What's happening in the robotics field for April 2023? Welcome to the 36th installment in our monthly series, What's Trending in Robotics News! We cover all the breaking news, hot issues, trending stories, and cool stuff that's happening — or has happened — in the robotics industry.
There were plenty of amazing things happening in the robotics industry throughout April. Let's see what caught our attention this month with the trending news in robotics for April 2023.
What would a month be without an update from the fabled wizards at Boston Dynamics? Covered in Interesting Engineering and Digital Trends, these incredible robot dogs are ready to paint for Australia’s National Gallery of Victoria, with the training of a renowned artist. The dogs, of course, are appropriately named “Spot.” What do you think of these potential robotic Picassos? Can robots ever actually replicate the wonders of creativity that spring from the human mind and heart — or will it always seem artificial? It’s something to wonder as we wait to see what these creations of ours can create themselves.
Game on! As the sports calendar heats up for playoff season, we have some robotic sporting updates. Covered in the Robot Report, New Atlas, Robotics and Automation News, and Analytics Insight, the geniuses over at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have taught a quadruped some basic soccer skills. We’re still quite a ways away from a robot donning a jersey to take on Messi and Ronaldo (or get into a contract dispute in management), but it’s not completely out of the question that we’ll at least see some robotic soccer games before too long. Would you tune in to watch?
Those with electric cars know all too well the problem of finding a charging station, especially in cities or places that have not fully embraced the EV revolution. The good news? Per Autoweek, Interesting Engineering, and PRNewswire, a robotic solution is on the way. The NaaS “smart charging” robot is a remarkable piece of technology for a “smart and unmanned” charging experience.
How about some “Quick Hits” from the month of April?
Finally, let’s take a look at one of the trending stories in the RobotShop community, this one coming from The Big Think. This article revisits Isaac Asimov’s fabled “Three Laws of Robotics” and suggests a fourth one, prompted by the world of Artificial Intelligence: A Robot Must Identify Itself. What do you think? In a world where AI in robots advances by leaps and bounds every day — just witness Sophia the Robot from Hanson Robotics — it appears that this fourth “law” is increasingly necessary.
There is a lot of news out there, but these stories caught our eye this month. If we could give one big theme for the month, it would be "artistry.” We see robots not only serving as actual artists for humans, but — in the case of the soccer-playing robots — bringing their talents to the movement and fluidity of “the beautiful game.” They might be able to replicate our actions in both of these fields; however, can robots ever truly replace the creativity humanity delivers to things like the arts and sports? It’s something to wonder about.
The bottom line: robotics, as a whole, is on a roll. It applies to nearly every aspect of our lives and touches every element of our actions — from how we eat to where we will go as a species. Every month, it's a wonder to see where robotics has gone — and to imagine where the technology will go.
One more thing, readers — if you know of anything we should add for the next edition, tell us about it! What caught your attention in the robotics world throughout April? Comment below, and we might feature it in our next issue!
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Picture credit: Aton, MIT-CSAIL, Naas, Boston Dynamics, NVG