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This Humanoid Robot Gets Pushed Around But Stays on Its Feet

Most humanoid robots developed over the past few decades have had stiff joints, and that's a problem if they're ever going to interact with people. Their unyielding arms and legs could injury a person if they accidentally whack someone, or if they lose balance and fall down. Lately there's been a growing interest in developing robotic joints with variable stiffness, which would improve their safety, but so far few groups have built a complete robot. Now a team from the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) is approaching that goal with their robot COMAN (COmpliant huMANoid).

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Robot Ants Blaze Trails with Pheromones of Light

Insects are masters of the swarm. Bugs like bees and termites and ants manage to do all sorts of complicated and productive things, despite the fact that on an individual level, each insect is really not that smart. The manifestation of complex behaviors from simple systems is appealing to roboticists who otherwise have to try to figure out all kinds of complicated localization and navigation tricks all by themselves. Researchers from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, in Newark, and at the Research Centre on Animal Cognition, in Toulouse, France, are using swarms of ant-like robots to efficiently navigate networks without any sort of cleverness at all.

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UZH Wishes Us All a Happy Robot Easter

Happy Easter! We're busy stuffing our faces with chocolate (since that's what Easter is all about, right?), but not too busy to cover our keyboards with fingerprints of melted chocolatey goodness bringing you this robot Easter video from University of Zurich.

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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
Senior Writer
Evan Ackerman
Washington, D.C.
 

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