We're big believers in the good of gaming. Gamers have demonstrated that collective reasoning enables them to crack the code of an Aids-like virus, and display incredible hand-eye coordination. Now, scientists gave game-playing students virtual surgery tools and measured their skills against resident doctors.
The marriage of artificial and bio-materials to create cyborg insects and rats is still a bleeding-edge field with fascinating possibilities for human applications. That sometimes controversial vision of the future just took a dramatic turn towards blurring the man-versus-machine lines with the debut of a 3D-printed robot that uses heart cells to walk.
The U.S. Navy's Marine Mammal Program started back in the '60s, and the dolphins and sea lions in it help defend harbors, retrieve sunken equipment and, most dangerously, identify mines for deactivation. By 2017, the Navy wants robots to do all that, instead.
The poor working conditions at Foxconn's factories charged with making devices like the iPhone and iPad are now legendary. To address this issue, the CEO announced plans to replace human workers with an army of robots. Apparently, that wasn't just bluster, as the robots have begun their takeover.
Anyone who has ever owned an aquarium full of fish knows that they aren't the low maintenance pets everyone thinks they are. But now, for the truly lazy would-be pet owner, it appears the age of realistic robotic pets as depicted in Blade Runner has finally arrived.
The story of an aging Japan concocting new robots to entertain and assist its elderly populace is familiar by now, but mostly we get cute robo-pets and fragile humanoid robots. Finally, a company has come up with a robot that might actually become a staple in the homes of Japanese senior citizens.
Erin Kennedy, better known by her robot-building alter ego "RobotGrrl," is on a mission to not only get kids and novices excited about robotics, but give them a place to start, too. Kennedy is kicking off a humble crowd-funding campaign to help her project get off the ground, and it's not hard to see why she's already well on her way.
When the tides of life find most of us dancing, it's a sort-of-messy affair, best achieved via a bit of whisky and best left to the eyes of strangers, never to be seen again. But Virginia Tech's five-foot tall humanoid robot CHARLI-2 busts a move whenever he damn well pleases.
Look, I'm all for robots getting jobs. I've still got that old-timey futurist bug in me that hopes perfecting autonomy will deliver the human race unto an age of infinite leisure. Did we have to give up gazing at clouds so early, though? What I'm saying is this: I'm pretty dang jealous of this robot.
Creating beautiful Japanese calligraphy is an art that requires years of practice to master, but what if a robot could mimic the exact hand movements of the artist, churning out masterpieces like a photocopy machine? That's the idea behind the Motion Copy System, developed by researchers at Keio University in Tokyo.