UC Riverside Roboticists Create Airhead, a Piano-Playing Robot Driven by “Air-Powered” Memory Chips

Inspired by player pianos and thermostats from the early 1900s, Airhead ditches electronics in favor of pneumatic RAM modules.

University of California at Riverside (UC Riverside) engineers have created what they describe as “air-powered computer memory,” which drives a robot — dubbed, amusingly, “Airhead” — to play the piano.

“Pneumatically-actuated soft robots have advantages over traditional rigid robots in many applications,” the researchers write in the abstract to their paper. “In particular, their flexible bodies and gentle air-powered movements make them more suitable for use around humans and other objects that could be injured or damaged by traditional robots.”

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Waterproof Sensors Designed for Submerged Wearable Applications

The flexible, waterproof design could be used for many applications, including wearable healthcare devices and scuba diving equipment.


Researchers from Soongsil University in Seoul have developed a flexible, waterproof sensor that can be used for submerged wearable applications, including scuba diving gear, healthcare devices, smart textiles, and more.

According to their recently published paper, the team demonstrated using the pressure sensor to control a phone, such as playing music and taking pictures, while fully immersed in water. They also incorporated the sensor into a flexible face mask, which could track the breath rate of a wearer by detecting air movement inside the mask.

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Bay Area man uses 3D printer for good in hopes of restoring coral reefs impacted by climate change

OAKLAND, Calif. — A Bay Area design technologist is using 3D printing and calcium carbonate to help restore coral reefs and marine biodiversity that has been impacted by climate change.

Coral reefs are currently threatened by pollution, overfishing, and climate change.

According to SECORE International, fifty-percent of the world’s coral reefs have died in the past three decades. Ninety-percent of coral reefs could die within the next century.

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Spot Release 3.0 Gives Everybody’s Favorite Quadrupedal Robot Edge AI Powers, Improved Autonomy

Boston Dynamics has unveiled an upgrade for its quadrupedal Spot robot, Spot Release 3.0, which offers new autonomy functionality, AI-powered data collection, and the ability to operate the arm remotely — even opening doors.

“We’ve been working closely with Spot users in asset-intensive industries to operationalize the robot on their sites,” the Boston Dynamics team writes of the new upgrade. “With Spot Release 3.0, we’ve added flexible autonomy and repeatable data capture, making Spot the data collection solution you need to make inspection rounds safer and more efficient.”

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