Later this year, NASA's R2 will become the first humanoid robot resident of the International Space Station. The launch of the handsome android, which until now had not been firmly scheduled, has now been fast-tracked to happen this September.
Russia's oil reserves have given the nation considerable political muscle, but Russian leaders also want to resurrect some scientific grandeur. Now they hope to build its first scientific city since the Berlin Wall came down, and they're looking to California's Silicon Valley for inspiration, the New York Times reports.
In the French city of Toulouse, the newest craze in sustainable energy is about to hit the streets. Literally. Inspired by a nightclub in Rotterdam, Netherlands, the city of Toulouse has begun investigating the installation of energy-absorbing sidewalk panels that would harvest pedestrian power to fuel the street lights.
NASA's Orion crew capsule, which was part of the cancelled Constellation program, has been revived as an escape pod for the International Space Station. A smaller version of the capsule could launch on an Atlas or Delta rocket and eliminate the need to buy a multimillion-dollar Russian Soyuz spacecraft for emergency crew escape, Florida Today reports.
While three-dimensional printing has come a long way, engineers still struggle with fabricating objects smaller than a quarter. In those small structures, the upper layers crush and distort the weak lower ones. To solve this problem, researchers at the University of Illinois have come up with a novel solution: print out a flat sheet, and then fold it, origami style, into the desired shape.
After FYI answered why dumping the world's nuclear waste into a volcano would be a bad idea in March, our inbox was flooded with readers wondering, "Well, how about shooting it into the sun?"
On paper, this is a fantastic way to wipe our hands clean of all that pesky waste. The sun is a constant nuclear reaction that's about 330,000 times as massive as Earth; it could swallow the tens of thousands of tons of spent nuclear rods as easily as a forest fire consumes a drop of gasoline.
Most robots covered on this site push the envelope of technology, by working in space or eerily replicating flesh-and-blood humans. But for Sam Todo, a student in the Togolese Republic in Africa, robotics is a way to put the outdated technology found in the garbage to new, innovative uses. In this video, Todo displays a humanoid robot he created almost entirely from discarded TV parts.
Multitouch screens are being integrated into surfaces all around us; not just our computer monitors, but our walls, our tables, our countertops -- pretty much any surface that is somewhat flat. So why not take advantage of the vast amount of flat workspace going un-utilized beneath our feet? So goes the thinking behind Multitoe, a floor-based interface that users control with their feet.
This past weekend, high school students from all over the country gathered at California's NASA Ames Research Center to meet their brilliant peers, present their groundbreaking research -- and chat with interested venture capitalists on the side.
Here at PopSci we're always looking for the best and baddest in robotics news. But this week -- National Robotics Week -- we'll be ratcheting up our coverage, highlighting some of the most thought-provoking, future-driven concepts in robo-tech each day.
What if we could use our pollution as fuel? That notion seems intractable within the current energy paradigm, in which so many of our pollutants are byproducts of our fuels. But it's precisely that idea that inspired Mexican artist Gilberto Esparza to create "Nomadic Plants," a working art-bot that uses polluted water to power its fuel cell and feed the plants and microorganisms living symbiotically within the bot's body.