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Latest Robotics News


DARPA’s research into brain-computer interfaces has moved to new horizons, with a human subject now able to mentally control multiple vehicles, and astoundingly, receive intelligible sensor feedback directly into his brain, apparently sidestepping gazing at a screen or haptic feedback.
“As of today, signals from the brain can be used to command and control … not just one aircraft but three simultaneous types of aircraft,” said Justin Sanchez, who directs DARPA’s biological technology office, at the Agency’s 60th-anniversary event in Maryland. …DARPA was able to improve the interaction between pilot and the simulated jet to allow the operator, a paralyzed man named Nathan, to not just send but receive signals from the craft.

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The next war might include mind-controlled drones. DARPA has overseen trials using mind-controlled drones for use by the military. According to The Daily Beast, these trials were computer simulations that are the precursor to what could lead to robotics that are controlled by the mind of a human operator.

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As the Army integrates robots into its formations, from mule-like transports to single-soldier controlled drone swarms, it’s reaching out to industry and coming up with some novel solutions. This Venus Flytrap-like system has caught its eye.

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This new dexterous extension to your smart phone seems to be creepy, cool and weird, all at once. But when you think about it, doesn’t it make sense to equip your smart phone with some form of ambulation?

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The closing of Rethink Robotics is sad news, as this company was a pioneer in the development of robots that were emotionally sympathetic. One gravitated to Baxter at a trade show because the robot smiled back and looked at you, and its intelligently controlled end effectors appeared to be easily trainable working next to a human partner--breaking down the barriers between human and robot and helping establish the cobot concept. It seemed a remarkable step forward.

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