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Your search has returned 54 articles:
  • News

    High-tech ‘skins’ turn everyday objects into robots

    A new type of soft robot gets its power from the skin it’s in.

    Robotic skin that bends, stretches and contracts can wrap around inanimate objects like stuffed animals, foam tubes or balloons to create flexible, lightweight robots. Removable, reusable sheets of this artificial skin, described online September 19 in Science Robotics, could also be used to build grippers or wearable devices...

    09/19/2018 - 14:00 Materials, Robotics, Technology
  • News in Brief

    This flying robot could reveal secrets of the aerial world of insects

    A new winged robot helps explain why airborne insects are so doggone hard to swat.

    Scientists have wondered how these tiny pilots pull off such rapid twists and turns, but researchers haven’t been able to test all their ideas by monitoring real insects or using tethered robots. Now, a free-flying, insect-inspired robot, described in the Sept. 14 Science, gives researchers an alternative...

    09/13/2018 - 14:00 Robotics, Animals
  • News

    Here’s what robots could learn from fire ants

    Robots, take note: When working in tight, crowded spaces, fire ants know how to avoid too many cooks in the kitchen.

    Observations of fire ants digging an underground nest reveal that a few industrious ants do most of the work while others dawdle. Computer simulations confirm that, while this strategy may not be the fairest, it is the most efficient because it helps reduce overcrowding in...

    08/16/2018 - 14:04 Robotics, Animals, Technology
  • News

    Children may be especially vulnerable to peer pressure from robots

    Peer pressure can be tough for kids to resist, even if it comes from robots.

    School-aged children tend to echo the incorrect but unanimous responses of a group of robots to a simple visual task, a new study finds. In contrast, adults who often go along with the errant judgments of human peers resist such social pressure applied by robots, researchers report August 15 in Science Robotics...

    08/15/2018 - 14:00 Robotics, Psychology
  • News

    With this new system, robots can ‘read’ your mind

    Getting robots to do what we want would be a lot easier if they could read our minds.

    That sci-fi dream might not be so far off. With a new robot control system, a human can stop a bot from making a mistake and get the machine back on track using brain waves and simple hand gestures. People who oversee robots in factories, homes or hospitals could use this setup, to be presented at the...

    06/20/2018 - 00:00 Robotics, Technology
  • News in Brief

    A new soft bot mimics octopuses and inchworms to climb walls

    PHOENIX — Soft robots really get around. Some jump, others swim or crawl on the ground (SN Online: 12/13/16). Now, one can even scale walls.

    Inspired by an octopus’s suckers, researchers have constructed an inchwormlike robot that uses a pair of suction cups to scoot around vertical surfaces. The bot can clamber across rough and smooth terrain, aboveground and underwater, carrying up to...

    04/09/2018 - 12:35 Robotics, Technology
  • News

    Earwigs take origami to extremes to fold their wings

    To quickly unfurl and refold their wings, earwigs stretch the rules of origami.

    Yes, those garden pests that scurry out from under overturned flowerpots can also fly. Because earwigs spend most of their time underground and only occasionally take to the air, they pack their wings into packages with a surface area more than 10 times smaller than when unfurled, using an origami-like series...

    03/22/2018 - 14:10 Biophysics, Animals, Materials, Robotics
  • News in Brief

    Boy robot passes agility tests

    View the video

    Robots are on their way to passing gym class.

    The design of a new life-size bot named Kengoro closely resembles the anatomy of a teenage boy in body proportion, skeletal and muscular structure, and joint flexibility, researchers report online December 20 in Science Robotics. Compared with previous humanoid robots with more rigid, bulky bodies, Kengoro’s anatomically...

    12/21/2017 - 16:13 Robotics, Technology
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers inspired by SN 10 scientists’ research

    Wanting more

    For the third year in a row, Science News profiled 10 early- and mid-career i­nnovators who are transforming their fields in “The SN 10: Scientists to watch” (SN: 10/14/17, p. 16).

    The profiles left some readers inspired, intrigued and wanting to know more about these scientists’ research.

    “Really enjoying these portraits, thanks, SN!” online reader Maia commented...

    11/15/2017 - 13:17 Science & Society, Robotics, Psychology
  • News in Brief

    This is the lightest robot that can fly, swim and take off from water

    View the video

    A new insect-inspired tiny robot that can move between air and water is a lightweight.

    Weighing the same as about six grains of rice, it is the lightest robot that can fly, swim and launch itself from water, an international team of researchers reports October 25 in Science Robotics. The bot is about 1,000 times lighter than other previously developed aerial-aquatic...

    10/25/2017 - 16:05 Robotics, Technology, Physics