Biomimetic “Pleurobot” walks and talks just like a real salamander skeleton

Actually, I’m not sure why it talks, but Pleurobot is a beautiful robot, and the movement very closely emulates that of a salamander, which is no mistake:

“Tracking up to 64 points on the animal’s skeleton we were able to record three-dimensional movements of bones in great detail. Using optimization on all the recorded postures for the three gaits we deduced the number and position of active and passive joints needed for the robot to reproduce the animal movements in reasonable accuracy in three-dimensions.”


They are working on a “diving suit” so that it can swim without shorting out.


Full article and more video HERE

U.S. Navy developing Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot


Designed in a bipedal configuration to facilitate passage through the narrow walkways of a ship, the Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFir) stands 5 feet 10 inches and weighs 143 pounds. On a ship, there are numerous barriers which would block access to a wheeled robot. With enough battery power for 30 minutes of firefighting, SAFFiR is capable of walking in all directions, balancing in rough seas, and stepping around obstacles.

To be an effective firefighter, a robot would need to be very fast and very articulate. So as the development team masters the basic tasks, like keeping balance in rough seas, and not squirting humans with the fire hose… in short, after they get the accuracy, I suppose the speed will be next. Fast robots can be unnerving to watch, but the faster they are, the more effective they will be as fire fighters, rescue workers, soldiers, football players, etc.

Full article HERE.

Of course, some robots are not interested in putting fires OUT:

Military testing amphibious “Guardbot” ball


Capable of traversing snow, ice, mud, sand, grass, and swimming in water, Guardbot has two onboard HD cameras which can be independently oriented. Guardbot can be scaled up to 9 feet in diameter and is capable of remote-controlled or autonomous operation.

Full article and additional videos HERE

On a completely unrelated note, has anyone seen “Oblivion?” :)



Robear nurse robot



Robear can help move elderly or infirm patients from their bed to a wheelchair, or help them stand up. Robear was developed by the RIKEN-SRK Collaboration Center for Human-Interactive Robot Research and Sumitomo Riko Company in Japan.

Robear is part of the company’s ongoing R&D to devise new ways to assist with care of the elderly.

“That’s an increasingly urgent challenge in Japan, where the elderly population is growing fast. According to Riken, robots like Robear can play an important role in taking the strain off nurses and caregivers, who may be having to lift patients 40 or more times a day, risking lower-back pain in the process.”

Full article HERE.

The Newest Member of the BigDog Family is Much Quieter



“Spot” is lighter and more agile than his gas-powered big brothers, and since there is no onboard internal combustion generator, no longer has that irritating chainsaw hum from the previous models. Spot only weighs about 160 pounds. True to form, Boston Dynamics shows this new prototype recovering from a (disturbing as always) kick from a human, which severely disables the robot. It does an extremely impressive job of maintaining its footing, I just can’t help wishing it had kicked the human back. But given how many people are losing their jobs to AI and automation, we might all feel like kicking a robot soon.





Robots Have Begun Writing the News

robot scribe

AI is now advanced enough that it can be fed raw data, and produce a news article which looks like it was penned by a human. News articles are now routinely written and published in this way. The LA times recently wrote and posted a snippet about an earthquake, three minutes after the event, using one of these writerbot algorithms.

“Kristian Hammond, cofounder and CTO of Narrative Science, thinks some 90% of the news could be written by computers by 2030.”

I guess that’s only fair, since in 2030, the robot population is expected to surpass the human population. Still, as more and more people begin to lose jobs to robots and automation, I had hoped journalists were safe. Remember to be skeptical if, in the near future, you see news articles like “100% of All Humans Want a Robot President” or “I For One, Welcome Our New Robot Overlords.”

Read more at SingularityHub

Mini Humanoid Robots Starting to Walk More Like People


If they are ever going to be able to pass for human, robots will have to be endowed with a more natural gait. This mini bot has an incredibly natural, human-like walk. It is a KHR-3HV robot kit, modified by Masahiko Yamaguchi, a roboticist who has worked at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Boston Dynamics, and Osaka University.

Read more at Gizmag

DARPA’s Newest X-Plane Concepts Are All Robots



“DARPA announced the four companies that’ll be competing to develop a new experimental aircraft that combines the efficiency of an airplane with the versatility of a helicopter.”

Pictured above is Boeing’s concept, “Phantom Swift.” Hmm…


Just sayin’. Read more at IEEE SPECTRUM


Meet the Cheetah-Cub Robot

Developed in the Swiss laboratories of École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the Cheetah-Cub robot is about the size of a housecat, and moves like one as well.

“We show experimental results where Cheetah-cub robot reaches 1.42m/s speed, (3.2mph), almost seven body lengths per second. This makes Cheetah-cub robot the fastest running quadruped legged robot under 30kg

Read more at Botropolis

Unnerving video of robot face controlled by slime mold


This website sort of has a “fear of robots” theme to it, so here is something to be afraid of. Or at least really creeped out! [Be sure to have the volume up for the full effect.]


“Electrical signals produced when a yellow slime mould moves eagerly towards food or is repulsed by light are used to power a human-like robot face”

Not sure if this is research or art, but it’s very unsettling, whatever it is!

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