science + technology news

‘Robot agents’ to help settle disputes

January 8, 2006

The e-Dispute system provides fast online arbitration, mediation and conciliation services to help organizations quickly resolve disputes.

e-Dispute’s online collaboration tools include video, audio, live-chat, e-forum, text and transcript capabilities with full case management, fact assessment, analysis, and weighted issue/interesting variables.

Robot Air Attack Squadron Bound for Iraq

July 16, 2007

The airplane is the size of a jet fighter, powered by a turboprop engine, able to fly at 300 mph and reach 50,000 feet. It’s outfitted with infrared, laser and radar targeting, and with a ton and a half of guided bombs and missiles.

The Reaper is loaded, but there’s no one on board. Its pilot, as it bombs targets in Iraq, will sit at a video console 7,000… read more

Robot aircraft will ride thermals to save fuel

August 22, 2008

A UK team has developed software that allows an uncrewed aerial vehicle to harness upward-moving thermal air currents to keep it aloft longer.

The GPS-based system combines the locations of dome-shaped clouds formed by rapidly rising hot air with real-time weather forecasts, computer simulations of air flow across the local terrain, and expert advice to predict the locations of further thermal currents.

Robot ants mimic real ant colony behavior

April 2, 2013

This image shows the robot ants (Alices) pursuing a light trail around the constructed maze (credit: Simon Garnier et al./PLOS)

Scientists have replicated the behavior of a colony of ants on the move with the use of miniature robots, as reported in the open access journal PLOS Computational Biology.

The researchers, based at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (Newark, USA) and at the Research Centre on Animal Cognition (Toulouse, France), aimed to discover how individual ants, when part of a moving colony, orient themselves in the… read more

Robot ape to colonize the Moon?

July 2, 2013


The German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and the University of Bremen are working on an ape-like robot called the iStruct Demonstrator that they classify as a “Space Robot.”

Lately the mechanical monkey has been practicing how to walk and balance in the center’s mock lunar landscape, Gizmag reports.

An ape-like body has certain benefits over a wheeled robot: its four-legged stance is… read more

Robot arm punches human to obey Asimov’s rules

October 15, 2010

(B.Povse, D. Koritnik, T Bajd, M Munih)

University of Ljubljana researchers are attempting to define the limits of the speed and acceleration of robots, and the ideal size and shape of the tools they use, so they can safely interact with humans, using volunteers who are struck by a robot.

The objective is to cap the speed a robot should move at when it senses a nearby human, to avoid hurting them.

Robot Asimo can understand three voices at once

June 11, 2008

Honda’s Asimo robot can now process three voices at once at 80 percent accuuracy, using an array of eight microphones to localize sounds.

See also: ‘Party chat’ brain filter discovered

Robot astronaut inspires medicine and manufacturing spinoffs

July 1, 2014

The version of Robonaut currently on the station (credit: NASA)

Robonaut, a human-like robot designed by NASA and General Motors (GM), whose aim is to avoid the scenario in the movie Gravity — and perform other tasks  to free up human crew time and energy — has spun off three other astronaut helpers.

Robonatu has been on the International Space Station since February 2011. Researchers have been testing the robot’s ability to perform… read more

Robot avatar body controlled by thought alone

July 5, 2012

These areas of the motor cortex are activated when thinking about moving things (credit: New Scientist)

For the first time, a person lying in an fMRI machine has controlled a robot hundreds of kilometers away using thought alone.

.”The ultimate goal is to create a surrogate, like in Avatar, although that’s a long way off yet,” says Abderrahmane Kheddar, director of the joint robotics laboratory at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Tsukuba, Japan.

Teleoperated robots,… read more

Robot biologist solves complex problem from scratch

October 17, 2011

Multiscale Interactions

An interdisciplinary team of scientists has taken a major step toward automating the scientific process with the Automated Biology Explorer (ABE) system, which can analyze raw experimental data from a biological system and derive the basic mathematical equations that describe the way the system operates.

According to the researchers at Vanderbilt University, Cornell University and CFD Research Corporation, it is one… read more

Robot body language gives humans a clue

March 23, 2009

Robots that “leak” non-verbal information through eye movements when interacting with humans can help humans guess the machine’s intentions, Carnegie Mellon University researchers have found.

Robot border guards to patrol future frontiers

January 8, 2010

The US Department of Homeland Security, along with Boeing Intelligence and Security Systems, is fielding sensors on the border with Mexico in an $8 billion project called the Secure Border Initiative network.

It will use remote-controlled optical and infrared cameras, ground surveillance radar and acoustic and vibration sensors to detect humans, and magnetic sensors to detect vehicle movements and weapons.

Similar systems are being developed for the European… read more

Robot builder could ‘print’ houses

March 11, 2004

A robot for “printing” houses has been developed that takes instructions directly from an architect’s computerized drawings and then squirts successive layers of concrete on top of one other to build up vertical walls and domed roofs. The precision automaton could revolutionize building sites.

The first house will be built in 2005. If the technology is successful, the robot could enable new designs that cannot be built using conventional… read more

Robot builders seek a little help from sci-fi

September 5, 2008

A study of how people’s ideas about robots are influenced by fiction could help design robots that make the most of those expectations.

Robot Cannon Kills 9, Wounds 14 (UPDATE)

October 19, 2007

The South African National Defence Force “is probing whether a software glitch led to an antiaircraft cannon malfunction that killed nine soldiers and seriously injured 14 others during a shooting exercise on Friday.”

See correction to this story in news service. – Ed.

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