Robots can be stronger, more robust and invulnerable to certain hazards than people, but at the same time, they can be quite fragile — breaking down when conditions are slightly different than expected or shutting down completely when programming errors bring their computations to a halt. Luckily for us puny humans, we haven’t needed to go head-to-head with any bloodthirsty robots. In the movies, people seem to find convenient Achilles heels for belligerent robots just in the nick of time, but we might not be so fortunate in real life if we make robots smarter and more adaptable than ourselves.
- Researchers are programming robots that can adapt after injury and keep moving using remaining operational appendages. These developers assure everyone that we’ll have plenty of time to build in proper safeguards to prevent a robot uprising. Yup. That’s how all the robot uprisings begin. [url]
- Machine learning robots are learning physical skills via trial and error. Practice makes perfect for a Willow Garage Personal Robot 2 (PR2) — but it can take a really long time if you’re in a rush to have your robot fully trained to do something complex. [url]
- MIT’s robotic cheetah project can now jump over various hurdles autonomously — and without any kind of tethered connection. We’ll have to watch out for this bot when it starts singing “there are no strings on me.” [url]
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