Google is building Skynet — that much we know. Robotics, location awareness, even self-driving cars. They’re in your home, in your pocket, and will soon be just about everywhere you turn. So, when the machines become self-aware and begin reasoning outside of interactions with humans, who lives? Two people, and only two people.
As LEGO has proven over the past several years, there’s no limit to what this interchangeable interlocking brick system can do in the way of super simple buildings to extra-complex robots. They’re building pieces, after all, and open systems like the SBRICK - or SmartBrick - are coming in to expand the system even further than LEGO has already imagined. Here we’re going wireless with LEGO robotics and remote control.
Self-driving cars like Google's distinctive little pods may not need us to drive them any more, but that just means we'll need a new way of communicating with them if we don't want to be run over in the street. That's the conclusion of new research led by Mercedes-Benz, which is working with robotics experts and linguists on ways that autonomous vehicles and pedestrians - or would-be passengers - might be able to talk with gestures and more.
If you're still not used to seeing electric wheelchairs, robotic prosthetics, and other forms of hi-tech assistive technology in public places, it would be best to catch up with the times as a new one just joined the list. The US Food and Drug Administration has just given the thumb up to the ReWalk Personal exoskeleton, paving the way for similar machines that will help those who have lost mobility to get back on their feet.
Robots are all after our jobs! If you're not convinced entirely yet, then Japan's latest technological marvel just might. Japanese scientists have revealed to the public a new kind of eerily human-looking android that will be announcing news, arriving in real-time, in near pitch-perfect and fluent Japanese.
Research and entertainment robot NAO is getting faster, smarter, and strong: in fact, it's a good job he only comes up to your knees, as otherwise we'd be worried. NAO EVOLUTION, the handiwork of Softbank acquisition Aldeberan, takes the hobby-bot and boosts its awareness of the surrounding environment - including its emotion-recognizing abilities - as well as how well it can interact with it, thanks to things like defter hands.
SoftBank plans to sell an emotion-sensing humanoid robot, Pepper, in Japan next year, putting the sensor-toting 'bot into customer services duties in stores from this week. Expected to go on sale from February 2015, Pepper can track the emotions of the humans around it through their expressions and voice tones, and then react accordingly depending on what apps and cloud-data are available.
A group of MIT researchers have set out to make you a bit more robotic, adding a few extra limbs along the way. Their design offers up robotic arms, which sit on your body like a backpack. The goal is not to take the place of your arms, or replace limbs in any way. Instead, the concept is to give yourself a helping hand with heavy lifting and the like.
Robotics has seen many substantial developments over the past few years, not the least of which is due to DARPA efforts. One of the newest ones is from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, more commonly called KAIST, that has developed a sprinting robot dubbed the Raptor.