Robot hands gain a gentler touch

first_imgWhat use is a hand without nerves, that can’t tell what it’s holding? A hand that lifts a soda to your lips, but inadvertently tips or crushes the can in the process?Researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a very inexpensive tactile sensor for robotic hands that is sensitive enough to turn a brute machine into a dexterous manipulator.Designed by researchers in the Harvard Biorobotics Laboratory at SEAS, the sensor, called TakkTile, is intended to put what would normally be a high-end technology within the grasp of commercial inventors, teachers, and robotics enthusiasts.“Despite decades of research, tactile sensing hasn’t moved into general use because it’s been expensive and fragile,” explains co-creator Leif Jentoft, a graduate student at SEAS. “It normally costs about $16,000, give or take, to put tactile sensing on a research robot hand. That’s really limited where people can use it. The traditional technology also uses very specialized construction techniques, which can slow down your work. Now, Takktile changes that because it’s based on much simpler and cheaper fabrication methods.”TakkTile takes an existing device — a tiny barometer, which senses air pressure — and adds a layer of vacuum-sealed rubber to it, protecting it from as much as 25 pounds of direct pressure. Jentoft and co-creator Yaroslav Tenzer, a postdoctoral fellow, say that the chips can even survive a strike from a hammer or a baseball bat. At the same time, TakkTile is sensitive enough to detect a very slight touch.The result, when added to a mechanical hand, is a robot that knows what it’s touching. It can pick up a balloon without popping it. It can pick up a key and use it to unlock a door.Beyond robotics, Jentoft and Tenzer suggest that the TakkTile sensor could be used in a range of electronic devices. A toy manufacturer could make a stuffed puppy that responds to petting; a medical device designer could create a laparoscopic gripper that’s gentle enough to tease apart tissue during surgery.“Not everyone has the bandwidth to do the research themselves, but there are plenty of people who could find new applications and ways of using this,” says Tenzer.The sensors can be built using relatively simple equipment; the patented process relies on standard methods used in printed circuit board fabrication, along with access to a vacuum chamber. The tiny barometers are available cheaply because they have been widely used in cellphones and GPS units that can sense altitude.Along with their adviser, Robert D. Howe, Abbott and James Lawrence Professor of Engineering at SEAS, Jentoft and Tenzer are pursuing commercial opportunities with help from Harvard’s Office of Technology Development. Harvard plans to license the technology to companies interested in offering prefabricated sensors or in integrating TakkTile sensing into products such as robots, consumer devices, and industrial products.last_img read more

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Hagstrom: Connelly must improve for hockey to have shot

first_imgAbsolute pandemonium.Tonight, hordes of people young and old will dress up and celebrate the spirit of Halloween.Some dress up for the laughs, others for the aesthetic appeal, and then there are those who truly want to be someone else. Whatever the case, measured by the pails of candy, clumsy stumbles or Facebook-worthy pictures, the transforming act is an overwhelming success.As is customary on game nights, UW goaltender Shane Connelly will go as Superman.It’s time he starts playing the part.Six straight games against Top 10 foes and the Badgers have gotten off to a 0-5-1 start.The defense is young, inexperienced and mistake-prone. Connelly is a veteran, savvy and… mistake-prone.No question — the defense has been out of position the numerous times the puck has zipped past Connelly.No question — Wisconsin players renting out and residing in the penalty box as their home away from home have put Connelly at a disadvantage.No question — one upperclassman blue-liner and a roster full of NHL-talent defensemen eyed for their open ice and scoring abilities, not the grind it out defense the WCHA plays, have metaphorically grayed Connelly’s hair.The defense is young, the opposition lethal, but the goaltender can still make plays. College hockey is tough. The WCHA is merciless.Connelly still lets in soft goals.No. 35 has been, bar a couple periods and smattering of plays, a sieve. Not in the “drain the water from the pot of noodles sense,” but in the water surging over a useless sandbag levee.Eighteen goals have scored under Connelly’s watch — that’s 4.45 goals per 60 minutes. Only Mercyhurst and Bemidji State — two of 58 Division 1 teams, yes teams — have allowed a higher clip per game. Nine have come in the third period, three times blowing a lead or tie. And Connelly hasn’t started every night. (More on that to come.)The WCHA is known for its defense — and goaltenders. What happened in Wisconsin?While the defense adjusts and slowly grows up, Connelly needs to be Superman. He wears the mask with the “S” shield decal on the back for a reason. Alone, Connelly stands between the enemy and glory.On the top shelf of his locker sits a journal. In it, he describes and recalls opposing player’s tendencies with the puck: where they shoot from, how — wrister, backhand, slap — and in what formation.The scribbling shouldn’t serve as a memento, a “Hey, look what I do during the games;” it should be put into practice on the ice. Time and time again.Not knowing what’s coming and getting beaten is poor scouting. Knowing what’s coming and not being able to stop it is an entirely separate matter.There doesn’t appear to be anyone else anytime soon either. Connelly’s it. UW coach Mike Eaves tried Scott Gudmandson. The results were horrifying.In two games, Gudmandson allowed 12 goals. Do the math. That’s 2003 Detroit Tigers bad. For his career, 3.66 GAA is the number to consider.Save percentage is a better indicator of talent, or lack thereof. The Akili Smith of WCHA goaltenders stops the puck 82.4 percent of the time. Really good teams shoot 10 percent against a variety of talent. More than 14 percent of shots on Gudmandson have scored during his short career.Again, 1976 Buccaneers bad.While superior to Gudmandson, Connelly will never be better than average. He’ll never rank among the Brian Elliotts, Curtis Josephs and Bernd Brucklers of Wisconsin hockey history. That much is true. But without support of the beams and pillars (and Superman preoccupied by Lex Luthor), so too will the hockey team crumble if Connelly gives in.Connelly must continue to fight, as futile as it may sometimes be.Because if Connelly can somehow find it in himself to play with the emotions and excitement of the North Dakota series last November, where he pitched a shutout one night and made an acrobatic save the next, maybe, just maybe, Average-Man will be super enough.Kevin is a former Badger Herald sports editor. Want to talk more Badgers hockey? He’s graduated now, but he can still be reached at [email protected]last_img read more

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Manchester United Sign Serbian Midfielder Matic In £40m Deal

first_imgManchester United have signed Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic from English Premier League (EPL) rivals Chelsea in a £40m deal.The 28-year old has signed a three-year deal with the Red Devils to become the club’s third summer signing after Victor Lindelof and Romelu Lukaku. Speaking on his new acquisition, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho described Matic as a “team player” who has “everything we want in a footballer; loyalty, consistency, ambition”.On his transfer, Matic revealed that he was “delighted” to be joining Manchester United at “an exciting time”.“To work with Jose Mourinho once again was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.“I have enjoyed my time at Chelsea and would like to thank the club and the fans for their support. I cannot wait to meet my new team-mates and to start training with them.” he concluded.Matic has been given his favourite no. 31 jersey for the new season.RelatedPhoto – Nemanja Matic Wears Manchester United Kit After Undergoing MedicalJuly 30, 2017In “England”Mourinho Rules Out Fellaini Exit, Confirms Matic DealJuly 30, 2017In “England”Matic Joins The List Of Players To Wear Both United And Chelsea ShirtsJuly 31, 2017In “England”last_img read more

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Greece sets affiliate licensing conditions for revamped gambling market

first_img Submit Share StumbleUpon Related Articles OPAP delivers on Athens children’s hospital CSR projects July 6, 2020 Greek retail closures rock OPAP Q1 performance June 11, 2020 Further requirements published in Greece’s approved new gambling bill, will require affiliate marketing partners to register and pay a €1,000 licensing fee with the Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC).This October, following a year of deliberation, the Greek Parliament progressed final amendments of its new gambling bill, which will introduce a modern regulatory framework for online gambling services.Serving as lead regulatory  authority, the HGC is set to monitor and process all licensing application for Greece’s newly regulated markets with regards to operators, technology suppliers and marketing partners.A new regulatory framework will see operators pay €3 million for permits related to sports betting and casino games.For marketing incumbents, the Greek government has sanctioned HGC to act as a registry for authorised marketing partners, in which licensees will only be approved to conduct Greek consumer-facing promotions with affiliates approved by the regulatory bodyThe 24 online operators issued with temporary Greek licenses in 2011 will be allowed to continue operating under these licences until 31 March 2020, but will then be forced to reapply for new certification. However, those operators ‘black-listed’ in the year prior to licensing won’t be eligible.As expected, the Greek government has retained its 35% GGR tax charge but repealed a section of the 2011 gambling law that allowed online licensees to deduct this tax payment from their 20% corporate tax obligations. Greek leisure approval sees OPAP return to full capacity June 8, 2020 Sharelast_img read more

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Allderdice slides past Carrick in City League play

first_imgJamir Powell of Allderdice hauls in a 33 yard TD pass in the Dragons 28-26 win over Carrick,Powell had 5 catches for 85 yards for a productive night Your comments are welcome. Follow @NewPghCourier on Twitter  https://twitter.com/NewPghCourierLike us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Pittsburgh-Courier/143866755628836?ref=hlDownload our mobile app at http://www.appshopper.com/news/new-pittsburgh-courier Allderdice quarterback James Jackson (7) scrambles away from Jordan Arlotta (13) of Carrick, Jackson, a smooth sophomore threw 2 touchdown passes to lead “The Dice” to a 28-26 win over the Raiders Allderdice’s Trevon Williams (6) scoots past Jesse Reid (68) and Pat Keating (72) of Carrick for a nice gain in the Dragons 28-26 wincenter_img Joe Kalsek, Carrick’s hard nosed half back rushed for 108 yards , but it was not enough as the Raiders lost a close one to Allderdice 28-26 Timothy Jackson of Allderdice returned a punt 50 yards for a touchdown in the Dragons 28-26 win over Carrick in Thursday Night City League action at “The Cup”last_img read more

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At The Finish Line…Where Only the Truth Matters

first_imgBILL NEALOkay, for all the do-gooders out there who want to suggest that the Steelers made the bed they have to lie in, I will tell you they’re just as wrong as the no call in the S.D./K.C. game. Regardless of your record and how good it should be, the rules say if you win you’re in. The Steelers are not in the playoffs because the refs blew not one, but two calls, not because of the same record they had with six other teams that qualified!Hey Chuck, John, Gary and the rest of the Savoy basket weaving . . . I mean basketball team, Myron Brown just had knee surgery and he said, and I quote, “Neal, I put it on them with one leg. Just think if I had both legs how bad it would have been!”Do yourself a favor and find the DVD “Ali” Through the Eyes of the World and be reminded of his greatness. I’ve got them all and this is “the greatest” one of all.Go see American Hustle. Just go see it! One of the top five movies of the year. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.The wind chill in Green Bay is going to be 17 below zero Sunday. I wouldn’t go to that game if Vince Lombardi himself was coaching and I am a football man . . . man!A big shout out to good brother Will Anderson for stepping up with his donation for our Toys for Tots program. Could not have done it without you. Everybody reading this vote for him.  He’s a good man!YOU HAVE NOW CROSSED OVER THE FINISH LINElast_img read more

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