Manipulation


Engineers get the feeling for robotic fingers

USATODAY

A robotic gripper that can screw in lightbulbs or use a screwdriver without needing to'see' them or be pre-programmed to recognize them has been developed at the University of California San Diego (UCSD).


MekaMon is an anime-styled battle bot you pilot with your phone

Engadget

Between the success of shows like BattleBots and the amount of interest in last month's MegaBots debacle, it's pretty obvious that people really want to watch robots fight. But while watching two mechanical titans grapple can be satisfying, few things have captured the feel of the robot battles in video games and anime. Reach Robotics' $300 MekaMon, which launches today in the Apple Store, might be the closest we've seen to capturing that cyber-future ambience. Its bots can run and climb around the physical world while also using AR to add virtual weaponry for the full Japanese mech experience. Each MekaMon is a 2.2-pound spider-like device with a round torso that can fit in your hand.


Inside SynTouch, the Mad Lab Giving Robots the Power to Feel

WIRED

The robot can sense how much pressure it's applying, and quantify the give of the material it's applying pressure to. Even if they're both room temperature, the tile will feel colder because it transfers heat from your bare foot faster than the carpet. SynTouch's finger measures not just a material's temperature, but its perceived temperature, by precisely measuring this rate of heat transfer. By referencing its stockpile of measurements, SynTouch says its robot finger can more accurately quantify the feel of something than a human expert.


Iran tests new missile after U.S. criticizes arms program

The Japan Times

The United States has imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran, saying its missile tests violate a U.N. resolution, which calls on Tehran not to undertake activities related to missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. "You are seeing images of the successful test of the Khoramshahr ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 km, the latest missile of our country," state television said, adding this was Iran's third missile with such a range. "Extremely concerned by reports of Iran missile test, which is inconsistent with U.N. resolution 2231. Iran's defense minister said on Saturday foreign pressures would not affect Iran's missile program.


Girl with 3D-printed robotic hand to throw first pitch at World Series game

ZDNet

A seven-year-old Las Vegas girl will throw out the first pitch in game four of the upcoming World Series. Hailey Dawson was born with Poland syndrome and is missing three fingers on her right hand. At the time, Dawson couldn't find any companies that could fit Hailey with a robotic hand for a reasonable cost. Over more than a year, the UNLV engineering students and faculty worked to develop a variety of robotic 3-D printed hands for then-five-year-old Hailey.


Artificial skin lets robot hand feel hot or cold

USATODAY

A robot hand with artificial skin reaches for a glass of ice water. Researchers at the University of Houston have created an artificial skin that allows a robotic hand to sense the difference between heat and cold. The discovery of stretchable electronics could have a significant impact in the wearables market, with devices such as health monitors or biomedical devices, says Cunjiang Yu, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Houston and the lead author for the paper. When the stretchable electronic skin was applied to a robotic hand, it could tell the difference between hot and cold water.


Girl with robotic hand will throw out first pitch during World Series

Los Angeles Times

Hailey Dawson is 7 years old and has already thrown out the first pitch before many Major League Baseball games. By using a robotic hand made with a 3-D printer, she has thrown out the ceremonial first pitch for several MLB teams, including the Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners, Oakland A's, Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers. The Las Vegas native first threw out a ceremonial pitch before a UNLV game in 2014, then set her sights on doing so at major league stadiums. More than 20 of the league's teams, including the Dodgers and Angels, reached out to Dawson through that tweet.


Self healing skin brings Terminator robots one step closer

Daily Mail

Now experts have created a synthetic skin that aims to mimic nature's self-repairing abilities, allowing robots to recover from'wounds' sustained while undertaking their duties. Now experts have created a synthetic skin (pictured on robotic hand) that aims to mimic nature's self-repairing abilities To create their synthetic flesh, the scientists used jelly-like polymers that melt into each together when heated and then cooled. Their flexibility allows them to be used for a wide variety of applications, from grabbing delicate and soft objects in the food industry to performing minimally invasive surgery. The flexibility of these soft robots allows them to be used for a wide variety of applications, from grabbing delicate and soft objects in the food industry (pictured) to performing minimally invasive surgery.


South Korea: No Proof Cash to Kaesong Went to North Korea Arms Programs

U.S. News

SEOUL (Reuters) - There was no evidence that North Korea had diverted wages paid to its workers by South Korean companies operating in now-suspended industrial park on their border to its weapons programs, a South Korean official said on Thursday.


A lizard-inspired robot gripper may solve our space-junk problems

Engadget

But engineers at Stanford may have made a breakthrough: They've designed a robotic gripper based on gecko's feet that works in zero-g. The problem with existing technology is that everything is designed to work at Earth's gravity, within Earth's temperature range. Geckos can climb up walls and other vertical surfaces because of microscopic flaps on their feet that create an adhesive force. By modeling their technology on these flaps, the team was able to create a gripper that only requires a small push to stick to a surface.