Archives for July 19, 2009

Weekly Newswrap

For this week, there are four stories for the Newswrap.  Today brings an article on space robots that have largely supplanted humans in extraterrestrial exploration.  The excerpt below refers to the robotic candidate for repairing the Hubble Telescope.  Next, the robot grappling hook that could allow machines to swing tree to tree or at least jump a tall obstacle in its way.  The other posts refer to a talking robotic car and artificial intelligence.   Memristors are an electronic innovation that could revolutionize robotics.  Read more on these articles at the links below.

Robots With the Right Stuff

The leading candidate was Dextre, a robot currently working on the international space station. In a head-to-head analysis of abilities, a special committee
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Robots With the Right Stuff
Washington Post – United States
Sun, 19 Jul 2009 04:36:58 GMT

Blog – Robot to Get Spiderman Skills (Technology Review)

A new grappling hook could let robots swing from tree to tree.

Blog – Robot to Get Spiderman Skills (Technology Review)
Wed, 15 Jul 2009 14:11:13 GMT

Coming soon: Talking cars that will avoid crashes! – Economic Times

NEW YORK: Talking cars aren't science fiction anymore – thanks to scientists who have developed a set of algorithms that will allow robotic cars of the future to communicate with each other to help avoid collisions. An international team, led by …

Coming soon: Talking cars that will avoid crashes! – Economic Times
Tue, 14 Jul 2009 05:50:00 GMT

From Slime to AI: The Story of Memristance

A NewScientist article summarizes the memristor revolution so far and predicts great things for AI as a result. To summarize their summary. Leon Chua mathematically predicted the existence of a fourth basic circuit component in addition to the resistor, capacitor, and inductor. He named this mythical component a memristor. It was similar to a resistor but "remembered" current. Memristors appeared not to exist, so Chua moved on to other research. 30 years later, HP Researchers stumbled onto a real memristor while trying to make low-power switches (Missing Memristor Found PDF format). The race was on. Memristance could revolutionize electronics. But here the story takes a detour in the world of intelligence. Physicist Max Di Ventra was studying P. polycephalum, a slime mould that puzzled researchers because it acted intelligently and learned without the benefit of neurons. He realized the slime mould acted as a memristor, confirming a suspicion Chua had that memristance could explain how organisms learn. It turns out memristors behave like neural synapses. Researchers are now working on hybrid transistor-memristor chips that will be able to reproduce some of the brain's processes. For more, try the HP Memristor FAQ.

From Slime to AI: The Story of Memristance
Mon, 13 Jul 2009 21:31:05 GMT

Robot Writes Messages of Hope

Here is a great story.  You can send a message to the Chalkbot and have it printed on the roads of the Tour de France.  See the story link below for all the details.  The bot is printing out 400 to 500 messages a day, most of them are messages for cancer survivors, however, there are a few marriage proposals mixed in. 

Chalkbot, a mobile robot sponsored by Nike and cyclist Lance Armstrong's Livestrong Foundation, prints messages on the pavement in front of cyclists competing now in the Tour de France. Winding its way along the route of the Tour de France, through …

Robot's road messages cheer cyclists, spectators in France – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Fri, 17 Jul 2009 22:14:00 GMT

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