By Gregory MonePosted 11.29.2007 at 3:10 pm 0 Comments
In Tokyo yesterday, engineers showed off a range of advanced machines at the 2007 International Robot Exhibition, the nation's top robotics showcase.
On display were a Rubik's Cube-solving machine, a panda-like bot designed to relieve stress in the people it interacts with, and a new dental training robot, Simroid, that features a realistic mouth and false teeth embedded with sensors. (And sort of looks like it's been struck by Jack Nicholson's Joker.) If an aspiring dentist drills in the wrong spot, Simroid emits a protest, letting the student know he or she has erred. The robot is not ready for production just yet, so young dentists will continue practicing on cash-strapped grad students.—Gregory Mone
PopSci's annual "Worst Jobs in Science" issue hits stands this week, and let us tell you, it's a lulu (whale-feces collector, anyone?). But a new study reveals two guys who just might have the best job in science: Northeastern University computer science professor Gene Coopman and grad student Dan Kunkleput put grant money to good use during a study published last week that proves any Rubiks cube configuration can be solved in 26 moves, beating the previously held record of 27 moves set in 1997.