Collaborating Authors

Watch this robotic manta ray speed through the water Science


Building a robot is easy. Building a robot with soft, bendable parts is still doable. But building a soft robot "fish" that can swim as well as the real thing: a much trickier task.

1920s robot makes comeback

FOX News

Britain's first robot was a dazzling sight to behold, with broad shoulders, light-bulb eyes and a thick-barreled chest. On Sept. 20, 1928, Eric, as the robot was named, was unveiled before members of the Society for Model Engineers' annual convention. Weighing more than half a ton and requiring 35,000 volts of electricity, the impressive figure fascinated audiences. Eric then embarked on a tour that took him around the world, and the futuristic bot became an international sensation. But years later, Eric was lost, and his fate remains a mystery.

London Science Museum wants to rebuild the UK's first robot


But then Eric mysteriously vanished. No-one is sure what happened to the robot -- he might have been lost, destroyed, or scrapped for parts. Now, the Science Museum wants to recreate Eric using photos and archived material supplied by his creators' relatives. The organisation has commissioned roboticist Giles Walker to complete the project, and estimates that the new Eric can be built in just a few months. If all goes to plan, the reconstructed robot will be unveiled at the museum this October, free for anyone to see.

You have no idea what artificial intelligence really does


WHEN SOPHIA THE ROBOT first switched on, the world couldn't get enough. It had a cheery personality, it joked with late-night hosts, it had facial expressions that echoed our own. Here it was, finally -- a robot plucked straight out of science fiction, the closest thing to true artificial intelligence that we had ever seen. There's no doubt that Sophia is an impressive piece of engineering. It didn't take much to convince people of Sophia's apparent humanity -- many of Futurism's own articles refer to the robot as "her."

How AI Will Rewire Us

The Atlantic - Technology

Fears about how robots might transform our lives have been a staple of science fiction for decades. In the 1940s, when widespread interaction between humans and artificial intelligence still seemed a distant prospect, Isaac Asimov posited his famous Three Laws of Robotics, which were intended to keep robots from hurting us. The first--"a robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm"--followed from the understanding that robots would affect humans via direct interaction, for good and for ill. Think of classic sci-fi depictions: C-3PO and R2-D2 working with the Rebel Alliance to thwart the Empire in Star Wars, say, or HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey and Ava from Ex Machina plotting to murder their ostensible masters. But these imaginings were not focused on AI's broader and potentially more significant social effects--the ways AI could affect how we humans interact with one another.