Robotics & A.I

  • Unstoppable Creepy Crawlers
    Among robot designers, there is a class of challenge problems. Is it easier to build a flyer, swimmer, walker or crawler? A new Michigan design highlights the advantages of being a robotic snake.
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  • Robots By Land, Sea, Air
    There's still a long way to go before today's robots evolve into practical, everyday technologies, but even now, autonomous robotic vehicles are exploring uncharted or hazardous places, and performing household tasks.
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  • The Mighty Roach Robot
    Can a robot learn to navigate like a cockroach? To help researchers find out if a mechanical device can mimic the pesky insect's behavior, a Johns Hopkins engineering student has built a flexible, sensor-laden antenna.
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  • Robots Join Rat Race
    Rat pups learn by exploration but their journey may be less random and more convolutated that a robot can mimic. But experiments with sensors on the snout of a mobile robot show that robots may be less random explorers than one might first suppose.
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  • Build Your Own Borg: Sort of
    The dream of many planetary geologists is to have a robot on another world making decisions about where it wants to go and what it wants to look closer at. One step towards that dream is a cybernetics experiment venturing into the Spanish cliffs.
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  • Shape-Shifting Borg Gets Its Groove On
    A concept for adaptive robotics has been demonstrated for what specialists call "lattice robots"--mechanical connectors that tie together many moving parts to shift their shape in response to changes in their environment.
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  • Towards Biological Machines?
    By encouraging ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules to self-assemble into 3-D shapes resembling spirals, triangles, rods and hairpins, scientists have found what could be a method of constructing lattices on which to build complex microscopic machines.
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  • Amplified Intelligence
    Will machines make humans smarter or just more dependent on our calculators, car navigators, and kitchen conveniences? Dr. Ken Ford of the Institute of Human and Machine Cognition reclassifies several key problems in developing smarter machines into a category called, "Amplified Intelligence".
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  • Farmer Droids
    The practicality of inexpensive robots opens a host of worldly applications, whether tending a cornfield or testing for bugs. Just as in the film Star Wars, there may be a future role for autonomous robots to tend the farm while farmers blast off for
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  • Fantastic Nano-Voyage
    For both scientists and artists in the field of nanotechnology, making tiny airplanes and flower-like designs on scales smaller than the width of a human hair showcases the large promise of thinking small.
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