Posts in tag

Robots


When the discussion of “autonomous weapons systems” inevitably prompts comparisons to Terminator-esque killer robots it’s perhaps little surprise that a number of significant academics, technologists, and entrepreneurs including Stephen Hawking, Noam Chomsky, Elon Musk, Demis Hassabis of Google and Apple founder Steve Wozniak signed a letter calling for a ban on such systems. The signatories …

Researchers have developed a method for helping robots plan for multi-step tasks by constructing abstract representations of the world around them. Their study is a step toward building robots that can think and act more like people. Planning is a monumentally difficult thing for robots, largely because of how they perceive and interact with the …

Ask anyone what image comes to mind when you say the word ‘robot’, and there’s no doubt you’ll receive responses inspired by popular culture. For example, the liquid metal, shape-shifting T-1000 from the movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991); or Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots and the main character in the Transformers (2014-) films. …

The list of things robots can do seems to be growing by the week. They can play sports, help us explore outer space and the deep sea, take over some of our boring everyday tasks, and even assemble Ikea furniture. Now they can add one more accomplishment to the list: grilling and serving a hot …

AI, as conceived of in popular culture, does not yet exist, even if autonomous and expert systems do. Smartphones might not be supercomputers, but they are called “smartphones” for good reason, in terms of how their operating systems function. Equally, we are happy to talk about a computer game’s “AI”, but gamers quickly learn to …

In today’s factories and warehouses, it’s not uncommon to see robots whizzing about, shuttling items or tools from one station to another. For the most part, robots navigate pretty easily across open layouts. But they have a much harder time winding through narrow spaces to carry out tasks such as reaching for a product at …

We are in the era of automation. Each year, robots are becoming more and more visible in our cities. At this point, it isn’t that difficult to think of a future where we will be in a full-blown cohabitation set-up with robots. The question is, are cities prepared for a robot-filled future? What can we do …

Last night, way past midnight, I stumbled onto my porch blindly grasping for my keys after a hellish day of international travel. Lights were low, I was half-asleep, yet my hand grabbed the keychain, found the lock, and opened the door. If you’re rolling your eyes—yeah, it’s not exactly an epic feat for a human. …

MIT’s fleet of robotic boats has been updated with new capabilities to “shapeshift,” by autonomously disconnecting and reassembling into a variety of configurations, to form floating structures in Amsterdam’s many canals. The autonomous boats — rectangular hulls equipped with sensors, thrusters, microcontrollers, GPS modules, cameras, and other hardware — are being developed as part of the …

What is the role of pain in our lives? Pain, we can all agree, is unpleasant, both physically and emotionally. Pain acts as an alarm when faced with danger. Pain can be excruciating, tragic, the forerunner of death. In short, when we feel pain, we feel more alive than ever. Now that robots play an …