Struggling to keep on top of all the news about robotics? These essential blogs covering news about robotics make it easy.

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3 Squishy Medical Robots That Are as Soft as You Are

3 Squishy Medical Robots That Are as Soft as You Are
Photo: Hyunwoo Yuk/MIT Go Fish: A hydrogel hand, shown here delicately grasping a goldfish, could one day be used as a surgical tool. The inside of the human body is mostly squishy (that’s a technical term), and our soft innards don’t always fare well when hard objects are placed inside. Not only can sharp edges damage organs and blood vessels, but the body’s defense system can also surround the foreign object with scar tissue and interfere with its intended function. So re…
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When Drone Delivery Makes Sense: When You're Flying Life-Saving Blood to Hospitals

When Drone Delivery Makes Sense: When You
Amazon just made news when its Prime Air delivery drone did its first public demo, landing on a lawn in California to drop off a few bottles of sunscreen for attendees of an Amazon conference on automation. But the cofounder and CTO of the drone delivery startup Zipline doesn’t think much of Amazon’s experiments in this area, or Google’s either. Have you been near one of those quadrocopters when it sets down, Zipline’s Keenan Wyrobek asks? “They’re huge things with the powe…
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Electronic License Plates for Drones

Electronic License Plates for Drones
In late 2015, mandatory drone registration went into effect in the United States. Since then, anyone who wants to fly a drone (or model aircraft) weighing over 0.55 pounds (0.25 kilograms) must register with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to receive a unique identification number. This number needs to be placed on the drone, but there is no requirements for it to broadcast signals to allow for remote identification. That might change in the future. The FAA Extensi…
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IEEE Global Initiative Aims to Advance Ethical Design of AI and Autonomous Systems

IEEE Global Initiative Aims to Advance Ethical Design of AI and Autonomous Systems
This article originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine. We thank RAM and the authors for giving us permission to reproduce it here. Algorithms with learning abilities collect personal data that are then used without users’ consent and even without their knowledge; autonomous weapons are under discussion in the United Nations; robots stimulating emotions are deployed with vulnerable people; research projects are funded to develop huma…
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Video Friday: Robotics for Happiness, Drone Films, and Jeff Bezos' Robot Suit

Video Friday: Robotics for Happiness, Drone Films, and Jeff Bezos
Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next two months; here’s what we have so far (send us your events!): Automate – April 3-3, 2017 – Chicago, Ill., USA ITU Robot Olympics – April 7-9, 2017 – Istanbul, Turkey ROS Industrial Consortium – April 07, 2017 – Chicago, Ill., USA U.S. National Robotics Week – April 8-16, 2017 – USA NASA …
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How Open-Source Robotics Hardware Is Accelerating Research and Innovation

How Open-Source Robotics Hardware Is Accelerating Research and Innovation
The latest issue of the IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine features a special report on open-source robotics hardware and its impact in the field. We’ve seen how, over the last several years, open source software—platforms like the Robot Operating System (ROS), Gazebo, and OpenCV, among others—has played a huge role in helping researchers and companies build robots better and faster. Can the same thing happen with robot hardware? It’s already happening, says robotics res…
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Lice-Hunting Underwater Drone Protects Salmon With Lasers

Lice-Hunting Underwater Drone Protects Salmon With Lasers
Photo: Jerzy Strzelecki A Fjord’s Friend: Aquaculture pens like these in Iceland, breed fish, but also the sea lice that feed off them. The pens holding cold-water fish in the far North Sea fjords of Norway and quiet lochs of Scotland, whose depths are normally inky black after dark, now have an eerie night glow. There’s a perfectly rational explanation: Thousands of laser pulses are doing an important job, lighting up fish stocks in the latest bid to control a pesky parasi…
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DIY Lego Robot Brings Lab Automation to Students

DIY Lego Robot Brings Lab Automation to Students
Photo: Lukas Gerber and Ingmar Riedel-KruseIn an attempt to get robotics-minded kids more interested in life sciences—and vice versa—Stanford researchers have designed DIY robot kits for automating chemistry experiments. Using a Lego Mindstorms EV3 set and some plastic syringes, students can build robots that measure and transfer liquids, automating their their classroom laboratory assignments. Instructions for building the robot were published Tuesday in the journal PloS Bi…
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Video Friday: Robots Rapping, RoboBoat Competition, and Wall-Avoiding Drone

Video Friday: Robots Rapping, RoboBoat Competition, and Wall-Avoiding Drone
Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next two months; here’s what we have so far (send us your events!): European Robotics Forum – March 22-24, 2017 – Edinburgh, Scotland NDIA Ground Robotics Conference – March 22-23, 2017 – Springfield, Va., USA Automate – April 3-3, 2017 – Chicago, Ill., USA ITU Robot Olympics – April 7-9, 2017 …
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Point-and-Click Method Makes Robot Grasping Control Less Tedious

Point-and-Click Method Makes Robot Grasping Control Less Tedious
Until all robots everywhere are autonomous all the time, humans are going to have to take over once in awhile. This is going to happen more frequently as robots that are almost but not quite fully autonomous get deployed in residential, commercial, and industrial environments. When these robots get stuck on a task (and they definitely will get stuck), a human operator could hop in via telepresence to help them out. One problem, though, is that right now this teleoperation pr…
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