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Meet RoboBee, World's Smallest Flying Robot

Harvard's robotic fly is about the size of a dime

(Newser) - The Guardian calls it the "smallest flying robot in the world," DVice has it as the "world's smallest aerial drone," and USA Today settles for "electronic housefly." By whichever name, the dime-sized device by Harvard scientists is amazing. (They call it "RoboBee,... More »

Rights Group: Time to Ban Killer Robots

International treaty needed before it's too late, group says

(Newser) - The world needs to ban robots capable of killing without human input before they become a reality on the battlefield, a human rights group warns. Human Rights Watch and Harvard's International Human Rights Clinic are calling for an international treaty to ban the "development, production and use of... More »

Robot Can Change Colors, Disguise Itself

Researchers use squid, not mammals for their inspiration

(Newser) - Inspired by the camouflage skills of octopuses and squid, scientists have created a rubbery, silicon robot that can change colors to hide in almost any environment, reports the BBC . While most robots "are basically built on the body plan of a mammal," said George Whitesides, the paper's... More »

Robotic Legs Take Big Step Forward

Robolegs accurately mimic human gait

(Newser) - Robotic legs have taken a big and biologically accurate step into the future thanks to a team from the University of Arizona. The team has developed legs that it says mimic the human gait more effectively than any other, with an electronic version of the message system in the spinal... More »

Lab Creates Unbeatable Rock, Paper, Scissors Robot

(It cheats)

(Newser) - It's official, robots have crossed the final frontier. First it was chess, then Jeopardy , and now it's that most human of games: rock, paper, scissors. Scientists at the University of Tokyo have created a robot that literally cannot be beaten at the ancient art of roshambo, the Telegraph... More »

Holy Grail of Robots: One to Debone a Chicken

Apparently, it's harder to design than it seems

(Newser) - It would be the "Holy Grail" of robots, a real "game-changer," experts say: a robot that can … debone a chicken?! Yes, though robots can already fly planes, locate bombs, and help with surgeries, apparently years of technological advances have still failed to produce a robot that... More »

Asteroid-Mining Company Flooded With Applicants

Planetary Resources forced to stop accepting applications

(Newser) - Looking for a career in asteroid mining ? Get in line. Celestial treasure-hunting firm Planetary Resources put out a call three weeks ago for applicants, and was soon so swamped with resumes that it had to stop accepting them. According to an update on the company's website , spotted by... More »

US Sending Robots to Fukushima

Radiation-hardened robots to assist at stricken plant

(Newser) - The Energy Department is sending a squad of robots—and people—to help Japan in its battle to regain control of its Fukushima nuclear plant. A shipment of "radiation hardened robotics" is being sent to Japan along with 40 people and thousands of pounds of other equipment, a top... More »

Robonaut Joining Space Station Crew

'A giant leap forward for tinmankind'

(Newser) - International Space Station astronauts won't need to worry about the newest crew member hogging the oxygen or clogging the toilet. Robonaut 2 will become the first humanoid robot in space when he heads to the station this week on the space shuttle Discovery's final mission, AP reports. "R2" will... More »

Robot Beats Up Volunteers

Researchers actually trying to create robots incapable of harming humans

(Newser) - Six Slovenian volunteers have been getting beaten up by a robot in the name of science. The men have been punched repeatedly in the arm at different strengths by said robot and rating the resulting sensation on a scale that ranges from "painless" to "unbearable." The robotic... More »

Robot to Explore Secret Pyramid Passageway

'Djedi Rover' aims to find out where mysterious tunnel leads

(Newser) - A high-tech robot is setting out to solve one of the Great Pyramid of Giza’s long-standing puzzles. Armed with a drill, a snaking camera, and other state-of-the-art bells and whistles, the “Djedi Rover” will scamper up the mysterious 8-inch tunnels in the Pyramid of Khufu’s so-called “... More »

I, Robot, Now Pronounce You Husband and Wife

Creepy. Creepy. Creepy.

(Newser) - Almost everyone stood when the bride walked down the aisle in her white gown, but not the wedding conductor, because she was bolted to her chair. The nuptials at this ceremony were led by "I-Fairy," a 4-foot-tall seated robot with flashing eyes and plastic pigtails. Today's wedding was... More »

Rich May Evolve Into Own Species

Wealthy winning huge edge with longer life, access to biotechnology

(Newser) - The super wealthy will have such access to high levels of health care, biotechnology and robotics that they could develop into their own species of being, argues a Silicon Valley  futurist. The rich will be able to grow their own organs and manipulate genetics for superior abilities and freedom from... More »

Robot-Assisted Prostate Surgery Linked to Problems

Study finds potential issue with non-invasive surgery option

(Newser) - Men who undergo minimally invasive, robot-assisted prostate surgery were more than twice as likely to suffer from impotence and incontinence a year and a half later, compared to those receiving conventional surgery, a new Harvard study has found. Some 4.7% of those treated with laparoscopic surgery, using remote-controlled techniques,... More »

UK Artists Invent 'Neurotic' Robot Band

(Newser) - Cybraphon mimics a neurotic indie band by obsessing over its online presence and knocking out tunes to express its fluctuating moods, Wired reports. Designed by three UK artists, Cybraphon is a musical robot stuffed with an organ, cymbals, a Macbook Pro—and a highly volatile emotion meter. "The Cybraphon... More »

Robot Learns to Smile

(Newser) - It's a milestone for robots: One has learned to smile and make realistic facial expressions on its own for the first time, Wired reports. University of California researchers put their Einstein robot in front of a video camera attached to facial recognition software, which gave it feedback as it randomly... More »

Robotic Suit Helps Paralyzed Take Big Steps

Motorized exoskeleton enables walking, bending, climbing

(Newser) - People paralyzed from the waist down may soon be parking their wheelchairs in favor of a robotic walking suit, CNN reports. Designed by Dr. Amit Goffer, a disabled engineer in Israel, the lightweight exoskeleton of motorized leg supports and motion sensors enables users to walk around. "I don't have... More »

High-Tech Suit Gives Hope to Paralyzed

Israel's ReWalk exoskeleton lets patients paralyzed from the waist down stand upright

(Newser) - A mechanical exoskeleton developed by an Israeli firm allows paraplegics to stand upright and walk, the BBC reports. The ReWalk device consists of a backpack, leg braces and a wrist controller. Once a mode is selected, such as climbing stairs, leaning forward activates motors in the braces. “It lets... More »

Dogs Think Robo-Vacs Suck

Pet owners try to keep the peace between high technology and 'bio-pets'

(Newser) - Dogs are getting more suspicious as robots get more sophisticated, the Wall Street Journal reports. Dog owners find that jealous, territorial, or terrified pooches bark at the robots—and sometimes rip them apart. Some post videos of the battles on YouTube, while others are trying to find ways for canine... More »

Monkeys Move Robotic Arm With Brains

Research could give paralyzed people more mobility

(Newser) - Monkeys were able to control a prosthetic arm with their brains, a development that could someday give paralyzed people and amputees more mobility, the New York Times reports. Researchers put sensors in the monkeys' brains, then trained them to manipulate the robotic arm through their thoughts. It's the most promising... More »

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