A new robotic underwater vehicle

MIT researchers have designed a new robotic underwater vehicle that can hover in place like a helicopter -an invaluable tool for deepwater oil explorers, marine archaeologists, oceanographers and others.

The new craft, called Odyssey IV, is the latest in a series of small, inexpensive artificially intelligent submarines developed over the last two decades by the MIT Sea Grant College Program’s Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Laboratory. The Odyssey series revolutionized underwater research in the 1990s by introducing the thrifty and highly capable underwater robots. But the previous Odyssey vehicles still had one significant limitation: Like sharks, they could only operate while continuously moving forward.

The new Odyssey IV, which has just completed sea trials off Woods Hole, Mass., can move through the deep ocean, up to 6,000 meters down, stopping anywhere in the water column and constantly correcting for currents and obstacles. Navigating to its preprogrammed destination, it can hover in place, making detailed inspections of the footings of an offshore oil platform, or photographing the flora and fauna around an undersea vent. Continue reading

New chip will give robots artificial vision almost human

Researchers are developing a new technology that could give robots the visual capacity that they will monitor areas poorly lit and pilots vehicles in extreme environmental conditions.

They plan to build a chip that eliminates the effects of an arbitrary illumination, allowing robotic vision to leave its current narrow limits and works well only in controlled laboratory conditions and will function perfectly in terms of erratic lighting of the real world. Continue reading

The robots could settle the future of agriculture

Several California companies and universities are developing a new generation of agricultural robots that could replace human labor for harvesting the fruit, a task that requires great precision and, until now, is too delicate for the machinery.


The possible future of day laborers in California would be the dream of many employers: tireless, no problems with the immigration authorities and up to 50 percent cheaper than the current workforce.

The company Vision Robotics, based in San Diego, California, is working on two types of agricultural robots for the collection of orange that use digital imaging technology. Continue reading

Towards an artificial life

The research is progressing rapidly on the creation of artificial life forms with the properties of biological life, including replication and the ability to eat.
At the XV International Conference on the origin of life, held in Florence on 24/29 August 2008, a team led by Dr. Jack Szostak of Harvard Medical School, presented the prototype with proto cellules the equivalent of genetic information allowing them to reproduce.  These include fatty acid molecules that can bind with pieces of nucleic acids containing the source code for replication.  to capture solar energy or use energy from chemical reactions, they can form a self-replicator self-evolving, not look at the current earthly life, could simulate the forms of earthly life in its infancy, or that it could exist on other planets.

The model shown in Florence is still not fully autonomous, but represents the form of artificial life using chemical compounds the most comprehensive to date. However, we must go further and reconstruct the conditions of primitive Darwinian evolution by creating the selective forces applied to a large number of sequences able to arbitrarily change on the way of random mutations. This process once started will be particularly interesting because researchers can not by definition predict a priori forms which will lead.x This will create a new form of life that humans have ever seen and that has perhaps never existed (except on other planets?). Continue reading

A robot controlled by neurons of rat

In the footsteps of Steve Potter, professor of biomedical engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta (USA), a pioneer of robots controlled by neurons live (1), the University of Reading in the UK ‘s announce the development of a robot controlled entirely by neurons alive … rats.
Note that although the press has been extensively here to a first, it should be noted that Steve Potter had already cleared the job with his long robot named “Hybrot” – a hybrid of biological and robotic components (our news 04/01/2003 and 08/05/2003).

The scope of connecting neurons living on electrodes has started in 1972, when scientists began to “grow” heart cells in vitro so as to save electric lessignaux. And that since 1979, the U.S. scientists began developing the technology to stimulate and record the signals emitted by neurons cultured in vitro, leading Today the multi electrode array (multi-electrode arrays, or MEA) which, according to Steve Potter, is the key to a better understanding of our brain. “With this kind of device, very simplified version of what happens in the human brain,” you can manipulate neurons much more easily than you can do so on an animal, for example by cutting some connections and see the effects General on signaling … ” Continue reading

Human consciousness and artificial consciousness

Human consciousness and artificial consciousness. A couple fruitful
by Jean-Paul Baquiast 04/08/2008

The purpose of this article is to give the reader a reflection on the conscience of artificial human consciousness, the same that we experience every day the virtues – and limitations – in our case.

The need for such work is increasingly obvious as that specialists describe in public, such as science clubs or television, the constant progress of robotics in the field of artificial consciousness. Beyond the curiosity, the first reaction seems to be dread. The comments from readers in response to articles published on this subject in our review raises the same finding. Imagine robots capable of conscious behavior comparable to those of men seems deeply disturb many people. Continue reading

Japan: Advanced in Robotics

 Japanese researchers are working to realize a society where robots live with humans and perform simple tasks at home, like turning on the light, ordering the purchase or do the cleaning.

 Rapid technological development and the discovery of new building materials will allow, in just a few decades, there are robots able to understand, analyze and perform routine tasks, thus making it easier every day.
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Robot physiotherapists are still a rare phenomenon, but they are on the rise

Robots should not substitute for the hands of the sentient human therapist of  massage schools , but a useful addition.

Currently, according Hermano Igo Krebs from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) around 20 companies in electronic-mechanical assistance therapy – Therapy Robots – on the market. He predicts that in the foreseeable future will be hundreds of companies. Continue reading