Completely paralyzed man voluntarily moves his legs

A man who had been completely paralyzed for four years was able to voluntarily control his leg muscles and take thousands of steps in a “robotic exoskeleton” device thanks to a team of UCLA scientists.

This is the first time that a person with chronic, complete paralysis has regained enough voluntary control to actively work with a robotic device designed to enhance mobility.

In addition to the robotic device, the man was aided by a novel noninvasive spinal stimulation technique that does not require surgery.


Robotic rendering of the Torah at Berlin’s Jewish Museum

The installation “bios [torah]” by the artist group robotlab refers to the activity of Torah writing performed in the Jewish tradition by a specially trained scribe, the Sofer. While the Sofer guarantees the sanctity of the Scripture, the installation highlights its industrial reproducibility. It simulates a centuries-old cultural technique that has long since been overtaken by media developments.

The Torah written by the industrial robot is not kosher – its origins fulfill neither the material nor the immaterial requirements of Jewish religious law. The robot does not distinguish between parchment and paper. It also has no blessings. It writes what and how it is programmed to do.

The installation title refers to an elementary component of computer technology, the Basic Input Output System (BIOS). BIOS is the system upon which all other computer programs build and is thus as fundamental to the development of the machine as Scriptures are to the cultural history of mankind.

[It takes the robot 3 months to complete the process. It takes a rabbi nearly a year to write it out.]


Transforming Birthday Cake - Optimus Prime

Russell Munro helped create a robotic transforming birthday cake for his son, using 3D printing to help build its frame:

My boy asked for a Transformers cake for his 6th birthday. I decided to up the ante, my wife did the actual cake. 

Here is a short demo of the actual robotic frame itself, complete with Transformers sound clips:



i am at the hospital today with my mom and there is this little robot that just boops around and makes cute noises and says excuse me when it passes. when it delivers the medicine it’s carrying, it chirrs and says little things like, “hi, do you want to take a selfie?”

basically, i eagerly await the arrival of our adorable robot overlords.


Gramazio Kohler Use Robots to Print Architecture

Architecture firm Gramazio Kohler is known for their innovative approach to digital fabrication, adapting technology from a variety of fields. They have used drones, large robotic arms, and other custom machinery to build undulating brick facades and bendable wood piers. For a class taught at ETH Zürich, the duo explored the design potentials of robotically printed mesh structures. By creating the printing sequence and connecting nodes, multi-sided polygons could be developed and printed using a Universal Robot UR5 robotic arm. Gramazio Kohler are among over 100 other firms participating in the Chicago Architecture Biennial this October. 


Yaskawa Electric in Motoman’s Center exhibit

Video uploaded to Facebook by Noriaki  Nakagawa on an exhibit at the Motoman Center (a company that specializes in industrial robotics).

Sadly, I cannot embed the video, but can watch it here

This isn’t the first of its kind (using robotics and displays have been used quite a bit for presenting new cars at trade shows, and all owe a debt to the project ‘Box’), but it is a good implementation nethertheless.


Robo Painter

Prototype tech from custom painting service Instapainting can capture brushstrokes from an artist using a tablet which can then be reproduced mechanically:

Over the past three weeks I’ve been working on a robotic painter to research the area of mechanical artwork reproduction and automated picture to painting creation for Instapainting.com and the print store e-commerce platform A Manufactory.

The goal is to have it accomplish both problem domains in full color, and to rival the quality of Chinese-produced hand-painted replicas …

Demo showing the AI painter in command and control mode, and replay mode. The first half shows the artist painting live, and the second half shows the robot replicating the exact brush strokes.

More Here


Scientist shows bacteria could control robots

Warren Ruder, assistant professor of biological systems engineering in both the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Engineering, has Virginia Tech has developed a mathematical model that proves that robots can run off a bacterial brain.

“Basically we were trying to find out from the mathematical model if we could build a living microbiome on a nonliving host and control the host through the microbiome. We found that robots may indeed be able to have working brains.”

[read more] [paper]


Concrete[i]land: Francois Roche’s Machine-Enabled Mutations

The identity of architect Francois Roche, along with his studio R&Sie(n), has mutated often over time. This transformation serves to illustrate its hybrid character and destabilize the figure of the architect. For the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial this October, Roche is presenting work as New Territories/M4. Lab M4, which stands for MindMachineMakingMyths, opened in 2014 and has produced a number of machine-enabled projects. Working in Bangkok with students at the University of Michigan Taubman School of Architecture, Lab M4 developed “concrete[i]land,” a “‘post-culture’ spasm.” The hut-like structure features mud shingles, which were created by a sensor-enabled robotic extruding system. Notably, the sinusoidal trajectory of the robot is affected by sound; specifically, the intensity and timber. An accompanying video features an un-identified individual making various noises next to the robot to exhibit this effect.