Scary Tech of '09: “Liquid” Robots That Can Flow Under a Door

Terminator2.morph Like something out of Terminator 2, researchers are developing techniques for warfare of the future to create materials that self-assemble or alter their shape, perform a function and then disassemble themselves. These capabilities offer the possibility for morphing aircraft and ground vehicles, uniforms that can alter themselves in any climate, and “soft” robots that flow like mercury through small openings to enter caves and bunker complexes.

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Unnatural Selection: Evolving, Improving, Implacable Robots

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It's official: robotics scientists are now just daring the things to kill us.  An Aberdeen University have built a robot programmed to fulfill one objective no matter what, to evolve in order to do so, and to make use of extra materials when they're available.  We're assuming the only reason they didn't call it "Terminator" is because they don't have enough to kill all the MGM lawyers.  Yet.

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Robot Satellite Hunters Coming Soon (No, It's Not a SciFi Flick)

Satellitell German scientists are designing robots to target orbiting communications scientists, and just this once Bond won't kill them.  In fact, if he doesn't want communications problems which make Die Hard With A Vengeance look like four-bar reception they'll stay the hell out of their way.

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Electronic Evolution: Research Show Robots Forming Human-like Societies

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A lone group of Swiss scientists have been using scattered LEDs, neural circuity, and an army of miniature robots to explore the very basis of good and evil.  No, you aren't reading the back cover of a DVD in the "one dollar each, please get this trash out of our store" bin of your local blockbuster -this research is very real and very, very awesome.

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Antarctica's Robot Observatory to Search for Exo Planets

Robota_3_3 Those of you who view Terminator 2 as "survival training" can wind your clockwork "Countdown to Machine War" alarms forward a few years - the first robotic outpost has been assembled, and it's conveniently located in the last place humans will be able to get to it.  A team of astronomically-inclined scientists, who will likely be tried for treason if we can spare a few able bodies from the anti-robot perimeters, have erected a fully automated robotic station in Antarctica.

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Robots Evolution: Adopting Eyes of a Fly

72557931irqwmveiflyseyes Robots with flies' eyes could take advantage of the insect’s vision system to better locate the edges and boundaries of objects. This ability could help robots perform a variety of tasks more quickly and accurately than if they were using traditional sensors enhancing unmanned vehicles, guided missiles, and high-speed industrial inspection robots to locate tiny, moving objects with high precision.

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Dextre -NASA Plans Giant Space Robot

080307dextre_robot_hmed_4pwidec_2 Apparently upset by the total lack of giant space robots attacking Earth, NASA have decided to build their own.  "Dextre" (pronounced "Dexter"), a ten meter wide remote-controlled megabot, will be attached to the side of the International Space Station over the next fortnight.  The robot will be taken up in pieces next Tuesday then assembled over three spacewalks, in a job that makes even the most expensive Perfect Grade Gundam kit look snapping two Lego blocks together.

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Our Nanite Future...

Robota_3_3_3One of the world’s most popular inventor and futurist, Raymond Kurzweil, has been a pioneer of so many fields it is not worth mentioning. He has foreseen a future for us that makes me wake up with a cold sweat; nightmares of robotic overlords still roaming through my mind. According to Kurzweil, one of 18 influential world thinkers chosen to identify the greatest challenges mankind will face in the 21st century, by 2029 we will see robots achieve human level artificial intelligence.

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