After 50 years and countless dead ends, incremental progress, and modest breakthroughs, artificial intelligence researchers are asking for a do-over. The $5 million Mind Machine Project (MMP), a patchwork team of two dozen academics, students and researchers, intends to go back to the discipline's beginnings, rebuilding the field from the ground up.
A mysterious, unidentified drone that has been spotted in multiple photos from Afghanistan resembling previous stealth aircraft has finally been officially revealed. The U.S. Air Force confirmed the new craft, designated the RQ-170 Sentinel, to Aviation Week last Friday, after photos circulating online had caused much speculation among defense buffs.
Robots, alcohol and video games make one tantalizing combination to put on distant-future Christmas lists. Now geek boozers are in luck: the one-man Nonpolynomial Labs has developed interactive versions of Mario and Tetris that incorporate a robotic bartender to mix up drinks during real-time play.
Charles Lindbergh may have shown human fortitude by flying across the Atlantic in his "Spirit of St. Louis," but now he has robotic company when it comes to transatlantic records. An underwater robotic glider built by Rutgers University students and scientists has achieved the first underwater robot crossing, after traveling beneath the waves for 221 days.
Whether they are assisting the elderly, or simply popping human skulls like ripe fruit, robots aren't usually known for their light touch. And while this may be fine as long as they stay relegated to cleaning floors and assembling cars, as robots perform more tasks that put them in contact with human flesh, be it surgery or helping the blind, their touch sensitivity becomes increasingly important.
You're A Handsome Devil, What's Your Name? : via The DEW Line
Since April, a steady string of reports have detailed sightings of a mysterious, unidentified UAV prowling the skies above Kandahar. Grainy, Loch-Ness-Monster-like photos revealed a flying-wing-type aircraft with stealth features.
Now, the French blog Secret Defense has published the clearest photos yet of the secret plane, and the mystery has only deepened.
That economic recession has hardly slowed down the growing swarm of robots designed for almost every task imaginable.
Many of them showcased their skills at Japan's International Robot Exhibition 2009, along with a host of human handlers. Consumers in the market for a pair of robot skates need not hold their breath for much longer.
In the great media reshuffling ushered in by the Internet Age, print journalists have suffered the most from online journalism’s ascent. Broadcast journalists, however, may be the next group to feel technology’s cruel sting. Engineers at Northwestern University have created virtual newscasts that use artificial intelligence to collect stories, produce graphics and even anchor broadcasts via avatars.
For people confined to wheelchairs, the proliferation of ramps has greatly enhanced their mobility. Unfortunately, opening doors remains an omnipresent, and frustrating, challenge. Oddly enough, opening doors also presents a serious impediment for anthropomorphic robots. Now, robotics engineer Erin Rapacki has solved both problems with a single stroke.
Since budget cuts and the inability to overcome problems like boredom and high radiation doses have ruled out any manned mission to Mars in the foreseeable future, NASA has shifted gears back towards a program of robotic exploration. To that end, NASA now wants a rocket-powered UAV to fly around the Red Planet, photographing the surface.
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.