As part of their senior project, two Mechanical Engineering students at San Jose State University designed a platform that is more than a little good at balancing a steel ball bearing… even when someone tries to push it off. Tyler Kroymann and Robert Dee built the platform as a proof-of-concept for their impressive 6 degree-of-freedom (DOF) platform to simulate driving motions in racing games. Using a 6 DOF platform controlled by model airplane servos and topped with a resistive touch panel mounted on the platform as input, they used PID control algorithms to teach the system to balance. Yes, it’s quite complex, but the way this machine behaves looks deceptively simple: [Read more…]
If you’re a child of the ‘80s, you might remember the Spielberg produced movie *Batteries Not Included. The imaginative film featured tiny, spaceship-like mechanical life-forms that could reproduce (and help rebuild decrepit apartment buildings). Now, it finally seems the age of self-assembling machines is upon us… or at least self-assembling lamps. [Read more…]
In less than ten years we will have full fledged androids moving about in our society. For those who can afford one, they will be helping with the tasks that have to be done so that they can spend more time doing the things they love to do. They will allow the elderly to stay in their homes; offering them companionship and assistance. They could even work alongside humans, taking factory jobs back from China and thus boosting our economy. The possibilities are truly endless and it is imperative, as we figure out new applications, that all of the ethical implications are considered. In this fascinating video clip, Reporter Carolyn Jarvis of the 16:9 show on Global News Canada meets with some of the leading experts in Robotics, showing how far the technology has already come and what the future will hold. [Read more…]
MIT researchers are developing small magnetic cubes that can communicate with each other to auto-duplicate objects in a “sand box” using a subtractive production algorithm.
3D printing is the process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. Typically, this printing is achieved using additive processes, where an object is created by laying down successive layers of material. It is considered distinct from traditional machining techniques which mostly relied on the removal of material by drilling and cutting. [Read more…]
A transparent sensor that is so stretchy it can be pulled to twice its original length and then bounce back perfectly has potential for use with prosthetic limbs, robotics, and touch-sensitive computer displays. [Read more…]