Science Fiction in the News:
Science and Technology News

SIL06 Robot Land Mine Detector
This hexapod robot uses an alternating tripod-style gait and a sensor head to locate dangerous land mines. (re: Michael Crichton)

Courier Tablet Computer - Microsoft's Prototype
Interesting two-page tablet computer prototype from Microsoft is very similar to a Toshiba prototype from almost five years ago. Does it make you think of a runcible? (re: Neal Stephenson)

Human Cities Are Similar To The Human Neocortex
Interesting study correlates the structure of cities and the highways that serve them with the neocortex and its structures. (re: Robert Silverberg)

Mendeley Research Tool Like iTunes Genius
If this site can bring interactive social networking and iTunes-style genius recommendations to the scientific community, it could be the biggest thing since the Royal Academy was founded. (re: Various)

Jedi Persecution In Wales: General Order 66 Or 'Sith Happens'?
Jedi religion founder Morda Hehol accuses Tesco of persecution; the retail empire srikes back. (re: George Lucas)

Hajime 33 Robot Kicks, Walks
I'm very impressed by the height of this robot; this remote-controlled player is taller than you are. (re: Various)

Secret GPS Tracking Devices Legal
Tracking an individual just got a little bit easier. (re: Various)

Flexible Building Survives Test Quakes
Flexible buildings that flex for earthquakes, concentrating the damage in replaceable steel 'fuses'. (re: Vernor Vinge)

Computers Now Lip Read Like Humans
Remember that very far-fetched scene in 2001 where a computer reads lips? Not so far-fetched anymore. (re: Arthur C. Clarke)

Solo Autonomous Sewer Inspection Robot
The RedZone robot moves quickly through the sewers, lowering maintenance costs everywhere it goes. (re: Various)

A Real-Life Bridge City?
Cities in Europe have bridge cities - why not the US? (re: William Gibson)

Physicists Predict Shanghai Exchange Plunge
What would it be like if a culture sublimated the energy that usually goes into scientific discovery into advancing capitalism? (re: Gene Roddenberry)

Precision Urban Hopper Leaps Fence Video
This little leaping robot has a pretty cool video; yet another DARPA inspired project. (re: Bruce Sterling)

The Whuffie Bank: Reputation-Based Currency
This new startup will track your online reputation for you. (re: Cory Doctorow)

Sietch Nevada Dune-Inspired Underground Communities
How would you like to live in a Dune-style sietch in the waterless desert wastes of the American West? This fabulous concept should get your imagination going. (re: Frank Herbert)

Runaway Armed MQ-9 Reaper Drone Shot Down
Another cautionary tale for the age of autonomous machines. Let's be careful how we use them. (re: Various)

Machine Ethics With Prospective Logic
Who is responsible for the actions of autonomous systems? Can an autonomous robot make an ethical decision? (re: Various)

Bloodbot Robot Takes Blood Samples
This clever robot has come along just fifty years after Harry Harrison described the basic idea for readers of Fantastic Universe. (re: Harry Harrison)

Robots With Human Brains
What is self-organizing and intelligent and comes in a convenient paste? Human brain cells, that's what. (re: Peter Watts)

H-II Transfer Vehicle Automated Freighter
Japan's first fully-automated space freighter is on its way to a successful mission; see lift-off photo and animated video of the full mission. (re: Gene Roddenberry)

Gravitational Corridors Like Space-Lanes
Ah, to ply the space-lanes! This old sfnal dream might come true yet. (re: Edmond Hamilton)

Self-Healing Circuits For Cellphones?
This may just help alleviate one of the most terrible feelings you can have in modern times - the way you feel when you drop your cellphone or other expensive digital device. (re: Various)

Taizo Robot Exercise Instructor For Japan's Seniors
Now with Taizo robot video! Always concerned about their aging population, Japanese roboticists have created a robotic instructor to lead the way to health. (re: Various)

Spherical Soft Robots Use Shape Memory Alloys
These soft body robots move by deforming their own structure - and they're safer for soft humans to be around than those clumsy rigid body robots. Unless they're Rovers. (re: Various)

Individualized Artificial Voices
If you've ever heard the artificial voice systems still in use for laryngectomy patients, you'll be pleased to know that this very old technology will be getting a digital update. (re: Various)

Be Master To Robot Slave
Be the master of your robotic slave and force it to ... play tennis? (re: Robert Heinlein)

LittleDog Robot Has Dynamic Double-Support Gait
Check out the video showing LittleDog from Boston Dynamics negotiate rough terrain. This bot teaches itself the best way to go. (re: Anthony Boucher)

Polaris Robot Mobile Phone Prototype Unveiled
Sometimes I'm too lazy to find my cell phone cradle, but I don't know if it needs to find me. Besides, the Cellular Phone Robot (2007) prototype has more functionality. (re: Various)

Regina Robot Heavy Healthcare Lifting
Could you please help transfer that unconscious sumo wrestler from his bed to a wheelchair? Regina says 'No problem.' (re: Katsuhiro Otomo)

Foldy The Laundry-Folding Robot Video
For some people, it's important to have clothing folded just right. Well, robots are available to help you now. Video added to article. (re: Various)

Library Removes All Books
It's a radical move, getting rid of all of the books in your school library. Will they be missed? (re: Vernor Vinge)

Magnetic Monopoles Detected?
Do magnetic monopoles exist? And can you mine them? (re: Larry Niven)

Toyota Ignition Breathalyzer Lock
Philip K. Dick told us this was coming almost fifty years ago. Like so many other things. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Hot Ice Computer
Can you create a massively-parallel computer with a solution of super-saturated sodium acetate? Watch the video. (re: Various)

Plasmobot Amorphous Biological Robot
'The plasmodium is capable of solving complex computational tasks, such as the shortest path between points and other logical calculations.' (re: Rudy Rucker)

Laser Cooling Big Chill
SF movie goers and comic book fans alike have long been used to the idea of super-fast cooling. Scientists now put the big chill on. (re: George Lucas)

Solar Nomad Plant A Robotic Urban Parasite
Interesting mix of technologies in the work of Mexican artist Gilberto Esparza. (re: Vernor Vinge)

Gravity Tractor Research By British Scientists
It would take some planning and advance tracking, but a gravity tractor might actually work. (re: E.E. 'Doc' Smith)

Nao Robot Uses Microsoft Surface
How often is a robot shown using human interfaces in sf novels? In movies? (re: Various)

Acoustic Tweezers Create Living Cell Grid
New technology makes it possible to arrange a regular matrix of tiny objects - even living cells - in just seconds. (re: Various)

Cheap Microrobot Swarms
This amazing little bot is all on one circuit bard. Why not make a whole black cloud of them? (re: Abraham Merritt)

Computers May Crack Ancient Texts
Is it a language or is it just a bunch of little pictures? National pride fuels the debate between scholars on the Indus Valley script. Those who enjoyed the movie Blade may have seen this idea before. (re: Various)

Moonbell Generates Lunar Music
Very cool application lets you play unique musical compositions based on lunar topographic data. The music of the sphere. (re: Various)

Death Risk Rankings Provides 'Death Calculator'
Interesting website attempts to determine your chance of death in the coming year scientifically. (re: Robert Heinlein)

RIBA Robot for Interactive Body Assistance
This nursing assistant robot looks like a friendly bear; it can pick up and transfer patients weighing up to 135 pounds easily and safely. (re: Katsuhiro Otomo)

WAHHA GO GO Laughing Head
This baroque device recreates the sound of the human laugh by means of clever clockwork and reconstructions of human pipes and lips. Why make such a thing when synth chips cost nothing. (re: William Gibson)

SpiderBot Underconstrained Cable-Suspended Robot
One-of-a-kind robot swings from cables it shoots at the ceiling. (re: George Lucas)

Electrolux Moléculaire 3D Food Printer
This video shows a design concept that is entirely possible, based on current technology. (re: Various)

Theatrical Robots Kiss, Industrial Bots Scandalized
These robots diligently practice osculation. (re: Various)

MIT Robofish Now More Fishy
No longer mechanical contraptions with thousands of moving parts, these modern robotic fish are sleek imitations of life. (re: Michael Swanwick)

Phasma Insect Robot Runs Like A Bug
This insectile remote-controlled robot is designed to run like an insect from the ground up; that's what makes the video a bit creepy. (re: Various)

Tooth Enamel Secret To Stronger Aircraft
Looking for a new composite to build stronger planes? Smile, aerospace engineers, new materials are on the way. (re: Dan Simmons)

Spray-On Nano-Ink Solar Cells
Solar cells in a convenient spray can? Not impossible, say University of Texas researchers. (re: Larry Niven)

Sentiment Analysis: Hypercorps Need Emotion Chips
It turns out that big companies really want to know how you feel about them. Really? (re: Gene Roddenberry)

Handbot Climbs Shelves, Has Rope Launcher
This robot has two remarkable features that I've never seen on any other robot. This is exactly what I need for my sf library. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Vecna BEAR's Latest Video Exploits
This Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot just gets better with each version. (re: Takazawa Kijuro)

Organovo Organ Printing Future Video
Very nicely done video shows the near, no longer entirely science-fictional future of medicine. (re: Philip K. Dick)

LG Watchphone Now Available
You read about it last year, but now you can buy one - if you live in Britain. (re: Chester Gould)

eniCycle Self-Balancing Tumblebug
Just the thing for engineers - if they're working on the rolling roads. (re: Robert Heinlein)

Android Glass Desk Phone
I'm really in retro gadget heaven now; this is totally an update for one of my favorite work phones at Northern Telecom back in the 1980's. (re: Hugo Gernsback)

Eye-bot Lands On Your Ceiling
Yes, look up - what's that? A ceiling fan you didn't know you had? No, it's a surveillance drone with excellent autonomous capabilities. With video. Smile for the camera! (re: Jack Vance)

Magazine To Have Video-In-Print
Integration of video into print magazines creates bizarre hybrid; augurs newspaper-sized displays. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Robot Cats Perfect For Older Britons
Ah, those engineers at the Royal Academy. They've been getting into the science fiction section of the library again, eh? (re: Philip K. Dick)

Solar Sail Craft Need Laminated Mouse Brains
We're going to need the best possible navigation computers for solar sail craft that start out near the sun and attain relativistic speeds. And you know what that means. (re: Cordwainer Smith)

ULTra Personal Pod Driverless Taxis Here!
This driverless taxi apparently lacks a depressed robotic driver; it drives itself. (re: James Blish)

Robots Learn To Lie
What are the consequences for humanity if we encourage robots to learn how to lie? What are the consequences for the robots? (re: Arthur C. Clarke)

Robot Resorts In 50 Years?
Can robots run hotels better than people? We may find out, says tourism expert. (re: Richard Morgan)

'Virtual Iraq' Therapy For PTSD
This program allows the therapist to return someone suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to the scene of the trauma, for healing. (re: Roger Zelazny)

Emotion Tracking Big Comedy Brother
Finally, Big Brother will have a software option for making sure that you are really participating in the Two Minutes' Hate. (re: George Orwell)

BrainPort - See With Your Tongue By Year's End
Tongue vision will be available to everyone, hopefully, if the FDA approves it. (re: Various)

Bio Acoustic Fish Fence May Protect Great Lakes
Another interesting technology to try to keep the Great Lakes free of Asian carp; I read about the idea first in a Zelazny story three decades ago. (re: Roger Zelazny)

Life-Size Tachikoma Robot Vehicle
This is a pretty nice implementation of the Tachikoma tank, even if it doesn't climb buildings or turn invisible. (re: Various)

Zombie Math - Modeling The Attack
What happens when professional mathematicians and statisticians get together to analyze fictional situations? (re: Various)

Shrink Wrapped Psychiatric Help For Avatars
Short video presents an interesting case for the therapist; Second Life avatars have complicated presentations for the therapist. (re: Roger Zelazny)

Spiderbot Self-Healing Networks
I'm starting to think that if you want an ad hoc network, you need to send in the robots. With video. (re: Charles Stross)

ECCEROBOT Anthropomimetic Robot
Exceptional robotic prototype used to slowly rebuild human beings in structure. (re: Varioius)

iPhone-Based Augmented Reality In Development
Superimpose your viewpoint on reality - not just for yourself, but for others too. Some in concept, some in beta and some in reality. Oh, and some in sf. (re: Various)

Arena Salix Pavillion Willow Architecture
Graceful structures made of materials that mock our ability to create self-healing coatings or concrete. (re: Jack Vance)

TruFocals Glasses Do Not Use Hufhuf Oil
Eyeglasses suitable for the Kwisatz Haderach, if he needed glasses. (re: Frank Herbert)

iPhone UAV Drone Control App
It won't be long now. I'll be reading some technothriller novel, and I'll read 'Sonya looked across to the neighboring building and eased her iPhone out of her purse. Selecting the proper app, she took control of the drone's final approach.' (re: Ray Cummings)

In-Flight Wi-Fi Gives Me Clarke Moment
Actually, yes, Arthur C. Clarke's vision of checking the news on a tablet computer while in flight can be improved upon... (re: Arthur C. Clarke)

Baha Divino Bone-Conduction iPod Implanted 'Ear Buds'
These are very neat - you can hear them much better than regular ear buds or other such devices, particularly in noisy environments. (re: Hugo Gernsback)

Self-Healing Metal Coating
Imagine a material that can heal itself when scratched, or become more corrosion-resistant, or become self-lubricating. (re: J.G. Ballard)

Cures Found in 'Junk DNA'
What has been conserved in the so-called 'junk DNA' of the human genome? Perhaps cures for disease? And more. (re: Greg Bear)

Wooden Helicopter Personal Transportation
The do-it-yourself spirit is alive and well in China; this farmer used materials at hand to construct a personal flying vehicle. (re: John W. Campbell)

Himawari Homotropic Sunflower Robot
This robot shows real progress toward what Philip K. Dick called 'homotropic' machines - robots that seek out and follow people. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Knife-Wielding Robot With X-Ray Vision
At great expense, this robot has been given sensors to tell just exactly where the ribs are, where the legs are and of course where the shoulders are. (re: Robert Silverberg)

Bioengineered Mouse Tooth Bud Successfully Implanted
As far as I know, this is the first successful creation and implantation of a tooth bud 'from scratch' that grows to full size and full tooth functionality. (re: William Gibson)

2 Terabyte Memory Sticks Coming
This is just an announcement of the finalization of the spec - you can't quite buy one yet. (re: Dan Simmons)

Aroxo Intelligent Agents Negotiate For You
Technology startup ready to put its software agents to work for you. (re: Frederik Pohl)

Loose Tweets Sink Fleets
The Marines decided to take a year off from on-duty social networking to study the matter more carefully. Includes modern-day take on vintage military IT patriotic poster. (re: Robert Heinlein)

Touchable Holography Display
Video presentation shows that it is possible to touch a three-dimensional holographic object. (re: Frederik Pohl)

Soldiers Learn To Trust Robots
Can robots be trusted to 'have your back' in urban combat situations? Soldiers are learning about different robotic platforms, and how they can be used in urban combat. (re: Philip K. Dick)

NASA's Spring Tire For Improved Lunar Mileage
The tires on the original Lunar Roving Vehicle were fantastic; however, plans to drive the LRVs of the future for thousands, not merely hundreds, of kilometers means we need better tires. (re: Arthur C. Clarke)

Buying a Tablet Computer?
I think that tablet computers might just make it this time around. Here's why. (re: Arthur C. Clarke)

Robot Hands Ready To Kick Your Ass
This compilation of robotic hand-to-sensor coordination shows why the future of sports is mechanical. Stop worrying about steriod use -start testing for robotic prosthetic use. (re: Various)

DARPA's Restorative Injury Repair Dream
Those guys at DARPA must spend all their spare time reading old 1960's sf novels. Not that I'm knocking it; if you're going to read, you can't do better than Phil Dick, Clifford Simak and Larry Niven. (re: Clifford Simak)

Coolpix S1000pj Projector Camera
This camera does more than point-and-shoot; it is a projector and camera all in one. I think Jack Vance had this one designed - in his mind - about forty years ago. (re: Jack Vance)

Aeryon Scout UAV Gets Upgrades
This little UAV has come a long way in just a year; it's a pretty close match to one of Jack Vance's ideas. (re: Jack Vance)

Robotic FuA-Men Fully Automated Ramen Restaurant
This automated restaurant features an autonomous chef and assistant; ramen has never been cooked so precisely. (re: Edgar Rice Burroughs)

In-Home Surveillance For 20K Brit Families
Not content with constant monitoring by more CCTV cameras per person than any other nation, Britain wants to put them in the homes of problem families as well. (re: Pournelle and Niven)

Beaker Burgers From In Vitro Meat
All around the world, scientists are racing to be the first to produce meat in a vat. No waste materials to be cut away. Just the burger - in a beaker. (re: Pohl and Kornbluth)

Hovering Crowd Control Beam
Who would think of using non-lethal beams from the air to enforce civilized behavior? (re: Larry Niven)

Neurosecurity Concerns In Neural Implant Tech
Fascinating paper details the possible negative consequences of having electronic brain implants; sf readers feel perfectly at home reading it. (re: Robert J. Sawyer)

Toyota Running Robot, Humanoid But Creepy
How fast can a robot run? This Toyota prototype runs very effectively - if in a sort of horrible, minion-like way. (re: Various)

Brain Interface Weapons War Crime Immunity
DARPA has developed brain-interface devices that use special algorithms and neural signals to determine that a soldier has made a choice BEFORE he is consciously aware of it. Can a person commit a war crime without being aware of making a decision? (re: Various)

GHOST Robot Fire Fighters In London
These robotic fire-fighter aren't quite up to the autonomous standard set by their Transformer forebears, but they're coming along nicely. (re: Various)

Laser Propulsion May Beam Spacecraft To Orbit
Will spacecraft and satellites ride a beam of light into space? Aerospace engineer Leik Myrabo has been working on the technology for decades. (re: Niven and Pournelle)

Therapists Plan World Of Warcraft Raid
Interesting proposal to have mental health professionals enter the game and attempt to work with players while online. (re: Roger Zelazny)

Asimov's Psychohistory May Be Possible
Many of us enjoyed the Foundation stories; did you think that psychohistory might actually be a workable discipline? (re: Isaac Asimov)

Surveillance By Flying Saucer
UPDATED with new sf reference and video. Very well-behaved saucer-shaped surveillance drone certainly looks more cool than other hovering drones. (re: Michael Crichton)

New Transparent Aluminum Somewhat Shortlived
What, another story about transparent aluminum. No really, it is transparent. To ultraviolet lights. For a very short time. But it's pretty cool. (re: Gene Roddenberry)

Learning Robot Going Through 'Terrible Twos'
Can you child-proof your house for robots? This Iowa State robot is going through the 'terrible twos' - fortunately, in the lab. (re: Various)

U.S. Cyber Challenge - Greetings, Starfighter!
It's time for all good geeks to come to the defense of their country. The DoD hopes to attract and train at least 10,000 students to help defend our national cyberspace. (re: Various)

Perky Pat-Style Unemployment Layout
If you don't like your present circumstances, and long to return to the life of an employed cubicle-dweller, take this tip from Philip K. Dick. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Undersea UFOs Seen By Russian Navy
Interesting stories surface from the declassified files of the Russian Navy. During the Cold War, the Russians found more than they bargained for underwater. (re: Various)

Bacterial 'Computer' Solves Math Problem
Genetically modified bacteria solve yet another math problem. It takes a while to program them, but when you can double your number of processors every few hours, the calculations go faster. (re: Greg Bear)

Bears Beat BearVault, Haven't Discovered Fire - Yet
Watch out for those shy, middle-aged bears; they're the smart ones. (re: Terry Bisson)

Baseball Robot Pitching Batting Battle VIDEO
These two robots can perform remarkably well at certain aspects of the game. Electromechanical hitters and pitchers have a certain appeal; now we need steampunk versions for that 1890's feel. Now updated with video. (re: Various)

Tweet Your Prayers To Jerusalem's Western Wall
This unusual site will accept your tweets and pass them on; it's an electronic extension of a practice that dates back hundreds of years. (re: Various)

Stable Motor Memory For Mastery Of Prosthetics
There is no limit to the type or variety of prosthetic device your brain could learn to control. Time to start thinking of unique implants - Samuel R. Delany has a few ideas. (re: Samuel R. Delany)

Ultrasound Surgery Performed On Humans
Dr. McCoy's wonderful bloodless surgical instruments get closer to reality; surgeons now use this surgical technique on people with successful results. (re: Gene Roddenberry)

HRP-4C Robot In Wedding Dress A Mechanical Bride
'Like the father of a bride, I feel both happy and sad.' So said developer Kazuhito Yokoi as he watched his lifelike robotic creation walk down the runway in a wedding dress. With video. (re: Fritz Leiber)

Rocketplane For Hawaiian Spaceport?
Trips to the edge of space from the continental US are fine, but if you want the blue planet view, you'll want to take off from Hawaii. (re: Robert Heinlein)

Geoengineering To Mitigate Climate Change
This policy statement focuses on large-scale efforts to geoengineer the climate system to counteract the consequences of increasing greenhouse gas emissions. (re: John Jacob Astor IV)

Modular Snake Robot's Unique Gaits
Based on snake movements, they've moved beyond mere biomimicry with an amazing variety of movements. (re: Emmett McDowell)

Biggest Electronic Book Store On Earth
I'm a bit late with this story, but then again, so is Barnes and Noble with that whole electronic bookstore idea. (re: Stanislaw Lem)

Touchscreen Touches You Back
This display presents dynamically changeable physical buttons on a visual display. (re: Varioius)

Motorcycle SuperFabric Now With d3o Shock Absorption
It's not quite a super-suit, but the new multi-function motorcycle protection garment from d3o and SuperFabric is getting us closer. (re: Various)

Flossie The Robot Motorcycle Test Rider
Other robots have gotten their start as test bots. Someday, they'll let Flossie out of the lab. (re: Various)

Screamers - PKD's Claws - The Robotic Research Begins
Research on how sandfish lizards manage to both run and burrow under the sand is being touted as an aid to robotic research. I thought that Philip K. Dick's robots evolved on their own. (re: Philip K. Dick)

ATMs Fight Back With Pepper Spray
Autonomous cash machine can decide whether you get money - or the hot stuff. (re: William Gibson)

'Nearest Tube' Augmented Reality iPhone App
Newest decal required on the iPhone: 'Please don't attempt to drive or walk based on the image you see on your iPhone, held right up against your eyes.' (re: Vernor Vinge)

Protectan May Guard Us From Radiation Damage
Scientists take advantage of a little-known (to me, anyway) property of the whip-like tails of bacteria to create what could be a very valuable drug. (re: Gene Roddenberry)

EATR Robot Is A Vegetarian
It turns out that reports of, well, ghoulish behavior on the part of Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot were completely unfounded. Not surprisingly. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Kindle Orwellian Nightmare Comes True!
Literary irony was substituted for e-book versions of 1984 and Animal Farm on Kindles all over America today. (re: George Orwell)

Cheaters May No Longer Prosper
Interesting experiment shows a very specific difference between liars and truth-tellers. (re: H. Beam Piper)

Artificial Skin Swatches Mass-Produced
These tiny swatches of artificial skin come complete with little blood vessels. (re: Frank Herbert)

WellAWARE Passive Sensor Monitoring Of Elderly
This monitoring system doesn't go as far as its sfnal predecessors, but we're getting there. (re: Ray Bradbury)

Face Recognition Now Sees Through Disguises
Just when you thought your fake mustache and horn rim glasses were enough, clever software designers march on. (re: Philip K. Dick)

iKey AK-39 Wearable Wrist Keyboard
This looks like it might be a good candidate for plowsharing. (re: John McTieman)

Computer Learns Sign Language From TV
Human beings just don't have that many ways to communicate basic (ie, life-sustaining) ideas in ways that are outside the realm of a computer's understanding. Now, another safety barrier falls. (re: Arthur C. Clarke)

'Electric Sheep' Runs On Real Grass - EATR Robot
An 'electric sheep' that actually runs on biomass? (re: Philip K. Dick)

'Precrime' Parole System In Philadelphia
A machine learning system in Philly tries, with considerable success, to predict which inmates should be paroled. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Interplanetary Internet - Disruption Tolerant Network
Let's get astronauts on the 'Net by 2011. In space, no one can hear you tweet. (re: George O. Smith)

Unemployed Robots Should Seek Work Autonomously
For now, robots just stand idle when humans stop giving them work. SF writers have some suggestions, though. (re: Harry Harrison)

Digital Booth Babe Display 3mm Thick
Fascinating display created for trade shows; I wonder if the creators of this display saw Young Sherlock Holmes twenty-five years ago. (re: Steven Spielberg)

Spherical Robot Lego Mindstorms NXT-Based
I just like spherical robots; this very nicely implemented bot uses a Lego Mindstorms NXT kit as the basis for the locomotive power. (re: Various)

Nano-Particle Field Extraction Thruster
A nanoFET is essentially a micro-thruster; a postage stamp-sized rocket engine. Great flexibility combined with long operational life make it perfect for small devices on long missions. (re: Murray Leinster)

Robot Learns To Smile
Machine learning is the way they've been teaching an Einstein robot to smile. Grad students approve. (re: Stephen Barr)

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