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Robotics


Latest significant advancements in robots and robotics. Reporting on the far-reaching impacts of robotics on society and humanity.

Your Next Pilot Could Be Drone Software

Would you get on a plane that didn’t have a human pilot in the cockpit? Half of air travelers surveyed in 2017 said they would not, even if the ticket was cheaper. Modern pilots...

Robot Cities: Three Urban Prototypes for Future Living

Before I started working on real-world robots, I wrote about their fictional and historical ancestors. This isn’t so far removed from what I do now. In factories, labs, and of course science fiction, imaginary...

Watch This Lifelike Robot Fish Swim Through the Ocean

Earth’s oceans are having a rough go of it these days. On top of being the repository for millions of tons of plastic waste, global warming is affecting the oceans and upsetting marine ecosystems...

$10 million XPRIZE Aims for Robot Avatars That Let You See, Hear, and Feel by 2021

Ever wished you could be in two places at the same time? The XPRIZE Foundation wants to make that a reality with a $10 million competition to build robot avatars that can be controlled...

What Roboticists Are Learning From Early Generations of Lifelike Humanoid Robots

You might not have heard of Hanson Robotics, but if you’re reading this, you’ve probably seen their work. They were the company behind Sophia, the lifelike humanoid avatar that’s made dozens of high-profile media...

Why the Rise of Self-Driving Vehicles Will Actually Increase Car Ownership

It’s been a long time coming. For years Waymo (formerly known as Google Chauffeur) has been diligently developing, driving, testing and refining its fleets of various models of self-driving cars. Now Waymo is going...

How Swarm Intelligence Is Making Simple Tech Much Smarter

As a group, simple creatures following simple rules can display a surprising amount of complexity, efficiency, and even creativity. Known as swarm intelligence, this trait is found throughout nature, but researchers have recently begun...

The 10 Grand Challenges Facing Robotics in the Next Decade

Robotics research has been making great strides in recent years, but there are still many hurdles to the machines becoming a ubiquitous presence in our lives. The journal Science Robotics has now identified 10...

This ‘Cosmic GPS’ Tech Will Help Us Explore the Furthest Reaches of Space

Anyone who has tried their hand at sailing, or even read about the exploits of maritime explorers, understands the importance of the lighthouse. Indeed, the solitary beam of light emanating from a lighthouse’s crest...

Smart Homes Won’t Just Automate Your Life—They’ll Track Your Health Too

It’s been more than a half-century since we first glimpsed the future of the smart home in a quaint cartoon series called “The Jetsons.” The Roomba is no Rosie the Robot Maid, but today’s...

This Awesome Robot Is the Size of a Penny and Precise Enough to Aid Eye Surgery

They say size isn’t everything, but when it comes to delta robots it seems like it’s pretty important. The speed and precision of these machines sees them employed in delicate pick-and-place tasks in all kinds...

Low-Cost Soft Robot Muscles Can Lift 200 Times Their Weight and Self-Heal

Jerky mechanical robots are staples of science fiction, but to seamlessly integrate into everyday life they’ll need the precise yet powerful motor control of humans. Now scientists have created a new class of artificial...

Why the World Is Still Getting Better—and That’s Likely to Continue

If you read or watch the news, you’ll likely think the world is falling to pieces. Trends like terrorism, climate change, and a growing population straining the planet’s finite resources can easily lead you...

Want Self-Healing Robots and Tires? Elastomers May Hold the Key

We all have scars, and each one tells a story. Tales of tomfoolery, tales of haphazardness, or in my case, tales of stupidity. Whether the cause of your scar was a push-bike accident, a lack...

Why Humanoid Robots Are Still So Hard to Make Useful

Picture a robot. In all likelihood, you just pictured a sleek metallic or chrome-white humanoid. Yet the vast majority of robots in the world around us are nothing like this; instead, they’re specialized for...

Robotic Materials Will Distribute Intelligence All Over a Robot’s Body

The classical view of a robot as a mechanical body with a central “brain” that controls its behavior could soon be on its way out. The authors of a recent article in Science Robotics...
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9 Robot Animals Built From Nature’s Best-Kept Secrets

Millions of years of evolution have allowed animals to develop some elegant and highly efficient solutions to problems like locomotion, flight, and dexterity. As Boston Dynamics unveils its latest mechanical animals, here’s a rundown...

The Farms of the Future Will Be Automated From Seed to Harvest

Swarms of drones buzz overhead, while robotic vehicles crawl across the landscape. Orbiting satellites snap high-resolution images of the scene far below. Not one human being can be seen in the pre-dawn glow spreading...

Amazon Is Quietly Building the Robots of Sci-Fi—Piece by Practical Piece

Science fiction is the siren song of hard science. How many innocent young students have been lured into complex, abstract science, technology, engineering, or mathematics because of a reckless and irresponsible exposure to Arthur...

How Technology Is Driving Us Toward Peak Globalization

At some point in the future—and in some ways we are already seeing this—the amount of physical stuff moving around the world will peak and begin to decline. By “stuff,” I am referring to...

Better Than Smart Speakers? Japan Is Making Robot and Hologram Companions

While American internet giants are developing speakers, Japanese companies are working on robots and holograms. They all share a common goal: to create the future platform for the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart...
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This Year’s Awesome Robot Stories From Around the Web (Through Sept 9)

Each week we scour the web for great articles and fascinating advances across our core topics, from AI to biotech and the brain. But robots have a special place in our hearts. This week,...
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Watch These 1,069 Robots Dance Their Way to a New World Record

There are so many things robots can do nowadays. They can shuttle products around a warehouse, make burgers and pizza, and teach each other new things. Most of the capabilities we’ve given robots are useful—but...

Robots and AI Will Take Over These 3 Medical Niches First

We're no stranger to robotics in the medical field. Robot-assisted surgery is becoming more and more common. Many training programs are starting to include robotic and virtual reality scenarios to provide hands-on training for...

Finish Him! MegaBots’ Giant Robot Duel Is Finally Going Down

It began two years ago when MegaBots co-founders Matt Oehrlein and Gui Cavalcanti donned American flags as capes and challenged Suidobashi Heavy Industries to a giant robot duel in a YouTube video that immediately...

Japan’s SoftBank Is Investing Billions in the Technological Future

Remember the 1980s movie Brewster’s Millions, in which a minor league baseball pitcher (played by Richard Pryor) must spend $30 million in 30 days to inherit $300 million? Pryor goes on an epic spending...

This Inspiring Teenager Wants to Save Lives With His Flying Robots

It’s not every day you meet a high school student who’s been building functional robots since age 10. Then again, Mihir Garimella is definitely not your average teenager. When I sat down to interview him...
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3 Exponentials to Watch | Future of Everything With Jason Silva (Part 3)

In the third of Singularity University's Future of Everything YouTube series with Jason Silva, Silva discusses "The Big Three" exponential technologies, which he defines as GNR: genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics. "If I were to be talking...

To Design the Perfect Drone, Follow Nature’s Lead

Nature has found some elegant solutions to complicated problems and engineers have long been inspired by its designs. But Adrian Thomas thinks translating the best of nature’s discoveries into man-made devices requires the ability...

These Pizza Robots Assemble Perfect Pies in Minutes

Oh pizza, how I love thee. Let me count the ways. Your golden, flaky crust. Your salty-sweet tomato sauce. Your gooey, stretchy cheese. Your predictive algorithms and efficiently automated production line… Wait, what? Sounds like a...

How Robots Are Getting Better at Making Sense of the World

The multiverse of science fiction is populated by robots that are indistinguishable from humans. They are usually smarter, faster, and stronger than us. They seem capable of doing any job imaginable, from piloting a...

What These Lifelike Androids Can Teach Us About Being Human

For Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro, one of the most interesting things about androids is the changing questions they pose us, their creators, as they evolve. Does it, for example, do something to the concept of...

These 7 Disruptive Technologies Could Be Worth Trillions of Dollars

Scientists, technologists, engineers, and visionaries are building the future. Amazing things are in the pipeline. It’s a big deal. But you already knew all that. Such speculation is common. What’s less common? Scale. How...

Technology Will Erase Jobs—But Also Make Everything Cheap or Free

At an event about how technology is shaping the future of money, it seems counterintuitive to talk about a future where technology has mostly done away with the need for money to live. But that’s...

How Robots Will Win Your Trust

What images come to mind when you think of robots? The lifelike replicas of Blade Runner? A favorite video game character or perhaps Aldebaran and SoftBank's quirky robot named Pepper? Although researchers have made astounding advances...

7 Big Tech Trends That Are Changing the Way We Make Things

Manufacturing is dirty, dull, and outmoded. It’s a slow-moving industry stuck in the past as new technologies out of Silicon Valley threaten to upend it. Stereotypes are fun, and misleading. Let’s not forget manufacturing is...

These Robots Can Teach Other Robots How to Do New Things

One advantage humans have over robots is that we’re good at quickly passing on our knowledge to each other. A new system developed at MIT now allows anyone to coach robots through simple tasks...

How to Stay Innovative Amid the Fastest Pace of Change in History

Everything is changing again. But this time, it’s happening faster. In his talk at Singularity University’s Exponential Manufacturing Summit in Boston, Deloitte’s Digital Transformation Leader Geoff Tuff gave the audience some great tips for understanding...

4 Keys to Making the Robots of Our Imagination a Reality

“The robots of reality are starting to get a lot closer to the robots of our imagination,” said Sarah Bergbreiter, an image of a fast-moving, multi-jointed search and rescue robot displayed on the big...

Singularity Hub Is Live This Week at Exponential Manufacturing in Boston

Singularity Hub is on the ground this week at Singularity University’s Exponential Manufacturing Summit in Boston. At the summit, executives, makers, entrepreneurs, and policy leaders across the manufacturing industry will come together to learn how...

Welcome to the Competitive World of Crappy Robots

A robot named Amazing Quick Floor might sound like a new rival to Roomba. Trust me, it’s not. Quick Floor’s real rivals include The Airnator from Germany, capable of whisking milk into speed (technical...

The Future of Flying Cars: Science Fact or Science Fiction?

Uber has shaken up the taxi industry and is trying to put driverless cars on our roads. Now the company aims to have flying ride-sharing vehicles in our skies by 2020. Uber is not alone...

Why the Fast-Paced World of Drone Sports Is Getting So Popular

Piloting your drone aircraft through an intricate, Star Wars-like obstacle course or ramming an enemy to the ground in a dogfight—sounds slightly like science fiction, doesn’t it? It’s not. In fact, both sports already...

Science Has Outgrown the Human Mind and Its Limited Capacities

The duty of man who investigates the writings of scientists, if learning the truth is his goal, is to make himself an enemy of all that he reads and … attack it from every...

The Weird World of Cyborg Animals Is Here

Roboticists frequently turn to nature for inspiration for their inventions, reverse engineering the traits that evolution has developed over millennia. Others are taking a shortcut by simply integrating modern technology with living animals. The idea...

This Is What Happens When We Debate Ethics in Front of Superintelligent AI

Is there a uniform set of moral laws, and if so, can we teach artificial intelligence those laws to keep it from harming us? This is the question explored in an original short film...

New Burger Robot Will Take Command of the Grill in 50 Fast Food Restaurants

Would your burger taste as delicious if it was made by a robot? You’ll soon be able to find out at CaliBurger restaurants in the US and worldwide. Cali Group partnered with Miso Robotics to develop...

4 Ways Scientists Hope Nanobots Will Make You Healthier

For most people the phrase “medical robot” probably brings to mind the ground-breaking da Vinci surgical system that has revolutionized minimally-invasive surgery. Either that or the 2-1B droid from Star Wars: the Empire Strikes...

Financial Leaders: Make Your Mark on the Future at Exponential Finance

From digital currency to machine learning, the financial industry is being rocked by exponential technologies. Blockchain, artificial intelligence, big data, robotics, quantum computing, crowdfunding, and computing systems are allowing startups to solve consumer needs...

Just Stand Inside This Room and It Will Wirelessly Charge Your Phone

Go to any airport and you’ll see wearied travelers huddled around outlets leeching out precious electricity to feed their devices. They aren’t alone in their need for power. With more than 3 billion smartphones...

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