Monday, January 17, 2011

GRASPing a new reality

Sixty years ago, Isaac Asimov published I, Robot, a series of short stories about robots who could, essentially, think for themselves.

Robotic teamwork
Good thing that couldn't actually happen, right? Wrong. The multidisciplinary team at the University of Pennsylvania's GRASP (General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception) Laboratory have been developing helicoptor-like robots (Quadrotors) that can not only perform a lot of neat tricks, but can also work together to achieve goals.

This video shows them building several structures, and boldly announces that they are limited only by battery life and the amount of building materials they have at their disposal:

If this were the only project the GRASP team were working on, it would still be impressive, but it turns out the $10 million research center currently has over 20 projects on the go, including autonomous vehicles, imaging from touch, even robotic language comprehension.

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