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Robot With Knives Used In Robotics Injury Study 132

An anonymous reader writes "IEEE Spectrum reports that German researchers, seeking to find out what would happen if a robot handling a sharp tool accidentally struck a human, set out to perform a series of cutting, stabbing, and puncturing tests. They used a robotic manipulator arm, fitted with various sharp tools (kitchen knife, scalpel, screwdriver) and performed striking tests at a block of silicone, a pig leg, and at one point, even the arm of a human volunteer. Volunteer, really?! The story includes video of the tests."

Comment Re:80% of iPhone users? (Score 1) 422

I use a cell phone holder that mounts to the air vent on the dashboard - it's a generic holder that expands far enough side-to-side to accommodate the iPhone, and has a gap at the bottom that's wide enough for the phone charger to be plugged in so I don't waste battery life while using the GPS functions. It's mounted upright (not sideways) but that still works and is visible enough from my driver's seat.

Robot Soldiers Are Already Being Deployed 258

destinyland writes "As a Rutgers philosopher discusses robot war scenarios, one science magazine counts the ways robots are already being used in warfare, including YouTube videos of six military robots in action. There are up to 12,000 'robotic units' on the ground in Iraq, some dismantling landmines and roadside bombs, but 'a new generation of bots are designed to be fighting machines.' One bot can operate an M-16 rifle, a machine gun, and a rocket launcher — and 250 people have already been killed by unmanned drones in Pakistan. He also tells the story of a berserk robot explosives gun that killed nine people in South Africa due to a 'software glitch.'"

Texas Makes Zombie Fire Ants 398

eldavojohn writes "What do you do when a foreign species has been introduced to your land from another continent? Bring over the natural predator from the other continent. Scientists in Texas have introduced four kinds of phorid flies from South America to fight fire ants. These USDA approved flies dive bomb ants and lay an egg inside the ant. The maggot hatches and eats away juicy tender delicious ant brain until the ant is nothing more than a zombie that wanders around for two weeks before the head falls off and the ant dies. A couple of these flies will cause the ants to modify their behavior and this will be a very slow acting solution to curb the $1 billion in damage these ants do to Texas cattle ranches and — oddly enough — electrical equipment like circuit breakers. You may remember zombifying parasites hitting insects like cockroaches."

Robots Take To the Stairs 85

Singularity Hub writes "Robots can climb stairs, and they are doing it everywhere you look. 'No big deal' you say, but it really is a big deal. Five to ten years ago, almost nobody was doing it. Now grad students are doing it all by themselves for thesis projects. Check out our review of robots navigating stairs, which includes some awesome videos."

Robotic Penguins 118

Corporate Troll writes "Robotic penguins were unveiled by German engineering firm Festo this week. Using their flippers, the mechanical penguins (video) can paddle through water just like real ones, while larger helium-filled designs can "swim" through the air. The penguins are on show at the Hannover Messe Trade Exhibition in Germany. Each penguin carries 3D sonar which is used to monitor its surroundings and avoid collisions with walls or other penguins."

NASA Fashions Mountain-Climbing Robot 65

coondoggie writes "NASA researchers today said they had built and tested a robot that can rappel off cliffs, travel over steep and rocky terrain, and explore deep craters. The prototype rover, called Axel, might help future robotic spacecraft better explore and investigate foreign worlds such as Mars. On Earth, Axel might assist in search-and-rescue operations in locations where people might not be able to reach. Axel can operate upside down and right side up and uses only three motors: one to control each of its two wheels and a third to control a lever. The lever contains a scoop to gather lunar or planetary material for scientists to study, and it also adjusts the robot's two stereo cameras, which can tilt 360 degrees, NASA said."

Toward Autonomous Unmanned Aircraft Technology 137

coondoggie writes with a NetworkWorld piece that begins, "Researchers at Purdue will soon experiment with an unmanned aircraft that pretty much flies itself with little human intervention. The aircraft will use a combination of global-positioning system technology and a guidance system called AttoPilot ... to guide the aerial vehicle to predetermined points. Researchers can be stationed off-site to monitor the aircraft and control its movements remotely. AttoPilot was installed in the aircraft early this year, and testing will begin in the spring, researchers said."

Comment Re:I don't get it (Score 1) 1475

That's a specious sophistry. Men and women both can marry someone of the opposite gender, but not someone of the same gender. The only way you can get a right men have that women don't out of that is to *define* the right itself in terms of a specific gender.

There was a similar argument for laws against interracial marriage as well - since no one was allowed to marry outside their race, it was argued, it was not discriminating against any one race. Everyone still had an equal right to marry someone, and all were equally limited to their own race. However, the California Supreme Court rejected this argument in the 1948 Perez v. Sharp decision, which is what the court used as precedent in the recent ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. It didn't matter that the law was not singling out any one race to discriminate against; simply having race as a limiting factor was considered an unreasonable restriction on the right to marry.

The Perez case described the "right to marry" as follows:

the essence of the right to marry is freedom to join in marriage with the person of one's choice

Just as a person cannot help that the one person they choose to marry is of a different race, some cannot help the fact that the one person they choose to marry is of the same gender. Limiting one's available choice for marriage based on gender should be considered, according to CA's equal protection statutes, just as discriminatory as limiting it based on race.


A Robotic Cyberknife To Fight Cancer 80

Roland Piquepaille writes "The Cyberknife is not a real knife. This is a robot radiotherapy machine which works with great accuracy during treatment, thanks to its robotic arm which moves around a patient when he breathes. According to BBC News, the first Cyberknife will be operational in February 2009 in London, UK. But other machines have been installed in more than 15 countries, and have permitted doctors to treat 50,000 patients in the first semester of 2008. And the Cyberknife is more efficient than conventional radiotherapy devices. The current systems require twenty or more short sessions with low-dose radiation. On the contrary, and because it's extremely precise, a Cyberknife can deliver powerful radiation in just three sessions."

Enterprise 2.0 47

mantex writes "The title of this book combines two coded terms — 'Web 2.0' and 'The Enterprise' — for which read 'social networking software' and 'Big Business.' And the purpose is to show how the techniques and concepts behind Web 2.0 applications (blogs, wikis, tagging, RSS, and social bookmarking) can be used to encourage collaboration efforts in what was previously thought of as secretive, competitive businesses." Read on for the rest of Roy's review.

Oil Exploration Leads To Video of a Mysterious Elbowed Squid 256

eldavojohn writes "A rare glimpse from Shell Oil of a giant squid brings to light the strange relationships some deep sea marine biologists have with drilling companies. The video of the squid (Magnapinna) is very rare as this creature remains largely a mystery to science. While some are concerned of a conflict of interest, biologists and big oil sure make for strange bedfellows. The video is from 200 miles off the coast of Houston, TX and about 4,000 feet down." Looking at this creature gives me the willies, frankly.

Comment Re:Pointless conclusions (Score 1) 218

I think you missed the part where the wallet full of cash was part of the scam. The money in the "lost" wallet is provided by the con men to lure in the mark... giving the guy "his share" would mean the con men lose money, which is why they're prepared with a decoy envelope.

Comment Re:Glad to see the interest in Article One Partner (Score 1) 96

Would it be too difficult to list the patent titles in the study description, next to the patent numbers and links? The summaries don't give much info about what patents are in question, but at least listing the titles might help. (For example, in the KEYBOARD - RIMM study, it would help to know that the patent disputes include "Hand-held electronic device with a keyboard optimized for use with the thumbs", "Hand-held e-mail device", "Hand-held electronic device with auxiliary input device", etc.)

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