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Robots in Space

We often use robots in environments that are harsh or unfriendly to humans. In space, there is a starkly drawn line between friendly and unfriendly environments – it’s called inside and outside. Inside the space habitats we will live in, it will be warm and well lit and safe. Outside it will be cold and […]

Service Robots Help Us

Service robots are machines designed to help us with chores and other tasks. Automated floor vacuuming systems and unmanned airborne vehicles (drones) are common examples. Hospitals use robots to deliver drugs and to aid in surgery. Availability, lack of fatigue, wide sensory input, precision, strength, and other factors make robots ideal human service helpers. Here […]

The Future of Jobs is Half-full

It has become clear that automation is going to replace many old jobs. But the ramifications of that change is an old issue, going back at least to the Luddites, who destroyed machines that they thought were disrupting their working environment. As robots and automation replace old jobs, they create new technologies and new wealth […]

Growing Food in Space

Once we establish living habitats in space, it will not be practical to lift food out of the gravity well on Earth for consumption in space. Rather, food will be grown where it is consumed, using advanced agricultural techniques and robot attendants. Gravity will be supplied by rotation of the habitat. Water used in agriculture […]

AI Challenge – Ants

The Ants – AI Challenge allows contestants to create small programs that control a group of ants that are in competition with other groups of ants. You can control how the ants explore the map, avoid collisions, gather food, spawn and attack enemies. Once you have a strategy encoded, your ant colony can compete against […]

Sex With AI

We already have the ability to have sex with a variety of machines and to have sex in virtual environments (from telephone and text based sex to full blown virtual worlds with avatars). The real goal of most sexual interaction is not just orgasmic release, but a sense of an intimate connection with another being. […]

Ethics of AIs

Most discusssions of ethics in AIs or robots involve implanting some kind of code of behavior into the system that ensures the kind of behavior that we would agree with. Asimov’s three laws of robotics are an example of this type of “ethical governor”. Since the definition of intelligence implies some reasoning ability and at […]

Robot Ethics

Isaac Asimov may have been the first to propose rules of ethics for robots, but he won’t be the last. As AI and robots become more integrated into our daily lives, the ethical considerations that govern their actions will become more important. The ethics of robots is becoming an issue in our everyday lives. Robot […]

Willow Garage Robot Navigates

Willow Garage Personal Robot 2 (PR2) has successfully passed a benchmark test that included not just navigating around an office space and plugging itself into power outlets, but also negotiating some planned obstacles. Milestone 2 Reached! Now You Can Watch It This particular run had our PR2 alpha robot navigate through eight doors, and plug […]

Asimov’s Ethics Rules

Isaac Asimov formulated his famous three rules of robotics in order to give the robots in his science fiction stories a credible operating basis and the means for interesting plot twists based on apparent contradictions within the rules and how they might be resolved. The rules were as follows: A robot may not injure a […]