A biorobotic adhesive disc for underwater hitchhiking inspired by the remora suckerfish

Remoras of the ray-finned fish family Echeneidae have the remarkable ability to attach to diverse marine animals using a highly modified dorsal fin that forms an adhesive disc, which enables hitchhiking on fast-swimming hosts despite high magnitudes of fluid shear. We present the design of a biologically analogous, multimaterial biomimetic remora disc based on detailed morphological and kinematic investigations of the slender sharksucker (Echeneis naucrates). We used multimaterial three-dimensional printing techniques to fabricate the main disc structure whose stiffness spans three orders of magnitude. To incorporate structures that mimic the functionality of the remora lamellae, we fabricated carbon fiber spinules (270 μm base diameter) using laser machining techniques and attached them to soft actuator–controlled lamellae. Our biomimetic prototype can attach to different surfaces … Read the rest

This super strong artificial muscle may bring us closer to lifelike robots

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Researchers at Columbia University have created an artificial active tissue that, when 3D printed to imitate a muscle, can withstand great strain and lift 1,000 times its own weight.

The breakthrough could lead to a future where strong humanoid robots become commonplace, but scientists must first configure these muscles to be controlled through AI. Read more…

More about Science, Design, Robots, Future, and Science And TechnologyRead the rest

New soft robots really suck: Vacuum-powered systems empower diverse capabilities

We introduce a vacuum-powered soft pneumatic actuator (V-SPA) that leverages a single, shared vacuum power supply and enables complex soft robotic systems with multiple degrees of freedom (DoFs) and diverse functions. In addition to actuation, other utilities enabled by vacuum pressure include gripping and stiffening through granular media jamming, as well as direct suction adhesion to smooth surfaces, for manipulation or vertical fixation. We investigate the performance of the new actuator through direct characterization of a 3-DoF, plug-and-play V-SPA Module built from multiple V-SPAs and demonstrate the integration of different vacuum-enabled capabilities with a continuum-style robot platform outfitted with modular peripheral mechanisms. We show that these different vacuum-powered modules can be combined to achieve a variety of tasks—including multimodal locomotion, object manipulation, and stiffness tuning—to illustrate … Read the rest

You Can Make Pretty Much Anything an Instrument Using This DIY Robotics Kit

There’s a long tradition of robotic music production, from player pianos and glitchy electronic music of Felix’s Machines to the steam-driven “power trio” Z-Machines. Much of the electro-mechanical process, however, remains quite esoteric to most. With dadamachines, a DIY robot music toolkit, Berlin-based creative technologist Johannes Lohbihler wants to make this type of musical creation accessible to just about everyone. A plug-and-play MIDI-controller and accessories kit, which Lohbihler is now crowdfunding, dadamachines allows users to build live automatic shows as well as musical setups for recording.

Lohbihler tells Creators that his passion for building music robots grew out of an interest in combining interaction design with tangible interfaces, specifically for music. For him, dadamachines—which the band joasihno recently took on tour—is a way of … Read the rest

A Parisian Artist Draws Where’s Waldo-esque Labyrinths Full of Robots

Whether he’s drawing a suburban neighborhood, a day at the zoo, or an industrial robot assembly line, French artist Theo Guignard’s illustrations are easy to get lost in. His drawings are dense, often packed with characters Where’s Waldo-style or maze-like geometric shapes. Guignard pulls in work for magazines like Usbek & Rica, and created a short animated film for Lyft last year. His true fascination seems to lie with robots, including multiple sci-fi worlds in his 2015 book Labyrinths, and tiny androids in several Adventure Time-esque commissions. He also released intricate illustrations of giant robots to tease a new book called Titans, out later this year. Check out his work in the Instagrams below.

Follow Theo Guignard’s work … Read the rest