This week's roundup includes a lot of fun and interesting stuff! We've got insects, consciousness, language, sensory awareness, backflipping robots, and more.
- Let's start with the backflipping. RoboJenny sent us this video of a robot doing some pretty amazing gymnastics.
- Linguistics researchers have found that the origins of human language go back a lot further than we thought. Like 500,000 years back!
- In a new paper (PDF format) from UK researchers studying insects, evidence that passive forces may be as or more important than muscle power in limb movement, with potential applications to robot limbs.
- Roboticists in Brazil have proposed a new goal-driven attention model for robots that combines top-down and bottom-up features. They describe it in a new paper (PDF format).
- RoboMetric let us know about their VisitorBot kickstarter to fund an open source telepresence robot.
- The Daily Beast weighs in with the latest round of opinion pieces on whether or not robotics helps or hurts the economy (they say it hurts). PBS Newshour offered a more balanced and in-depth look at the complexities of the issue.
- The always thoughtful and fascinating Conscious Entities blog recently posted a piece titled "What's wrong with Killer Robots?"
- The Swirling Brain swirled up a story about robot waiters in Bangkok restaurants.
- And, last up this week, a new paper (PDF format) on an interesting research project investigating new technologies for telesurgery with an experimental setup that relies on Wii Remotes.