HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Blog

Video: Silicone Robot Mimics Surroundings

NO RATINGS
1 saves
View Comments: Threaded|Newest First|Oldest First
naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
More stuff
naperlou   9/5/2012 8:58:18 AM
NO RATINGS
Ann, this is an interesting technology.  On the other hand, the video was underwhelming.  It is always interesting to hear the speculation that researchers have for their developments.  I wonder if anyone really tracks the accuracy of what is said. 

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: More stuff
Rob Spiegel   9/5/2012 11:39:03 AM
NO RATINGS
I'm with you Naperlou. This is amazing technology, but the video makes it look a bit inept. Even so, this is a creepy-cool robot. It's going to be fun to see where this technology leads.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: More stuff
Charles Murray   9/5/2012 5:37:13 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree, Rob. The technology looks cool, but I'd really like to see a video that gives me an idea how this technology could be applied to "maneuver through tight spaces."

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: More stuff
Rob Spiegel   9/6/2012 11:58:50 AM
NO RATINGS
I agree, Chuck. It would help to see what they mean about tight spaces. My guess is that since it's squishy, it can fit into places that a "hard" robot would not be able to fit through. However, it's still tethered, so that could be a hindrance to maneuverability.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: More stuff
Ann R. Thryft   9/5/2012 12:11:06 PM
NO RATINGS
Lou, much of this robotics research, like other research, doesn't get all the way to a full-blown product/system. That's because some of it consists of fundamental investigations of how things work, and some of it just doesn't pan out. In general, that's pretty typical of advances in both the sciences and technology. As many commenters have noted, making people aware of what other engineers are thinking up can be inspiring.

NadineJ
User Rank
Platinum
another example of biomimicry
NadineJ   9/5/2012 11:12:19 AM
NO RATINGS
This is biomimicry at its most beautiful. Who doesn't like watching videos osf squids changing colour?

The claims to help prosthetics technology and search and rescue seem shakey.  I'd like to see a follow up.  How it develops over time could be interesting. 

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: another example of biomimicry
Ann R. Thryft   9/5/2012 12:11:47 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks Nadine, glad you enjoyed the post. Even though, as Lou noted it's not a great video and the movements of the robot are rather crude, it's still fun to watch. I thought the prosthetics apps seemed a bit far-fetched, but the search-and-rescue ones make sense for navigating tight spaces and acting as a type of sentinel by lighting up. What I'd like to see is the untethered stage of this beastie.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: another example of biomimicry
Rob Spiegel   9/5/2012 4:48:53 PM
NO RATINGS
Interesting new technology, Ann. I would imagine this squishy new robot could take a wide range of forms as the technology is developed. The chameleon quality could help in surveillance.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: another example of biomimicry
Ann R. Thryft   9/6/2012 12:23:49 PM
NO RATINGS
Rob, I think you nailed that--surveillance is supposed to be one of the major apps this robot would be good for. I can see it taking many different forms, too. Hope they get a better video for the next rev.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: another example of biomimicry
Rob Spiegel   9/6/2012 2:23:52 PM
NO RATINGS
Even in the video you posted, Ann, you can see that this robot would be able to squeeze through a small area. It has a gummy worm aspect of flexibility. If they can move beyond a tether -- say, with the flexibile battery you wrote about last week -- http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=249722 -- this could go through all sorts of small spaces.

 

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: another example of biomimicry
Ann R. Thryft   9/6/2012 5:08:40 PM
NO RATINGS
Rob, the researchers did say that the next step is to develop this robot so it works without a tether. Whether this guy can take advantage of that flexible battery, who knows, but that sounds like a great idea.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: another example of biomimicry
Rob Spiegel   9/7/2012 12:37:51 PM
NO RATINGS
Ann, that match-up with a flexible battery could be the answer to allow the robot to crawl through small spaces without a tether. Yet another robot that mimics creepy crawly nature.

Jack Rupert, PE
User Rank
Platinum
Color Changing
Jack Rupert, PE   9/7/2012 2:28:50 PM
NO RATINGS
Ann, maybe I missed it, but do you know how the color is determined?  Is this a case where the human operator decides how the robot will blend in to its surrounding and then give a command through the various chemical reactions, or does the unit decide for itself what to do?

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Color Changing
Ann R. Thryft   9/10/2012 12:10:56 PM
NO RATINGS
Jack, how those colors are determined wasn't specified, but at this point I'm reasonably certain the robot is not doing the choosing. I have several unanswered questions about how the robot will work in the next rev, which is supposed to be untethered. Once of them is: where will the multiple fluids used for color changes come from? Will it be pre-resident in different layers? And what about the pumping action? In the video, the pumping, at least, appears to be done by the operator in real time.

Jack Rupert, PE
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Color Changing
Jack Rupert, PE   9/17/2012 2:01:05 PM
NO RATINGS
Good point, Ann.  At first I thought the robot was calling for the chemicals remotely, just because too much was needed for the package.  But after viewing the video again, you're right. It does look like they might be pumped due to human intervention.

gsmith120
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Color Changing
gsmith120   11/4/2012 3:06:48 PM
NO RATINGS
Ann, I hope you have a follow-up story on this one.  I would be very interested in knowing the answers to the unanswered questions. 

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Color Changing
Ann R. Thryft   11/5/2012 12:23:38 PM
NO RATINGS
gsmith, we'll definitely do a follow-up if the research team reports their next milestones. Since it's a DARPA project, though, we might not get all the answers we'd like.

gsmith120
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Color Changing
gsmith120   11/4/2012 3:05:32 PM
NO RATINGS
Jack you took the words out of my mouth.  I had the same question about color changing.  I wonder how long it takes the robot to make a color change and what are some of the limitations. 

Partner Zone
More Blogs
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
Some humanoid walking robots are also good at running, balancing, and coordinated movements in group settings. Several of our sports robots have won regional or worldwide acclaim in the RoboCup soccer World Cup, or FIRST Robotics competitions. Others include the world's first hockey-playing robot and a trash-talking Scrabble player.
Automation technology advances matched with expanded fracking and the growing urbanization of Asia, South America, and the Middle East, are fueling a boom in the automation industry.
Design News Webinar Series
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
9/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Oct 20 - 24, How to Design & Build an Embedded Web Server: An Embedded TCP/IP Tutorial
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 11:00 AM
Sponsored by Stratasys
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Gates Corporation
Next Class: 11/11-11/13 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service