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Distributed Robotics Laboratory

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The Wall Street Journal

CSAIL researchers have developed a robotic arm equipped with a sensorized soft brush that can untangle hair, reports Douglas Belkin for The Wall Street Journal. “The laboratory brush is outfitted with sensors that detect tension," writes Belkin. “That tension reads as pain and is used to determine whether to use long strokes or shorter ones.”

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Darrell Etherington writes that CSAIL researchers have built a new two-fingered robotic gripper. The researchers “equipped their robotic gripper with fingertips that are not only made out of a soft material, but that also have embedded sensors which help it continually detect the position of a cable between the grippers to better control holding and manipulating them while performing simple tasks like detangling.”

TechCrunch

CSAIL’s RoboRaise robot can successfully execute the Bottle Cap Challenge, removing a bottle cap with a well-placed kick, reports Darrell Etherington for TechCrunch. Etherington explains that the robot, “can mirror the actions of a human just by watching their bicep. This has a number of practical applications, including potentially assisting a person to lift large or awkward objects.”

Mashable

In this video, Mashable highlights how CSAIL researchers have developed a new system that can help lift heavy objects by mirroring human activity. The system uses sensors that monitor muscle activity and detect changes in the user’s arm.

Popular Science

Popular Science reporter Rob Verger writes that MIT researchers have developed a new mechanical system that can help humans lift heavy objects. “Overall the system aims to make it easier for people and robots to work together as a team on physical tasks,” explains graduate student Joseph DelPreto.

Mashable

In this video, Mashable spotlights how MIT researchers have developed an origami-inspired soft robotic gripper that can grasp a wide variety of objects. 

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Mark Wilson writes that CSAIL researchers have developed a new soft robotic gripper that is modeled after a Venus flytrap. “Dubbed the Magic Ball, it’s a rubber and plastic structure that can contract around an object like an origami flower,” Wilson explains.

The Verge

CSAIL researchers have developed a new robotic gripper that contains an origami skeleton, enabling the device to open and close like a flower and grasp a variety of delicate and heavy objects, reports James Vincent for The Verge “By combining this foldable skeleton with the soft exterior, we get the best of both worlds,” explains Prof. Daniela Rus, director of CSAIL.

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Brian Heater writes that researchers at CSAIL and Harvard have developed a soft robotic gripper that can both handle delicate objects and lift items up to 100 times its own weight. “The gripper itself is made of an origami-inspired skeletal structure, covered in either fabric or a deflated balloon,” explains Heater.

Popular Mechanics

In an article for Popular Mechanics, Tiana Cline spotlights SoFi, an autonomous, soft, robotic fish that can swim alongside real fish. “SoFi has the potential to be a new type of tool for ocean exploration and to open up new avenues for uncovering the mysteries of marine life,” Cline notes.

BBC News

Prof. Daniela Rus talks to Gareth Mitchell of BBC’s Click about how she and her colleagues have developed shape-shifting robots that can change their exoskeletons to perform different tasks. “These types of robots could become superheroes for the robot kingdom,” explains Rus. “A robot could amplify all of its capabilities by taking on these different types of clothes.” 

New Scientist

CSAIL researchers have developed a new shape-shifting robot that can change outfits in order to perform different tasks, reports Timothy Revell for New Scientist. “In the future, we imagine robots like this could become mini surgeons, squished into a pill that you swallow,” explains Prof. Daniela Rus. 

BBC

Prof. Daniela Rus speaks to the BBC’s Gareth Mitchell about the robots developed by CSAIL that can modify their behavior based on brain waves detected by a human operator. “We imagine operating prosthetic devices, a wheelchair, even autonomous vehicles,” says Prof. Rus.

Wired

CSAIL researchers have developed a system that allows robots to correct their mistakes based on input from the brainwaves of human operators, reports Wired’s Matt Simon. “It’s a new way of controlling the robot,” explains Prof. Daniela Rus, “in the sense that we aim to have the robot adapt to what the human would like to do.”

Newsweek

Anthony Cuthbertson of Newsweek writes that CSAIL researchers have developed a system that allows robots to change their actions based on feedback from the brain waves of a human operator. “Imagine robots or smartphones that could immediately correct themselves when you realize they’re making a mistake,” says PhD candidate Joseph DelPreto.