Robots Get Social


From Star Trek’s Data to Star Wars’ C-3PO, the idea of humanoid robots has fascinated people for years. Back in the real world, robots build automobiles in factories, mow lawns, and even assist in complex heart surgery. Meanwhile, the use of androids like Data is approaching reality, as semiconductor and semiconductor-related devices like low-power microprocessors, 3D sensors, accelerometer... » read more

Turning Down The Power


Chip and system designers are giving greater weight to power issues these days. But will they inevitably hit a wall in accounting for ultra-low-power considerations? Performance, power, and area are the traditional attributes in chip design. Area was originally the main priority, with feature sizes constantly shrinking according to Moore's Law. Performance was in the saddle for many years. M... » read more

Deep Learning Robust Grasps with Synthetic Point Clouds & Analytic Grasp Metrics (UC Berkeley)


Source: The research was the work of Jeffrey Mahler, Jacky Liang, Sherdil Niyaz, Michael Laskey, Richard Doan, Xinyu Liu, Juan Aparicio Ojea, and Ken Goldberg with support from the AUTOLAB team at UC Berkeley. Nimble-fingered robots enabled by deep learning Grabbing awkwardly shaped items that humans regularly pick up daily is not so easy for robots, as they don’t know where to apply grip... » read more

Even good bots fight: The case of Wikipedia (Oxford & Alan Turing Institute)


Source: University Of Oxford published via PLOS ONE, Milena Tsvetkova, Ruth García-Gavilanes, Luciano Floridi, Taha Yasseri "The research paper, published in PLOS ONE, concludes that bots are more like humans than you might expect as they appear to behave differently in culturally distinct online environments. The paper says the findings are a warning to those using artificial intelligence ... » read more

We’re All Beta Testers Now


There are two distinct camps forming around autonomous vehicles. One group wants to see self-driving cars on the road as quickly as possible because it will save more lives than if people are behind the wheel. Others are wary, insisting there is no way will this can or should happen in the next 10 to 15 years. Time will tell who's right. But what is clear is that the technology has far outst... » read more

System Bits: May 10


Topological insulators In a finding that could open up a new pathway to advanced electronic devices and even robust quantum computer architecture, researchers from MIT; Oak Ridge, and Argonne National Laboratories; the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Bochum, Germany; the Institute for Theoretical Solid State Physics in Dresden; the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris; and the Institute of N... » read more

System Bits: March 15


Drilling into metabolic details with big data In a development that may help researchers find new therapeutic targets for cancer and other diseases, Rice University researchers have created a fast computational method to model tissue-specific metabolic pathways. The team explained that metabolic pathways are immense networks of biochemical reactions that keep organisms functioning and are a... » read more

Prototyping To Help You Win The Battle


Lately, my children and I are closely following a new show on ABC called “Battlebots”. The concept is as simple as it is cool—have a massive bulletproof arena where two remote-controlled robots battle it out until one is knocked out or the time is up (and a jury decides the winner). The battles are all about making physical contact with the other robot to either directly deal them damage ... » read more

New Robots For The IoT


Until recently, remote telepresence has largely been a fixed screen with a video link between participants, and mostly in business setting. But all of that is about to change once the [getkc id="76" comment="Internet of Things"]/Internet of Everything begins to take root. There is a plethora of development going on in mobile robotic telepresence (MRT). Companies such as iRobot, Cisco, Suitab... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Feb. 3


Robotic plants In 2012, the European Commission launched the so-called Plantoid project. In the project, researchers hope to devise synthetic robotic plants. Inspired by plant roots, the robots could be used for soil monitoring and other applications. The group is devising so-called artifacts. These components resemble plants and plant roots. The new technologies expected to result from the... » read more

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