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Robotics

Why some artificial intelligence is smart until it’s dumb

Machine learning has found uses in fields as diverse as particle physics and radiology, and its influence is growing. But so is the understanding of its limits.

Less toy, more workhorse: Drones get functional

Airborne autonomous vehicles could soon be dropping off your Amazon packages, delivering your food and even ensuring that the infrastructure around you is safe and sound

Robots designed to self-construct

Robot researcher Mark Yim offers a look inside the promising field of modular reconfigurable robotics — bots that can shift form to tackle an array of tasks

Cell meets robot in hybrid microbots

Researchers are developing microbe-propelled tiny bots to deliver drugs, target cancer or do other work in the body

Reaching out to touch virtual reality

New technologies mean we won’t just see and hear digital information. We’ll also feel it.

Bypassing paralysis

By decoding brain activity with electrical implants, computers can help disabled people move a robotic arm — or their own

Humans beat robots, hands down

We can readily manipulate all kinds of objects; for them, versatility is a huge struggle. They need better mechanics — and a lot more of the intelligence that goes into handling things.

The future of work: Will robots take my job?

Automation threatens to replace some workers but can grow overall employment. The one sure thing is that technology will change how we labor.

Roles for robots

Robots are getting geared up for a variety of human health and social uses

A robotic window on the human mind

Engineers aim to build machines that put people at ease. The effort reveals truths about ourselves.