Introducing The World’s First Mind-Controlled Quadrotor Drone - Mind Over Mechanics
In a jaw-dropping feat of engineering, electronics turn a person’s thoughts into commands for a robot. Using a brain-computer interface technology pioneered by University of Minnesota biomedical engineering professor Bin He, several young people have learned to use their thoughts to steer a flying robot around a gym, making it turn, rise, dip, and even sail through a ring.
The technology may someday allow people robbed of speech and mobility by neurodegenerative diseases to regain function by controlling artificial limbs, wheelchairs, or other devices. And it’s completely noninvasive: Brain waves (EEG) are picked up by the electrodes of an EEG cap on the scalp, not a chip implanted in the brain.
Inspired by the biology of a fly, with submillimeter-scale anatomy and two wafer-thin wings that flap at 120 times per second, robotic insects, or RoboBees, achieve vertical takeoff, hovering, and steering.
The tiny robots flap their wings using piezoelectric actuators — strips of ceramic that expand and contract when an electric field is applied. Thin hinges of plastic embedded within a carbon fiber body frame serve as joints, and a delicately balanced control system commands the rotational motions in the flapping-wing robot, with each wing controlled independently in real-time.
Applications of RoboBees could include distributed environmental monitoring, search-and-rescue operations, and assistance with crop pollination.
The PETMAN robot was developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from the DoD CBD program. It is used to test the performance of protective clothing designed for hazardous environments.
The video shows initial testing in a chemical protection suit and gas mask. PETMAN has sensors embedded in its skin that detect any chemicals leaking through the suit.
The skin also maintains a micro-climate inside the clothing by sweating and regulating temperature. Partners in developing PETMAN were MRIGlobal, Measurement Technology Northwest, Smith Carter, SRD, CUH2A, and HHI.
Mantis - Two Tonne Turbo Diesel Hexapod Walking Machine
After four years intensive R&D, inspiration, design and build, Micromagic Systems is proud to unveil Mantis — the biggest, all-terrain operational hexapod robot in the world.
This 2.2-litre Turbo Diesel-powered, British-designed and -built walking machine can be piloted or remote WiFi-controlled, stands 2.8 metres high with a five meter working envelope and weighing in at just under two tonnes.
With the BionicOpter, Festo has technically mastered the highly complex flight characteristics of the dragonfly. Just like its model in nature, this ultralight flying object can fly in all directions, hover in mid-air and glide without beating its wings. —— Mit dem BionicOpter hat Festo die hochkomplexen Flugeigenschaften der Libelle technisch umgesetzt. Wie sein natürliches Vorbild kann das ultraleichte Flugobjekt in alle Raumrichtungen manövrieren, auf der Stelle fliegen und ganz ohne Flügelschlag segeln. —— festo.com/en/bionicopter festo.com/de/bionicopter
BigDog handles heavy objects. The goal is to use the strength of the legs and torso to help power motions of the arm.
This sort of dynamic, whole-body approach to manipulation is used routinely by human athletes and will enhance the performance of advanced robots. Boston Dynamics is developing the control and actuation techniques needed for dynamic manipulation with funding from the Army Research Laboratory’s RCTA program.