science + technology news

Robot scientist outperforms humans in lab

January 15, 2004

An intelligent robot that could free genomics researchers from routine lab chores has proven as effective as a human scientist. The robot not only performs genetics experiments, it also decides which ones to do, interprets the results and comes up with new hypotheses.

The “Robot Scientist” consists of a PC running an experiment selection system called ASE and a hypothesis generator called Progol. The PC is linked up to… read more

Robot See, Robot Kill

October 30, 2001

Scientists are working on a camera that automatically tracks people as they move and focuses on the loudest person in a group. It was funded by the military, which wants to develop robot sentinels capable of automatically returning fire when attacked. The camera was originally developed to auto-focus on speakers during a video conference call or a college lecture.

In defense scenarios, a battery of cameras could be used… read more

Robot sensing and smartphones help blind navigate

May 2, 2012


University in Paris engineers have developed a 3D navigation system for the blind using a pair of glasses equipped with cameras and sensors like those used in robot exploration.

It produces a 3D map of the wearer’s environment and their position within it that is constantly updated and displayed in a simplified form on a handheld electronic Braille device.

Two cameras on either side of the glasses generate a… read more

Robot servants push the boundaries in HUMANS

New TV series set to premiere June 28 on AMC
June 2, 2015

(credit: AMC)

AMC announced today HUMANS, an eight-part TV science-fiction thriller that takes place in a parallel present featuring sophisticated, life-like robot servants and caregivers called Synths (personal synthetics).

The show explores conflicts as the lines between humans and machines become increasingly blurred.

The series is set to premiere on AMC June 28 with HUMANS 101: The Hawkins family buys a Synth, Anita. But… read more

Robot set loose to film your insides

January 26, 2006

A robot developed by researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center can move around inside the stomach or abdomen to give surgeons a new perspective on the area being operated on. It is also equipped with a retractable needle, allowing it to perform biopsies.

The remote-controlled robot is only 15 millimeters in diameter, allowing it to be inserted through the small incisions in the abdomen used for keyhole… read more

Robot Sex

May 6, 2004

The more robots interact with us humans, the more important their apparent gender becomes because it will make robots more compatible with their human masters.

Such thinking is behind a growing movement in robotics by Cynthia Breazeal and others to build machines that portray emotions.

Robot Ship Cleared to Dock With Space Station

April 3, 2008
(New York Times)

Europe’s new Jules Verne cargo ship has been cleared for its first docking with the International Space Station’s Russian-built Zvezda service module on Thursday.

The Jules Verne is the first of a new class of robot station supply ships called Automatic Transfer Vehicles or ATV’s. It can carry 10 tons of cargo.

The ship is to maneuver and dock itself automatically using GPS satellite navigation, and… read more

Robot Sites a Web of Deception

May 1, 2001

Nearly 40 websites devoted to a robotic revolution or the related murder are part of a complex viral movie marketing campaign for the coming movie A.I.

From a fictional university, to a website devoted to crimes involving robots, the marketing scheme is extremely complex and is estimated to have cost upwards of $1 million to produce.

Robot solves Rubik’s cube in 5 seconds, sets world record

October 26, 2011

A smartphone-powered robot solved Rubik's cube

A smartphone-powered robot solved Rubik’s cube in 5.352 second flat, beating the world record of 5.66 seconds set by Feliks Zemdegs (a human), SmartPlanet reports.

Cubestormer II combines the processing power of a Samsung Galaxy S II and Lego’s Mindstorm NTX, robotic kits that can be programmed and pieced together in a variety of configurations.

Robot special: Almost human

February 1, 2006

Researchers are poised to pull together developments in three key fields — walking, talking and manipulation — to produce a new generation of human-like machines.

And when artificial intelligence catches up, they will not only be able to clean the house, do the dishes and take out the garbage, but also to play with children, help care for the elderly and even explore the farthest reaches of space and… read more

Robot spy can survive battlefield damage

August 21, 2003

A self-healing military reconnaissance robot being developed can keep moving even if it gets damaged on the battlefield.

When any of the snake-like robot’s shape-memory-alloy “muscle” segments are damaged, genetic-algorithm software “evolves” a different way for it to wriggle across any terrain.

Robot sub aims for deepest ocean

May 7, 2009

Nereus, a robotic submarine, is undergoing final preparations to dive to the deepest-known part of the oceans: the 11,000m Challenger Deep in the Pacific Ocean.

It has sufficient onboard intelligence and batteries to find areas of particular interest through the use of chemical sensors, sonar and digital photography.

Robot surgeons scrub up

October 28, 2005

Robots that can perform surgery from within your own body and remotely controlled by surgeons have been invented by a team of engineers and doctors from the University of Nebraska.

The robots could be inserted directly into wounds, giving surgeons away from the front line the chance to assess damage and determine how to keep a soldier alive. The team also plans to test a biopsy robot, which could… read more

Robot swarms aim to bring buildings to life

July 19, 2012


Compared to the living buildings proposed by Akira Mita, today’s smart buildings are the architectural equivalent of single-celled organisms, BBC Future reports.

Using swarms of robotic sensors that “chase” a structure’s human occupants, he wants buildings to understand everything about us, down to our emotional state.

These robot sensors will learn from their mistakes, self-regulate using digital “hormones”, and record information over the course of years, building up… read more

Robot swarms ‘evolve’ effective communication

February 26, 2007

Robots that artificially evolve ways to communicate with one another have been demonstrated by Swiss researchers.

The “genomes” of the bots that found food and avoided poison most efficiently were recombined, mimicking biological natural selection.

“We saw colonies that used their lights to signal when they found food and others that used signals to communicate they had found poison,” said biologist Laurent Keller from the University of Lausanne.

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