Category: Robotics

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Flexible ‘Dragon’ Drone Autonomously Shapeshifts to Fly Through Tight Spaces

Flexible ‘Dragon’ Drone Autonomously Shapeshifts to Fly Through Tight Spaces A group of roboticists at the University of Tokyo have created a flexible, flying “drone-robot” that could see a multitude of uses. The Dual-rotor embedded multilink Robot with the Ability of multi-deGree-of-freedom aerial transformatiON, is (thankfully) better known by its acronym, DRAGON. As illustrated in…
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Why We Need to Fine-Tune Our Definition of Artificial Intelligence

Why We Need to Fine-Tune Our Definition of Artificial Intelligence Sophia’s uncanny-valley face, made of Hanson Robotics’ patented Frubber, is rapidly becoming an iconic image in the field of artificial intelligence. She has been interviewed on shows like 60 Minutes, made a Saudi citizen, and even appeared before the United Nations. Every media appearance sparks…
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Robots Will Be Able to Feel Touch With This Artificial Nerve

Robots Will Be Able to Feel Touch With This Artificial Nerve When the disembodied cockroach leg twitched, Yeongin Kim knew he had finally made it. A graduate student at Stanford, Kim had been working with an international team of neuroengineers on a crazy project: an artificial nerve that acts like the real thing. Like sensory…
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MIT’s Leading the Pack With This Cool New Autonomous Drone Tech

MIT’s Leading the Pack With This Cool New Autonomous Drone Tech Any Star Wars fan knows that the chances of successfully navigating an asteroid field are approximately 3,720 to 1. The odds are probably significantly higher against today’s autonomous drones, which fly quite a bit slower than sublight speed and without the mad skills of…
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Chinese Port Goes Full Robot With Autonomous Trucks and Cranes

Chinese Port Goes Full Robot With Autonomous Trucks and Cranes By the end of 2018, something will be very different about the harbor area in the northern Chinese city of Caofeidian. If you were to visit, the whirring cranes and tractors driving containers to and fro would be the only things in sight. Caofeidian is…
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Stuff 3.0: The Era of Programmable Matter

Stuff 3.0: The Era of Programmable Matter It’s the end of a long day in your apartment in the early 2040s. You decide your work is done for the day, stand up from your desk, and yawn. “Time for a film!” you say. The house responds to your cues. The desk splits into hundreds of…
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How Fukushima Changed Japanese Robotics and Woke up the Industry

How Fukushima Changed Japanese Robotics and Woke up the Industry In March 2011, Japan was hit by a catastrophic earthquake that triggered a terrible tsunami. Thousands were killed and billions of dollars of damage was done in one of the worst disasters of modern times. For a few perilous weeks, though, the eyes of the…
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Robots Can Swim, Fetch, Lift, and Dance. But Can They Assemble an Ikea Chair?

Robots Can Swim, Fetch, Lift, and Dance. But Can They Assemble an Ikea Chair? Robotics has come a long way in the past few years. Robots can now fetch items from specific spots in massive warehouses, swim through the ocean to study marine life, and lift 200 times their own weight. They can even perform…
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Your Next Pilot Could Be Drone Software

Your Next Pilot Could Be Drone Software Would you get on a plane that didn’t have a human pilot in the cockpit? Half of air travelers surveyed in 2017 said they would not, even if the ticket was cheaper. Modern pilots do such a good job that almost any air accident is big news, such…
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Robot Cities: Three Urban Prototypes for Future Living

Robot Cities: Three Urban Prototypes for Future Living Before I started working on real-world robots, I wrote about their fictional and historical ancestors. This isn’t so far removed from what I do now. In factories, labs, and of course science fiction, imaginary robots keep fueling our imagination about artificial humans and autonomous machines. Real-world robots…
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