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Geographic Hints Help a Simple Robot Navigate for Kilometers

There are currently about 440 fission reactors operating worldwide, which together can generate about 400 gigawatts of power with zero carbon emissions. Yet these fission plants, for all their value, have considerable downsides. The enriched uranium fuel they use must be kept secure. Devastating accidents, like the one at Fukushima in Japan, can leave areas uninhabitable. Fission waste by-products need to be disposed of safely, and they remain radioactive for thousands of years. Consequently, governments, universities, and companies have long looked to fusion to remedy these ills. Among those interested…

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Kawasaki’s Robot Ibex: Can It Be Tamed?

The ability to make decisions autonomously is not just what makes robots useful, it’s what makes robots robots. We value robots for their ability to sense what’s going on around them, make decisions based on that information, and then take useful actions without our input. In the past, robotic decision making followed highly structured rules—if you sense this, then do that. In structured environments like factories, this works well enough. But in chaotic, unfamiliar, or poorly defined settings, reliance on rules makes robots notoriously bad at dealing with anything that…

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Video Friday: Robot Friends – IEEE Spectrum

The ability to make decisions autonomously is not just what makes robots useful, it’s what makes robots robots. We value robots for their ability to sense what’s going on around them, make decisions based on that information, and then take useful actions without our input. In the past, robotic decision making followed highly structured rules—if you sense this, then do that. In structured environments like factories, this works well enough. But in chaotic, unfamiliar, or poorly defined settings, reliance on rules makes robots notoriously bad at dealing with anything that…

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7 Great Home and Office Deals: AirPods, Robot Vacuums, Chromebooks

The sun is out, so naturally all I want to do is grab a glass of rosé and sit outside with my girlfriends. Unfortunately, it’s typically frowned upon to have wine while you’re on a deadline. If you, too, are gazing out of your office window, I’ve rounded up eight deals that can help you get through the workday, from some of our favorite laptops to a white noise machine to help you wind down. Don’t see anything you need here? Check out our guides to the Best Home Office…

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