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Researchers Teaching Robots to Feel and React to Pain

An artificial nervous system could help robots avoid damaging interactions

An AI Wrote This Short Film—and It’s Surprisingly Entertaining

“In a future with mass unemployment, young people are forced to sell blood.” This is the opening line of a short film entered in this year's Sci-Fi London Film Challenge. It's dark, enigmatic, contemporary…and written by a computer. In fact, the film's entire screenplay is the work of a neural net trained on sci-fi scripts. Show More Summary

The Hyperloop Is One Step Closer to a Full Scale Test Later This Year

Would you like to have Hyperloop in your city? I'm proud to be a founding board member of Hyperloop One (the new name for what was formerly known as Hyperloop Technologies). Last week, I was in the Nevada desert for the Hyperloop Propulsion Open Air Test with the rest of the board, the Hyperloop One team, and hundreds of members of the press. Show More Summary


Harvard’s Microbiotics Lab has been working on a robotic bee for a decade. Now, thanks to electrostatic adhesion, the robotic bee can perch and take off again.   Electrostatic adhesion is similar to rubbing a balloon on your head and sticking … Continue reading ?

Is the World Ready for Synthetic Life? Scientists Plan to Create Whole Genomes

Last weekend, an invite-only group of about 150 experts convened privately at Harvard. Behind closed doors, they discussed the prospect of designing and building an entire human genome from scratch, using only a computer, a DNA synthesizer and raw materials. Show More Summary

Robots: Ladybird

In this episode, Ron Vanderkley interviews James Underwood, a senior research fellow in the Australian Centre for Field Robotics at the University of Sydney. Underwood discusses his work on an autonomous vegetable harvesting robot, Ladybird.

This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through May 21st)

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: Soon We Won’t Program Computers. We’ll Train Them Like Dogs Jason Tanz | WIRED "Whether you’re a member of the coding elite or someone who barely feels competent to futz with the settings on your phone—don’t get used to it. Show More Summary

How the Hidden Mathematics of Living Cells Could Help Us Decipher the Brain

Given how much they can actually do, computers have a surprisingly simple basis. Indeed, the logic they use has worked so well that we have even started to think of them as analogous to the human brain. Current computers basically use...Show More Summary

Harvard Launches Robot Moth

A robotic tobacco hawkmoth joins Harvard's collection of artificial insects

A Virtual Reality Manifesto: The Good, Bad, and the Ugly

“I can’t wait to see the art that people make with this.” Those were the first words from my friend Ryan after spending ten minutes in virtual reality. He’d just tried Tilt Brush, an incredible experience which allows the user to paint in three dimensions. Show More Summary

We Are What We Make: Manufacturing’s Digital Revolution Is Here

Take a moment and look at the objects surrounding you. Maybe you’re reading this article on your computer or cell phone, sitting in a chair, standing at your desk, or riding the local transit system. You may be drinking coffee from your favorite mug or opening the wrapper of your beloved midday snack. Show More Summary

Spiral Zipper Creates Robot Arm Out of a Strip of Plastic

A plastic band with zipper teeth can interlock into a cylindrical robotic arm


Marco Hutter is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems and a fellow of the Society in Science. Marco and his team have created a robot called ANYmal. The robot is a a potential platform for search … Continue reading ?

Self-Driving Trucks Are Coming—Here’s Why They Make Sense

Today sees the un-stealthing of a new company called Otto which plans to build self-driving systems for long haul trucks. The company has been formed by a skilled team, including former members of Google’s car team and people I know well. Show More Summary

Prosthetic Hand Restores Amputee's Sense of Touch

Implanted electrodes make this haptic hand feel like the real deal

A Big Shift Is Coming and It Could Uber-ize Entire Industries

Who will rule the future economy—entrepreneurs or mega corporations? Will the economy fracture into smaller and smaller bits or centralize in a winner-take-all scenario? The answer, according to John Hagel, is it depends where you look. Show More Summary

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