Robotic fish that swim in schools and cooperate using artificial intelligence to detect and identify pollution in seawater have been created by SHOAL, an EU-funded group of researchers led by BMT Group. The goal is to cut the time required to detect pollution in ports and other aquatic areas from weeks to seconds, using the robotic fishes' chemical sensors for onsite analysis. The robots can avoid obstacles, determine where to look for pollution using mapping, locate its source, maintain a maximum communication distance from the rest of the school, send data underwater back to a base station, and return to it for recharging. (Source: BMT Group)
SparkyWatt, I agree. The slideshow was not impressive due to the unrealistic designs being proposed. I'm a firm believer that design concepts need to be validated using functional prototypes instead of "What If" imagery. Its about practicality thru functionality that truly brings a design to life.
Actually, I was disappointed with this post. There are a lot of great concepts here, but very little that actually works. This points to some great directions that we can try to go, but it doesn't show much that we are actually doing. People can tout concepts all day, and even have a good idea about how to make them work, but that is a long step from having a usable system.
Ann and nadinej, Very nice slideshow. These robots look more artistic than functional. I'm. wondering what stage of robotic develeopment these machines are at? Some of them look like non functional machines instead of operating robots.
Wow, I think that tractor's cool, Ann. Actually, it's better than the one I was referring to. We published an article about ithe other one a few years back. Unfortunately, the photos seem to have disappeared.
Cabe, I wouldn't want a gardening bot either. I like to get my hands dirty--shades of my toddler-era mudpie making--and connect with green things. But did you mean the CROPS harvesting robot or the Blue River weed puller? Neither one was for home gardening. Besides, I'm all for someone else pulling weeds.
I love the fact that robotics has gotten into high school competitions. I've seen tons of news items about those. I
Chuck, I found pictures of a John Deere walking tractor at this link: http://www.theoldrobots.com/Walking-Robot2.html Don't know if this is the same one you mentioned, but in any case, it's sufficiently creepy: looks like a big bug to me.
The problem with the robots and the controls is that all of that software is written by programmers. And, really, we all know it, programmers are NOT normal people. Actually, it goes way beyond that, which is to say that the problem will always be t6hat the computer systems don't know how to handle the exceptions. Even when they believe that all possible exceptions are covered, up pops another one. On top of that, artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity. Of course, when designers attempt to prevent problems from dumb users any given system becomes much less useful, and often much less intuitive as well.
Everyone has had the experience of trying to scrape the last of the peanut butter or mayonnaise from the bottom of a glass jar without getting your hand sticky. Inventor Ron Jidmar thinks he has a solution to all of that nonsense with a flexible jar design that can be squeezed with one hand to lift contents from the bottom to the top of a jar or container, leaving the other hand free to scoop the contents out cleanly.
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