Archive for category Science

Army Sponsoring Bat-Like 6-inch Solar Spy Plane

bat wideshot  Army Sponsoring Bat-Like 6-inch Solar Spy Plane

com-bat

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—A six-inch robotic spy plane modeled after a bat would gather data from sights, sounds and smells in urban combat zones and transmit information back to a soldier in real time.

That’s the Army’s concept, and it has awarded the University of Michigan College of Engineering a five-year, $10-million grant to help make it happen. The grant establishes the U-M Center for Objective Microelectronics and Biomimetic Advanced Technology, called COM-BAT for short. The grant includes an option to renew for an additional five years and $12.5 million.

Miniaturizing the various systems of “the bat” and making them more energy efficient are big challenges for the groups working on COM-BAT. The tiny plane must be able to collect large amounts of surveillance data and travel great distances while running on 1 W of power. But COM-BAT is ambitious and they fully anticipate being able to shrink all the systems. For example “They expect their autonomous navigation system, which would allow the robot to direct its own movements, to be 1,000 times smaller and more energy efficient than systems being used now.”

Source:   University of Michigan

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Medibots: The world’s smallest surgeons amazing technology

robot surgeon

A MAN lies comatose on an operating table. The enormous spider that hangs above him has plunged four appendages into his belly. The spider, made of white steel, probes around inside the man’s abdomen then withdraws one of its arms. Held in the machine’s claw is a neatly sealed bag containing a scrap of bloody tissue.

This is a da Vinci robot. It has allowed a surgeon, sitting at a control desk, to remove the patient’s prostate gland in a manner that has several advantages over conventional methods. Yet the future of robotic surgery may lie not only with these hulking beasts but also with devices at the other end of the size spectrum. The surgeons of tomorrow will include tiny robots that enter our bodies and do their work from the inside, with no need to open patients up or knock them out. While nanobots that swim through the blood are still in the realm of fantasy, several groups are developing devices a few millimetres in size. The first generation of “mini-medibots” may infiltrate our bodies through our ears, eyes and lungs, to deliver drugs, take tissue samples or install medical devices.

Source:  New Scientist

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Petman walking robot

petman


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PETMAN is an anthropomorphic robot for testing chemical protection clothing used by the US Army. Unlike previous suit testers, which had to be supported mechanically and had a limited repertoire of motion, PETMAN will balance itself and move freely; walking, crawling and doing a variety of suit-stressing calisthenics during exposure to chemical warfare agents. PETMAN will also simulate human physiology within the protective suit by controlling temperature, humidity and sweating when necessary, all to provide realistic test conditions.

Source: Petman

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