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Robots aim to explore and build on other worlds

December 5, 2005

NASA is offering two new $250,000 prizes to stimulate advances in the use of robots in planetary exploration and automated construction.

The Telerobotic Construction Challenge aims to promote the development of semi-autonomous robots that can build complicated structures with minimal remote guidance from human controllers.

The other competition will award funding to teams that build an uncrewed, auto-piloted plane that can follow a complex flight path using only… read more

Robots aim to top humans at air hockey

July 10, 2008

An upgraded robot developed by General Electric Fanuc and Nuvation Research can beat most human air hockey players, its developers claim.

A video system that tracks the puck’s position sends coordinates to a special PC board every 10 milliseconds. So far, the robot has defeated every human opponent when running in 32-bit mode, averaging three times as many goals as human players. The algorithm’s success resulted from… read more

Robots and humans to collaborate in future factories and operating rooms

Algorithm lets robots "understand" and adapt to individual workers
June 13, 2012


Humans and robots may be working side by side in the factory floor or operating room of the future, according to Julie Shah, the MIT Boeing Career Development Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Shaw and her colleagues at MIT have devised an algorithm that enables a robot to quickly learn an individual’s preference for a certain task, and adapt accordingly to help complete the task.

She envisions robotic… read more

Robots and prostheses learn human touch

The emerging science of "artificial haptic intelligence"
April 9, 2015

Touch-sensitive robotic hand (Credit: Science Nation)

Research engineers and students in the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Biomechatronics Lab are designing artificial limbs that are more touch-sensitive.

The team, led by mechanical engineer Veronica J. Santos, is constructing a language of touch and quantifying it with mechanical touch sensors that interact with objects of various shapes, sizes. and textures.

Using an array of instrumentation, Santos’ team is able to translate that interaction into… read more

Robots and the Rest of Us

May 14, 2004

The First International Symposium on Roboethics asked questions like “Who is to be held morally accountable for an unmanned war crime?” and “Are machines permitted to give orders?”

Robots and the Rest of Us

June 4, 2004

Experts recently met to discuss how robots are challenging humankind on four frontiers: war, brain augmentation, physical augmentation, and social implications. The question: what kind of ethics, if any, applies to machines? “Robot ethicists” find that a kind of moral ethics for robots needs to be considered as they become increasingly part of our daily lives.

Robots and TV to be big in 2006

October 21, 2005

Specialized robots, devices for DIY content creation and new TV displays are among the trends to watch in 2006.

Robots beat human commodity traders

August 12, 2001

Software-based robotic trading agents made seven per cent more cash than people in an IBM test.
Jeffrey Kephart of IBM says his team’s findings could have a much greater impact than the famous victory of IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer over chess supremo Gary Kasparov. “The impact might be measured in billions of dollars annually,” he says.

He believes that in the future billions of economic robotic agents will replace… read more

Robots called electronics driver of 21st century

June 26, 2002

The robot could emerge as the driving force of electronics this century, according to Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd. at the the Robotrex 2002 exhibition in Fukuoka, Japan.

Robots Can Learn Much From High-Tech Playthings

March 22, 2001

The current new generation of electronic toys will make children more readily accept robotic assistants in the home or office when they are adults.

Pradeep Khosla, a professor of engineering and robotics at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, believes that robot designers need to make these machines human-friendly and take away the intimidation factor. “A robot must be able to understand humans on their terms. That means… read more

Robots climb up the wall (w/ video)

January 20, 2010

Amir Shapiro, a robotics scientist from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, has developed four different kinds of robots that climb up walls.

Robots could be blamed for mistakes on the battlefield

April 25, 2012


If a robot in combat has a glitch that causes it to kill civilians, do we blame the robot, or the humans who created and deployed it?

Psychologists at the University of Washington (UW) are finding that people don’t have a clear-cut view of humanoid robot morality.

Their research findings show that humans apply a moderate amount of morality and other human characteristics to robots that… read more

Robots could flex muscles that are stronger than steel

March 20, 2009

University of Texas, Dallas scientists have developed a new type of artificial muscle based on nanotube ribbons that is stronger than steel, stiffer than diamond, and weighs little more than its volume in air.

The nanotubes expand in width by 220% in milliseconds when a voltage is applied and then return to their normal size once it is removed. Collections of those ribbons could act as artificial muscle fibers… read more

Robots decipher animal communication strategies

January 6, 2012

The physical robot

A joint research project using robots, conducted by researchers at the University of Lausanne (UNIL) and EPFL, showed that communication systems can evolve differently within the same species and even the same environment. The research could enable a better understanding of communication within the animal kingdom.

Scientists followed the evolution of communication in 100 groups of 20 robots over the course of 1000… read more

Robots designed to assist people with disabilities, aid doctors

Robots enhance mobility for visually and physically impaired, improve treatment for atrial fibrillation
October 28, 2013

Cane with description_nih

Three projects have been awarded funding by the National Institutes of Health to develop innovative robots that work cooperatively with people and adapt to changing environments to improve human capabilities and enhance medical procedures. Funding for these projects totals approximately $2.4 million over the next five years, subject to the availability of funds.

The awards mark the second year of NIH’s participation in the National… read more

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