The DARPA Robotics Challenge put countless robots through a series of real-world challenges that involved driving, drilling holes, and climbing stairs. But let’s be realistic, the only thing any of us really want a robot for is housework, and that’s what ATLAS is finally learning.
2015 was an insanely wild year in robotics: From leaps in AI technology to piloted, Gundam-like battle machines. We’re living in a bizarre, sci-fi world that entangles humans with robots more than ever before. Here are ten of the craziest ‘bots from the past year.
It’s time to reflect on the most futuristic breakthroughs and developments of the past year. This year’s crop features a slew of remarkable scientific and technological achievements, from an actual working hoverboard to cyborgized brains. Here are 18 predictions that finally came true in 2015.
The four-day International Robot Exhibition just wrapped up in Japan over the weekend, and the wild machines introduced in Tokyo, one of the world’s biggest robot hubs, did not disappoint. The show attracted 450 companies and 5,000 non-robotic humans. Here’s a look at some of coolest from the show floor.
For most people in 2015, “one device that can do it all” is a tablet that also has a keyboard. For interaction designers at MIT, it means a shape-shifting soft robot that switches from phone, to watch, to flashlight, to charging cable.
Researchers in Japan have developed a remarkable new robot that bears a startling resemblance to the Droideka of Star Wars. Called QRoSS, this throwable, sphere-shaped robot can move around either by rolling or walking on all fours. Mercifully, it’s not capable of firing lasers or engaging force fields...at least not…
Stelarc has made a career of blending his body with technology. In his latest work, the Australian performance artist strapped himself to an industrial robotic arm and went for a spin.
Earlier this summer, more than a thousand prominent thinkers and specialists signed an open letter calling for a ban on autonomous killing machines. Since then, a number of critics have condemned the motion, citing it as both dangerous and useless. Optimization researcher Toby Walsh explains why we shouldn’t be so…
Roboticists have developed a “mother” robot that can build and evaluate her own “children,” and then decide which version performs best to inform the design of the next generation. Remarkably, the system doesn’t require any human intervention.
Researchers from South Korea have created a robotic insect that’s capable of jumping and landing on an aquatic surface, a unique mode of transportation found only in specialized animals.
More than a thousand prominent thinkers and leading AI and robotics researchers have signed an open letter calling for a ban on “offensive autonomous weapons beyond meaningful human control.”
An independent analysis of reports gathered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration since 2000 shows that robotic surgery isn’t as safe as some people might assume.
It’s nothing to get too excited or alarmed about, but a robot has passed a modified version of the classic King’s Wise Men Test. It’s another classic case of simulation rather than emulation, but the experiment shows how artificial self-awareness can be programmed into our technology.
While I talked with the legendary roboticist Red Whittaker in his lab at Carnegie Mellon, a half-moon shaped remnant of a Lifesaver was resting on his knee. He nibbled on it as we talked about sending autonomous robots to explore the Moon. That’s when he told me about the Moon caves that could be humanity’s future…
Robots are poised to revolutionize surgery, as demonstrated by this astounding—and even touching—promotional video showcasing the da Vinci Surgical System as it sutures a damaged grape.
Keeping a pet healthy requires resources and open space, and in the cities of the future both may be at such a premium that live pets will become a thing of the past. Australian researcher Jean-Loup Rault suggests robotic and virtual-reality pets may replace the real thing.
NASA has chosen its next batch of proposals under its advanced concepts program, including the use of soft-robotic rovers for exploring gas-giant moons, and autonomous robots capable of crawling, hopping, and rolling around the surface of the Moon.
A company in South China’s Guangdong province is building the city’s first zero-labor factory. It’s an effort to address worker shortages and rising labor costs, but the rise of semi-autonomous “smart factories” could be a sign of things to come, in China and elsewhere.
Ah, spring has sprung. The weather’s warm, the trees are starting to bud, and robots are frolicking about — including ATRIAS, a two-legged bot developed by researchers at Oregon State University.
Since 2007, researchers at the Maryland Robotics Center have been steadily upgrading Robo Raven, a super-realistic robotic bird that’s so lifelike it even fools the real thing. Its developers recently unveiled two new versions, including one that can take off by itself.