While machines seem to have boundless capabilities, there has been one factor limiting machines since their inception: heat. Cornell engineers, Prof. Rob Shepherd, mechanical and aerospace engineering, and Prof. Emmanuel Giannelis, material science and engineering, sought to battle heat through sweating — the same method employed by students walking up the slope on a hot summer day. Shepherd and Gianelis employed 3D-printing techniques to stimulate sweating in robots, which they are currently testing on a robotic hand. High powered robots currently require maintenance after extended use because of the heat they build up during use. One of the collaborators from Shepherd’s Organic Robotics Lab, Anand Mishra, told The Sun the initial research project was “bio-inspired” — the basic functions of living things influenced the researchers, prompting them to design this multifunctional robotic hand.
Roombas are adorable. They look like rounded pieces of To-Ak chocolate, and cost about the same. My parents managed to pick one up before the holidays, and it whirs around during the day, dusting off the micro-pests that clutter the household. My dad seems genuinely amazed. “Look at this,” he says giddily.
While the members of the Cornell University Autonomous Underwater Vehicle team might not have been huffing and puffing after their most recent competition, they still blew away the competition.
“We won in a pretty spectacular way,” said Erin Fischell ’10, CUAUV team leader. “Our vehicle completed the entire course. No other team has [completed the entire course] since the MIT team in 2002.”
From July 28 to Aug. 2, CUAUV participated in the 12th annual Autonomous Underwater Vehicle competition, clinching its first win since 2003. Up against 29 other student teams from the United States, Canada, India, Korea and Japan, the CUAUV-designed, unmanned robotic submarine — dubbed “Nova” by the team — sank the competition, and earned $10,000 in doing so.