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May 21st, 2017 at 5:59 am

Robot completes 2-hour brain surgery in just 2.5 minutes

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Brain surgery is precision business, and one slip can spell doom for affected patients. Even in one of the most skilled jobs in the world, human error can still be a factor.

Researchers from the University of Utah are looking to provide less opportunity for those errors to occur. A robot that the team is developing is able to reduce the time it takes to complete a complicated procedure by 50 times.

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May 4th, 2017 at 11:00 am

Tarzan the swinging robot could be the future of farming

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Some farmers already use drones to monitor their crops, but a team of researchers from Georgia Tech have created a far more interesting alternative. Instead of designing yet another drone, they created a robot inspired by Kristen Bell’s favorite animal: the sloth. However, they named it “Tarzan” after the most recognizable character who moves by swinging from vine to vine.

Their machine was designed to move like the fictional jungle dweller. Tarzan will be able to swing over crops using its 3D-printed claws and parallel guy-wires stretched over fields. It will then take measurements and pictures of each plant with its built-in camera while suspended.
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April 27th, 2017 at 6:58 am

Our fear of artificial intelligence – Is it for all the wrong reasons?

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People in Britain are more scared of the artificial intelligence embedded in household devices and self-driving cars than in systems used for predictive policing or diagnosing diseases. That’s according to a survey commissioned by the Royal Society, which is billed as the first in-depth look at how the public perceives the risks and benefits associated with machine learning, a key AI technique.

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April 18th, 2017 at 10:30 am

This bricklaying bot could be the architect of the future

If you want curves like this, you’ll need a robot. Designed by architects Archi-Union, the undulating exterior of the Chi She Gallery in Shanghai was made using an adapted car-manufacturing robot. “We used digital tools to transform geometry data to digital-fabrication data,” says Li Han, chief architectural designer at Archi-Union, who spent five years making the cyborg helper.

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April 9th, 2017 at 12:00 pm

MIT’s Color-changing Robot ‘skin’ Was Inspired by the Golden Tortoise Beetle

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a 3D-printed robot “skin” capable of changing color according to the physical stimuli that it receives. The work was inspired by the so-called “goldbug,” a golden tortoise beetle, which changes color in the wild.

“I was googling online about two and a half years ago, looking for creatures that change their color, and found out about this beetle,” project leader, Subramanian Sundaram, an MIT graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science, told Digital Trends. “The golden tortoise beetle is incredibly interesting. One of the things it does is that, when it’s disturbed or scared, it drains out the fluid in its shell which is normally golden in color, but becomes a reddish-brown. I was interested by the idea that this beetle was able to respond to mechanical disturbances by changing the color and transparency of its outer shell. I thought we might be able to replicate that.”

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April 9th, 2017 at 10:00 am

Scientists just made electronic skin that’s better than human skin

Scientists at the University of Glasgow have invented a robot skin that surpasses human flesh.

Professor Ravinder Dahiya and his team created a silicone and graphine skin which provides haptic feedback to the user. The thin layer of graphine acts as a sensor, making the electronic skin (e-skin) very sensitive to touch. It’s also flexible and cheap to manufacture.

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March 13th, 2017 at 11:25 am

Why we must teach morality to robots

Every week comes a new warning that robots are taking over our jobs. People have become troubled by the question of how robots will learn ethics, if they do take over our work and our planet.

As early on as the 1960s Isaac Asimov came up with the ‘Three Laws of Robotics’ outlining moral rules they should abide by. More recently there has been official guidance from the British Standards Institute advising designers how to create ethical robots, which is meant to avoid them taking over the world.

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November 6th, 2015 at 12:16 pm

Starship Technologies develops self-driving robot that can deliver groceries for $1.50

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Starship is a new company that is promising to disrupt local delivery with the launch of a self-driving robot that can deliver groceries to customers’ doors in under 30 minutes for less than $1.50 (£1). The Starship robot has been developed by Skype co-founders Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis. It drives on pavements at an average speed of 4mph, and uses proprietary mapping and navigation technology to avoid crashing into obstacles.

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October 30th, 2015 at 1:46 pm

Yamaha unveils Motobot, a motorcycle-riding robot

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Yamaha has unveiled Motobot, a motorcycle-riding robot at the Tokyo Motor Show. Yahama claims that the robot will eventually be able to ride an unmodified motorbike at over 200 kilometers per hour (124 miles per hour). (Video)

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September 29th, 2015 at 9:00 am

The Perfection Quandary

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Futurist Thomas Frey:  I often wake up in the middle of the night with a big idea, something I’ve dubbed the grand epiphany. But as it turns out, very few actually fit into the “grand” category.

Whenever they do, big ideas carries with them a heavy responsibility, the responsibility of either moving them forward or allowing them to die in the silent echo chambers of our own grey matter.

For this reason, I’ve often equated my eureka moments to that of being tortured by my own ideas. Yes, grand ideas are a wonderful playground where you can dream about starting a new company, solving some of the world’s biggest problems, and constructing visions of wealth and influence, all in the time it takes most people to get ready for work.

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