Robotics is the branch of technology that deals with the design, construction, operation, and application of robots, as well as computer systems for their control, sensory feedback, and information processing. These technologies deal with automated machines that can take the place of humans in dangerous environments or manufacturing processes, or resemble humans in appearance, behavior, and/or cognition. Many of today's robots are inspired by nature contributing to the field of bio-inspired robotics.

The concept of creating machines that can operate autonomously dates back to classical times, but research into the functionality and potential uses of robots did not grow substantially until the 20th century. Throughout history, robotics has been often seen to mimic human behavior, and often manage tasks in a similar fashion. Today, robotics is a rapidly growing field, as technological advances continue, research, design, and building new robots serve various practical purposes, whether domestically, commercially, or militarily. Many robots do jobs that are hazardous to people such as defusing bombs, mines and exploring shipwrecks. Read more

In The News

Checkmate humanity: In four hours, a robot taught itself chess, then beat a grandmaster with moves never devised in the game's 1,500-year history and the implications are terrifying   Daily Mail - December 22, 2017
Will robots one day destroy us? It’s a question that increasingly preoccupies many of our most brilliant scientists and tech entrepreneurs. For developments in artificial intelligence (AI) - machines programmed to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence - are poised to reshape our workplace and leisure time dramatically. This year, a leading Oxford academic, Professor Michael Wooldridge, warned MPs that AI could go ‘rogue’, that machines might become so complex that the engineers who create them will no longer understand them or be able to predict how they function.

The AI that can choose the perfect picture: Google's software is learning what humans look for in photographs   Daily Mail - December 22, 2017
Google's latest neural image assessment system (NIMA) is using AI to scan all the pictures you took on your phone for quality and then help choose the most attractive ones. The system uses deep convolutional neural networks, a type of computing system that replicates the biological networks in the brain, to scan phone photos for both technical and aesthetic elements. Google hopes to develop the system as app to suggest improvements such as tweaks to brightness and contrast in real time, and even offer tips to improve the framing and 'aesthetic beauty and emotional appeal' of images.

Deep-learning vision system anticipates human interactions using videos of TV shows   PhysOrg - June 21, 2016
When we see two people meet, we can often predict what happens next: a handshake, a hug, or maybe even a kiss. Our ability to anticipate actions is thanks to intuitions born out of a lifetime of experiences. Machines, on the other hand, have trouble making use of complex knowledge like that. Computer systems that predict actions would open up new possibilities ranging from robots that can better navigate human environments, to emergency response systems that predict falls, to Google Glass-style headsets that feed you suggestions for what to do in different situations. This week researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have made an important new breakthrough in predictive vision, developing an algorithm that can anticipate interactions more accurately than ever before.

A self-organizing thousand-robot swarm   Science Daily - August 15, 2014
The first thousand-robot flash mob has assembled at Harvard University. Just as trillions of individual cells can assemble into an intelligent organism, or a thousand starlings can form a great flowing murmuration across the sky, the Kilobots demonstrate how complexity can arise from very simple behaviors performed en masse. To computer scientists, they also represent a significant milestone in the development of collective artificial intelligence.

1st Fully Bionic Man Walks, Talks and Breathes   Live Science - October 19, 2013
He walks, he talks and he has a beating heart, but he's not human - he's the world's first fully bionic man.

S.Korea schools get robot English teachers   PhysOrg - December 28, 2010
Almost 30 robots have started teaching English to youngsters in a South Korean city in a pilot project designed to nurture the nascent robot industry. Engkey, a white, egg-shaped robot developed by the Korea Institute of Science of Technology (KIST), began taking classes Monday at 21 elementary schools in the southeastern city of Daegu.

Robot's space debut 'giant leap for tinmankind'   PhysOrg - November 2, 2010
Space is about to get its first humanoid from planet Earth. Robonaut 2 - affectionately known as R2 - is hitching a one-way ride to the International Space Station this week aboard the final flight of space shuttle Discovery. It's the first humanoid robot ever bound for space, a $2.5 million mechanical and electrical marvel that NASA hopes one day will assist flesh-and-bone astronauts in orbit.

  Robots learning from experience   PhysOrg - August 24, 2010