robots

July 11, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
Computers and credit cards are the new department stores, shopping malls and food marts.

Nearly everyone has heard a parent or grandparent refer to the good ol’ days. Tales usually begin either with, “When I was your age…” or “In my day, we didn’t have….”

While it seems appropriate that octogenarians and nonagenarians tell such stories, today they’re not the only generations sharing memories that begin with, “When I was young….” People in their 20s and 30s reflect on their youth wistfully because members of the younger generation—who, by the way, are only five or 10 years younger than they are—can communicate, play, buy and sell, and share life moments in ways that surprise even 20-somethings.

June 1, 2016
The DragonflEye, a cyborg insect intended for a variety of missions, recently completed its first test flight.

The DragonflEye, a cyborg insect intended for a variety of missions, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, has liftoff.

The system was created by researchers at Charles Stark Draper Laboratories Inc. and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus. The dragonfly wears a tiny backpack fitted with electronics, sensors and a solar cell. A light source charges the solar cell, which powers the backpack.

The DragonflEye recently completed its first test flight for data gathering purposes.

December 1, 2015
By Maryann Lawlor
A robot may be the ultimate innovation, extending measurements to higher frequencies while characterizing antennas faster and more easily than previous NIST facilities.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has created a robotic arm that is being used to measure the properties of antennas rapidly and accurately. The robot, formally named the Configurable Robotic Millimeter-Wave Antenna facility, may be the ultimate innovation, extending measurements to higher frequencies while characterizing antennas faster and more easily than previous NIST facilities. 

December 13, 2013

QinetiQ North America  has announced that its TALON military robots will provide explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) mission support to Pakistan’s military forces. The latest $7.8 million order was facilitated by the U.S. Navy and follows previous orders from Pakistan for EOD robots. 

October 16, 2012
George I. Seffers

QinetiQ North America Incorporated, Waltham, Massachusetts, is being awarded a $6,802,527 firm-fixed-price contract for Talon Generation IV robot vehicles, spares and accessories, depot level repair parts, shipping and training. Work will be performed in Waltham and Poland and is expected to complete by March 2013. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division, Indian Head, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

October 5, 2011

U.S. Army researchers have enhanced the Talon robot with an array of technologies to make the system more autonomous. Upgrades include inertial navigation and Global Positioning System technologies, a 306-degree camera system and laser radar, upgraded power distribution boards, an e-stop system, Ethernet radios, control computers and software for running the system. The combination of enhancements allow improved obstacle detection and 3-dimensional mapping.

September 12, 2011

Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have developed a method to control microrobots by placing them in liquid and using magnetic forces. The researchers confined the robots-which are only half a millimeter wide-between two liquids. The application of alternating magnetic fields caused them to assemble into spiky shapes dubbed asters. By applying a second small magnetic field parallel to the surface, the scientists can make the robots pick up, transport and put down nonmagnetic particles. Already, four asters positioned together collected free-floating particles, and another one picked up a glass bead that weighed four times as much as itself.