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Quadrotor With Tilting Propellers Can Twist in Midair

Conventional quadrotors are what’s called underactuated robots, which means that they can move in more ways than they have independent control over. For example, they can happily yaw around to any angle you want while otherwise stationary, but if you ask them to pitch or roll, they can’t do it without also changing their position: if you try to roll a quadrotor left, the whole robot is going to fly left, and if you try to fly a quadrotor left, the whole robot is going to roll left.

Having controls coupled together like this places some restrictions on what you can do with quadrotors, but a new design presented yesterday at the 2013 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) gets around all of that with propellers that tilt.

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MIT Robots Can Assemble Your IKEA Furniture For You

Oh, IKEA. Your modern and affordable Scandinavian-inspired furniture is full of such promise. We tell ourselves over and over again that yes, we really are smarter than a bunch of flat pack boards and fastening devices that look like they could function as legal tender on some alien planet. It’s not true, though. We’re not smarter than a disassembled Lack table, and this is why we need robots.

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Rethink Robotics Opens Up Baxter Robot For Researchers

Rodney Brooks, founder and CTO of Rethink Robotics, revealed a number of surprising things when Evan and I visited the company last year, just before it unveiled its Baxter industrial robot to the world. There was the robot itself, of course, designed to be safe, versatile, easy to program, and incredibly inexpensive—the opposite of what traditional industrial robots are. Its humanoid features were also a bit unexpected—a factory robot with a friendly face!

But another thing that surprised us was the company's emphasis on software. Rethink doesn't want to be just a robot maker. It wants Baxter to be a platform that anyone can use to improve on existing applications as well as develop completely new ones. To achieve that, Rethink needs to open up its technology, and last week the company announced a major step in that direction: a version of Baxter designed for researchers.

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What Roboticists Can Learn From Art, and What Artists Can Learn From Robots

You walk into the brightly lit space, and a delicate-looking plaster statue catches your eye. She has a peaceful expression, and is dressed in a modest gown with puffy shoulders and a broad skirt. Her arms stay close to her body, but the palms of her hands face gently forward, as if asking for something. As you approach, she suddenly glides forward to meet you. Her name is Diamandini, and she's a robotic statue.

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Meet IXI-Play, the Dancing Robot Bird Kids Will Love

Kids these days! Why, back when I was a kid we had to use, you know, our imaginations when playing with toys. Now, thanks to robotics, toys can spring to life and react intelligently to a child's input. The latest example of that is IXI-Play, an owl-like robot that can dance, make sounds, and interact with children.

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Cheetah-Cub Quadruped Robot Learns to Walk, Trot Using Gait Patterns from Real Animal

The rising interest in quadrupeds over the past few years has led to the development of several exciting new projects based on Cheetahs. One such robot is Cheetah-Cub, a compliant quadruped developed at the Biorobotics lab at the EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. To put Cheetah-Cub in motion, the EPFL group teamed up with researchers from the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), who have recently managed to transfer horse-like locomotion to the robot.

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Automaton

IEEE Spectrum’s award-winning robotics blog, featuring news, articles, and videos on robots, humanoids, drones, automation, artificial intelligence, and more.
Contact us:  e.guizzo@ieee.org

Editor
Erico Guizzo
New York City
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Evan Ackerman
Washington, D.C.
 

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