One PR2, owned by the University of Pennsylvania's GRASP Lab, can pronounce his name — "Graspy" — and can helpfully point out the location of restrooms and professors' offices. Too bad he can't quite pronounce the word "robot."
Having a computer for a brain has its perks, but it has its drawbacks as well. Language is a tough concept for robots, as words can convey the abstract as well as the concrete and robots have trouble knowing the difference (and grasping the abstract). That makes human-machine interaction less than intuitive for humans and confusing to ‘bots.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.