Smartphone driven Autonomous Drone: The Smart Copter

For the first time consumer-grade electronics are used for programming autonomous drones. This drone makes use of smartphone as its brain. The phone senses its environment by taking real time pictures. Even the real time computation is done on the device itself along with higher-level autonomy, maneuvering, navigation, control and computer vision algorithms. The product is the brainchild of GRASP Laboratory, University Of Pennsylvania. Click on the video below to see the autonomous flying robot: This makes me think, if you lose your smartphone, you’d end up losing the drone…

The Autonomous K5: A Bot for Predicting and Preventing Crime

Silicon Valley, the renowned center for invention and development, is always in news. Lately, Microsoft’s robo cop has been creating waves in the tech ocean of the Valley. Start-up, Knightscope has named its security robot K5. Makers of the robot using high tech robotics, predictive analytics and social engagement, wanted to use the bot in predicting and preventing crime. Till now, the company has designed seven robots and envisions positioning four more by the end of this year. 

Fully Autonomous Vehicles: Profit Center for Chipmakers

IHS Technology envision that market for MCUs and processor units would touch half a billion dollars by 2020. Similarly, revenues from optical sensors would escalate 7 times by the same year. Google has already rolled in its driverless car and by the end of 2014 we would be witnessing more such autonomous vehicles from robot manufacturers as well, as in robocars. As of now, these cars are not functioning as fully autonomous vehicles and they do require human intervention, especially to avoid unanticipated events. In fact, they are being operated…

Ghost Knifefish Inspired Autonomous Underwater Vehicle: Biomimicry

In an attempt to design an underwater vehicle that can go into the depths of ocean, which are not, accessible or not safe for humans to dive in, scientists are studying the Ghost knifefish method of locomotion. The fish are known to hunt in the murky water of the Amazon basin with precision and to sense the environment, rely on the current that they pass through the water and whirl their long fin for smooth motion to move both horizontally (forward and backward) as well as vertically. 

Termites Inspire Crew of Tiny Autonomous Bots: Biomimicry

Inspired from termites, which are usually known for causing damages to the buildings, researchers from Harvard University have created a crew of tiny robots that are designed to work autonomously. The bio-inspired robots termed as TERMES can work without any central supervision and can carry bricks to construct structures as towers, castles and pyramids. 

Super Strong Artificial Muscles: Interactive Soft Robotics

An Italian team of researchers lead by Prof. Marco Fontana, in collaboration with the departments of Industrial Engineering of the Universities of Trento and Bologna, have created an Electrostatic Bellow Muscle (EBM) to fabricate efficient small-scale robots. The innovative robotic muscle has potential of powering itself for a long period of time beyond its preliminary charge.