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Posts tagged "robots"


In Focus: Robots at Work and Play

Advancements in robotics are continually taking place in the fields of space exploration, health care, public safety, entertainment, defense, and more. These machines — some fully autonomous, some requiring human input — extend our grasp, enhance our capabilities, and travel as our surrogates to places too dangerous for us to go. NASA currently has dozens of robotic missions underway, with satellites now in orbit around our moon and four planets — and two more on the way to Ceres and Pluto. Gathered here are recent images of robotic technology at the beginning of the 21st century. 

See more. [Images: USMC/Sgt. Mallory S. VanderSchans, AP Photo/Yonhap, Park Dong-joo]


South Korea’s robotic prison guards have arrived. 

The 5-foot-tall guards come equipped with advanced 3-D cameras and microphones to detect signs of erratic or dangerous behavior — to prevent things such as suicide attempts — and can summon human allies when necessary.

Watch the robo-guards in action

(via flavorpill)


The Day Yahoo Decided I Liked Reading About Child Murder

On February 8, 2012, I was on Yahoo’s homepage when a headline caught my eye: “Mo. teen gets life with possible parole in killing.” Curious, I clicked to see what atrocity had transpired in the state where I live. Alyssa Bustamante, a teenager from Jefferson City, had strangled and stabbed her nine-year-old neighbor for the sheer thrill of it, later describing the event in her diary as an “ahmazing” experience. Horrified, I closed the page. Like many whose homepage defaults to Yahoo, this quick scan of a story was a rote action, information via procrastination, almost subconsciously performed every morning before I move on to other things. In this case, the story was so awful that I wanted to get away. Except, it turned out, I couldn’t.

For the next month, I woke up to a barrage of horrifying stories that seemed to signal an epidemic of child torture in America. “3-year-old recovering after swallowing 37 powerful magnets,” Yahoo solemnly informed me on March 5; “Police: Alaska girl locked in frigid bedroom dies” on March 6. Occasionally the child in question survived their ordeal (“7-year-old boy survives brush with tornado in North Carolina”, March 4) but more often than not they were the adversary (“Boy, 9, charged in shooting of third-grade classmate”, February 23; “11-year-old California girl dies after fight with classmate”, February 26; “Texas boy, 12, accused of brandishing loaded gun”, February 27; “10-year-old girl’s death in fight with student ruled homicide”, February 27).  

I rarely clicked on any of these headlines, and at first, I didn’t notice the way they had crept into my Yahoo homepage — and into my mind — until their pervasiveness became impossible to ignore.

That’s when I realized: Yahoo had decided I liked child murder.

Read more.