Tagged: robots

Super cute home robots are coming, but think twice before you trust them - Guest Work

Guest Work Oct 09, 2017

By Cherie Lacey, Victoria University of Wellington and Catherine Caudwell, Victoria University of Wellington (pictured) Following several delays, a new range of social domestic robots is expected to enter the market at the end of this year. They are no ordinary bots. Designed to provide companionship and care, they recognise faces and voices of close family and … Read More

Crafted bots - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Aug 31, 2017

We are getting used to seeing sleek, industrial robots. (I’m looking at you Air NZ). And previously I’ve noted some animal-inspired machines. From these and other technological developments we can tend to expect the future to be shiny, hard-edged and efficient. A different approach is being explored with “Blossom” (and others), a DIY soft robot … Read More

How to make robots that we can trust - Guest Work

Guest Work Aug 30, 2017

By Prof Michael Winikoff, University of Otago Self-driving cars, personal assistants, cleaning robots, smart homes – these are just some examples of autonomous systems. With many such systems already in use or under development, a key question concerns trust. My central argument is that having trustworthy, well-working systems is not enough. To enable trust, the design of autonomous systems … Read More

Autonomous beasts and where to find them - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Mar 02, 2017

Seeing Boston Dynamics’ latest robot “Handle” got me thinking about the diversity of other autonomous (or nearly so) robots that have appeared over the last few years.   I’ve previously noted the prediction of a robotic “Cambrian explosion”. We aren’t at that stage yet, but it is interesting to look at the variety “out” there. Though mostly … Read More

Cyborg bugs - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Feb 10, 2017

Here’s a sci-fi scenario that may become reality: genetically modified cyborgs susceptible to mind control. That’s the plan for a collaboration between engineering R&D firm Draper and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  They are focusing on dragonflies, and using optogenetics so that their movements can be controlled by light. The techniques and technologies are there, … Read More

What’s around the corner? Sciblogs Horizon Scan - News

John Kerr Jan 30, 2017

What does the future hold in store for New Zealand science? What are the big issues our small, isolated country will face in a world of accelerating change? Over last two weeks we’ve seen some excellent commentary from New Zealand researchers contributing to our Sciblogs Horizon Scan special series. We asked experts across the spectrum of New Zealand science to … Read More

‘Smart robots’ and the law - Guest Work

Guest Work Jan 22, 2017

By Associate Professor Colin Gavaghan, Director of the New Zealand Law Foundation Centre for Law and Policy in Emerging Technologies, University of Otago The European Parliament’s Draft Report on Robotics has certainly captured the public imagination, and it’s easy to see why. Proposals about ‘smart robots,’ ‘robot killswitches’ and ‘electronic persons’ perfectly capture the zeitgeist, where talk of … Read More

Weird Science: Robot bubs got teen girls pregnant - Guest Work

Guest Work Dec 29, 2016

School-based programs that aim to reduce teen pregnancies by giving girls a ‘robot baby’ to look after, simulating the experience of having a real infant, actually have the opposite effect, Australian scientists announced in August. They found teen girls who cared for a technological tot were more, rather than less, likely to get pregnant. Similar programs are used in … Read More

High-Tech Sechs - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Apr 09, 2016

Wired magazine has always been somewhat of a tech fetish publication. Recently they’ve highlighted fetish tech. Silicone valley comes to “adult” toys. [I’m not revealing anything explicit here]. It’s not the sad and seedy that you may expect. These are items designed to be flaunted, or at least not to be seen as embarrassing items hidden away in a … Read More

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