Monday, 30 June 2014

First production HondaJet takes-off

Honda Aircraft Company has announced that its first production HondaJet has taken to the skies. The flight, which took place at HondaJet’s headquarters at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina, moves the executive jet aircraft closer to certification ahead of a planned entry into service next year... Continue Reading First production HondaJet takes-off

Section: Aircraft

Tags: Aircraft, Business, GE, Honda, HondaJet, Jets

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Sunday, 29 June 2014

Crowdsourcing could help robots learn new tasks faster

If robots are going to work alongside humans, the machines are going to need to swallow their pride and learn to ask for help. At least, that’s the thinking of computer scientists at the University of Washington (UW), who are working on ways for robots to crowdsource their problems when learning new tasks. If successful, this approach points the way toward future robots that are capable of asking for assistance to speed up their learning when it comes to figuring out how to carry out household tasks... Continue Reading Crowdsourcing could help robots learn new tasks faster

Section: Robotics

Tags: Crowdsource, Learning, Robotics, Robots, University of Washington

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New water-based organic battery is cheap, rechargeable and eco-friendly

Lithium-ion batteries have made portable, rechargeable electronics commonplace. Unfortunately, they do have some glaring drawbacks, including heat issues, being made with rare, toxic elements, and the fact the technology doesn't scale up very well, which limits applications. A team of scientists at the University of Southern California (USC) is working on an alternative in the form of a water-based organic battery that is not only cheaper and more environmentally friendly, but also holds the potential for scaling up for use in wind and solar power plants as a means to store large amounts of energy. .. Continue Reading New water-based organic battery is cheap, rechargeable and eco-friendly

Section: Electronics

Tags: Battery, Electricity, Fuel Cell, Organic, Rechargeable, University of Southern California

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Saturday, 28 June 2014

Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo gets real at Goodwood

Virtual reality became reality reality at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this week as Nissan unveiled the physical version of its Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo “virtual supercar.” The futuristic concept will be available next month as an avatar in PlayStation Gran Turismo 6 to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the driving game... Continue Reading Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo gets real at Goodwood

Section: Automotive

Tags: Cars, Concept Cars, Festival of Speed, Goodwood, Gran Turismo, Japan, Nissan,Supercars, Vision

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LG's G Watch is official, ships in early July for US$229

LG Electronics (LG) has unveiled the LG G Watch; one of the first smartwatches to use Android Wear to produce a minimalist design aimed at a mass audience. Like other Android Wear watches, you don’t press buttons to control it – you chat with it... Continue Reading LG's G Watch is official, ships in early July for US$229

Section: Wearable Electronics

Tags: Android, Bluetooth, Smartwatch, Voice recognition, Watches, Wearable

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Force-tracking shoes go offworld

Given that there isn't any gravity on the International Space Station you’d think that shoes would be a very low priority, but on the latest Russian Soyuz capsule to dock with the station, NASA sent along a pair of high-tech ForceShoes to monitor astronauts as they exercise to make sure they get the full benefits of their workouts... Continue Reading Force-tracking shoes go offworld

Section: Space

Tags: Astronauts, Exercise, International Space Station, NASA, Shoes, University of Twente

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Jaguar to give F-Type Project 7 roadster a limited production run

Like McLaren with its MSO 650S, Jaguar has used this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed to debut a vehicle making the jump from concept to limited production run. For Jaguar it's the F-Type Project 7, a fully road-legal two-seater roadster described as the "most performance-focused derivative of the acclaimed F-Type range," and the fastest and most powerful production Jaguar ever built... Continue Reading Jaguar to give F-Type Project 7 roadster a limited production run

Section: Automotive

Tags: Festival of Speed, Goodwood, Jaguar, Jaguar F-type, Production, Roadster

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Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Glastonbury gets free "moobile" Wi-Fi hotspots

Running on and off since 1970, Britain’s Glastonbury Festival is famous for hosting such acts as David Bowie, The Who, Coldplay, and Beyoncé. It’s also famous for its sea of mud and streams flowing through tents thanks to the typical English weather. This year, high tech meets the bucolic at the Festival as visitors are greeted by a herd of life-sized, glass-fiber cows that double as free Wi-Fi hotspots to keep them connected... Continue Reading Glastonbury gets free "moobile" Wi-Fi hotspots

Section: Mobile Technology

Tags: 4G, Communications, Glastonbury, Mobile, Network, Wi-Fi, Wireless

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BMW checks bumpers with the wave of a hand

Quality control is a vital part of modern manufacturing. Not only does it decrease the chances of a dissatisfied customer, but it reduces waste and, therefore, cost. However, inspecting products on the assembly line can itself be expensive, time consuming, and not as accurate as it should be. To speed things up a bit, BMW has developed a new system for inspecting bumpers that uses gestures to allow inspectors to literally point out defects. .. Continue Reading BMW checks bumpers with the wave of a hand

Section: Automotive

Tags: 3D Cameras, BMW, Fraunhofer, Gesture Recognition, Manufacturing, Production

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Electromagnetic system to replace steam launch systems on US Navy carriers

A fighter plane taking off from a strike carrier is a dramatic sight – not the least because of the woosh and plume of steam as the catapult blasts the aircraft into the air. In a few years, such launches may still be dramatic, but they’ll also be a bit quieter and very plume-free. That’s because the US Navy has completed testing of its Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS); clearing it for use on the new Gerald R Ford-class aircraft carriers... Continue Reading Electromagnetic system to replace steam launch systems on US Navy carriers

Section: Military

Tags: Aircraft, Aviation, Electromagnetic, Launch, US Navy

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Robotic Weapon System gives helicopters hidden firepower

When we hear about military robots, it usually evokes images of Terminator-like killing machines, but it can also mean robotic systems designed to help soldiers concentrate on the job at hand. Case in point is Israel-based Duke Airborne Systems’ Robotic Weapon System (RWS). Unveiled at the Eurosatory defense industry show in Paris, the system billed as a “first-of-its-kind” is a concealable robotic gunnery module that allows utility helicopters to fly into hostile territory without an armed escort. .. Continue Reading Robotic Weapon System gives helicopters hidden firepower

Section: Military

Tags: Aircraft, Duke Airborne Systems, Helicopters, Israel, Modular, Robotic, Weapons

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New materials developed that are as light as aerogel, yet 10,000 times stronger

Imagine materials strong enough to use in building airplanes or motor cars, yet are literally lighter than air. Soon, that may not be so hard to do because a team of researchers from MIT and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have developed new ultra-lightweight materials that are as light as aerogel, but 10,000 times stiffer, and may one day revolutionize aerospace and automotive designs... Continue Reading New materials developed that are as light as aerogel, yet 10,000 times stronger

Section: Science

Tags: Ceramics, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Materials, Metamaterials, MIT,Nanoparticles, Polymer

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Is supersonic passenger travel set to make a comeback?

On October, 24 2003, the last Concorde jet went out of service. What began as a promise of supersonic travel for all, ended as a museum exhibit of a false dawn. However, that may be changing with companies such as Aerion and Spike Aerospace looking to take business jets supersonic. At Aviation 2014, an annual event of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, NASA presented examples of the space agency’s work on new technologies that could lead to a revival of civilian supersonic travel within the next 15 years... Continue Reading Is supersonic passenger travel set to make a comeback?

Section: Aircraft

Tags: Aircraft, Aviation, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, NASA, Supersonic, Travel

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Falcon 9 launch of Orbcomm OG2 satellites aborted

SpaceX today aborted the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying six Orbcomm OG2 communication satellites; the second mission flight of a Falcon booster equipped withlanding legs. Six minutes and nine seconds before the lift off, mission control declared the abort due to a problem with the second stage of the rocket... Continue Reading Falcon 9 launch of Orbcomm OG2 satellites aborted

Section: Space

Tags: Communications, Falcon, Launch, Satellite, Spacecraft, SpaceX

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One of the world's first integrated circuits goes up for auction

If it weren't for the microchip, your smartphone would be size of a building and need its own power plant to work. Thanks to the integrated circuit and its modern incarnation in the microchip, electronics are a bit easier to carry around than that, and this week, Christie’s put one of the very first integrated circuits up for auction. Designed and constructed in 1958 by Texas Instruments, it's one of the three earliest "chips" ever made and went on the block with an estimated value of up to US$2 million... Continue Reading One of the world's first integrated circuits goes up for auction

Section: Electronics

Tags: Auction, Circuit, Computers, History, Prototype, Texas Instruments

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TOSA electric buses use computer models to control costs

It’s one thing to invent an electric bus, a hydrogen car, or other green transportation technology, but quite another for it to work in the real world. For example, the Trolleybus Optimisation Système Alimentation (TOSA) flash-charging electric bus system may be the most brilliant idea ever, but if it can’t stay in the black, then might as well be drawn by diesel-powered horses. Scientists at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) are hoping to avoid that scenario by developing a computer model that helps engineers integrate the buses into existing transport systems while keeping costs down. .. Continue Reading TOSA electric buses use computer models to control costs

Section: Automotive

Tags: Batteries, Buses, Electric Vehicles, EPFL, Public Transport

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Wednesday, 18 June 2014

To paraphrase Samuel Johnson, there was a time when 3D metal printing was like a dog walking on his hind legs – it wasn't done well; but you were surprised to find it done at all. Now that laser sintering or Selective Laser Melting (SLM) is used for everything from printing rocket engine components to semi-automatic pistols, the time for surprise may b long past, but the technology still has plenty of room for improvement. That's why researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) are working on simulations to improve the speed of 3D laser printing and the quality of the final product by using higher-powered lasers... Continue Reading LLNL improving the efficiency of 3D metal printing

Section: Science

Tags: 3D Printing, Laser, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Manufacturing,Simulations, Stainless Steel

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Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Lavazza sending first espresso machine into space

Living on the International Space Station (ISS) has its drawbacks. For one thing, the morning coffee run to the local espresso shack is the definition of impractical. To make sure that astronauts are suitably caffeinated, Italian coffee company Lavazza is developing the ISSpresso; the first espresso machine built to meet the needs of astronauts who need a decent jolt before facing the day. .. Continue Reading Lavazza sending first espresso machine into space

Section: Space

Tags: Astronauts, Beverages, Coffee, ESA, Fluid Dynamics, Food, International Space Station, Lavazza, NASA

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Hubble to seek new targets for New Horizons spacecraft

Once you've sent the first space probe to Pluto, what do you do for an encore? As NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft races to its encounter with the dwarf planet next year, the Hubble Space Telescope Time Allocation Committee have given its recommendation that the Hubble be used to find the Horizons’ next destination in the outer reaches of the Solar System... Continue Reading Hubble to seek new targets for New Horizons spacecraft

Section: Space

Tags: Hubble, Kuiper Belt, NASA, New Horizons, Pluto, Solar System, Space telescope,Spacecraft

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Nissan takes the wraps off Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo

“Cor, I’d like to take that for a spin.” It's what most of us think when looking at concept cars, but the chances of that ever happening are usually less than slim. The Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo is an exception to the rule – at least, it's a virtual exception. That’s because next month, the just revealed supercar concept becomes available for download for Polyphony Digital’s Gran Turismo 6 video game for the Playstation console. .. Continue Reading Nissan takes the wraps off Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo

Section: Automotive

Tags: Concept Cars, Gran Turismo, Japan, Nissan, Playstation, Video Games, Vision

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Sunday, 15 June 2014

Lockheed Martin WindTracer system to improve airdrop accuracy

For a besieged soldier or a disaster victim, a plane dropping supplies is the most welcome sight in the world – unless the drop ends up drifting off out of reach. To help make sure that airdrops end up where they belong, the US Air Force Research Laboratory has awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin to adapt its WindTracer wind measurement system for a Precision Air Drop system to help aircrews land supplies faster and on target... Continue Reading Lockheed Martin WindTracer system to improve airdrop accuracy

Section: Military

Tags: Disasters, LIDAR, Lockheed Martin, US Air Force, Wind

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Saturday, 14 June 2014

US Navy developing laser weapons ... for ground vehicles

The US Navy is deploying its first laser weapon on the USS Ponce in a few months. The technology also has obvious potential for ground vehicles – a fact that hasn't escaped the US Marine Corps. The Office of Naval Research has awarded contracts to develop a similar laser weapon that can be installed in light-tactical vehicles instead of ships as part of its Ground-Based Air Defense Directed Energy On-the-Move (GBAD) program... Continue Reading US Navy developing laser weapons ... for ground vehicles

Section: Military

Tags: Laser, Laser weapon, ONR, UAV, US Navy, Vehicles, Weapons

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Friday, 13 June 2014

What would a warp-drive ship actually look like?

Artist Mark Rademaker has unveiled a set of concept images imagining what a spaceship capable of traveling to other stars in a matter of months would really look like. Although it may look like something from the next science fiction epic and is unlikely to lift off anytime soon, his IXS Enterprise design is actually based on some hard science. .. Continue Reading What would a warp-drive ship actually look like?

Section: Space

Tags: NASA, Spacecraft, Warp bubble, Warp drive

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Thursday, 12 June 2014

FAA approves first commercial overland UAV flights

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has waived the usual restrictions on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and is allowing the BP oil company and UAS manufacturer AeroVironment to use an AeroVironment Puma AE for aerial surveys in Alaska. According to the FAA, this is the first time permission has been given for a commercial drone to fly over land in the United States. .. Continue Reading FAA approves first commercial overland UAV flights

Section: Aircraft

Tags: AeroVironment, BP, Drone, FAA, UAV

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Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Emotion-reading Pepper personal robot set for 2015 release

One thing that allows human beings to live together is their ability to read one another’s emotions before the frying pans start to fly. If personal robots are to join the household, they’ll have to learn how to deal with emotions as well. Pepper is a semi-humanoid robot designed to do just that, with the ability to gauge human emotions and alter its behavior accordingly as a way to better fit into family life... Continue Reading Emotion-reading Pepper personal robot set for 2015 release

Section: Robotics

Tags: Aldebaran Robotics, Emotions, Humanoid, Japan, Robotics, Robots

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BMW expands Mini lineup with first Mini Cooper 5-door

The Mini Cooper got a bit less mini as BMW rolled out its first 5-door version of the premium compact. Having launched its new Mini line last year, BMW is following up with four petrol and diesel-powered variants that boast not only an extra pair of doors, but also a longer wheelbase, more interior room, and a redesigned central instrument cluster for better at-a-glance feedback... Continue Reading BMW expands Mini lineup with first Mini Cooper 5-door

Section: Automotive

Tags: BMW, Car, Compact, Door, MINI

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Sunday, 8 June 2014

Eugene Goostman chatbot passes Turing Test

It might be time to start being nicer to your laptop, because a supercomputer program has passed the Turing Test for the first time in history. On Saturday, at the Turing Test 2014, the chatbot Eugene Goostman convinced the judges 33 percent of the time that it was a human being and not a computer. The event was organized by the University of Reading’s School of Systems Engineering and held on Saturday at the Royal Society in London... Continue Reading Eugene Goostman chatbot passes Turing Test

Section: Computers

Tags: Artificial Intelligence, Competition, Computer, Royal Society, Supercomputer,University of Reading

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"Hello, World" – Video beamed from ISS using laser-based communications

While the International Space Station may be mankind’s outpost for the conquest of space, it still leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to a decent YouTube connection. That’s because, for all its sophistication, the station’s communications system is still based on 1960s radio technology and has all the bandwidth of a soda straw. That changed this week as NASA took a step into the video age with the test of its Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS) demonstrator, which saw a laser used to beam a video to Earth in seconds instead of the usual minutes... Continue Reading "Hello, World" – Video beamed from ISS using laser-based communications

Section: Space

Tags: Communications, International Space Station, Laser, NASA, Test, Video

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Friday, 6 June 2014

Kairos blends mechanical and smartwatch technology

Imagine owning an upmarket, 25-jewel, Swiss-movement mechanical watch. Now imagine one that that can display text messages, notify you of incoming calls and let you remotely control your smartphone or tablet. That may seem a bit farfetched, but Kairos Watches aims to combine a luxury mechanical watch with the functionality of a smartwatch in one seamless device... Continue Reading Kairos blends mechanical and smartwatch technology

Section: Wearable Electronics

Tags: Bluetooth, Luxury, Mechanical, Smartwatch, Watches, Wearable, wearable computing, wearable electronics

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RAF recreates historic D-Day recon photo

Seventy years ago, the greatest military operation in history was launched as the Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy to liberate Nazi-occupied Europe in what history recalls as D-Day. We’re used to seeing newsreel images of marines and infantrymen rushing from landing craft in the face of the German guns, but overhead there was another war raging as men in fragile aircraft risked their lives to capture vital images of the battle’s progress. As part of the 70th-anniversary commemoration, RAF Tornado jets from II (Army Co-operation) Squadron (II (AC) Sqn) recreated that historic D-Day recon mission over Normandy, giving us a glimpse of how far aerial reconnaissance has come in three generations. .. Continue Reading RAF recreates historic D-Day recon photo
Section: Military
Tags: Aircraft, Anniversary, Cameras, History, Photography, Reconnaissance, Royal Air Force
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Thursday, 5 June 2014

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Raydiance's R-Cut system promises "new paradigm" in high-tech glass fabrication

Smartphones have come a long way in a few short years, but two things have remained constant; most sport a "slab of glass" form factor, and dropping one makes you wish you’d had it insured. Designers have used new materials, such as Gorilla glass and sapphire to make phone displays lighter and more durable, but these have introduced their own problems – especially when it comes to manufacturing. Gizmag spoke with Raydiance, a company specializing in cutting-edge laser fabrication methods, about its new R-Cut femtosecond laser system that promises a “new paradigm" in high-tech glass fabrication... Continue Reading Raydiance's R-Cut system promises "new paradigm" in high-tech glass fabrication

Section: Electronics

Tags: Femtosecond, Glass, Laser, Manufacturing, Materials, Production, Smartphones

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Fraunhofer developing fuel cell system to power the home

As the world shifts to alternative forms of energy, ways to make homes less dependent on the grid continue to gather steam. Fuel cells, which are more efficient and have lower emissions than internal combustion engines seem like a logical candidate for taking up the slack, so the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS) in Dresden is partnering with the heater manufacturer Vaillant to develop a domestic fuel cell system that uses natural gas to produce both heating and electricity... Continue Reading Fraunhofer developing fuel cell system to power the home

Section: Around The Home

Tags: Alternative Energy, Electricity, Energy, Fraunhofer, Fuel Cell, Home

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ESA developing next-generation universal space docking ring

Docking is the paradox of spaceflight. On the one hand, it’s as boring to watch as an apple turning brown; on the other, it’s white-knuckle suspense when you realise that tons of paper-thin metal are one misstep away from destruction. What’s worse, the number of different docking port designs makes compatibility a major concern, so ESA is developing a universal docking mechanism that will allow any spacecraft to lock onto any other... Continue Reading ESA developing next-generation universal space docking ring

Section: Space

Tags: ESA, International Space Station, Space Shuttle, Spacecraft, Spaceflight

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Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Solar Impulse 2 makes first flight

The maiden flight of Solar Impulse 2 took place on Monday morning at Payerne aerodrome in Switzerland. The solar-powered aircraft took off at 5:36 AM CET, when the weather around the aerodrome was at its calmest, with pilot Markus Scherdel at the controls. The aircraft flew for two hours and 17 minutes, reaching an altitude of 1,670 m (5,500 ft) and a ground speed of 55.6 km/h (30 kt). According to Solar Impulse, the in-flight data indicates that the aircraft slated to make the first all-solar global circumnavigation flight performed to expectations... Continue Reading Solar Impulse 2 makes first flight

Section: Aircraft

Tags: Aircraft, Electric, Experimental, Flight, Solar Impulse, Solar Impulse 2

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Monday, 2 June 2014

Kepler-10c: The planet that shouldn't exist

Despite being currently offline, the Kepler space telescope is still turning up surprises. One of them is an Earth-like planet that’s so large that astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics call it a “mega-Earth.” Planet Kepler-10c is 17 times heavier than the Earth, and may require scientists to rethink their ideas on planet formation and the likelihood of life in our galaxy... Continue Reading Kepler-10c: The planet that shouldn't exist

Section: Space

Tags: Exoplanet, Harvard, Kepler Mission, NASA, Space telescope

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Sunday, 1 June 2014

Robot Linda to meet the public at London's Natural History Museum

Having a robot around the house might be nice, but not if it keeps stepping on the cat and tripping over the coffee table. This month, the public will get the chance to meet a robot at the Natural History Museum in London that may be a bit kinder to furniture and tabbies. The University of Lincoln’s Linda robot, which will mingle with visitors, is designed to learn about its surroundings and make it easier to work human environments... Continue Reading Robot Linda to meet the public at London's Natural History Museum

Section: Robotics

Tags: Autonomous, British Museum, London, Museum, Robotics, Robots, Self-Learning,University of Lincoln

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