Advertisements’s List of Top New Robotic Innovations

 Robotics at a Tipping Point for Growth by Maryanne Kane

First of all, we’ve designed’s list of top new robotic innovations to showcase the most useful and exciting new robotic technology.  DARPA, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is at the forefront of robotic innovation. US Defense Department’s DARPA launched the internet, GPS and some of the first digital maps.  These three innovations are the forces enabling the creation of breakthrough robotic technology.’s list of top new robotic innovations spotlights breakthrough robotics that DARPA and its partners are developing.  DARPA’s mission is to create gamechanging technologies and capabilities for national security and the US military.  And as a result, many of the DARPA programs on our list have both military and commercial applications.’s list of top new robotic innovations — ALIAS

DARPA’s robotic research programs have a military focus.  It’s focused on developing technological means to keep military personnel out of constant harms way.  DARPA’s Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System, ALIAS, replaces aircraft co-pilots with a robotic arm.  Multiple cameras show data to ALIAS. The data empowers ALIAS to intelligently share aircraft functions with the pilot.  Consequently, for example, ALIAS can handle the plane’s throttle.  That capability is one of the many reasons that we view ALIAS as a major advancement over current autopilot systems.  Additionally, there are also major commercial aviation industry applications.’s list of top new robotic innovations — Humanoid Robots with Manners and with Dancing Skills

DARPA scientists are programming robots with manners.  Researchers believe that polite robots will enable more easier human-robot interaction.  They’ve created a machine algorithm that allows robots to learn how to behave like polite humans. As an example of how this works, the robot in the right circumstances would say thank you.  Another example is the robot makes the decision to remain quiet in a library.  Experts say mannerly robots are essential if we are to capitalize on the potential of driverless cars and virtual digital assistants. Future robots will have to abide by the same social and ethical norms as humans do.  And in order to make that happen, DARPA scientists are developing a highly advanced artificial intelligence (AI) system.  The AI system will  empower robots to act appropriately in very specific sets of circumstances.

Add to mannerly robots, robots with the agility to dance.  DARPA is teaching robots to dance to expand their freedom of motion.  The goal is to increase their agility through computer algorithms translating dance moves.  This is very significant.’s list of top new robotic innovations cites DARPA’s dancing robots for a clear reason.  Currently, robots have limited agility.  In summary DARPA’s dancing robots, that also may have manners, are robotic gamechangers both for military, commercial and consumer use.  For more, see our blog post

Space Robots on’s list of top new robotic innovations

On-orbit servicing by space robots of hundreds of government, military and commercial satellites is a near-term possibility,  That’s according to DARPA which is partnering with NASA.  Recent technological advances are enabling the launch of robotic vehicles into space  These vehicles will be able to inspect, assist and repair satellites. Importantly, all of this hasn’t been possible.  Satellites orbit 22,000 miles above the earth.  Their remote locations have made impossible any inspections, diagnosis of malfunctioning parts, upgrades and repairs.  This has led to losses of hundreds of millions of dollars per dead satellite.

DARPA wants rules established for robots in space.  It would include international consensus standards  The standards would  reduce regulatory, financial and diplomatic risks.

DARPA believes the potential of space robots is enormous.  Furthermore, NASA, a DARPA partner, is developing space robots for the colonization of Mars.

As a result of the breakthroughs in development, space robots are on’s list of top new robotic innovations. They are game-changing  innovation for space exploration and the space industry.  For more on space robots, see our post

Robot Ships on’s list of top new robotic innovations

Global military robotics market will hit $21 billion dollars by 2020.  DARPA is the global epicenter of military robotic innovation.  Their robot ship, SeaHunter, is a primary example.  It’s the first example of a fully robotic military, surface vessel to hunt foreign subs.  The crew is robotic.  No human crew is onboard.  Robot ships can stay on the high seas for months.  The ships use international conventions to decide what to do in certain circumstances.

The vessel has undergone rigorous sea trials. Christened SeaHunter, it’s just been turned over to the Office of Naval Research (ONR). Importantly, ONR will do further testing, development and utilization of the ship. Also of importance, it uses a fifth generation medium frequency sonar system on its hull to track subs.  SeaHunter conducts active and passive passes.  Robot ship is a revolutionary development that could lead to a whole new class of ocean going vessels.  It’s totally manned by robots.  DARPA’s vision is that robot ships will team with manned warships to complement each other on diverse missions.  For more details on Robot ship, see our post

DARPA and NASA’s Nature-based Robotic Dogs, Cheetas, Birds and Bees on’s list of  top new robotic innovations

DARPA’s nature based robotics technology is gamechanging.  Their Big Dog robot developed with Boston Dynamics is the world’s first advanced, rough terrain robot.  And, Wildcat is another nature inspired robot. It’s the world’s fastest four legged robot.  Cheetah is its predecessor.  Boston Dynamics, with DARPA backing, developed all of them.

Other notable examples of nature inspired robots include NASA’s marsbees.  marsbees are robots the size of bees with noticeably larger wings. They’re designed to swarm together and explore Mars for any sign of life.   marsbees have speed and staying power. They wirelessly transmit information they collect like a satellite.  Their robotic innovation is far ahead of the Mars rovers. As you know, rovers have been deployed for years.  Especially important is they are clumsy and very slow. For instance, Rover Curiosity, deployed in 2012 ,has travelled only 11 miles. Meanwhile, NASA is also developing the hummingbird micro air vehicle. It will be tested soon in a simulation of Mars’ atmosphere.  NASA is funding 25 other early stage technology projects to accelerate exploration of Mars.  For more details on NASA’s marsbees, see our post and go to   

and to NASA



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