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The Robot Evolution

November 14, 2002

MIT’s Rodney A. Brooks is among researchers leading the charge to develop a smarter and more useful artificial creature.

“What we need is low-cost dexterous manipulation,” Brooks says. “Right now we don’t even have high- cost dexterous manipulation.”

The robot gets connected

February 5, 2003

Mitsubishi has developed a robot on wheels that will become a house-sitter, caretaker, nurse and friend for the family.

It has cameras and voice and face recognition capabilities that allow the machine to search for and follow voices, faces and movements. It links to the Internet and can send its camera images to mobile phones and computers away from the home. It can also be programmed to send e-mail… read more

The Robot in the Next Cubicle

January 17, 2011


More and more robots are being designed to handle the jobs now done by white-collar office workers. For instance, the HRP-4 humanoid robot ($350,000), developed by Kawada Industries, is designed to pour coffee, deliver mail, and recognize its co-workers’ faces.

The QB, another office robot, is a “remote presence robot” designed to reduce the need for business travel. The QB is controlled through a Web browser and keyboard, and… read more

The robot revolution is just beginning

April 26, 2012


Rodney Brooks’ “lips are sealed,” as The Economist put it last week, about what exactly he and Heartland Robotics are up to in a converted warehouse in South Boston’s Innovation District. But venture capitalists have already gambled $32 million on the premise that whatever it is they produce, it’s going to set a whole new direction in the field.

Rodney Brooks has just resigned as MIT’s Panasonic Professor of Robotics… read more

The robot that thinks like you…

November 4, 2005

“Scientists built a robot that thinks like we do and set it loose to explore the world. New Scientist discovers what happened next

“The infant crawls across a floor strewn with blocks, grabbing and tasting as it goes, its malleable mind impressionable and hungry to learn. Before my eyes it is already adapting, discovering that the striped blocks are yummy and the spotted ones taste bad.

“Its exploration… read more

The Robot Won’t Bite You, Dear

July 16, 2003

Fear of robots and other supposedly sentient technology is what motivated organizers to host ArtBots, held in New York City this past weekend. Exhibits included:

  • BabyBott looked like a giant baby bottle and cooed when it was cuddled. Its talent: making people take care of it.
  • Tribblation, a sort of whiskered soccer ball ‘bot, was particularly popular with younger ArtBots attendees. Trib has hundreds of pressure,
  • read more

    The Robots Among Us

    December 10, 2007

    If robotics technology now stands where computing did in the ’70s, what can we expect in the future?

    The Robots Among Us

    March 30, 2010

    A selection of robots currently “in the wild” or in research labs includes everything from the Okonomiyaki robot, which makes pancakes, to everyday robots that build cars or help the military on the battlefield.

    The Robots Are Coming

    April 17, 2002

    “Created under a U.S. Department of Defense contract by an MIT spinoff company called iRobot, Morticia is a military machine with a mission. Instead of carrying bombs, she carries eyes and ears, transmitting what she sees back over a wireless link. She is also a pioneer, showing us how robots are likely to be integrated into our jobs and our lives in the coming years.”
    Morticia is a prototype of… read more

    The Robots Are Coming!

    August 21, 2006

    Forbes presents the masters of robotic innovation–entrepreneurs and researchers who are fusing advances in biomechanics, software, sensor technology, materials science and computing to create new generations of robotic assistants.

    The robots of CES

    January 18, 2012


    A cycling android, a remote-controlled orb, and a robot sweeps or mops floors were among the robotic (and non-robotic remote-controlled) curiosities from last week’s CES.

    The rootkit of all evil — CIQ

    November 17, 2011

    CIQ on a Samsung device

    CarrierIQ (CIQ), hidden surveillance software, is embedded into most mobile devices, including Android, Nokia, Blackberry, and likely many more, with root access (a vendor or hacker could take over the device), xdadevelopers reports.

    A developer discovered that this hidden software, normally used to provide feedback and relevant data, is given root rights over the device, which means that it can do everything it pleases, without… read more

    The S&P 500 with and without Apple: Round 2

    March 27, 2012


    According to Dan Sanborn of Ned Davis Research, the S&P 500 index’s total earnings growth drops from 7.8% year over year with Apple to just 2.7% without.

    Meanwhile Barclays Capital has produced a chart — spotlighted Sunday on Business Insider by Joe Weisenthal — showing the earnings growth of the tech sector with and without Apple. What was a gap has become a chasm.

    Rather than being the… read more

    The ‘satellite navigation’ in our brains

    September 12, 2008

    Our brains contain their own GPS-like navigation system, with in-built maps, grids and compasses, University College London neuroscientists have found in an MRI study of the hippocampus and neighboring brain areas.

    The scary side of the digital future

    April 28, 2001

    Maybe we’ve finally created a global system based on technology that’s too complex for human beings to understand or control, says Thomas Homer-Dixon, author of The Ingenuity Gap.

    Homer-Dixon describes genetic programming, in which code is set up to evolve quickly and essentially write itself. But we have to create ever more complex machines to control ever more complex systems, so when the machines get too complex, do we… read more

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