actuator


How AI Is Making Buildings Smart And Intelligent

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For decades, technological innovation has been revolutionizing businesses, offering them innumerable long-term benefits and growth. Now, these technologies are set to transform structures that form the foundation of cities and their development. Comparing the buildings of the present to what they were even a few years ago will show massive changes. Modern buildings are more than just four walls and a roof. In fact, building walls now even have ears and eyes, all thanks to digital technologies.


Automated system generates robotic parts for novel tasks

Robohub

An automated system developed by MIT researchers designs and 3-D prints complex robotic parts called actuators that are optimized according to an enormous number of specifications. In short, the system does automatically what is virtually impossible for humans to do by hand. In a paper published today in Science Advances, the researchers demonstrate the system by fabricating actuators -- devices that mechanically control robotic systems in response to electrical signals -- that show different black-and-white images at different angles. One actuator, for instance, portrays a Vincent van Gogh portrait when laid flat. Tilted an angle when it's activated, however, it portrays the famous Edvard Munch painting "The Scream."


Artificial "muscles" achieve powerful pulling force

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As a cucumber plant grows, it sprouts tightly coiled tendrils that seek out supports in order to pull the plant upward. This ensures the plant receives as much sunlight exposure as possible. Now, researchers at MIT have found a way to imitate this coiling-and-pulling mechanism to produce contracting fibers that could be used as artificial muscles for robots, prosthetic limbs, or other mechanical and biomedical applications. While many different approaches have been used for creating artificial muscles, including hydraulic systems, servo motors, shape-memory metals, and polymers that respond to stimuli, they all have limitations, including high weight or slow response times. The new fiber-based system, by contrast, is extremely lightweight and can respond very quickly, the researchers say.


The RoboBee flies solo

Robohub

In the Harvard Microrobotics Lab, on a late afternoon in August, decades of research culminated in a moment of stress as the tiny, groundbreaking Robobee made its first solo flight. Graduate student Elizabeth Farrell Helbling, Ph.D.'19, and postdoctoral fellow Noah T. Jafferis, Ph.D. from Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences caught the moment on camera. Helbling, who has worked on the project for six years, counted down: "Three, two, one, go." The bright halogens switched on and the solar-powered Robobee launched into the air. For a terrifying second, the tiny robot, still without on-board steering and control, careened towards the lights.


How to Win a War with Artificial Intelligence and Few Casualties - The Red (Team) Analysis Society

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The U.S. and China are locked in an increasingly heated struggle for superpower status. Many perceived this confrontation initially only through the lenses of a trade war. However, the ZTE "saga" already indicated the issue was broader and involved a battle for supremacy over 21st century technologies and, relatedly, for international power (see When AI Started Creating AI – Artificial Intelligence and Computing Power, 7 May 2018). The technological battle increasingly looks like a fight to the death, with the offensive against Huawei, aiming notably to protect future 5G networks (Cassell Bryan-Low, Colin Packham, David Lague, Steve Stecklow And Jack Stubbs, "The China Challenge: the 5G Fight", Reuters Investigates, 21 May 2019). For Huawei and China, as well as for the world, consequences are far reaching, as, after Google "stopping Huawei's Android license", and an Intel and Qualcomm ban, the British chip designer ARM, held notably by Japanese Softbank, now stops relations with Huawei (Paul Sandle, "ARM supply halt deals fresh blow to Chinese tech giant Huawei", Reuters, 22 May 2019; "DealBook Briefing: The Huawei Backlash Goes Global", The New York Times, 23 May 2019; Tom Warren, "Huawei's Android And Windows Alternatives Are Destined For Failure", The Verge, 23 May 2019). The highly possible coming American move against Chinese Hikvision, one of the largest world producers of video surveillance systems involving notably "artificial intelligence, speech monitoring and genetic testing" would only further confirm the American offensive (Doina Chiacu, Stella Qi, "Trump says'dangerous' Huawei could be included in U.S.-China trade deal", Reuters, 23 May 2019; Ana Swanson and Edward Wong, "Trump Administration Could Blacklist China's Hikvision, a Surveillance Firm", The New York Times, 21 May 2019). China, for its part, answers to both the trade war and the technological fight with an ideologically martial mobilisation of its population along the lines of "People's War", "The Long March", and changing TV scheduling to broadcast war films (Iris Zhao and Alan Weedon, "Chinese television suddenly switches scheduling to anti-American films amid US-China trade war", ABC News, 20 May 2019; Michael Martina, David Lawder, "Prepare for difficult times, China's Xi urges as trade war simmers", Reuters, 22 May 2019). This highlights how much is as stake for the Middle Kingdom, as we explained previously ( Sensor and Actuator (4): Artificial Intelligence, the Long March towards Advanced Robots and Geopolitics).


Using hydraulics for robots: Introduction

Robohub

Hydraulics are sometimes looked at as an alternative to electric motors. Hydraulic systems use an incompressible liquid (as opposed to pneumatics that use a compressible gas) to transfer force from one place to another. Since the hydraulic system will be a closed system (ignore relief valves for now) when you apply a force to one end of the system that force is transferred to another part of that system. By manipulating the volume of fluid in different parts of the system you can change the forces in different parts of the system (Remember Pascal's Law from high school??). So here are some of the basic components used (or needed) to develop a hydraulic system.


10 must watch videos illustrating amazing applications of artificial intelligence

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Artificial Intelligence has advanced over the years and it has transformed the world completely. Machines are becoming smarter each time and they are very intuitive and can perform a number of tasks at the same time without reducing their efficiency. Are you wondering what artificial intelligence is and what it can do? Look at self-driven cars which used to be imagination and are now a reality. Activities like booking appointments can now be done by machines and we have drones which can deliver orders to people's homes.


Artificial Intelligence In Humanoid Robots

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When people think of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the major image that pops up in their heads is that of a robot gliding around and giving mechanical replies. There are many forms of AI but humanoid robots are one of the most popular forms. They have been depicted in several Hollywood movies and if you are a fan of science fiction, you might have come across a few humanoids. One of the earliest forms of humanoids was created in 1495 by Leonardo Da Vinci. It was an armor suit and it could perform a lot of human functions such as sitting, standing and walking.


Soft Robots Look to New Environments

Communications of the ACM

The Octobot is fabricated by combining soft lithography, molding, and 3D printing. In a laboratory at Yale University, a soft toy horse with prosthetic coverings around its foam-stuffed legs has taken its first tentative steps. Despite its stiff and not entirely coordinated gait, the toy demonstration may point the way toward helping space agencies put lighter, more versatile robots into space. Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio, assistant professor at the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science, says she was wrestling with the problem of how to allow robots to handle a wider variety of jobs than current approaches, which often focus on performing a single function well, when the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) issued a request for novel robot designs based on lighter, plastic approaches. Rather than attempt to lift many single-task robots into orbit, the space agency wants a single reconfigurable machine to be able to handle different tasks and, occasionally, to act as prosthetics for human astronauts.


IHMC Developing New Gymnast-Inspired Humanoid Robot

IEEE Spectrum Robotics

The robotics group at the Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC) in Pensacola, Fla., has an enormous amount of experience with walking robots. They came in second at the DARPA Robotics Challenge with their Running Man Atlas, one of just three teams to score a perfect 8 out of 8, and they've continued to advance bipedal locomotion using both Atlas and NASA's Valkyrie. We write about their research all the time--just a few months ago, they taught Atlas to walk with straight legs, much like a human does. Humans set a very high standard for bipedal mobility. We're well designed for it in both hardware and software, and we can do some absolutely amazing things.