Trending News in the Robotics Field for February 2023

What's happening in the robotics field for February 2023? Welcome to the 36th installment in our monthly series, What's Trending in Robotics News! We cover all the breaking news, hot issues, trending stories, and cool stuff that's happening — or has happened — in the robotics industry.

There were plenty of amazing things happening in the robotics industry throughout February. Let's see what caught our attention this month with the trending news in robotics for February 2023.

The Flying Spider Robots Have Arrived

How's that for a headline? Per Gizmodo, IEEE Spectrum, The Daily Beast, and New Atlas, check out the brand-new SPIDAR robot (SPherIcally vectorable and Distributed rotors assisted Air-Ground amphibious quadruped Robot) created by the University of Tokyo. The construction of this robot is very cool, with the ability to fly, walk, crawl, and move in plenty of other directions. The future of this technology? It's got great potential to assist in the maneuverability and accessibility of drones; don't be surprised if you see one shuffling into your front yard one day. 


From the Air to the Sea

Speaking of the animal kingdom (and robotics), New Atlas and Interesting Engineering profile the TJ-FlyingFish drone from China's Shanghai Research Institute. This James Bond-like gadget can take off with its propellers, dive underwater, and use those propellers to move forward. Still very much in the prototype stage, this drone has tremendous potential for everything from search and rescue to surveying. How do you think one of these drones would improve a day out on the water? 


Rise of the Robot Baristas

Yahoo Finance has the fascinating story of a new Starbucks patent, this one for a "robotic barista" that could eventually fulfill all of your morning coffee runs. It's a fun article to read, especially because it goes beyond the rather bland patent description to include an AI-generated robot barista straight out of I, Robot or Ex Machina.

Beyond the general wonder of "how will it get there from here," it's worth considering how people will view this increasing encroachment into culinary preparation. Is there some sort of human-generated touch that will always make it a tiny bit better than robots... or can robots truly make things like your morning coffee just as good (or even better)? Something to think about on your next trip out for a double-mocha latte.  


Quick Hits

How about some quick hits from the month of February?
  • From CNET, here's a robot using AI to paint some incredible masterpieces. 
  • TechXplore profiles a new generation of "humble and lovable" delivery robots. Our verdict? They're quite huggable!
  • The Evening Standard has the story of a new batch of robots that can fill your car's tank. 
  • The Register covers Microsoft's attempt to use ChatGPT to control robots. 
  • has a feature on the new "DaVinci" robot for surgery. 


What's to Come?

There is a lot of news out there, but these stories caught our eye this month. If we could give one big theme for the month, it would be "nature." Once again, this month reminds us that robotics takes much inspiration from the animal kingdom for its innovations. We see a "flying spider robot" ready to take to the skies over Tokyo and a "flying fish" drone that combines the best aspects of birds and aquatic life to explore both realms. Where do you think the next burst of animal-robot inspiration will come from?

The bottom line: robotics, as a whole, is on a roll. It applies to nearly every aspect of our lives and touches every element of our actions — from how we eat to where we will go as a species. Every month, it's a wonder to see where robotics has gone — and to imagine where the technology will go. 

One more thing, readers — if you know of anything we should add for the next edition, tell us about it! What caught your attention in the robotics world throughout February? Comment below, and we might feature it in our next issue!

To stay up-to-date with trending news in the robotics field, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or the community site!

Picture credit : MOJU ZHAO / TJ-FlyingFish / Tech Xplore / Autofuel 

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