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Popular Science

MIT researchers have developed SoftZoo, “an open framework platform that simulated a variety of 3D model animals performing specific tasks in multiple environmental settings,” reports Andrew Paul for Popular Science. “This computational approach to co-designing the soft robot bodies and their brains (that is, their controllers) opens the door to rapidly creating customized machines that are designed for a specific task,” says CSAIL director, Prof. Daniela Rus.

TechCrunch

Researchers at MIT have developed “SoftZoo,” a platform designed to “study the physics, look and locomotion and other aspects of different soft robot models,” reports Brian Heater for TechCrunch. “Dragonflies can perform very agile maneuvers that other flying creatures cannot complete because they have special structures on their wings that change their center of mass when they fly,” says graduate student Tsun-Hsuan Wang. “Our platform optimizes locomotion the same way a dragonfly is naturally more adept at working through its surroundings.”

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Brian Heater spotlights how MIT researchers have developed a new approach to robotic gripping that incorporates reflexes to help grasp and sort objects. “The new system is built around an arm with two multi-joint fingers,” writes Heater. “There’s a camera on the base and sensors on the tips that record feedback. The system uses that data to adjust accordingly.”

WHDH 7

Researchers at MIT have created a four-legged robot called DribbleBot, reports Caroline Goggin for WHDH. The robot “can dribble a soccer ball under the same conditions as humans, using onboard sensors to travel across different types of terrain.”

Popular Science

Popular Science reporter Andrew Paul spotlights how researchers from MIT CSAIL have developed a soccer-playing robot, dubbed DribbleBot, that can handle a variety of real-world terrains. “DribbleBot showcases extremely impressive strides in articulation and real-time environmental analysis. Using a combination of onboarding computing and sensing, the team’s four-legged athlete can reportedly handle gravel, grass, sand, snow, and pavement, as well as pick itself up if it falls.”

TechCrunch

MIT researchers have created “Dribblebot,” a four-legged robot capable of playing soccer across varying terrain, reports Brian Heater for TechCrunch.

Boston.com

Researchers at MIT have created a four-legged robot capable of dribbling a soccer ball and running across a variety of terrains, reports Ross Cristantiello for Boston.com. “Researchers hope that they will be able to teach the robot how to lift a ball over a step in the future,” writes Cristantiello. “They will also explore how the technology behind DribbleBot can be applied to other robots, allowing machines to quickly transport a range of objects around outside using legs and arms.”

TechCrunch

Pickle Robot, an MIT startup, has developed a container unloading robot, reports Brian Heater for TechCrunch. “Pickle has been single-mindedly focused on the specific problem since its inception, actually beginning life attempting to tackle the even more complex task of loading containers,” explains Heater.

Popular Science

MIT engineers have developed a new technique that enables bug-sized aerial robots to handle a sizeable amount of damage and still fly, reports Andrew Paul for Popular Science. “The new repair techniques could come in handy when using flying robots for search-and-rescue missions in difficult environments like dense forests or collapsed buildings,” writes Paul.

Mashable

Postdoc Zach Patterson speaks with Mashable about how he and his colleagues are developing a soft robot inspired by a sea turtle that could potentially "offer a closer look at ocean life and assist in further studying aquatic creatures.” Patterson explains that the robotic turtle is meant to be a “platform for exploring the interaction between soft and rigid materials incorporated into a robotic structure.”

Mashable

MIT researchers have constructed a mini city to test to safely test algorithms designed for autonomous vehicles, reports Mashable. “The idea of the mini city is that we have lots of cars going at the same time and we can actually test out new algorithms in a safe environment,” says graduate student Noam Buckman.

Scientific American

Prof. Daniela Rus, director of CSAIL, speaks with Scientific American reporter Nora Bradford about recent advancements in the field of soft robotics. “Building soft robots that can work, heal and grow independently could change many areas of human life,” says Rus. “Soft robot hands are enabling a new age for manufacturing.”  

Mashable

Researchers at MIT have developed a drone that can be controlled using hand gestures, reports Mashable. “I think it’s important to think carefully about how machine learning and robotics can help people to have a higher quality of life and be more productive,” says postdoc Joseph DelPreto. “So we want to combine what robots do well and what people do well so that they can be more effective teams.”

Popular Science

Researchers at MIT have developed underwater robotic structures that can contort into different shapes, reports Andrew Paul for Popular Science. “This ability is key in submersible robots, since it allows them to move through the water much more efficiently, as countless varieties of fish do in rivers, lakes, and the open ocean,” explains Paul.