The Loneliest Humanoid in America

Walking, self-contained, adult-size robots are commonplace in robotics labs in Japan and South Korea, but there’s only one made here. Why are we falling behind? By Jacob Ward

Rise of the Helpful Machines

The world’s most sophisticated robots don’t assemble trucks or cruise around Mars. They’re designed to support our surging population of elderly and disabled citizens. Meet 10 of the most promising senior-friendly ‘bots. By Corey Binns

Concepts and Prototypes: A Flying Boat

To circumnavigate the world in a record-breaking 40 days, l’Hydroptère Maxi takes inspiration from the Wright brothers By Dawn Stover

Science Confirms the Obvious 2010

It might seem silly to investigate whether people are happier on the weekend, but behind such truisms are revelations about our brains, our behavior and our environment By Jason Daley

Cluttered Space

In orbit, debris as small as a metal screw can cripple a vehicle or kill an astronaut. Here are five ideas for cleaning up the growing band of trash circling Earth By David Kushner


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One of dozens of autonomous Japanese ‘bots to hit the market every year.

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Japan’s leading humanoid is rumored to have cost $300 million and 100 worker-years.

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The robot is a jarring experiment in human-robot interaction.

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South Korea’s HanSaRam (HSR) series has been updated every year since 2000.

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The HSR series is built by the Robot Intelligence Technology Lab in Daejeon.

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The U.S. lags far behind Japan and South Korea (where the HSR series hails from) in humanoids.

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Jun-Ho Oh’s answer to Asimo, and Korea’s greatest humanoid.

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The autonomy and bipedal movement of Hubo, with an expressive face by Hanson Robotics.

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Another Korean humanoid, the male of a pair, built as a “network humanoid.”

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Boston Dynamics’s much-admired walking robot has a humanlike gait but relies on external power.

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Barrett Technology’s purpose-build robot appendage is attached to a sturdy base.

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NASA and GM’s spacefarer Robonaut 2 is headed to the ISS on November 1st. More on Robonaut here