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the robots are coming

the robots are coming

Humans See Other Humans in Everything So Try Not to Fall in Love With Your Connected Fridge

For instance. (Rotten Tomatoes)

Humans are relentless in our tendency to anthropomorphize, which explains everything from our love of Internet cat photos to the stubborn persistence of the Roomba. But this video, picked up by Boing Boing, demonstrates just how far our species of weirdos will go to make friends.

Researchers at the University of Calgary put volunteers in a room with a wooden stick rigged so it’d move around randomly. It had no face or display and made no sounds. And yet, people sitting in the room consistently interacted with it as though it were animate. “I don’t want to fight you,” insisted one bro in a polo. “No, I don’t want to fight you, robot!” Read More

the robots are coming

Teens Do Something Decent, Create Robotic Locker Opener for Disabled Classmate

(Photo: Flickr, JMR_Photography)

We were all ready to write off the youth of the species thanks to #followateen, and now DVice brings us a story about techie high schoolers that doesn’t evolve hazing, cyber bullies or trashy prom dresses. Will wonders never cease?

According to DVice, muscular dystrophy has left Nick Torrance, a student at Pinckney Community High School, wheelchair-bound. Luckily, two of his classmates won the 2012 SkillsUSA national robotics competition, and their coach told them to help him get his locker open easier.

And so:  Read More

the robots are coming

There’s Now a ‘Campaign to Stop Killer Robots,’ Just in Case

SHIT! (screencap, annotated by us)

Does the prospect of Skynet keep you awake at night? Well, now there’s something you can do to fight your fears, besides chucking your Sarah Connor Chronicles DVDs. The BBC reports that yesterday, the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots officially launched in London.

The group is exactly what it sounds like. Founded by reps from nine different NGOs, including the Human Rights Watch, International Committee for Robot Arms Control and Nobel Women’s Initiative, the campaign wants a “pre-emptive and comprehensive ban” on fully autonomous weapons. Read More

the robots are coming

No Big Deal, DARPA’s Just Building Space Wall-E

Artist's rendering.

Looks like DARPA is still hard at work combing through that office video library for new ideas. Wired reports that the Pentagon’s resident mad scientists have just released an update on their Phoenix project, an attempt to make satellites less earth-shatteringly expensive. And what have the brains in the basement (we assume their office is in a basement and also looks like the set of the IT Crowd) dreamed up? 

Basically, it’s Wall-E in space. Read More

the robots are coming

Uh Oh, the Parrots and the Robots are Teaming Up

Don't look so innocent, parrot. (Photo: screencap)

Andrew Gray, computer engineering grad student at the University of Florida couldn’t get his parrot, Pepper, to shut up. Pepper would scream whenever he found himself alone in a room. So, as ABC News reports, Mr. Gray built his pet a little robotic buggy, controlled via a little joystick that Pepper pilots with his beak.

It is not immediately clear why Pepper could not just fly to where the humans were.   Read More