MAY 23, 2019 11:29 PM PDT

Blossom: The Customizable Social Robot

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

A new social robot, that is simple, expressive, inexpensive and referred to as ‘Blossom’, can soon help teach fourth graders mathematics. Blossom can be customized with handcrafted material, like wood and wool, to bring uniqueness to each owner. It was developed by Guy Hoffman, assistant professor in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University, who envisioned to build robots with warmer, homier qualities.

Blossom robots can be constructed by users from handcrafted materials, making each one a little bit different. Credit: Michael Sugitan/Cornell.edu

"We wanted to empower people to build their own robot, but without sacrificing how expressive it is," said Hoffman, senior author of "Blossom: A Handcrafted Open-Source Robot," published in the Association for Computing Machinery Transactions on Human-Robot Interaction. "Also, it's nice to have every robot be a little bit different. If you knit your robot, every family would have their own robot that would be unique to them."

The mechanical design of Blossom mechanical was designed by a doctoral student in the Hoffman lab and first author of the study, Michael Suguitan. The design is centered on a floating "head" platform using strings and cables for movement allowing it to be more flexible and organic than those robots made of rigid parts.

Blossom is built with such simplicity that other researchers from other disciplines can build one from the kit used in the studies—which can also be utilized as a learning tool to demonstrate robotics to children.

Learn more:

"It's meant to be a flexible kit that is also very low cost. Especially if we can make it out of cardboard, you could make it very inexpensively," says Hoffman. "Because of computation becoming so powerful, it could be a really open-ended way for people to do whatever they want with robotics."

The work was partly supported by a grant from Google Creative Robotics.

Source: Cornell

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
MAY 27, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Unfavorable Weather Delays SpaceX's Historic Crewed American Launch
MAY 27, 2020
Unfavorable Weather Delays SpaceX's Historic Crewed American Launch
After officially receiving the green light from NASA to move forward with the first crewed space launch from American so ...
JUN 08, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Space Agencies Are Developing Novel Space Junk Cleanup Tools
JUN 08, 2020
Space Agencies Are Developing Novel Space Junk Cleanup Tools
There are thousands of satellites orbiting the Earth today, with some residing in Low-Earth Orbit and others following a ...
JUN 29, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Staring into Deep Red Light Improves Eyesight
JUN 29, 2020
Staring into Deep Red Light Improves Eyesight
Researchers from UCL have found that staring into a deep red light for just three minutes per day can significantly impr ...
AUG 03, 2020
Technology
'Drawn-On" Skin Electronics
AUG 03, 2020
'Drawn-On" Skin Electronics
Engineers at the University of Houston developed a new form of "drawn-on-skin electronics” --a breakthro ...
AUG 19, 2020
Technology
Electronic Alert System Prevents Excessive Prescribing
AUG 19, 2020
Electronic Alert System Prevents Excessive Prescribing
Recent research between the intersection of health and tech brings a new development in an automatic electronic alert sy ...
AUG 28, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Interacting Time Crystals and the Future of Time Keeping
AUG 28, 2020
Interacting Time Crystals and the Future of Time Keeping
Time crystals, also known as the space-time crystals, is a newly discovered state of matter that demonstrates distinct s ...
Loading Comments...