronym in Spanish). An MRS is a group of robots smaller than a can of paint. They move as independent units but are programmed for collective decision-making and to develop tasks that involve construction work in teams. Continue reading