As adorable robots go, it seems almost impossible to ever get angry at The Force Awakens' BB-8. Which is why turning the little robot into an alarm clock is such a brilliant idea, because no matter how tired or grumpy are, you'll never be tempted to throw BB-8 across the room when he frantically tries to wake you up.
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Manufacturing has seen a dramatic downturn in Australia, particularly in the automotive sector. So how do we keep this trend from continuing? As the great Billy Hughes said "science will guide the manufacturer into greener pastures", and CSIRO has a plan - we're talking sensors, data analytics, robotics, automation, 3D printing and augmented - or virtual - reality.
We strive to make robots in our own likeness because, as far as we can tell, humans are best adapted to deal with our world. And thanks to researchers at MIT, who've found a way to use cheap, nylon plastic as an artificial muscle, we're now one step closer to creating artificial humans — and opulent fantasy theme parks.
As someone who digs sports and giant robots, I hope I'm not the only person who is a fan of Real Steel. The 2011 Hugh Jackman film about robot boxing is one of those predictable but fun Hollywood films designed to give you goosebumps. And it really would have done that, had a certain moment not been deleted.
A new report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development shows the increased use of robots threatens millions of jobs in developing countries. It undermines the advantage of low wages and facilitates the "reshoring" of industries back to industrialised countries.
The solution? Build your own robots, the report says.
Kids love Halloween because they get to dress up, act like a monster, and be rewarded with free candy. Then you become an adult, and suddenly have to deal with little monsters demanding free sweets. Halloween is suddenly less fun, unless you build a Lego robot to deal with trick-or-treaters.
Agricultural robot Agbot II, designed and built by QUT with support from the Queensland Government, could save Australia's farm sector $1.3 billion a year by reducing the costs of weeding crops by around 90 per cent.
Farmers saw the robot in action at Bundaberg last week, when the fully-autonomous Agbot ll was demonstrated for the first time.
Making robots act like humans is hard, but making robots act like insects is considerably easier. And if you've ever seen a towering ant hill, or a massive bee hive, you know that thousands of insects working together can accomplish impressive things. So why not have a bunch of tiny robots do the same?