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Innovation - Microtechnics - 26.02.2024
Opinion: the future of science is automation
Professor Ross King from Cambridge's Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, who originated the idea of a 'Robot Scientist', discusses why he believes that AI-powered scientists could surpass the best human scientists by the middle of the century, but only if AI for science is developed responsibly and ethically.

Microtechnics - Computer Science - 29.01.2024
Robot trained to read braille at twice the speed of humans
Robot trained to read braille at twice the speed of humans
Researchers have developed a robotic sensor that incorporates artificial intelligence techniques to read braille at speeds roughly double that of most human readers. The research team, from the University of Cambridge, used machine learning algorithms to teach a robotic sensor to quickly slide over lines of braille text.

Health - Microtechnics - 25.01.2024
New guidance published to aid researchers evaluating surgical robots
New guidance published to aid researchers evaluating surgical robots
Surgical robotics are amongst the most complex devices entering healthcare, but how should we evaluate them? Published in Nature Medicine , the Idea, Development, Exploration, Assessment and Long-term monitoring (IDEAL) Robotics Colloquium outlines the latest guidance to aid researchers evaluating surgical robots.

Microtechnics - 04.12.2023
Social robots could be an effective tool to combat loneliness
People interacting with social robots disclosed more about themselves over time and reported feeling less lonely, according to a new study. People interacting with social robots disclosed more about themselves over time and reported feeling less lonely, according to a new study. The research - led by the University of Glasgow and published in the International Journal of Social Robotics - also found that interacting with a social robot improved people's moods over time, suggesting social robots could be used as an effective intervention to support peoples' emotional health in the future.

Microtechnics - Innovation - 03.08.2023
Robots cause company profits to fall - at least at first
Researchers have found that robots can have a -U-shaped- effect on profits: causing profit margins to fall at first, before eventually rising again. It's important that companies develop new processes at the same time as they are incorporating robots, otherwise they will reach this same pinch point Chander Velu The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, studied industry data from the UK and 24 other European countries between 1995 and 2017, and found that at low levels of adoption, robots have a negative effect on profit margins.

Microtechnics - Innovation - 13.07.2023
Researchers help develop smart, 3D printed concrete wall for National Highways
Researchers help develop smart, 3D printed concrete wall for National Highways
Cambridge researchers, working in partnership with industry, have helped develop the first 3D-printed piece of concrete infrastructure to be used on a National Highways project. Making the wall digital means it can speak for itself, and we can use our sensors to understand these 3D-printed structures better and accelerate their acceptance in industry Abir Al-Tabbaa The 3D-printed structure - a type of retaining wall known as a headwall - has been installed on the A30 in Cornwall , where it is providing real-time information thanks to Cambridge-designed sensors embedded in its structure.

Computer Science - Microtechnics - 05.06.2023
Robot ’chef’ learns to recreate recipes from watching food videos
Researchers have trained a robotic -chef- to watch and learn from cooking videos, and recreate the dish itself. We wanted to see whether we could train a robot chef to learn in the same incremental way that humans can - by identifying the ingredients and how they go together in the dish Greg Sochacki The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, programmed their robotic chef with a -cookbook- of eight simple salad recipes.

Innovation - Microtechnics - 07.10.2022
New bee-inspired drone fleet works together to build 3D objects
New bee-inspired drone fleet works together to build 3D objects
A new system of flying drones working together to 3D print material, has been developed by a team involving researchers at UCL and Imperial College London. It's the first time flying drones have been coordinated like this to 3D print an object. The system, called Aerial Additive Manufacturing (Aerial-AM), is a new approach to 3D printing using collaborative flying robots to transport and deposit building material.

Microtechnics - 29.09.2022
Dog-human bonds could guide development of social robots
A new study identifies seven dog behaviors seen as important for bonding with your dog. In a step towards development of robots that interact meaningfully with humans, a new study - led by the University of Glasgow and published in PLOS ONE - highlights specific dog behaviors that dog owners perceive as important for bonding with their pets.

Microtechnics - Materials Science - 23.09.2022
Wearable sensors styled into t-shirts and face masks
Wearable sensors styled into t-shirts and face masks
Researchers have embedded new low-cost sensors that monitor breathing, heart rate, and ammonia into t-shirts and face masks. Potential applications range from monitoring exercise , sleep , and stress to diagnosing and monitoring disease through breath and vital signs. The flexible medium of clothing means our sensors have a wide range of applications.

Innovation - Microtechnics - 21.09.2022
3D printing drones work like bees to build and repair structures while flying
3D printing drones work like bees to build and repair structures while flying
Imperial College London and researchers have created a fleet of bee-inspired flying 3D printers for building and repairing structures in-flight. The technology could ultimately be used for manufacturing and building in difficult-to-access or dangerous locations such as tall buildings or help with post-disaster relief construction, say the researchers, who publish their work in Nature .

Microtechnics - Psychology - 31.08.2022
Robots can be used to assess children's mental wellbeing
Robots can be used to assess children’s mental wellbeing
Robots can be better at detecting mental wellbeing issues in children than parent-reported or self-reported testing, a new study suggests. Children might see the robot as a confidante - they feel like they won't get into trouble if they share secrets with it Nida Itrat Abbasi A team of roboticists, computer scientists and psychiatrists from the University of Cambridge carried out a study with 28 children between the ages of eight and 13, and had a child-sized humanoid robot administer a series of standard psychological questionnaires to assess the mental wellbeing of each participant.

Life Sciences - Microtechnics - 01.06.2022
E-skin that can feel pain could create new generation of touch-sensitive robots
An electronic skin which can learn from feeling 'pain' could help create a new generation of smart robots with human-like sensitivity. A team of engineers from the University of Glasgow developed the artificial skin with a new type of processing system based on 'synaptic transistors, which mimics the brain's neural pathways in order to learn.

Microtechnics - 18.02.2022
Self-healing materials for robotics made from ’jelly’ and salt
Researchers have developed self-healing, biodegradable, 3D-printed materials that could be used in the development of realistic artificial hands and other soft robotics applications. It's a really good sensor considering how cheap and easy it is to make Thomas George-Thuruthel The low-cost jelly-like materials, developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, can sense strain, temperature and humidity.

Computer Science - Microtechnics - 01.06.2021
Researchers create a camera that knows exactly where it is
Researchers create a camera that knows exactly where it is
Researchers from the University of Bristol have demonstrated how a new special type of camera can build a pictorial map of where it has been and use this map to know where it currently is, something that will be incredibly useful in the development of smart sensors, driverless cars and robotics. Knowing where you are on a map is one of the most useful pieces of information when navigating journeys.

Microtechnics - 17.02.2021
Credit card-sized soft pumps power wearable artificial muscles
Credit card-sized soft pumps power wearable artificial muscles
Robotic clothing that is entirely soft and could help people to move more easily is a step closer to reality thanks to the development of a new flexible and lightweight power system for soft robotics. The discovery by a team at the University of Bristol could pave the way for wearable assist devices for people with disabilities and people suffering from age-related muscle degeneration.

Earth Sciences - Microtechnics - 30.10.2020
Specially-adapted drones gather new data from unexplored volcanoes
Specially-adapted drones developed by an international team including Bristol scientists have been gathering data from never-before-explored volcanoes that will enable local communities to better forecast future eruptions. The cutting-edge research at Manam volcano in Papua New Guinea is also improving scientists' understanding of how volcanoes contribute to the global carbon cycle, key to sustaining life on Earth.

Microtechnics - Pharmacology - 14.07.2020
Robot jaws shows medicated chewing gum could be the future
Medicated chewing gum has been recognised as a new advanced drug delivery method but currently there is no gold standard for testing drug release from chewing gum in vitro. New research has shown a chewing robot with built-in humanoid jaws could provide opportunities for pharmaceutical companies to develop medicated chewing gum.

Computer Science - Microtechnics - 22.10.2019
Rebel robot helps researchers understand human-machine cooperation
In a new twist on human-robot research, computer scientists at the University of Bristol have developed a handheld robot that first predicts then frustrates users by rebelling against their plans, thereby demonstrating an understanding of human intention. In an increasingly technological world, cooperation between humans and machines is an essential aspect of automation.

Environment - Microtechnics - 11.09.2019
’Flying fish’ robot can propel itself out of water and glide through the air
A bio-inspired bot uses water from the environment to create a gas and launch itself from the water's surface. The robot, which can travel 26 metres through the air after take-off, could be used to collect water samples in hazardous and cluttered environments, such as during flooding or when monitoring ocean pollution.