First came robots, then robotic plants that grow

First came robots, then robotic plants that grow

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Robotic plants could help find mines and pollutants buried in soil, or be used to explore alien planets for signs of organic material.   Plants are getting a lot of attention all of a sudden, whether it’s from researchers who are trying to turn them...

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World first as Japanese rovers relay incredible photos from distant ancient asteroid

World first as Japanese rovers relay incredible photos from distant ancient asteroid

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF In galactic terms Earth’s neighbourhood is huge, and we’re only just beginning to explore it.   First Japan wants to be the world’s first country to drill a hole through the Earth’s mantle, and build the world’s first space elevator, and now the Japan Aerospace...

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A robot taught itself how to identify and manipulate objects autonomously

A robot taught itself how to identify and manipulate objects autonomously

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Robots that can autonomously identify and skill-fully manipulate objects without needing to be previously trained could revolutionise the robotics industry.   Human dexterity is an impressive skill that requires both our body’s fine motor skills and highly efficient visual acuity, and despite recent advances from...

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DeepMind’s AI now has human like 3D vision

DeepMind’s AI now has human like 3D vision

WHY THIS MATERS IN BRIEF As we come to rely on robots and automated systems more in our daily lives their ability to accurately perceive our world is crucial.   If I showed you a single picture of a room it’s likely you’d be able to tell me about it...

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MIT created a nanobot spray that gives dumb objects superpowers

MIT created a nanobot spray that gives dumb objects superpowers

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to spray nanobots onto surfaces and objects is a fast way to turn them from dumb objects into smart ones that have new sensing capabilities.   You may have sworn off aerosol sprays back in the 1990’s when everyone was talking about the hole...

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Canada ends its three year Universal Basic Income trial two years early

Canada ends its three year Universal Basic Income trial two years early

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Governments fear the fall out from the mass automation of jobs by AI will be extreme so they’re investigating new welfare systems to limit the damage, but solutions are illusive.   4,000 people in Ontario, Canada just lost their Universal Basic Income (UBI) cash and...

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Ocado shows off the world’s most advanced automated warehouse

Ocado shows off the world’s most advanced automated warehouse

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As technology and robotics get better it won’t be long before all warehouses are completely automated.   They call it “The Hive,” or “The Grid.” Or sometimes just: “The machine.” It’s a huge structure that fills a warehouse on the outskirts of Andover, a small...

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OpenAI’s robot hand handles objects with human-like dexterity

OpenAI’s robot hand handles objects with human-like dexterity

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Robots struggle with tasks that involve dexterity, but that problem could soon be solved.   Artificial Intelligence (AI) advances are increasingly making headlines as we witness breakthrough after breakthrough, whether it’s in the creation of self-driving cars, or in the creation of the world’s first...

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Rolls Royce is building cockroach like robots and snakes to fix airplane engines

Rolls Royce is building cockroach like robots and snakes to fix airplane engines

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF In the future we’ll see more maintenance jobs performed by robots of all sizes.   Typically engineers want to get bugs out of their creations but that’s not the case for Rolls Royce, the engineering company who are building everything from autonomous cargo ships and...

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A controversial AI can allegedly reveal your personality from just a photo

A controversial AI can allegedly reveal your personality from just a photo

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF A system that can tell a persons personality from a photo can be used to help approve loans, provide better healthcare, and create smarter surveillance solutions.   In the past I’ve heard of Artificial Intelligent (AI) platforms that can, controversially, judge a persons character from...

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Scientists put a worms mind into a Lego robot to control it, and it worked

Scientists put a worms mind into a Lego robot to control it, and it worked

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The convergence of biological intelligence with robotics will be an area of increasing interest in the future.   It’s not something you do every day, put a worms brain into a Lego robot… but then again you’re probably not a scientist. This is the promise...

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US military starts trialling robotic surgeons in the battlefield

US military starts trialling robotic surgeons in the battlefield

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to monitor the health of soliders in battle will help keep them at peak efficiency, and military robot surgeons will help save lives on the battlefield.   Keeping soldiers healthy has always been a struggle but there may soon be a high tech solution after US...

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Robots in extreme environments, going where no human can, or wants to go

Robots in extreme environments, going where no human can, or wants to go

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Robots are on the rise, they’re getting more capable of handling more situations, and this presents businesses around the world, and especially in the UK, with new opportunities.   Robots are set to play an increasing role in our future, and today there are many...

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Fantastic self-healing material regenerates after suffering “catastrophic damage”

Fantastic self-healing material regenerates after suffering “catastrophic damage”

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There are lots of dangerous industrial applications, and other use cases, where equipment of all kinds suffer extreme wear and tear, this new material could extend the life of products by multiples of time.   The idea of creating self-repairing machines has been a popular...

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Stab these soft robots and they’ll self-heal instantly

Stab these soft robots and they’ll self-heal instantly

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Materials are an integral part of many products, and ones that can self-heal will help extend the life and usefulness of the products they’re used to make.   Robots already seem to have a great bag of tricks to draw on. They can balance, run,...

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Nvidia unveil Isaac, a virtual simulator to help companies create advanced robots

Nvidia unveil Isaac, a virtual simulator to help companies create advanced robots

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the world comes to rely more and more on bots and robots we need better, and faster, ways to train them.   A newly expanded simulator system could be our high-speed ticket to building fully autonomous bots and robots, or so says Nvidia’s CEO....

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EU law makers are thinking of letting people sue robots

EU law makers are thinking of letting people sue robots

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As automation, in the form of autonomous hardware and software based robots, becomes more commonplace, law makers are debating who should be responsible for their actions.   If a robot, acting autonomously, injures or otherwise wrongs a human, who will be held responsible? Some European...

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Slow human co-workers get Flippy the burger flipping robot fired

Slow human co-workers get Flippy the burger flipping robot fired

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the world continues to embrace automation one of the biggest problems could be figuring out the best way for robots and humans to work together.   After debuting to much fanfare last year Flippy the burger flipping robot, made by Miso Robotics, who was...

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Futurist keynote, London: The Future of Investing, STOXX Annual Conference

Futurist keynote, London: The Future of Investing, STOXX Annual Conference

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There has, arguably, never been a better time, or a risker time to invest in today’s markets, but as every industry undergoes titanic transformation investors who are ill advised, or who lack the right vision, could quickly find themselves on the wrong end of tomorrow’s...

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Futurist keynote, Reading: Adapt or Die, Cherwell European Conference

Futurist keynote, Reading: Adapt or Die, Cherwell European Conference

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The pace of change, and disruption, is accelerating. In this presentation I show just how fast, and how crazy, the world’s business environment is getting, it’s impact on every sector, and what you can do to future proof yourself.   Firstly, I’d like to thank...

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