science + technology news

Robot wars

February 15, 2005

At the 24th Army Science Conference, held in Orlando, Florida last December, Ray Kurzweil gave a keynote address entitled “Warfighting in the 21st Century.” News@nature quizzed this renowned commentator on robotics about his views on future warfare.

Robot wars are a reality

August 20, 2007

“The deployment of the first armed battlefield robots in Iraq is the latest step on a dangerous path — we are sleepwalking into a brave new world where robots decide who, where and when to kill,” says Noel Sharkey, professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield.

“Fully autonomous robots that make their own decisions about lethality are high on the US military agenda…. We are… read more

Robot wars for real

February 5, 2002

Robots are being let loose in a colony of machines in an attempt to find out whether they can learn from their experiences.
The scientists behind this unusual experiment describe it as an evolutionary arms race for robots, with the machines struggling to collect energy.

The Living Robots experiment will be open to the public from 27 March at the Magna science adventure centre in Rotherham in England.… read more

Robot whiskers sense shapes and textures

October 5, 2006

Artificial whiskers that mimic the way rats and seals sense their prey might one day let planetary rovers or uncrewed submarines explore the shape and texture of strange objects they encounter on their travels.

Robot will be able to detect, destroy breast cancer cells

October 13, 2008

A robot that can perform biopsies and destroy tumor cells all in one MRI session, making the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer less time-consuming and more accurate than ever before, has been designed by University of Maryland researchers.

Robot with bones moves like you do

August 25, 2009


The Eccerobot has been designed to duplicate the way human bones, muscles and tendons work and are linked together.

The plastic bones copy biological shapes and are moved by kite-line that is tough like tendons, while elastic cords mimic the bounce of muscle.

Robot with ‘human soul’ explores remotely

November 22, 2006

Technology that lets a human “inhabit” the body of a distant robot for remote exploration is being tested in Germany.

The robot sits on top of a wheeled platform and has an extendable arm that it uses to manipulate objects. An operator moves the robot around by simply walking or using a foot pedal and can see out of twin cameras positioned on the robot’s head after donning a… read more

Robot, robot, wherefore art thou robot?

December 30, 2010

Data, robot comedian (Kris Krüg)

Seeking inspiration for helping robots develop more social awareness, robotics researchers have begun testing their robots in the theatre.

Example of robot humor: “Waiter! Waiter! What’s this robot doing in my soup?” he says. The punchline: “It looks like he’s performing human tasks twice as well, because he knows no fear or pain.”

I’ll wait for Data 2.0 – Ed.

Robot-assisted ultrasound imaging supported in two research studies

August 13, 2014

Telerobotic ultrasound

Two recent research studies “lift robotic imaging and telemedicine to the next level,” says Sherif F. Nagueh, MD, Medical Director of the Echocardiography Laboratory at the Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center in Houston, Texas in JACC-Imaging.

In Germany, Partho P. Sengupta, MD, of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai used a small, lightweight robotic-arm connected to a personal computer in Munich to do… read more

Robot-controlled inks create 3D structures

March 25, 2004

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are creating complex, three-dimensional structures with micron-size features using a robotic deposition process called direct-write assembly.

The precisely patterned parts could be used as bio-scaffolds, micro-fluidic networks, sensor arrays or templates for photonic materials for such applications such as drug-delivery, micro-fluidics, photonics and tissue engineering.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign news release

Robotic age poses ethical dilemma

March 7, 2007

The Robot Ethics Charter, an ethical code to prevent humans abusing robots, and vice versa, is being drawn up by South Korea.

“The government plans to set ethical guidelines concerning the roles and functions of robots as robots are expected to develop strong intelligence in the near future,” the ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said.

Robotic arm and videogames help stroke victims

July 21, 2011

Patients suffering from a stroke will be able to enhance their arm mobility using a portable robotic device and a software platform with videogames developed by FIK, a Basque business initiative that is researching disabilities.

The FIK ArmAssist platform consists of a mobile-based device connected to a user through an orthopedic brace that records and measures shoulder and elbow movements. A computer links arm movements with videogames (including… read more

Robotic arm precisely controlled by thought

New neuroprosthetic implant captures intent to move, not the movement directly
May 22, 2015

(Credit: Spencer Kellis and Christian Klaes /Caltech)

Paralyzed from the neck down, Erik G. Sorto now can smoothly move a robotic arm just by thinking about it, thanks to a clinical collaboration between Caltech, Keck Medicine of USC and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center,

Previous neural prosthetic devices, such as Braingate, were implanted in the motor cortex, resulting in delayed, jerky movements. The new device was implanted in the posterior parietal cortex (PPC),… read more

Robotic Arms Avoid Collision

December 8, 2009

Experimental software developed by Harris Corporation could help make robots less clumsy and dangerous, by allowing a factory robot to sense and avoid objects while still moving quickly.


Robotic Assistants Could Have Helped Columbia

February 10, 2003

If Columbia’s tiles or wing section were damaged on liftoff, that fear could have been allayed by in-flight robotic inspection.

The AERCam-SPRINT (Autonomous Extra-vehicular Robotic Camera) flew on STS-87 in 1997. It is a small, hand-deployed and captured remote controled inspection tool that carries its own avionics and nitrogen-gas propulsion. Feasibility studies have been done by NASA to fly AERCam underneath the vehicle to image tiles.

In the… read more

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