Incredible camouflage materials inspired by octopus skin

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Octopuses, squids, cuttlefish and other cephalopods are often called the chameleons of the sea for their dazzling ability to instantly change textures and colour patterns of their skin in response to the complex marine environment. For a long time, this property of cephalopods has inspired awe and wonder. Now researchers are getting closer than ever to creating camouflage materials that mimic these astonishing creatures.

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Should we be worried about the Technological Singularity?

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Technological Singularity is based on the prediction that the development of AI powerful enough to surpass human intelligence will change the world as we know it, leading either to a catastrophic end of the human kind or to its miraculous ascent.

In a recent article in the Guardian, Alan Winfield, professor of electronic engineering at the University of the West of England, Bristol, discusses the pitfalls of being overly pessimistic or optimistic about the Technological Singularity.

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Living Machines 2014

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The 3rd Conference on Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems will be held this year from 30 July to 1 August in Milan. As has become a tradition, the three-day event, organised by the Convergent Science Network, will be hosted at a fantastic venue consistent with the spirit of the conference: the Da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology, one of the largest technology museums in Europe.

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Is Pepper the world’s hottest personal robot yet?

Credit: Aldebaran Robotics

Credit: Aldebaran Robotics

Pepper, a new humanoid robot introduced earlier this month in Japan, may herald the beginning of a new era in personal robotics. Unlike its ancestors, such as Mitsubishi’s Wakamaru and Sony’s QRIO, who had to join the halls of robot extinction, Pepper, developed jointly by the French robotics company Aldebaran and the Japanese telecom giant SoftBank, is here to stay.

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Robot with a sense of humour is no joke

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Last week, the Japanese company Hitachi rolled out the latest version of their EMIEW2 service robot (Excellent Mobility and Interactive Existence as Workmate). And to the horror of all professional comedians trembling for their jobs, this time the robot returned with a sense of humour.

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Meet Romeo, a new rising star of humanoid robotics

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Romeo’s first public appearance at Innorobo 2014 Source: Robert Pratta/Reuters

Five years have passed since Aldebaran Robotics announced an ambitious joint project with over a dozen leading French research centres to make France one of the few countries to have developed an advanced humanoid robot. Finally, the robot, named Romeo, made its long-awaited debut at the Innorobo robotics fair, which was held earlier last month in Lyon.

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Wings and fins bend…in the same way

1024px-Southern_right_whale_caudal_fin-2_no_skyWhat do a bat, a jellyfish and a humpback whale have in common? For one thing, these animals use their natural propulsors, such as wings, bells and flukes, to move through their environment, be it air or water. Last week a group of researchers published a study in Nature Communications that indicates that these and many other animals from distantly related groups seem to have attended the same school of propulsion. And one of the subjects they studied there was all about being flexible.

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Biomimetic robots at Robot SafariEU in London

1470230_10152443459874676_205650588_nRoboticists from across Europe showcased the most advanced biomimetic robots so far at the Robot SafariEU, an event organized by the Science Museum of London. The Robot SafariEU offered its visitors a special experience with a unique landscape of synthetic creatures able to run very fast like robot cheetah, stretch their wings like the rob-bat, crawl like the robot salamander, swim like a fish or like the robotic turtle U-CAT that is built to explore the deep seas. Continue reading