Random Robot Roundup

Posted 26 Jan 2013 at 21:02 UTC by steve Share This

Lots of news today as we empty the editor's inbox. An MIT Technology Review article argues their are fatal flaws in Ray Kurzweil's new AI project for Google. If you read Bruce Sterling's piece in the answers to the annual Edge question, he did a little debunking of "the singularity". George Dvorsky begs to differ with Sterling, offering a collection of responses from those who are still faithful believers in the nerd rapture. And speaking of Edge, they posted a fascinating article and video detailing what philosopher Daniel Dennett has been up to lately, including why he thinks the vision of the brain as a computer is still correct, but he wants to correct a mistake he made in the past regarding the approach to homuncular functionalism. Also on the subject of human brains, remember the old science fiction novels that imagined a future with sleep learning machines? Researchers have finally discovered why our past attempts at sleep learning failed and have built a sleep learning machine that actually works, using a process called cued memory reactivation, paper is paywalled but there's an NSF summary of the research with a demonstration video. Unless you're short on sleep, you probably remember our recent story on the new release of ROS. Our friends over at NooTriX have released a ready-to-use virtual machine version of ROS Groovy Galapagos - an Open Virtualization Format .ova file that will run under VmWare, Parallels, and other VMs that support the standard format. Finally, The Swirling Brain pointed out an interesting CNN story on a humanoid robot design that can be built using parts made on a 3D printer. Unfortunately the design is not actually open source as the article suggests (the non-commercial-use license doesn't meet the guidelines of either the Open Source Hardware Association or the Free hardware definition) but it is a cool idea and hopefully will inspire similar designs under an open/free hardware license eventually. Know any other robot news, gossip, or amazing facts we should report? Send 'em our way please. Don't forget to follow us on twitter and Facebook. And now you can add us to your Google+ circles too.

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