AMC's latest Sci-Fi show Humans takes us into another world. A world, that....actually, looks incredibly familiar. The streets, the cars, the landscape, the computers, all seem pretty close to our world today. Except for, you know, the eerily humanoid robots that are there to serve humanity's every whim.
When it comes to drone law, some opinions are more equal than others. A bill sitting on the Illinois Governor's desk would create an “Unmanned Aerial System Oversight Task Force”, with 22 set-aside seats for representatives from different groups who might reasonably have opinions on drone use. So long as the public is included, it's a good idea, but there's something strange about the list: it completely omits any group concerned with civil liberties, and it also leaves out the media.
An engineer in Perth wants to mechanize one of humanity's oldest jobs. His robot is named “Hadrian,” after the Roman Emperor who built a wall in Northern Britain, and it can lay 1,000 bricks an hour. With a building plan programmed in, it calculates the location of each brick, then uses its 28-foot-long arm to them in place and secures them with mortar.
Your home is about to get a whole lot smarter. On Monday, Amazon announced its artificially intelligent bluetooth speaker—the Amazon Echo—is being made publicly available for purchase. The Echo was first unveiled in November 2014, but it was sold on an invitation-only basis until this week. The device is one of the first always-on, voice controlled intelligent home appliances that connects to the Internet and controls third-party services. It can answer trivia questions, tell you the weather, add items to a shopping list, and much more.
Maybe what's stopping drone deliveries isn't just the massive logistical hurdles of short-range unmanned flights, combined with legal obstacles and public skepticism of small flying robots. Perhaps what drone deliveries really need is a quadcopter specifically made to carry stuff and release it, a dedicated flying truck. Flytrex Sky wants to be the drone that changes that: a GPS-guided quadcopter that's just really good at carrying small loads.
Cockroaches are amazingly skilled at slipping through the cracks of walls, rubble, and ruins. While this makes them annoying household pests, it also means their bodies are useful for searching through rubble to find disaster survivors. In the past, scientists have strapped electronic controls to the backs of real-live cockroaches, creating controllable cyborgs for future rescue work. Now, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have made a new robot that can slip through cracks just like a real roach, but without the ick factor.