THE EYEBUGS HAVE IT
As part of his final year project, Monash engineering student, Nick D’Ademo
has designed an experimental robot called “eyeBug,” under the supervision of Dr.
Ahmet Sekercioglu from the Department of Electrical and Computer Systems
“When I gave Nick the specification, I had no idea what a beautifully flexible
design he would create. We wanted a design that would be cheap to build,
modular to be open for innovation and creativity, and finally something that
would be visually appealing for other students,” Dr Sekercioglu explained.
“Design is an integral part of our engineering students’ curriculum where
they are given the challenge of taking an idea and developing it into a fully
functioning system. It is extremely rewarding for us to see the students applying
the principles we teach so successfully.”
By studying the way robots form networks to communicate with each other,
it is possible to gain indispensable knowledge that will be used to develop the
next generation of smart mobile phones.
Dr Sekercioglu’s postgraduate students have already started developing
technologies to extend the robot’s capabilities to create distributed smart camera
networks. Eventually, swarms of eyeBugs equipped with artificial intelligence
algorithms will be able to build digital 3D models of their environment by
communicating and sharing what every individual eyeBug sees.
RIDIN’ THE WAVES
Now even water robots are becoming more self-sufficient! Liquid
Robotics' Wave Glider uses the ocean's wave energy to move itself along, so
no batteries are needed. Former astronaut and Google employee Ed Lu, Chief of Innovative Applications, says that onboard
sensors monitor salinity, plankton activity, pollution, or water-based catastrophes like oil spills. It moves at only one and a half
knots, but can also run on solar power. Theoretically, it can go for years without a break, unless an evil sea creature decides
Bulow BioTech Prosthetics has announced its distinction as an iWalk Certified Bionics Center. With this designation, Bulow
Bio Tech will serve as one of the nation's first prosthetics providers to commercially offer the PowerFoot BiOM — the first
robotic lower leg system to normalize metabolic efficiency and increase self-selected walking speed for amputees. The BiOM
features advanced bionics technology developed by Dr. Hugh Herr, an MIT-based, world-renowned innovator and researcher in
the fields of biomechanics, biological motion control, and augmentation technologies.
During the test phase of the PowerFoot BiOM, Bulow was one of the first clinics to outfit a civilian with this technology.
The BiOM is the world's first bionic lower leg system that utilizes robotics to replicate muscles and tendons that replace the
action of the foot, Achilles tendon, and calf muscle. Scientific research has proven that the BiOM normalizes level ground
walking for lower-limb amputees by enabling them to walk at the same speed, and with the same metabolic energy as their
peers with intact biological limbs. For more information, visit www.bulowbiotech.com.
24 SERVO 11.2011