The Rise and Fall of the Machines

The engineers at Boston Dynamics have done it again, and this time with a video that will make you feel sorry for the robots. The new Atlas humanoid robot is “designed to operate outdoors and inside buildings,” Boston Dynamics wrote in a description of the video posted on YouTube. Weighing in at 180 lbs (82 kg) and standing 5’9″ (1.75 m) tall, its a slimmer … Continue reading The Rise and Fall of the Machines

Cyro – Large Robot Jellyfish

  A robotic jellyfish. Go figure. Cyro is a human-sized jellyfish robot developed by team of researchers at Virginia Tech College of Engineering, headed by Shashank Priya. They modeled it on one of the world’s largest jellyfish, Cyanea capillata (AKA lion’s mane jellyfish). Cyro is a larger version of Virginia Tech’s human hand sized RoboJelly. “Jellyfish make great models for self-powered and autonomous bots partly … Continue reading Cyro – Large Robot Jellyfish

Calling All Disaster Recovery Robots

A few weeks ago, DARPA (the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) announced that it would hold competitions for autonomous robots that would give aid to victims of natural or man-made disasters and conduct evacuation operations.Calling it the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC), the agency is looking for anyone who can advance current robot technology past existing limits to create an autonomous bot for the DOD’s “disaster … Continue reading Calling All Disaster Recovery Robots

Brain-Machine Interface (BMI) – Part 1

Earlier this week, The Associated Press reported that a paralyzed man remotely controlled a simple robot using only thoughts.  (The images shown here are not from that experiment, but from one done three years ago by Honda.  More on that later.) The robot was a small, simple device that moved on wheels, was equipped with a camera, and had a laptop computer perched on top.  … Continue reading Brain-Machine Interface (BMI) – Part 1

Healing Stones – Part 3: More Targeted Cancer Therapy

All that glitters is not gold.  Sometimes it is cancer. How about gold-plated cancer? We can do that now, or more technically: gold nanoparticles infused with an antibody called cetuximab attach to growth factors (EGFR) expressed on the surface of some cancer cells.  In other words, bind just the right antibodies to gold nanoparticles, inject them into tissue, and cancer cells will be covered with gold. Ok, … Continue reading Healing Stones – Part 3: More Targeted Cancer Therapy

Healing Stones – Part 2: Targeted Cancer Therapy

How do you get a nano-robot to target and kill just cancer cells but leave healthy cells alone? Think like a suicide bomber: Carry a concealed mass killing weapon like a bomb, Act and look like you belong, Get into the enemy’s site, and Blow it up. Nanotechnology for medicine does not necessarily mean robotic machinery. On the nanometer scale, the mechanism is more like … Continue reading Healing Stones – Part 2: Targeted Cancer Therapy

Healing Stones – Part 1: Bio-Nano-Robots to the Rescue

I just got back from the doctor for a cybernetic implant tune-up.  She got on my case for going beyond the six month recommended tune-up cycle.  I also haven’t been taking the prescribed minerals the nano-factories need to spit out the little doctors. Tsk tsk. What? You haven’t heard about little doctors? (Yes, this is fictional.) How about nanites? No? What century are you living in, the 21st?  OK, I’ll explain.  … Continue reading Healing Stones – Part 1: Bio-Nano-Robots to the Rescue