The Star Wars sound effects team does a brilliant job at breathing life into droids like BB-8 and R2-D2 using nothing but bloops and beeps. But what if BB-8 ran an operating system created by Microsoft? As Brian Elder discovered, BB-8 would be far less adorable and much more annoying if he spoke using Windows XP’s…
The easiest way to make a robot as dexterous and capable as a human being is to simply let a human control it. That’s how Disney Research’s new telepresence robot works, but with improved hydraulics on board, it’s now capable of duplicating a human’s motions with remarkable precision—to the point where it can even be…
According to MIT, Americans swallow over 3,500 button-sized batteries every year. Say what? But instead of educating the public about not swallowing random crap, researchers at the school want people to swallow a new folding origami robot they’ve developed that’s designed to retrieve foreign objects, among other tasks.
Twenty-two years before WALL·E’s sermon about over-consumption hit theaters, an even better movie robot had already saved the day. Every child of the ‘80s wanted Short Circuit’s Johnny Five as their best friend, and now that we’re all grown up, that might actually come true with a little help from Lego.
Introducing the Eelume robot, a self-propelled aquatic mechanical snake designed for subsea inspection and repair work.
Getting a robot to balance and walk on two feet is a massive challenge, as the DARPA Challenge revealed. But it turns out it’s a little less tricky when you focus on just the legs, as the Alphabet-owned SCHAFT’s newest bipedal creation demonstrated by confidently walking out on stage at the New Economic Summit going…
Could a relationship between an astromech droid and an anthropomorphised articulated desk lamp ever really work? Debatable. But it’s worth a shot, because if it did, their offspring would be this fantastic R2-D2 Architectural Desk Lamp that ThinkGeek is now selling for $60.
They may just be plastic, metal and wires, but robots can elicit... physical responses in humans. That’s according to a new study by researchers who analyzed what happened to volunteers when they touched automatons in areas that would be thought of as intimate on an actual human being.
Remember jumping in your seat the first time you saw Jurassic Park? That was just a movie, and you were probably sitting in a comfy theater chair. Imagine finding yourself coming face to face with what looks like a real dinosaur in a deserted parking garage. If you don’t have a heart attack, you’ll still have to find…
This is the face of a man who has just realized he’s doomed the human race.
It was hailed as the most significant test of machine intelligence since Deep Blue defeated Garry Kasparov in chess nearly 20 years ago. Google’s AlphaGo has won two of the first three games against grandmaster Lee Sedol in a Go tournament, showing the dramatic extent to which AI has improved over the years. That…
Stanford’s μTug minibots are on a roll lately.
Military drones can kill enemies from miles above in the sky—but they can also kill innocent civilians. The people controlling these weapons are often continents away, and a new movie shows us the agonizing decisions that these people face.
Remember travel agents? Or Victrola repairmen? Their jobs disappeared as society became more technologically advanced. And a new study shows that most Americans believe robots will replace many human workers soon. But they overwhelmingly think their own jobs are safe.
Boston Dynamics’ line of robotic dogs creep the hell out of me and other sensible humans on this doomed planet. But at least my gut call is partially justified by this probably world-first meeting of man’s best friend and man’s future downfall.
A former Pentagon official is warning that autonomous weapons would likely be uncontrollable in real-world situations thanks to design failures, hacking, and external manipulation. The answer, he says, is to always keep humans “in the loop.”