One of our favorite booths at CES was by Ecovacs Robotics, a company known for their innovative cleaning robots. The company won a CES Innovation Award for RAYBOT, an automated bot that cleans solar panels, and Winbot, their famous window-cleaning robot, also impressed us. But it was the cute little Benebot that won our hearts.
We've seen evolution enacted with early-Earth chemicals, with hermaphroditic robots, and even entirely virtually, using mathematical models. In each, scientists or engineers give the experiment some starting conditions, let it run… then see what happens dozens or hundreds of generations later. There's something appealing about such experiments. Who wouldn't want to play evolution?
And this isn't just a needle dream. Panasonic has once again started selling its Hospi hospital robots, after first developing them a decade ago. At that time, they didn't catch on, and the company only sold a total of two robots, IEEE Spectrum reported. But now, with health care costs rising and improvements in robot tech, the time is right for Hospi. There are now five Hospi's operating in Matsushita Memorial Hospital in Moriguchi, Japan, where they've reduced delivery times by over 30 percent. They each cost US $100,000, and getting the infrastructure to run them costs several hundred thousand more. But once they are up and running there are very low maintenance costs.
Fifteen minutes into the series premiere of Almost Human, a robot gets casually pushed out of a moving car. He, or maybe it’s an it, despite the fact that the MX model of police bot has a distinctly male face and male voice, tumbles onto the highway and is immediately pulverized by other vehicles. The show’s protagonist, Detective John Kennex (played by Karl Urban) doesn’t register anything. Not the dark pleasure of someone whose just destroyed an uppity printer, or the momentary panic that might follow destroying millions of dollars (one can only assume) worth of property, while also endangering the driving public. He pulls the passenger-side door shut, and goes about his grizzled business.
In the centuries-old best friendship between dogkind and humankind, humans are apparently easily replaced with robots. Seemingly loyal canines are totally willing to interact with cold, hard machines, according to a new study in Animal Cognition, gazing lovingly at their robot faces and finding hidden foodstuffs that the robot pointed to. Robots, stop taking things away from us!