Robots and Robotics
Experimental Architecture and Design studio Minimaforms has put a new swing on the petting zoo: they've opened up one without animals. Well, sort of: instead of fluffy goats and bunnies, they offer a bizarre, slinky-like "pets," all equipped with the capacity to learn. Animals are so last decade.
This just in, folks: NASA has built Iron Man. Well, sorta. The Valkyrie One Robot is the result of a months-long secret project at the Johnson Space station. It's six foot two, weighs one hundred twenty-five kilograms, and is completely autonomous.
One of the greatest concerns facing the modern robotics industry is the notion that, eventually, robots might replace human laborers in many positions, leading to a huge job shortage. According to Paul Krugman, this might actually be a good thing.
Some of you may have noticed that this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Parade had a very special guest in attendence to get things started: a robot. Known as SONIC, the robot is the result of work by the Woodlands High School's local robotics club in Texas, winners of the FIRST robotics competition.
Most flying machines imitate creatures of the sky with their designs. That might not be wholly necessary. Turns out not everything without wings is grounded - researchers at New York University have created a flying robot modeled after a jellyfish. It works very, very well.