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Posts Tagged "robotics"

Budding Scientist

Hot Bots: How Arduino Teaches Kids the Science behind Modern Gizmos

Guest post by Michael R. Duffey There is a wide variety of creative projects which can help introduce children to the world of microcontrollers.  A microcontroller is simply a small computer that can interact with the outside world.  It can connect different types of “inputs” (such as sensing a motion, force, or temperature change) to [...]

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Solar-Powered Ford Aims to Drive Off-Grid


Solar-powered cars have been little more than a novelty to date, experimental vehicles resembling photovoltaic-laden surfboards designed mostly for racing across deserts. Expensive batteries, relatively inefficient PV energy conversion and the lack of intense sunlight in many places have made sun-powered passenger vehicles impractical. Ford is looking to change that with a version of its [...]

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What Is the Uncanny Valley? [Video]

uncanny valley chart

Lifelike robots and animations can elicit a response that’s somewhere between uncomfortable and creeped out. Scientific American editor Larry Greenemeier explains why in our latest Instant Egghead video: More to explore: What Should a Robot Look Like? (Scientific American) Is the Uncanny Valley Real? (BBC Future) Translation of Masahiro Mori’s 1970 paper (IEEE Spectrum) – [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Paralyzed Woman Walks Again, with the Aid of a Robot

Amanda in her wheelchair

ASPEN. Life can change in an instant. We all know this, but we forget, or try to forget, this fact—until something happens that makes it hard to ignore. An attractive blonde in a bright red blouse sits in a wheelchair before the assembled scientists, doctors, writers and members of the community. We are in a [...]

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Talking back

Action Plan: Making Brain-Controlled Prosthetics That Can Open a Clothespin

Last year a group of researchers at Brown and Harvard universities reported on a study called Braingate, in which a paralyzed woman picked up a container of coffee with a robotic arm and drank from it through a straw, an action directed by electrical signals from her motor cortex. Brain-controlled interfaces have advanced dramatically during [...]

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