Disposable Robots Take Flight

Last Wednesday, I attended AeroVironment’s presentation of their contribution to NASA’s Mars Helicopter mission. The autonomous vertical-lift drone is remarkably capable of flying through the planet’s thin atmosphere, as demonstrated on Earth in a vacuum chamber by their CEO, Wahid Nawabi. The unmanned aerial craft will provide a bird’s eye view of the Martian landscape to … 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

Chappie vs. Terminator

This past weekend box office hit (even with 29 rotten tomatoes) was the adorable robot, Chappie.  As observed by Gary Marcus of the New Yorker, Chappie takes his inspiration from real life artificial intelligence from iCub to Rodney Brook’s Baxter.  The big question being asked by everyone from Elon Musk to car insurance … Read More

Are Robotics the Next Economic Bubble?

I have a knack for sniffing out economic bubbles.  In the 1990’s, I was working on emerging Internet technologies, and then pop.  In the 2000’s, I found myself in the middle of the real estate boom, and oh boy did it go boom.  And now Robotics… My predication is based … Read More

Robot Fantasy or Prophecy?

This summer’s major hit will most likely be “Transformers: Dark of The Moon” These mega-tron hits make me wonder why most movies and fictional pictorials featuring seem to fear robotic wrath rather than celebrate their achievements.  I think the answer is our insecurity with the frailty of our existence.  In … Read More