November 13, 2012 |
In my previous post, I described the potential for a new era of automated manufacturing in which it's easier for entrepreneurs to create products but harder for workers to find jobs on the assembly line. A contrary note was sounded, ironically, by a robotics executive, who insisted that the next generation of smart machines would make human employees more valuable, not more dispensable. The executive, Rethink Robotics' Rodney Brooks, didn't offer any concrete examples to support his argument.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 11, 2009 |
Combine a land shark with a paddle-wheel boat, spice it with servo motors and radio transceivers, mix with water and what have you got? At Caltech, you have the year's biggest sporting event. At Tuesday's competition, engineering students at the Pasadena campus operated hand-built robots and maneuvered them through an obstacle course that included concrete walkways, a shallow pond and a finish line atop an arching bridge.
January 2, 2014 |
Gecko's sticky feet seem to let the little climbing lizards crawl wherever they want. Now researchers have used the gecko feet's trade secrets to let robots use that climbing power in space. The idea, which received backing from the European Space Agency, mimics the pads of the gecko's feet to allow small robots to climb up the hulls of larger spacecraft to maintain and even repair them. Such repair bots could extend the lives of expensive spacecraft, save them from sudden and untimely deaths, and perhaps one day minimize risky spacewalks for future astronauts.
October 17, 2011
Paro may be the most famous companion robot around today, but he's likely to have some competition before too long. Here are a few others currently in the works: The "emotion bear. " It laughs. It sneezes. It waves. It strikes up a conversation. And if nothing much is going on, it falls asleep. A concept currently being tested by Fujitsu in Japan, the "emotion bear" can sense when people are near and turn to face them. And when it gets to know people well enough, it can tell what mood they're in - and behave accordingly.
September 29, 1997 |
If I remember the Popular Science and Mechanix Illustrated magazines of my youth correctly, by the end of the millennium we are supposed to relax in our easy chairs while robots mow our lawns, wash our windows and vacuum our rugs. Well, the year 2000 is nigh upon us, and around my house, humans are still the only robots doing those chores. But while I still have to mow my own lawn, there is a growing chance that if I ever need brain surgery, a robot will do the job.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 22, 2009 |
A Torrance hospital held a baby shower this week for an unlikely addition: A 7-pound robotic baby named Simantha. The $35,000 baby "born" May 30 will serve as an educational tool for students and staff members in the clinical skills lab at Torrance Memorial Medical Center. Simantha joins three robotic adults: Stan D. Ardman (a play on the phrase "standard man"), Brittnay and Jake, who is called Jessica when staff members use her as a female. John Edwards, the clinical skills simulation technician who runs the lab and maintains the robots, was beaming like a proud father at the baby shower, he said.