The Race For Robot Clairvoyance

This week a Harvard Business School student challenged me to name a startup capable of producing an intelligent robot – TODAY! At first I did not understand the question, as artificial intelligence (AI) is an implement like any other in a roboticist’s toolbox. The student persisted, she demanded to know … Read More

Reprogramming Nature Into Swarms Of Cyborgs

Summer is not without its annoyances — mosquitos, wasps, and ants, to name a few. As the cool breeze of September pushes us back to work, labs across the country are reconvening tackling nature’s hardest problems. Sometimes forces that seem diametrically opposed come together in beautiful ways, like robotics infused … Read More

The Mechanical Silent Spring

Trump’s Chinese hoax had quite a week with temperatures plummeting over 40 degrees overnight followed by a foot of snow. I write this post buried in a blizzard, as the wind is whipping around my windows. The rattling of glass is a reminder of how often we humans ignore the reality of science. Thankfully, … Read More

Climate Change and Biomimicry Robots

What do Van Gogh, Thoreau, and de Mestral (the inventor of Velcro) have in common? All three great innovators were inspired by nature to create their magnum opus. This week, the Biometry Institute was holding its annual conference to display and explore how future innovations would be further advanced by mimicking nature’s majesty. Recent examples heralded by the Institute include: … Read More

RoboSwarms & RoboSkins (warning: not for the paranoid)

Sometimes the biggest breakthroughs lead to the worst nightmares. I often wake up shaken from a recurring image of insect swarms. Now at the University of Sheffield (United Kingdom) has taken the idea of robotic swarms to a whole new level. This follows the Harvard experiment last year: Swarm robotics studies … Read More

Stupid Robot Tricks – Humans Need Not Apply

Mid-August is always a slow time in New York, and it seems as though the robotic  world has followed step.  So much of the news is about summer bot camps, world robot cups, and even origami robots (which I will discuss below).  Before illustrating how robots can do amazingly stupid … Read More