Articles tagués robot

Pleo looks dinosaur!

This is not in my wish list for ‘podmas, but I find Pleo quite cute. Do they reproduce?

I’ll wait for something more evolved, say an hybrid between a Real Doll, a Nabaztag and an Asimo, with a MacBook Pro inside. Maybe with some Leopard clothing. How the battery problem will be managed is a good question.


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Social Integration of Robots into Groups of Cockroaches to Control Self-Organized Choices

Blogging on Peer-Reviewed ResearchThis is probably the cutest experimental setting I read about the last few months (I do know that I have a particular understanding of what cute is).
Robots, disguised as cockroaches by simple pheromone coating, to make them look like cockroaches, that is at the chemotactility space. Then introduced in a group, to influence dynamically the collective decision-making process. And that works nicely.

More interesting the fact that the programming of robots wasn’t rigid, so they were influenced by natural individual and acted socially in opposition with their individual preferences.

Autonomous artifacts cooperating with living individuals to solve problems. Far away yet from Asimov’s robots, but on the right path.
Now, who wouldn’t like to play with such a setting?

Social Integration of Robots into Groups of Cockroaches to Control Self-Organized Choices
J. Halloy, G. Sempo, G. Caprari, C. Rivault, M. Asadpour, F. Tâche, I. Saïd, V. Durier, S. Canonge, J. M. Amé, C. Detrain, N. Correll, A. Martinoli, F. Mondada, R. Siegwart, J. L. Deneubourg
Science 16 November 2007: Vol. 318. no. 5853, pp. 1155 – 1158 DOI: 10.1126/science.1144259

Collective behavior based on self-organization has been shown in group-living animals from insects to vertebrates. These findings have stimulated engineers to investigate approaches for the coordination of autonomous multirobot systems based on self-organization. In this experimental study, we show collective decision-making by mixed groups of cockroaches and socially integrated autonomous robots, leading to shared shelter selection. Individuals, natural or artificial, are perceived as equivalent, and the collective decision emerges from nonlinear feedbacks based on local interactions. Even when in the minority, robots can modulate the collective decision-making process and produce a global pattern not observed in their absence. These results demonstrate the possibility of using intelligent autonomous devices to study and control self-organized behavioral patterns in group-living animals.

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The Tables serie: Table 1-Highly Integrated Molecular Diagnostic Platforms

This is the 1st table of a serie of 3 on automated platforms in Molecular Diagnostics that will be available exclusively at Coffee And Sci(ence).  You can find it here:
Table 1-Highly Integrated Molecular Diagnostic Platforms 
Back in 2004, when Roche Molecular Diagnostics had introduced the Cobas Ampliprep + Cobas Taqman 48 in Europe, there was not too much instruments capable of such integration of nuclec acid extraction (NA) and realtime PCR (rtPCR) detection. Now (Nov. 2007), there is a bunch of them. Abbott, BD, Biomerieux, Cepheid, Gen-Probe, HandyLab, Iquum, Qiagen, Roche Diagnostics and Siemens Medical Solutions Diagnostics. If you are not here, please contact us.
Integration is essentially coming from the combination of 2 instruments, 1 for NA extraction, one for rtPCR. Abbott, Biomerieux, Roche and Siemens are the majors. They basically use Tecan, Hamilton, PSS based platforms for NA extraction combined with a rtPCR thermocycler from AB, former Organon-Teknika, Roche, Stratagene. Transfer of sample between instruments is manual, except for Roche who has produced the Docking Station, a robotic interface whichacts as a PCR plate conveyor.
I have mentionned Qiagen in this table because they have so much NA extraction platforms available and a long list of Molecular Diagnostic (MDX) reagents. However, Qiagen is still missing a rtPCR platform. Artus Biotech, before their acquisition by Qiagen, had a collaboration with Corbett Research around the RotorGene 3000. But Qiagen is not mentionning this partnership anymore. Hopefully they are on the market to find a solution.
Gen-Probe and BD have a different approach in that sense they are fully integrated instruments in a single box. Gen-Probe’s Tigris is the precursor of such category of instruments. Respect for that. But come on, this is a « Qual » platform, not a Quant. BD’s Viper is almost of a same age, however, BD has added very recently this fully integrated capacity to the Viper which is now capable of sample prep, SDA setup, and detection. But the specs of this later are still unclear. There is no mention at all of this platform in the real world, except in meetings and on BD’s booth. Is that rtSDA? I’m not sure.
Finally, a more recent category of platforms, the benchtop fully integrated MDX platforms, with Cepheid, Iquum and HandyLab. Cepheid is here the precursor with the GeneXpert4. They recently launched the GX1 and GX16 which are the younger and bigger bros of the GX4. Iquum is working on its Lab-in-a-tube technology since 2004. Hopefully we’ll see the Liat available soon. HandyLab has shown more recently their PCR chip based technology within their upcoming Jaguar platform.
Whoever will succeed the best, Cepheid, HandyLab and Iquum are clearly building the future of MDX platforms. Nanosphere’s Verigene system who has recently been approved by the FDA for various MDX assays, may also be part of the game. See this blog elsewhere, and remember Nanosphere is not using anymore PCR steps. 

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