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.
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.
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.
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.
July 30, 2009 |
Robotics expert Robert Finkelstein has had a company in the field for nearly a quarter of a century without controversy. He never paid attention to blogs, didn't have a company website until last year and never felt the need to issue news releases about his work. That is, until blogs and news sites feasted on his EATR project. EATR, for Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot, is a robotic ground vehicle that Finkelstein's small company is designing with U.S.