ROBOTICS NEWS: What's Trending in August 2020

Welcome to the eleventh installment in our monthly series, What's Trending in Robotics News! We will cover all the breaking news, hot issues, trending stories, and cool stuff that is happening - or has happened - in the robotics industry.

There were plenty of amazing things happening in the robotics industry throughout August. Let's see what caught our attention this month!

Gundam Style

"Giant robots from Japan" sounds like the tag line for a new Godzilla movie, right? Well, it's not science fiction - it's VERY real. As covered in SpectrumCnet, and Nerdist, Japan's giant, 18-meter-tall "Gundam" robot is here - and it's 55,000 pounds of cool. Go on, check out those links and tell me you don't immediately get an Optimus Prime feeling!

Okay, on the serious side - how big do you think robots can get? What sort of usage could you see these giant robots getting in the modern world? Also - how intimidated would you get if one of those robotic behemoths popped up from out of nowhere around you? It's interesting to think about - the giant monster hunters from Pacific Rim moving quickly from fantasy to realm of possibility.

Tip of the Tongue

Chameleons - in our opinion, one of the coolest animals on earth - have inspired robotic researchers to a breakthrough. As covered in Spectrum, Yahoo, and Mashable, this "snatcher" robotic device can use a quick "flick of the tongue" to grab nearby objects. It moves quickly, too - grabbing what it needs in milliseconds.

Another fantastic example of some of the animal kingdom's coolest features coming to life in the robotic world. What other animal aspects would you like to see manifested in our newest crop of robots?

Boozin' Bots

As it turns out, Bender, the Futurama robot, might have been on to something! As covered in Engadget, Futurism, Interesting Engineering, and Science Magazine, a new miniature robot (weighing less than a tenth of a gram) called the RoBeetle comes powered entirely by a type of alcohol called methanol.

We can think of plenty of jokes here, but let's avoid most of them and just focus on the practical aspects (for now). A robot powered by some type of cheap fuel source would be essential for mass usage; this variation of alcohol might be a key element in their future. Could you imagine sitting down for a drink at the end of the day - and then using some more alcohol to power the robot that you have in the house? Some fascinating elements to this development.

Life on Mars

This is definitely not a "small affair," in the words of David Bowie. As covered in Futurism, The Robot Report, and Popular Mechanics, NASA's "Ingenuity" helicopter will be prowling the surface of Mars when the Perseverance rover touches down in 2021.

How cool is that - a Mars rover with a helicopter sidekick. A combination of a James Bond film with something out of Star Wars. Where would you like to see this helicopter patrol next? What other worlds could it possibly explore?

What's New in the Industry?

How about some quick hits from around the industry: 

  • Good news, everyone - you might be able to blast your favorite EP next to your favorite robot sooner rather than later. As covered in TechxploreTechCrunch, and, researchers are now working on improving robots' sound perception. Rock on, robot brethren!
  • From the Robot Report and Venture Beat: Israeli researchers are working on a wheelchair-mounted robot arm that can help patients with severe spinal injuries finish off daily tasks.
  • Calling Iron Man: University of Michigan researchers are working on super-powered batteries for robots in "fat-reserves" developed from kevlar. Read about it in Futurism and Engadget.
  • We're all working from home, right? Well, Amazon engineers are taking it to the next level - according to the Robot Report and ZDNet, Amazon's robot engineers are now designing and innovating right from their garages.

What's to Come?

Of course, that's only just a fraction of all the robotics news out there - but these are intriguing stories. One interesting takeaway we picked up this month? How about superlatives. Giant robots. Robots with chameleon-like tendencies. Robots that can prowl the surface of Mars. Robots that can even down alcohol (for science)! The industry keeps breaking through with robots that are bigger, faster, more adaptable - even better booze chuggers than we might be! This month, let's take a step back and just admire all of the new frontiers that the robotics industry is bringing us to. 

One more thing, readers - if you have anything that we should add-in for the next edition, let us know! What caught your attention in the robotics world throughout August? Comment below, and we might feature it in our next issue!

Be sure to follow us on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter to stay up to date on the latest news in the field.

Picture Credit: Gundam Factory Yokohama; YANG ET AL ; NASA/JPL
LikedLike this to see more

Spread the word

Flag this post

Thanks for helping to keep our community civil!

Notify staff privately
It's Spam
This post is an advertisement, or vandalism. It is not useful or relevant to the current topic.

You flagged this as spam. Undo flag.Flag Post
You have to be logged in to chat

Our chat is a buzzing-with-life place where our community members join to discuss and foster great conversations.

Whether it's about their latest robotics project, questions about electronics, debates about the industry, or just talking between friends.

You have to be logged in to chat