A robot in Slovenia is bringing the pain in name of science, repeatedly punching human research subjects in an effort to see just how much of a beating they can take. As New Scientist points out, this is a stark violation of Asimov's first law of robotics, but the scientists behind the study say the point of the study is to better define that rule.
Using breath-analysis software and mouth-movement observations, engineers in Japan have taught a robot how to sing. The divabot, an HRP-4 with a creepily realistic tilting head, blinks and opens her mouth as she croons, even mimicking the facial expressions of the human singer.
Researchers used a real singer as a model, recording her every move as she sang.
Spanish robotics engineers have devised a new weapon in the battle against zombie-sats and space junk: an automated robotics system that employs computer vision technology and algorithmic wizardry to allow unmanned space vehicles to autonomously chase down, capture, and even repair satellites in orbit.
You remember the Chumby--it's that cute little Wi-Fi device designed to constantly stream a greatest-hits lineup of your favorite Web apps to places where your laptop, netbook, or smartphone can’t go. The Chumby on its own makes for a cute alarm clock, but this DIY upgrade for the tiny media display is really going places. (Ha!)
At Carnegie Mellon University, one robotics student estimates that there are more robots than students in the department, but in a shameful display of mammalian arrogance, the precise number and type of said robots is unknown. That realization led the student, Heather Knight, to begin the world's first robot census.
As a general rule, when NASA flies a scientific mission all the way to Mars, we expect that mission to last for a while. For instance, the Spirit and Opportunity rovers were slated to run for three months and are still operating 6 years later. But one NASA engineer wants to send a mission all the way to the Red Planet that would last just two hours once deployed: a rocket-powered, robotic airplane that screams over the Martian landscape at more than 450 miles per hour.
Anyone trying to get onto the grounds of the Nevada National Security Site – the installation housing tens of millions of cubic feet of low-level radioactive waste and site of many nuclear weapons tests back when they were militarily fashionable – will now face a new smart layer of security beyond the usual fences, sentry towers, and security cameras.
Following in the footsteps of many robots we've seen who perform awesome but random feats, Japanese electronics company Murata has revealed an update of their Little Seiko humanoid robot for 2010. Murata Girl, as she is known, is 50 centimeters tall, weighs six kilograms and can unicycle backwards and forwards.
If you think you can’t motivate the kids to put down the Sega or whatever it is they’re playing with these days, Japanese robotics manufacturer Sakakibara-Kikai would beg to differ. The company that created the Landwalker bi-pedal exoskeleton has created a five-and-a-quarter-foot exoskeleton just for the kiddies that is sure to captivate even the most technophobic youngster, assuming such a thing exists.
Robots are a major part of the cultural fabric of Japan; they’re performing weddings, buying groceries and keeping people company. A team of researchers at the University of Tokyo is taking this robotic cultural immersion a step further — they’re making animal-robot hybrids. Sort of.