Robot News Roundup March 9, 2013

10 Mar

Pint-sized Japanese robot heading for ISS

 A robot the size of a human baby will lift off to the International Space Station soon, its job being to speak tweets sent from Earth to a Japanese astronaut. Hmmm, one wonders why it must go all that way, instead of using a satellite phone.

Exoskeleton controlled by the mind to assist the disabled to walk again

Now, this is really good news in the way robotic engineering can be of great assistance to humanity. Exoskeletons have a long history in medicine, the previous term, braces, being used to assist those afflicted with polio, for example, during the 20th century. Using a person’s thoughts to get moving, though, is just sublime. It’s still in the development stage, with trials later this year.

Using a robot to fix satellites – what a cool idea!

Not here yet, but they’re on their way. It’s a great application to remove real people from very hazardous situations – and such a change lets humanity get on with more important tasks. Come to think of it, why not keep a team of maintenance robots in orbit?

Robotics and the workplace

This is where the crunch hits hardest: for sixty years, robots have been used with increasing presence across many industries. Now, job prospects are just going to get worse for some; but others feel that a plethora of opportunities are opening up. The latter might be right. Read here.(Free registration might be necessary.)

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