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Robotics


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

Robot Babies From Japan Raise Questions About How Parents Bond With AI

Driven by a declining population, a trend for developing robotic babies has emerged in Japan as a means of encouraging couples to become “parents”. The approaches taken vary widely and are driven by different...

Self-Driving Car Sensors Just Got Smaller, Cheaper, and Better All at Once

Self-driving cars have advanced a lot in recent years—going from test track prototypes to fixtures on the roads of select cities. And while they still require human supervision on public roads, it’s predicted that...

The Astonishing Healthcare Tech of the Future Is Arriving

This week in San Diego, Singularity University hosted its annual Exponential Medicine conference. The conference aims to connect the dots between healthcare disciplines and cutting-edge tech by convening medical practitioners, technologists, entrepreneurs, and over...

What Happens When You Create a Chatbot to Memorialize a Friend

Whenever we lose someone close to us, there's an inclination, a need even, to sort through our memories of that person. Memories not just in our minds, but our digital memories too—emails, texts, photos,...

Now Is the Time to Ban Terminator-Like Robots

The United States has on its Aegis-class cruisers a defense system that can track and destroy anti-ship missiles and aircraft. Israel has developed a drone, the Harpy, that can detect and automatically destroy radar...

Hacking Our Senses Will Transform How We Experience the World

For millennia the human experience has been governed by five senses, but advances in neuroscience and technology may soon give us a far broader perspective. What counts as a sense in the first place is...
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This Huge Robot Will Drive Up and Build You a House [Video]

Bricklaying is a very old, traditional way to build a house—except now we have robots doing it faster than people. Hadrian X, a construction robot by Fastbrick Robotics, is a laser-guided, fully-automated bricklaying system....

If There’s Life on Europa, Robots Like These Will Find It

The exploration of Europa begins under the ice in Antarctica. That’s where a team of researchers, led by the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), has been testing a variety of robotic subs in recent...

How ‘Robots’ of the Enlightenment Era Gave Us an Early Glimpse of Automation

The Who’s lead singer Roger Daltrey and his wife Heather are auctioning a selection of rare mechanical devices called automata in Edinburgh, Scotland. Automata are models of people or animals from previous centuries that...

The Robots We’ve Long Imagined Are Finally Here

They are wise-cracking companions, able to communicate in more than six million languages. Others are bent on enslaving or destroying humanity, deeming themselves better, more rational caretakers of the Earth in light of our...

Why Drones Are Finding a Home on the Farm

When I hear the word 'drone', the first thing I think of is a top-secret mission: spying, rescues, clandestine deliveries, and other James Bond-worthy uses of a seemingly mysterious technology. Maybe I've just seen...

Here’s How to Convince the Brain That Prosthetic Legs Are Real

The carbon fiber legs or “blades” used by lower limb amputee runners have arguably become one of the most iconic symbols of the Paralympic Games. Although different lower-limb sports prostheses are used for running,...

This Cute Robot Just Wants to Play With Pooh Bear

People are often surprised to learn that many of the most capable and high-tech robots are kept in cages away from humans. This isn't because the machines are out to get us. Many machines are dangerous because they...

If Machines Can Think, Do They Deserve Civil Rights?

Over the past century, we have made massive strides in the rights revolution. These include rights for women, children, the LGBT community, animals, and so much more. Exploring the future, we must ask ourselves:...

How Self-Driving Cars Will Change It All—From Energy to Real Estate

In a presentation at Singularity University’s first annual Global Summit, Brad Templeton informed attendees, “Self-driving cars are going to change the world.” You may have heard that before—but if anyone has the credentials to back...
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FarmBot Will Grow Your Food For You; Just Press Go

What if you could grow food in your backyard with little to no understanding of gardening? A new robotic system may make this a reality for everybody. Farmbot Genesis is an open source, autonomous...
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Ray Kurzweil Explores How Self-Driving Cars Will Choose Between Life or Death

Driving a motor vehicle requires making tough choices in the heat of the moment. Whether slamming on the brakes in traffic or speeding up before a light turns red, split-second decisions are often a...

The Future of Healthcare Is Arriving—8 Exciting Areas to Watch

As faculty chair for Medicine and Neuroscience at Singularity University and curator of our annual Exponential Medicine conference (apply to join us this Oct 8–11th), I cross paths with many technologies which have potential...

5 Incredible Ways Scientists Are Merging Our Brains With Machines

I've been reading Ramez Naam's fantastic book "Nexus," which is set in a near-future where a powerful nano-drug allows human minds to connect together. In the story, a group of enterprising neuroscientists and engineers...
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Adorable Robot Assistant Pepper Now Available in the US

For the first time, SoftBank Robotics' Pepper, the adorable and tiny humanoid robot helper, will be available to purchase in the US. Pepper reads human emotion, follows your motion with her eyes, and costs less than a high-end television set. She...

8 Takes on the Rise of AI and Its Implications

In recent years, it's been exciting watching advances in AI like IBM's Watson smashing humans at Jeopardy and Google’s AlphaGo AI beating champions at the game of Go a decade earlier than expected. But the...

A Look at IBM’s Watson 5 Years After Its Breathtaking Jeopardy Debut

The year was 2012, and IBM’s AI software Watson was in the midst of its heyday. Watson beat two of Jeopardy’s all-time champions a year earlier in 2011, and the world was stunned. It was...

How Today’s Jungle of Artificial Intelligence Will Spawn Sentience

From time to time, the Singularity Hub editorial team unearths a gem from the archives and wants to share it all over again. It's usually a piece that was popular back then and we...

This Is the Olympics On Technology—When Enhancement Is the Norm

For the purpose of this post, I'd like to suspend moral and ethical considerations for a moment — let’s call this a fun thought experiment. As we enter Olympics season, I find myself thinking about what...
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Ray Kurzweil Outlines the Coming Biomedical Revolution [Video]

Will we live longer lives in the future? According to Ray Kurzweil, it's only a matter of time until technology begins successfully tackling age-related disease—and life expectancy grows longer and longer. At some point,...

New Robot Stingray Is Part Biological — It’s Powered by Living Heart Cells

Researchers at Harvard University have created a biohybrid stingray. No larger than the average coin, the ray contains both biological and artificial parts—rat heart cells grown on a silicon mold fitted over a 3D...

Why the Cost of Living Is Poised to Plummet in the Next 20 Years

People are concerned about how AI and robotics are taking jobs, destroying livelihoods, reducing our earning capacity, and subsequently destroying the economy. In anticipation, countries like Canada, India and Finland are running experiments to pilot...

The World Depends on Technology No One Understands

“We are in a new era, one in which we are building systems that can’t be grasped in their totality or held in the mind of a single person.” – Samuel Arbesman As a teenage...
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See What Happens When Killer Robots Are Born in a Car Factory

Could you imagine a robot takeover beginning anywhere other than a major automobile factory? It only makes sense—car plants are already some of the most automated, robot-packed spots on the planet. "ANA" is a recent...

Man Dies in Collision While Being Driven by Tesla’s Autopilot System

A Tesla blog post describes the first fatality involving a self-drive system. A Tesla was driving on autopilot down a divided highway. A truck taking a left turn off the highway crossed into the...

The Next Wearable Technology Could Be Your Skin

Technology can be awkward. Our pockets are weighed down with ever-larger smartphones that are a pain to pull out when we’re in a rush. And attempts to make our devices more easily accessible with...
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The Robot Apocalypse Is Looking Pretty Damn Funky in New Boston Dynamics Video

In a new Boston Dynamics video, a four-legged robot ducks under tables and walks up stairs; it does the dishes with a giraffe neck and weird dinosaur head. It jogs down the hall and...

Future Urban Cars Will Be Simple, Self-Driving, and Super Cheap

With Mobility on Demand, you don’t buy a car, you buy rides. That’s certainly Uber’s plan, and is a plan that makes sense for Google, Apple and other no-car companies. But even Daimler, with...
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What You Need to Know About the Future of Money

If you don’t hate banks, they probably bore your socks off. That’s okay. The day-to-day machinations of the financial machine are either mundane or massively complicated. But what happens in finance should matter to...

Losing Control: The Dangers of Killer Robots

New technology could lead humans to relinquish control over decisions to use lethal force. As artificial intelligence advances, the possibility that machines could independently select and fire on targets is fast approaching. Fully autonomous...

Watch a Robot Show How Much You Suck at Foosball

The day foosball changes forever may be right around the corner. Students and faculty at Brigham Young University just created an AI-assisted robotic foosball table. Initially intended to keep up with human players, the machine...

Ray Kurzweil’s Four Big Insights for Predicting the Future

Self-driving cars, virtual reality games, bioprinting human organs, human gene editing, AI personalities, 3D printing in space, three billion people connected to the Internet…. These incredible technological feats are all part of our world today....

The Elderly May One Day Swap Their Motorized Scooters for Robotic Suits

Robotic exoskeletons, long a staple of sci-fi novels, comic books, and movies, are now part of the real world—and they’ve mostly followed the sci-fi model. That is, exoskeletons are wearable robots. All metal, all...

Are High Stress Decisions Best Made by Bots?

If someone asked you to define ‘intelligence,’ how would you respond? The question elicits significantly different answers based on whom you ask. Ask people to define ‘artificial intelligence’ and the conflicting answers only multiply. Not...

We Are What We Make: Manufacturing’s Digital Revolution Is Here

Visit Singularity Hub for the latest from the frontiers of manufacturing and technology as we bring you coverage of  Singularity University's Exponential Manufacturing Summit. Take a moment and look at the objects surrounding you. Maybe you’re...

Self-Driving Trucks Are Coming—Here’s Why They Make Sense

Today sees the un-stealthing of a new company called Otto which plans to build self-driving systems for long haul trucks. The company has been formed by a skilled team, including former members of Google’s...

Nanorobots: Where We Are Today and Why Their Future Has Amazing Potential

This post is a status update on one of the most powerful tools humanity will ever create: nanotechnology (or nanotech). My goal here is to give you a quick overview of the work going on in...

Fighting Developing World Disease With AI, Robotics, and Biotech

While CRISPR, nanobots and head transplants are making headlines as medical breakthroughs, a number of new technologies are also making progress tackling some of the toughest age-old diseases still plaguing millions of people in...

These Five Exponential Trends Are Accelerating Robotics

Visit Singularity Hub for the latest from the frontiers of manufacturing and technology as we bring you coverage of Singularity University's Exponential Manufacturing summit. ​ If you've been staying on top of artificial intelligence news lately, you...
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Mixed Reality Is How We’ll Escape the Tragic Future in Short Film ‘The Nostalgist’

Not too long ago, virtual reality was stuck in the lab, an elaborate, expensive rig that worked okay, sure, but was a far cry from anything dreamed up in the movies. Now, it’s no longer...

Meet Your New Industrial Robot Coworkers

“Meet Bob who is joining the team today. Charlie and Theresa, you are in charge of the one-hour introduction. After that, he should be ready to do whatever you want him to.” On the surface,...
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These New Technologies Will Be Both Powerful and Planet Friendly

Did you know there is a 25% chance your cause of death will be due to environmental pollution? According the World Health Organization, some 12.6 million people—or nearly 1 in 4 worldwide—died in 2012 due...

The Last Frontiers of AI: Can Scientists Design Creativity and Self-Awareness?

Is creativity a uniquely human trait? What about self-awareness or intuition? Defining the line between human and machine is becoming blurrier by the day as startups, big companies, and research institutions all compete to build...

Ray Kurzweil Predicts Three Technologies Will Define Our Future

This is the last in a four-part series looking at the big ideas in Ray Kurzweil's book The Singularity Is Near. ​Be sure to read the other articles: Will the End of Moore’s Law Halt...

Watch Google X Unleash an Awesome Two-Legged Robot on Tokyo

It’s been a little over two years since Google jumped into robotics with both feet. In 2013, the company (since reorganized as Alphabet) bought eight of the most interesting robotics companies in the world....

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