In the popular imagination, robots have been portrayed alternatively as friendly companions or existential threat. But while robots are becoming commonplace in many industries, they are neither C-3PO nor the Terminator. Cambridge researchers are studying the interaction between robots and humans – and teaching them how to do the very difficult things that we find easy. Click here to find out more.
Scientists have developed a 3D-printed robotic hand which can play simple musical phrases on the piano by just moving its wrist. And while the robot is no virtuoso, it demonstrates just how challenging it is to replicate all the abilities of a human hand, and how much complex movement can still be achieved through design.
Will automation, AI and robotics mean a jobless future, or will their productivity free us to innovate and explore? Is the impact of new technologies to be feared, or a chance to rethink the structure of our working lives and ensure a fairer future for all?
Could replicants ever be a reality? In this article from The Conversation, Fumiya Iida (Department of Engineering) discusses what it would take to make a truly life-like robot.
Opinion: Robots and AI could soon have feelings, hopes and rights … we must prepare for the reckoning28 Feb 2017
Is artificial intelligence a benign and liberating influence on our lives – or should we fear an impending rise of the machines? And what rights should robots share with humans? Christopher Markou, a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Law, suggests an urgent need to start considering the answers.
Researchers have built a nano-engine that could form the basis for future applications in nano-robotics, including robots small enough to enter living cells.
Teaching machines to see: new smartphone-based system could accelerate development of driverless cars21 Dec 2015
Two technologies which use deep learning techniques to help machines to see and recognise their location and surroundings could be used for the development of driverless cars and autonomous robotics – and can be used on a regular camera or smartphone.
Fumiya Iida (Department of Engineering) discusses the "mother" robot he has built with his colleagues, and why reacting to developments in robotics with undue fear could stifle research and creativity.
Researchers have observed the process of evolution by natural selection at work in robots, by constructing a ‘mother’ robot that can design, build and test its own ‘children’, and then use the results to improve the performance of the next generation, without relying on computer simulation or human intervention.