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Toyota has designed a small companion robot whose sole purpose is to have conversations with people. The Kirobo Mini can read facial expressions and talk to you-and is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand (via Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty images)   As long as robotics have been public knowledge... weve strived to make robot friends. Think Robby from Lost in Space or from some of the first science fiction novels. Not sure if this is the true answer, but we are makig steps towards th ...
A team from the EPFL have created soft robots that are flexible and soft enough to copy the way human muscles behave. These soft robots look more like pack of hot dogs (Photo from EPFL)   Sometimes it’s hard to think of robots as flexible, but they are out there. These bots, dubbed soft robots, are flexible allowing them to swim or twist and wiggle around. One team from the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) is taking soft robots to a new level: muscle ...
MIT researchers have developed a new programmable viscoelastic material technique that allows them to design 3D printed parts with their own level of stiffness and elasticity. (via MIT)   If you think about it, robots undergo a tremendous amount of abuse in terms of shock and vibration. Drones, manufacturing and military robots are just a few that routinely undergo punishment in one form or another and would greatly benefit from having a protective coating that would help reduce or elimina ...
MIT’s Moral Machine asks players to make decisions on what they autonomous vehicles should do in an accident situation.   I happened onto MIT’s Moral Machine website (http://moralmachine.mit.edu/) a few days ago and I have to say, it presents an interesting take on the perspectives of human moral decisions and machine intelligence when it comes to autonomous vehicles. It’s a judging game of sorts that asks participants to choose between two evils in an accident scenario- d ...
Police around the world are now using remote-controlled automated devices to disarm and stop suspects. The Los Angeles police department uses a robot to search a squad car for explosives (Image Credit: © latimes)   Automated devices have been used across a broad range of industries to assist with a multitude of tasks. Many manufacturing processes are now automated, and much has been said about human jobs being replaced by robots. Of all the jobs that have been replaced by automation, ...
Sewbo uses stiffening solution to sew a t-shirt automatically. Sewbo stiffens the fabric with polyvinyl alcohol plastic stiffener to cut the garment (Via Sewbo)   Happy National Manufacturing Day, everyone! Apparently, it is on 10/7. In honor of the day, I want to talk about the next level in garment manufacturing.   Sewing is a similar to a fine art; you have to have patience, time, and capability to get really good at it. Maybe someone in your family is an expert sewer leading to ...
The transforming BMW was created by twelve engineers and four technicians. Imagine this Transformer roaming down your street, like a dream come true! (Photo from Letrons)     Ever since the 1980s were invaded by these robots in disguise, people have been fascinated with Transformers. This past August the first animated Transformers Movie turned 30 years old while the Michael Bay films continue to create a new generation of fans. But along with making lifelong followers, the fran ...
Five tech giants create new coalition to help the public understand the benefits and workings behind AI technology. Google, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft, and Amazon team together for this new AI group (image via Partnership on AI)   What once seemed like a concept from a sci-fi movie, is now quickly becoming a part of everyday life. AI is popping up more and being integrated in various services and products we often use. But with technology constantly shaping and companies wanting to be on to ...

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