David Kirkpatrick

April 24, 2009

Ten cool robots

Well — cool, useful, interesting, etc.

I usually only run one example from these CIO slideshows, but for obvious reasons I had to do two this time.

Number two:

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Image credit: BMT Group

The Fish Bot

Known for: Fighting pollution

A school of robotic carp—equipped with chemical sensors and artificial intelligence—will be unleashed into a Spanish port to search for water pollutants. Developed by British scientists, these five-foot-long robotic fish will monitor oxygen levels and detect potentially hazardous leaks. The fish will communicate with each other using ultrasonics, and information will be wirelessly sent to the “charging hub” (where fish will charge their batteries). The port’s authorities can use this data to track the source and scale of the pollution. If this robotic pollution monitoring system is successful, researchers hope to use it globally. <!–

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And number four:
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Image credit

The Telepathic Bot

Known for: Reading minds

Honda’s ASIMO humanoid robot can now be controlled with thought alone—and with a little help from brain machine interface technology. BMI tech relies on electroencephalography (EEG) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) and newly developed information abstraction technology. How it works: EEG and NIRS sensors are placed on a person’s head. When the user imagines moving one of four predetermined body part options, ASIMO complies with a corresponding movement. The setup detects changes in brain waves and cerebral blood flow, which is analyzed on a real-time basis to translate what the user imagined. Tests on the process yielded a 90 percent accuracy rate, says Honda. <!–

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