DailyDirt: Bio-inspired Robots

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Humanoid robots are pretty cool, but robot designers are also looking at other kinds of animals that would make for useful robotic mechanisms. By mimicking nature, engineers might also learn how to make robots move more efficiently. Here are just some examples where biology inspired specific robotic designs. By the way, StumbleUpon can recommend some good Techdirt articles, too.


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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 5:18pm

    Who says pneumatically-transmitted messages can't be encrypted? Also, this may be harder to intercept than a radio broadcast (though I'd imagine a laser transmission would be even better).

     

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    Nom du Clavier (profile), Apr 5th, 2011 @ 5:26pm

    That air jelly might be all kinds of awesome when combined with the Serval project's mobile phone mesh network.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 5:27pm

    I would imagine that non-electronic communications would be highly desired by both the military and police forces. Until they were in widespread use, any messages would not be intercepted.

    Nor would pneumatically-transmitted messages be subject to EMP from atomic blasts that would certainly damage traditional forms of communication. Whether the crickets could be hardened against radioactivity is the question.

    Last, if these messages could be transmitted over distances, they would not be subject to radio frequency jamming.

     

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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 5:52pm

    Watch Out For Genetic Algorithms

    Genetically-programmed robots can often “cheat”.

    For example, I was reading in New Scientist a few years ago about a robot that was programmed to try to figure out how to fly. That is, it was given wings it could flap, and legs it could stand on, and given the goal of maximizing its altitude.

    So what does it do? It stands up on its legs and stretches up to its full height.

    Second try: the goal is modified to not involve stretching up to its full height.

    This time, it finds a book on the desk nearby, and raises itself by climbing on top of that.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 6:25pm

    Re: Watch Out For Genetic Algorithms

    I believe that is a flaw in the definition of flying by the researchers and not a problem with the algorithm, much like piracy is a problem of definition and not in fact a problem at all.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 6:43pm

    And now Disney is jealous of the German researchers :)

    Haptic Radar could also give people spidey like senses.

    If you get a pressure sensor, with vibrators, you can not only communicate you can sense in the dark, just like the spiders hairs do, the thing is sensing the minute pressure differences that occur in the environment is difficult to sort out.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 6:50pm

    Cute little video of a robot cleaning the desk.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quzwHqjgrDw

     

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    Bruce Burbank, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 6:53pm

    That air jelly sure is graceful doing its nifty little ballet. But that sure does seem like quite a controlled environment. What happens when you get that thing outside and a big ol' gust of wind hits it? Followed by another and another....?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 7:00pm

    Festo - Air Penguin

    Maybe someday we will be exploring places using air robots.

     

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    Michael Ho (profile), Apr 5th, 2011 @ 7:31pm

    Re: Watch Out For Genetic Algorithms

    That reminds me.... I vaguely remember there was an experiment where some FPGAs were set to "evolve" to produce a square wave generator... and the chips "cheated" to accomplish the goal by copying and modifying an ambient 60Hz signal from unshielded electronics in the lab...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 8:36pm

    Re: Re: Watch Out For Genetic Algorithms

    Unbelievable even computers pirate things now, what a shame.
    You can't even trust machines anymore.

    Sarcasm hint: LoL

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 8:38pm

    Re: Re: Watch Out For Genetic Algorithms

    One more:

    That is it, even machines now want to be freetards, those machines should be destroyed because they endanger the lifes of artists.

    That is no copying is downright theft.

     

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    Carl, Apr 6th, 2011 @ 4:02am

    Air puff comms

    ...don't know why robots wouldn't just use encrypted radio transmissions.

    To me, the value of this is the lack of being detected during a covert op. A radio signal's location can be detected, even if it's content isn't readable.

     

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