One thing that robots have trouble with is walking through crowds. It comes very naturally to humans, but robots, not so much. Well, a team from Stanford University is working on making robots that can move alongside humans.
First, we saw a robot that could both fly and walk. Then we saw a robot that could fly, walk and perch. Now we have SCAMP, a robot that can do all of the above as well as scale vertical surfaces.
SCAMP stands for Stanford Climbing and Aerial Maneuvering Platform and was made by engineers at Stanford University’s Biomimetics & Dexterous Manipulation Laboratory.
A few years ago we saw a prototype for a robot with gecko-like pads, allowing it to stick to and move on uneven and vertical surfaces. A group of Stanford students made two robots with the same inspiration, but this time instead of settling for wall-climbing, these tiny robots are designed to drag objects that are a hundred to two thousand times their own weight.
Stanford students David Christensen, Elliot Hawkes, Arul Suresh and Karen Ladenheim developed what they call µTugs or MicroTugs.
One thing that I’ve personally experienced from living the always-connected 21st century lifestyle – your gadgets can stress you out. Whether it’s the pressure that you constantly need to check email, or that your boss might text you at three in the morning, it’s become almost impossible to distance yourself from the stressors of work and life if you’re carrying a smartphone.
Some engineering students at Stanford get to take a class that might be the coolest class ever called Experimental Robotics. Being the geeks they are, some of the students opted to build a robot arm that could have a lightsaber fight with you using foam lightsabers.
Stanford computer science and electrical engineering professor Marc Levoy is a bit tired of the marketing gimmicks for digital cameras. He says that the “megapixel war” is over and the battle has now shifted from quantity to quality, as in what feature does camera X have that camera Y doesn’t.
Stanford researchers have designed these incredible little robots are about the size of a quarter for use in atmospheric research on Earth (and one day) on Mars. I just want them for conducting research in my office building.