Frida the two-armed robot would like to work with you. She wants you to know she would make a great assistant, with her dextrous arms and headless torso, incapable of inane small talk. She will not hurt you, she promises. But she might make you obsolete.
A new cheerful factory robot aims to keep European industry competitive by working alongside humans, smiling when it accomplishes a task or when its bosses ensure it stays busy. The pi4_workerbot, developed at Fraunhofer labs, has fingertip sensitivity — it completes the perennially difficult robot task of grasping an egg — and a variety of facial expressions.
Hoping to entice young residents to work outside, authorities in southern India announced a contest worth more than $20,000 to the winning designer of an air-conditioning jacket.
Authorities in the southern state of Kerala challenged individuals and research groups to come up with a viable prototype. A committee will select 10 options, and each inventor will get about $2,200 to develop their concepts. The winner gets $22,000, which is 1 million rupees.
With the US unemployment rate hovering around 10 percent, and the UK unemployment rate stuck at about 8 percent, most people are worrying about what job they'll have 20 days from now, not 20 years in the future.
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.