ROBOpilot makes maiden flight in US Air Force tests

A cockpit view of ROBOpilot attached to seat rails with no permanent modifications to the aircraft

A new US Air Force kit that can turn a conventional aircraft into a robotic one has completed its maiden flight. Developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and DZYNE Technologies Incorporated as part of the Robotic Pilot Unmanned Conversion Program, the ROBOpilot made its first two-hour flight on August 9 at the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah after being installed in a 1968 Cessna 206 small aircraft.

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Category: Aircraft

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Hip-high soft exosuit provides walk or run assist

The soft exosuit is reckoned to be the first untethered device to offer mobility assistance for ...

Wearable robot mobility helpers can be heavy and cumbersome, but they have the potential to help those who can't move to walk again or make light work of heavy objects. For a number of years, researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute have been working on a soft exosuit that's lightweight and portable, and the latest version can provide both walking and running assistance.

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Category: Robotics

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Astro robo-dog packs an AI-enabled "brain" in its 3D-printed head

Astro utilizes a deep neural network to learn new tasks through a process of trial and ...

We've already seen several dog-like quadruped robots, which move by walking with their four backward-bending legs. Researchers at Florida Atlantic University are now getting in on the act, with their artificially-intelligent (and dog-headed) Astro robot.

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Category: Robotics

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Cane-based companion robot supports mobility-impaired with a friendly touch

Test subjects wore a virtual reality headset which interfered with their gait

Taking inspiration from the traditional cane, a team of researchers from Columbia Engineering in New York has come up with a LiDAR-enabled robotic assistant which offers light-touch support for the mobility-impaired. Dubbed Canine, the device improves the user's spacial self-awareness, which subsequently improves walking stability.

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Category: Health & Wellbeing

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Robots compete in DARPA's Subterranean Challenge to prep for alien life hunt

One of team CoSTAR's cave-exploring robots, which will be participating in the DARPA Subterranean Challenge this ...

This week DARPA kicks off a competition called the Subterranean Challenge, where hordes of robots are unleashed into caves and tunnels to test how well they can autonomously navigate these environments. One team, headed up by NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), is entering a crew of bots that could inform future designs of spacefaring robots that explore caves and lava tubes on other planets and moons.

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Category: Robotics

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"MacGyver" robots learn to build new tools from everyday objects on hand

The MacGyver bot can learn to build new tools based on the form and function of ...

Robot arms are getting smarter and smarter all the time, and now a team from Georgia Tech has taught them how to make their own tools. These resourceful robots are first taught to match form and function, then let loose on a series of everyday objects to build what they need to complete a given job.

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Category: Robotics

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Robot to study the marine twilight region completes sea trials

Engineers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and ship’s crew on the R/V Rachel Carson prepare to ...

A new type of underwater robot has completed sea trials in Monterey Bay, California. Developed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), and partners, the Mesobot is a semi-autonomous robotic submersible designed to study the marine twilight zone of the mesopelagic region.

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Category: Robotics

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