Chances are you've tried to figure out a Rubik's Cube once or twice (and maybe you've encountered the same frustrations The Simpsons once did). Well, how about this for a feat: researchers at the University of California (Irvine) have invented an AI-powered robot hand that can solve a Rubik's Cube.
This colorful development earned coverage in Straits Times, CNET, Techxplore, The Verge, and other outlets. This is another illustration of the remarkable advancements made by Artificial Intelligence - and a rather relatable one for anyone who grew up playing with these toys.
In a miraculous development, a 28-year-old French man - paralyzed from his shoulders down after a fall - used a brain-controlled exoskeleton developed at the University of Grenoble to move his limbs. The story is well worth a read, as the details of how the suit works and its development are extraordinary.
Check it out at CNN.com, CBS News, and The Independent. The repercussions of this type of innovation are remarkable. How long will it be before this type of exoskeleton becomes commonplace - and what's the next stage for the technology?
For many of us, the term "Robocop" conjures up visions of a metal-clad hero taking on bad guys and other robots. Well, now that robotics have worked their way into law enforcement, we see that ... well, it's not always perfect. In Los Angeles, a woman tried to flag down one of the patrolling "Knightscope" police robots in a park to call for help - and the robot just plain ignored her.
The SNAFU made news in NBC, Futurism, Gizmodo, and Metro. It's interesting to think about this problem in the context of Robocop. It's a sci-fi movie for sure, but one with intriguing themes exploring corporate irresponsibility, consumerism, and the militarism/integration of robots into the police force. How far will we let the element of humanity go away from law enforcement?
Some very cool developments for the drone world. First (covered in Futurism) is a "technology at its finest story" from Minnesota, as a heat-seeking drone helped to locate a missing boy.
Second, UPS and CVS are teaming up for drone deliveries to homes. This was a big story covered in Wired, Engadget, Gizmodo, and Digital Trends. There are certainly plenty of problems and issues that come along with the use of drones, but it's nice to focus on some of the positives for a little bit - whether it's finding missing kids or helping to deliver vital prescriptions.
How about some quick hits around the industry?
Of course, that's only just a fraction of all the robotics news out there - but these are intriguing stories. Very big-picture, big-impact stories this month - robotics advancing in law enforcement, helping paralyzed people walk again, saving lives, delivering needed products (and making pizza, too). These things are going to matter in our lives sooner rather than later. It's fascinating stuff, and we'll be here next month - and every month - after that to deliver you the news you need to hear and see.
One more thing, readers - if you have anything that we should add in for the next edition, let us know! What caught your attention in the robotics world throughout October? Comment below, and we might feature it in our next issue!