Random Robot Roundup

Posted 9 Jan 2009 at 21:07 UTC (updated 9 Jan 2009 at 21:55 UTC) by steve Share This

We start this week's roundup with sad news. Long time contributor Roland Piquepaille passed away this week. True to form he submitted two last stories just days before he died: one on the use of AI to predict heart attacks and one on a robotic Cyberknife used to treat cancer patients. Medical robotics is one of several fields where robots are raising ethical questions. The IEEE will hold a workshop on roboethics in Kobe, Japan next year and has issued a call for papers (PDF format). Robosoft reports the French army has ordered 15 of their EOD robots. In lighter news, roschler let us know that he's posted some CES coverage of new robots toys on his robotsrule website. Travis Deyle thought readers would be interested to read about the Situational Awareness Mast (SAM), telescoping sensor mast that can extend to 24 times its original height (from 4 inches to 8 feet!). Meanwhile, scientists are continuing to unravel the mysteries of the brain with the discovery that mirror neurons allow us to learn social behaviours through observation and mental simulation. Freshmeat reports two interesting free software updates that will be of interest to robot builders: a new release of vAVRdisasm, an Atmel AVR disassembler and "What's Wrong With My NLP?", a program that visualization tool that helps you debug natural language processing problems. Both programs are free software licensed under the GNU GPL. The Swirling Brain has been hunting down robot movie info for us with a trailer for Terminator 4, a pics of T4 toys that may reveal plot details, a story on a new Bruce Willis movie with a robot theme, and a story on the much hyped Forbidden Planet (remake|sequel|prequel). He also sent us a real life story about a cyborg with a new type of prosthetic arm that is fused with her own skin and bone. Know any other robot news, gossip, or amazing facts we should report? Send 'em our way please.

That is very sad indeed, posted 13 Jan 2009 at 06:32 UTC by roschler » (Master)

I was just gushing over the new layout of and then I ran headlong into this post. I am very sorry to hear of Roland Piquepaille's passing.

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