Lockheed's HULC Super-Soldier Exoskeleton Gets More Juice

HULC want longer-lasting batteries!

Even the finest super-soldier suit can end up as expensive deadweight if the batteries run out of juice. Lockheed Martin wants to avoid that fate for its robotic exoskeleton by turning to fuel cells that can power the suit for days, The Register reports.

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This Spring's Hottest New Accessory: a Bionic Limb?

As if people weren't worrying enough about advanced prostheses making amputees stronger than normal humans, now we have to worry if they are going to make them sexier, too. The prosthetics industry is growing rapidly, and, according to Hugh Herr, the director of MIT Media Lab's Biomechatronics Group, advanced prostheses will soon become envied in the same way the newest electronic gadget or the hottest car is today.

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A Robot That Takes Surer Steps Using "Chaos Control"

For conscious, biological beings, walking comes easy. But the process of lining up one step after another across varying and uneven terrain is no stroll through the park. Just ask a prosthesis tech fitting a fabricated leg to an amputee or a roboticist trying to teach a humanoid robot to walk; recreating human gait and all the variations thereof is a huge technical challenge. To that end, researchers in Gottingen, Germany have developed a six-legged walking robot that can autonomously switch between different gaits depending on terrain and conditions.

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Just an Honest Laid-Off Robot Arm Looking For Honest Work

Take me home today!

Pull those Benjamins out from under the mattress and get ready to bid on your very own six-axis robot arm. A Chrysler plant near the University of Delaware has been liquidated and is up for auction, including about 200 down-to-Earth, maker-fearing robots.

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U.S. Military Terminates Several Robotic Warriors

Budget cuts focus attention on smaller, more flexible drones and bots

Judgment Day has come for the machines, or at least two robotic warriors once slated for the U.S. military's arsenal. The budget cut casualties include a mine-sniffing, six-wheeled transport called the MULE, and an autonomous helicopter called the Fire Scout, according to The Hill.

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Renovating American Infrastructure Mess #5: Sewage

Banishing energy-hogging treatment plants and rotting pipes

Every year, Americans produce 12 trillion gallons of wet sewage and burn 21 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity to clean it to drinking-water standards. Why not put the smelly stuff to good use? Thanks to clever new technology, sewage will be reclaimed to provide power, produce fertilizer and, eventually, yield clean water. In other words, sooner than you think, you’ll be drinking your own urine.

Turn Sludge into Electricity

Task: Reduce the energy we use to treat wastewater, currently 1.5 percent of our total national power

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Overwhelmed with Data Feeds, Military Turns to NFL Broadcast Tricks for Highlighting Drone Targets

War is no game, but it could learn a trick or two from football

A growing swarm of drones keep watch on the battlefield, but military analysts struggle to watch every second of live surveillance footage so that they can quickly pass on warnings about ambushes or possible targets to warfighters. Now the U.S.

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Parrot AR Drone Turns Real Life into a Video Game

iPhone-controlled 'copter 'bot augments real objects in its path into targets in a virtual world.

Ever wish your life was a video game, and you could shoot obstacles out of your way on a crowded sidewalk (or, hem, trade show floor)? This week at CES, Parrot unveiled a device that does just that. The new AR Drone is a helicopter-style flying robot that sees everyday objects and re-images them on a iPhone or iPod touch as virtual enemies or obstacles.

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Manned and Unmanned Helicopters Most Efficient When Working Together

Flying alongside drones might seem a bit strange for U.S. Army chopper pilots, but it has major payoffs. The U.S. Army found that a mixed flight force of manned and unmanned helicopters could locate and kill 90 percent of targets, compared to manned helicopter forces that located just 70 percent of targets, according to DOD Buzz.

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Next-Gen Mars Rover Gets Carbon-Sniffing Experiment to Detect Ingredients of Life

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory will check extraterrestrial environments possibly favorable to the development of life

NASA's SUV-sized Mars rover now has the ability to check for possible ingredients or signatures of life. The U.S. space agency recently approved a new instrument for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) that can closely study carbon-containing compounds, if any show up in the dozens of planned soil and rock samples.

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Laser-Guided Vacuum Could Best the Roomba

A vacuum navigates like a robotic car-—with lasers!

Autonomous cars and military ‘bots find their way by using lasers to make virtual maps of terrain. Neato Robotics’s XV-11 applies the same tactic to your messy living room. The robotic vacuum uses smaller, cheaper lasers to scope out a space and plot the quickest path to cover it. So instead of wandering randomly and bouncing off objects, like other robot maids, it can devote its battery to actual vacuuming.

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Automated Air Traffic Control System Enables Fewer Pilots, Flying Cars

For the FAA, it's not the flying that keeps regular joes out of the sky. It's the landing and the navigating. Dealing with air traffic control is so attention consuming and complex that large planes require multiple crewmen, and single-pilot planes have significant restrictions and where and when they can fly.

However, a new flight management system (FMS) created by GE may automate so much of the navigation and landing that commercial flights could use only a single pilot, and the rest of us could get cleared to use flying cars.

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Robotic Knee Helps Perfectly Healthy Runners Run Even Better

Attention cyborg wonks and lazy people: Japanese scientists at Tsukuba University have created a motorized knee that you can attach to your leg to increase your muscle power and running speed. The 11-pound kit's weight is shared by an exoskeleton-like attachment for your leg and a power source that's carried in a small backpack. But here's the best part: the device is not designed with any kind of rehabilitation or handicap-assisting function in mind; it's simply to make it easier for regular folks to run faster!

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Robovie-II, the Robot That Helps You Buy Groceries

The ease and variety of online shopping enabled by the first dot-com explosion cast technology as the killer of in-store retail. But in Japan, with its aging population and unique consumer culture, technology facilitates grocery shopping, in the form of retail assistance robots like Robovie-II. Part of a larger network of sensors and wireless devices, Robovie provides assistance to elderly shoppers making their rounds.

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Holiday Deal: Japanese Store Sells Custom Robot Lookalikes

Just plunk down $225,000 at a Japanese department store and get your own robot twin

Japan's obsession with robotics has led to one of the ultimate sci-fi fantasies (or nightmares): life-size robots customized to look like you and speak in your own voice. The department store Sogo & Seibu wants to deliver that dream to any interested customers starting as soon as next month, but first it plans to test the waters by making this an exclusive two-robot deal.

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