IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2009) in Kobe, Japan, is presenting many interesting robots. [H/T Sander Olson]
A rapid pole climbing robot from the University of Pennsylvania.
Robot-Assisted Rapid Prototyping for Ice Structures
Video of ice sculpting robot at this link
McGill University researchers are currently developing experimental robotic systems for building ice structures: the Fab@home, for building small-scale structures, and the Adept Cobra 600 robot, for building medium-scale structures. Further software and hardware development is needed for the Cobra, since it was not designed for rapid prototyping, and certainly not for rapid prototyping using ice as the working material. The authors have designed and built fluid delivery systems for each machine to permit the use of water as the building material. A signal-processing subsystem permits control of the water-delivery flow rate and synchronization with the robot motion. Additionally, we have developed a slicing algorithm to generate toolpaths for the Cobra using stereolithography (STL) files as the input. We also intend to develop a larger robotic system for producing ice sculptures and buildings at the architectural scale.
Safe platooning of vehicles without communication (would enable high traffic volume and lower fuel usage)
LORIA Researchers propose a novel near-to-near longitudinal platooning building a collision-free platooning whatever the number of vehicles. The model is derived from the study of the most dangerous interaction between two vehicles, i.e. considering the maximum acceptable acceleration when the previous vehicles brakes at maximum capacity. Collision avoidance of this model is proved. Finally, we show that this model can be combined to existing ones, keeping this collision-free property while allowing more various behaviors.
International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2009) website