Most robots are designed to do a couple specific things, which is one reason why the adaptability requirements in DARPA's robotics challenge will be so interesting. But not everyone has the funds or know-how to build a robot that can do anything.
Art imitates life they say, and every now and then life imitates art. Which is only slightly terrifying when the art being imitated is a Call of Duty title and the real-world entity doing the imitating is the Pentagon. A fictional drone from a video game that hasn’t even been released yet has inspired a DoD office to consider pursuing the same drone in real life, Brookings Institute 21st Century Defense Initiative director and all-around drones guru Peter Singer tells Innovation News Daily.
Here's how Nobuhiro Takahashi and the University of Electro-Communications describe this project: "'SHIRI' is a buttocks humanoid robot that expresses various emotions with organic movement of the artificial muscles." It's designed to respond to slaps, caresses, and finger-pokes. It is super weird.
When startup Blueseed floated the idea to create a seaborne startup community in international waters off the coast of northern California, we were intrigued. We weren’t the only ones. A new report released by the company says it has 133 tech startups on board to move their operations offshore when the ship launches next year.
WIth the Kinect, Microsoft opened up the world of gestural controls to the masses, allowing users to manipulate video games and otherwise control their devices with simple motion controls. Now Microsoft Research is doing it again, this time using inaudible sound waves to create the same kind of gestural interface, no cameras necessary.
Well, "composes" might be a little bit of a stretch. Really it's more like a robotic cover band: the robotic system listens to a musician play a tune and then breaks it down into a five-part version that, while it differs from the original, still "retains the essence of the composition." The baroque music played here is nice enough, but we're left to wonder why nobody thought to play the robots some R. Kelly.
This three-week-old robot created at the MIT Media Lab’s Mediated Matter group is spinning a web. Or maybe it’s more like a cocoon. Whatever you call it, it’s doing so without any help from humans, using tensile materials like string and rope to shroud itself in a woven enclosure of its own creation.
While we wait for our self-driving cars of the future to autonomously deliver us from gridlock forever, Honda is working to help human drivers reduce traffic in realtime by analyzing the driving patterns of individual vehicles and determine if each one is likely to cause a traffic jam. By analyzing the acceleration and deceleration of individual cars, the technology prods the driver to take steps in realtime that will avoid traffic congestion among trailing vehicles.