A quirk of nature has long baffled biologists: Why do animals push in directions that don’t point toward their goal, like the side-to-side sashaying of a running lizard or cockroach? An engineer building a robot would likely avoid these movements because they seem wasteful. So why do animals behave this way? A multi-institutional research team, led by Johns Hopkins engineers, says it has solved this puzzle.
Recent news from The Johns Hopkins University
This section contains regularly updated highlights of the news from around The Johns Hopkins University. Links to the complete news reports from the nine schools, the Applied Physics Laboratory and other centers and institutes are to the left, as are links to help news media contact the Johns Hopkins communications offices.
In response to industry’s growing need for engineers with the specialized skills and expertise to design and deploy advanced robotics systems, The Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering now offers a Master of Science in Engineering in Robotics (MSE Robotics) degree program.
More than 100 Baltimore City Public middle and high school students will compete in the Hopkins Robotics Cup, the first Baltimore City VEX Robotics Championship, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, in the Newton White Athletic Center on The Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood campus.
More than a dozen student teams from the Baltimore area will bring small autonomous robots to compete in various events during the competition, organized by Johns Hopkins graduate students from the university’s Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics. Contest events include slalom racing, mystery maze navigation, “tumor” detection, robot dancing and innovative use.
Harmony in the workplace is highly desirable, but what happens when some workers depend on biological brains, while others need computers to guide their behavior? With an eye toward enhanced safety and greater productivity, Johns Hopkins engineers have joined colleagues at four other universities in a project to create new ways for humans and robots to work together cooperatively.
On Saturday, May 5, about 90 Maryland high school and middle school students, mostly working in teams, will enter their small robots in Johns Hopkins Robo-Challenge 2012, a series of competitive events, including a mechanical dance contest.
To improve the next generation of insect-size flying machines, Johns Hopkins engineers have been aiming high-speed video cameras at some of the prettiest bugs on the planet. By figuring out how butterflies flutter among flowers with amazing grace and agility, the researchers hope to help small airborne robots mimic these maneuvers.
Johns Hopkins engineers, recognized as experts in medical robotics, have turned their attention skyward to help NASA with a space dilemma: How can it fix valuable satellites that are breaking down or running out of fuel? One option—sending a human repair crew into space—is costly, dangerous and sometimes not even possible for satellites in a distant orbit. Another idea is now getting attention: Send robots to the rescue and give them a little long-distance human help. Johns Hopkins scientists say the same technology that allows doctors to steer a machine through delicate abdominal surgery could someday help an operator on Earth fix a faulty fuel line on the far side of the moon.
Johns Hopkins Researchers in Robotics, Public Health to Receive Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers
Three Johns Hopkins faculty members, who study robotics, biostatistics and international health, are among 94 researchers selected this year to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. The awards, announced this week by President Barack Obama, are the United States government’s highest honor for scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers.
Media Advisory: Baltimore City Schools Students to Compete Saturday in Robotics Contest at Johns Hopkins
More than 100 middle and high school students, mainly from Baltimore City Public Schools, will compete Saturday at Johns Hopkins’ Homewood campus in a VEX Robotics qualifying competition, in which student-made devices will score points by placing doughnut-size rings atop posts and by hanging from ladder rungs.