The low-cost Kilobot has unconventional locomotion using vibration motors and communicates using reflected infrared light. Harvard University researchers produced a 1,024-robot swarm for testing collective behaviors.
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New Electronic Components for Printable Robots that Self-Assemble When Heated
| video (0:59) | 716 views
MIT researchers have demonstrated the promise of printable robotic components that, when heated, automatically fold into prescribed three-dimensional configurations. The researchers presented two papers at this year’s IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation. One paper describes a system that takes a digital specification of a 3D shape - such as a computer-aided design, or CAD, file - and generates the 2D patterns that would enable a piece of plastic to reproduce it through...
Optical Phased Array Chip Acts As A Lens-Free Projector
video | 785 views
Traditional projectors - like those used to project a film - pass a beam of light through a tiny image, using lenses to map each point of the small picture to corresponding, yet expanded, points on a large screen. A new chip, developed by electrical engineering professor Ali Hajimiri of the California Institute of Technology, eliminates the need for bulky and expensive lenses and bulbs and instead uses an integrated optical phased array (OPA) to project the image electronically with a single...
Stretchable, Stick-on Electronic Patches for Wireless Health Monitoring
| video (1:06) | 548 views
University of Illinois and Northwestern University engineers have developed thin stick-on patches that stretch and move with the skin and incorporate commercial chip-based electronics for wireless health monitoring. The patch is constructed of a thin elastic envelope filled with fluid. The chip components are suspended on tiny raised support points, bonding them to the underlying patch but allowing the patch to bend. Tiny wires that connect the electronics components – radios, power...
Shape-Morphing Aircraft Wing Technology Tested at Dryden Flight Research Center
| video | 2,436 views
Flexsys, Inc. is replacing the trailing edge flaps of a Gulfstream GIII business jet with 14-foot FlexFoil™ variable geometry control surfaces together with 24-inch transition sections at each end. NASA, in partnership with the U.S. Air Force Research Lab, scheduled several flight tests in July 2014 at the Dryden Flight Research Center. In retrofit applications, the FlexFoil™ technology can cut fuel consumption by 4-8% and up to to 12% or more in clean-sheet builds. Other benefits of the...
World’s First 3D Acoustic Cloaking Device Hides Objects from Sound
| video | 1,737 views
Duke University engineers have demonstrated the world’s first three-dimensional acoustic cloak. Their device reroutes sound waves to create the impression that both the cloak and anything beneath it are not there. It works in all three dimensions, no matter which direction the sound is coming from or where the observer is located, and holds potential for applications like sonar avoidance. The geometry of simple plastic sheets and placement of holes interacts with sound waves to make the...