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Intelligent Windows, Self-Repairing Concrete and Other Inventions that Could Change the World

April 22, 2015 The European Patent Office (EPO) has announced its finalists for the 2015 European Inventor Awards, honoring brilliant inventions from a range of scientific fields. The EPO will have its work cut out choosing winners—everyone on the list is working on or has created something groundbreaking. A dozen finalists are grouped...

Google Has Patented Ability to Control Robot Army

April 15, 2015 After getting a patent for giving robots personalities last month, Google now wants to unleash an army of Rodney Dangerfield bots on the world. In a patent awarded today, the company outlines a system for “allocating tasks to a plurality of robotic devices.” This sounds innocuous enough—it could mean linking...

The UN Wants to Make Sure We’re Not Developing Killer Robots We Can’t Control

April 14, 2015 The United Nations has a lot of things to worry about. Famine, war, inequality, discrimination, epidemic disease… and now, reports New Scientist, the threat of autonomous robots that could destroy us on a whim. The UN’s Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons is meeting this week with experts on the subject...

IBM’s AI Computer Has Come up With Some Pretty Incredible Food Pairings

April 13, 2015 There’s a theory that given an infinite amount of time, a monkey could eventually type out the complete works of Shakespeare. But could that monkey come up with a new way to pair saffron and fennel? IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence computer—famous for its win on Jeopardy!—is trying to do just...

Robot Spiders Could Build the Next Generation of Objects in Space

April 7, 2015 One of the most difficult parts about constructing satellites, space stations, or other orbiting objects is getting the materials into space. For the most part, existing space structures have to be built on Earth. But one company wants to use the ingenuity of spiders to change the way we build...

These Robotic Spiders Could Fix America's Satellite Infrastructure in Space

April 7, 2015 One of the most difficult parts about constructing satellites, space stations, or other orbiting objects is getting the materials into space. For the most part, existing space structures have to be built on Earth. But one company wants to use the ingenuity of spiders to change the way we build...

How Fish Could Give Us the Body Armor of the Future

April 7, 2015 William the Conquerer knew it. The Romans knew it. Even the Terracotta Army seemed to know it: In battle, a solider needs to be protected from his enemy’s volleys, but he also needs to be able to move. Otherwise, the results can be disastrous. Now a new study out of...

MIT Scientists Design Bulletproof Armor Modeled on Fish Scales

April 7, 2015 William the Conquerer knew it. The Romans knew it. Even the Terracotta Army seemed to know it: In battle, a solider needs to be protected from his enemy’s volleys, but he also needs to be able to move. Otherwise, the results can be disastrous. Now a new study out of...

A Search Engine Could Become the First True Artificial Intelligence

April 2, 2015 Everything in our online life is indexed. Every idle tweet, status update, or curious search query feeds the Google database. The tech giant recently bought a leading artificial-intelligence research outlet, and it already has a robotics company on its books. So what if Google, or Facebook, or any of the...

Google's Next-Gen Robots Could Have Personalities

April 1, 2015 Whether or not we are headed toward a robot revolution, Google wants us to get comfortable with the next generation of robots. In a new patent awarded to the company today, Google outlines ways to download and customize the personality of a robot or computer. Google’s patent details a cloud-based...