March 24, 2017
End of labor for humans and the bloodthirsty robot
It is nearly a century ago that robots made their debut. In 1920 they appeared for the first time in the play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) by the Czech writer Karel Čapek. His image of a future dystopia is now more current than ever.
March 7, 2017
IoT: A World-size Robot Out of Control
With the emergence of the Internet of Things an increasing number of actuators and sensors are connected to the global network. The internet is sprouting limbs and senses, enabling it to physically interact with the world. If we don’t improve the security of the IoT, this could be a very risky development.
March 2, 2017
Bats are admired by electronics buffs for their aptitude at ultrasonic echo location. This nocturnal chiroptera also arouses interest with the agility of its flight. The unparalleled aerobatics of the bat offer a model for study and research of aerial robotics, with the key to some formidable technical challenges.
December 16, 2016
GIF bot with voice commands using Raspberry Pi & Arduino
The weak point of robots is their legendary lack of expression. Without being a blundering clown, the Peeqo robot is an articulate, engaging GIF bot, with an attractive mode of communication using animated images. It uses a Raspberry Pi 3, two Arduino minis, four microphones, a WVGA 800x400 display, a camera (for facial recognition) and an HP USB.
November 30, 2016
Hitachi develops lensless camera
Hitachi has developed a camera technology which allows video imagery to be recorded without a lens. What’s more, the imagery can be focused after recording. All this is made possible by a film printed with a pattern of concentric circles. The new technology enables cameras which are lighter and thinner because they do not need a lens.
November 10, 2016
Zooids: Building Blocks for Swarm User Interfaces
Zooids is an open-source open-hardware platform for developing tabletop Swarm User Interfaces, a new class of human-computer interfaces comprised of many autonomous robots that act like swarm of insects, working together to perform different tasks, handling both display and interaction. They are controlled through a light pattern projected by a small overhead projector.
August 30, 2016
The shimmy of the centipede
Summer is the best season for the observation of insects and other creepy-crawlies; one has to admire their tenacity, their ingenuity, their speed and their precision. Take the centipede that jumps out when you lift a stone… it’s very fast, so fast that you don’t have time to wonder if its speed is because of the number of its legs.
June 15, 2016
Robot insects land to take a break
Researchers at Harvard University (USA) have developed flying microrobots that can land to save energy, just like real insects. These miniature flying robots go by the name “RoboBees.”
May 31, 2016
Robots feel pain!
For robots, pain is an unknown sense. This insensitivity is also one of their major advantages in their inexorable progression to replace humans. It’s also one of their greatest failings in certain circumstances. By allowing anything and feeling nothing, the robot can expose itself to great danger of being damaged or even being put out of service by an excess of zeal.