People will lie to robots to avoid hurting their feelings, study says

If a robot has enough human characteristics people will lie to it to save hurting its feelings, a study has shown.

The study, which explored how robots can gain a human’s trust even when they make mistakes, pitted an efficient but inexpressive robot against an error prone, emotional one and monitored how its colleagues treated it.

Velodyne Funding Highlights Lidar’s Role in Driverless Cars | Electronic Design

Last week Velodyne raised $150 million in funding to develop better laser imaging technology (lidar) for driverless cars. Velodyne’s lidar works with cameras and radar to gather data about the vehicle’s surroundings and keep an eye on traffic and pedestrians.

Nintendo Wii Board to Help Balance Exoskeleton Users | Medgadget

Exoskeleton technology is a promising one for paralyzed people to get up on their feet and start walking. Though they may look like autonomous robotic devices, the exoskeletons are controlled by the user and still require balance skills to not fall over. This is difficult for patients that have no sensations in legs and feet as they don’t have the feedback that tells them if they are spreading their weight evenly.

A long haul – Self-driving Lorries | The Economist

“DUEL”, one of Steven Spielberg’s early films, features a lorry apparently controlled by demonic forces rather than a driver. The sensors, cameras and software already steering the wheels of some of the world’s lorries, in place of drivers, are regarded as a similarly malign power by truckers fearing replacement by technology. But they have little […]

Flight fantastic – Android Pilots | The Economist

THE idea of a drone—an aircraft designed from scratch to be pilotless—is now familiar. But what if you want to make pilotless a plane you already possess?

Air forces, particularly America’s, sometimes do this with obsolete craft that they wish to fly for target practice. The desire for pilotlessness, though, now goes way beyond the ability to take pot shots at redundant F-16s.

Self-Driving “Taxibots” Will Eliminate 90% Of Cars — The Ferenstein Wire

A fascinating new simulation finds that self-driving cars will terraform cities: 90% of cars will be eliminated, acres of land will open up, and commute times will drop 10%.

A team of transportation scientists took data on actual trips in Lisbon and looked at how a fleet of self-driving, shared “taxibots” would change city landscape.

EVA Park Virtual World Helps Stroke Patients Regain Speaking Skills | Medgadget

City University London researchers have developed a game-like virtual world for people with post-stroke speech impediments to practice their communication skills. Called EVA Park, the virtual world resembles Second Life, but is focused on getting the player to communicate with characters about mundane everyday things.

3D Printer Hacked to Perform Fast and Cheap DNA Sequencing | Medgadget

Scientists at AI Biosciences, a company out of College Station, Texas, modified a 3D printer to perform automated nucleic acid extraction and DNA amplification, the crucial steps for DNA sequencing.

Typically, laboratory devices that perform extraction and amplification can cost tens of thousand of dollars. The hacked printer approach, on the other hand, costs in the hundreds of dollars.

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