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What Is Robotics?
Image: iStockphoto.com/maxuser

What Is Robotics?

Years ago, news reports announced that robots would soon be everywhere. Some of these sites say the same thing. Is it true this time? In addition to working in factories and space, will robots soon be cooking our meals, fighting our wars, driving us around, babysitting? Is that a good idea?

For a look at everything from creepily human-like robots to robot rovers on Mars, stay right here.

NASA/JPL
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What Will the Future Be Like?

What Will the Future Be Like?

For robots to become our helpers and companions, they must be able to walk. But that's no simple matter, as the first part of this video shows. More...

Video
NOVA/PBS
Robot Babies

Robot Babies

Can scientists create a robot that "learns as it goes and plays well with others"? What about one that humans love? Take a look at some recent efforts. More...

Profile
Smithsonian
Meet the Man Who Built the Most Lifelike Android Ever

Meet the Man Who Built the Most Lifelike Android Ever

After studying physics, math, and art, David Hanson set out to build the most human-like robots ever seen. Get ready to be amazed. More...

Profile
Digital Trends
The Terrifying Promise of Robot Bugs

The Terrifying Promise of Robot Bugs

By copying nature, engineers have brought us the first robotic fly and also the first robotic arm that has joints and skin and a sense of touch. More...

Video
SciShow
Why We Will Rely on Robots

Why We Will Rely on Robots

One of the world's top robot scientists, Rodney Brooks, introduces Baxter, a robot that works alongside people. But Brooks insists that people shouldn't worry about robots taking their jobs. More...

Video
TED
Self-Driving Cars Are Mastering City Streets

Self-Driving Cars Are Mastering City Streets

Pedestrians, cyclists, trains, construction zones…Could self-driving cars ever handle all that? Equipped with advanced radar and software, they're handling it already! More...

Article
CNN
ARMAR-III: The Robot that Learns via Touch

ARMAR-III: The Robot that Learns via Touch

This robot learns about the world much as babies do: by touching things and moving them around. So it can deal with unfamiliar objects in unexpected places. More...

Article
Phys.org
Can Robots Be Creative?

Can Robots Be Creative?

Can genetic algorithms make machines that are artificially intelligent and creative? And even if they make machines that pass the Lovelace Test, does the creativity come from the machine or programmer? More...

Video
TED-Ed/Gil Weinberg
Glimpses: The Uncanny Valley

Glimpses: The Uncanny Valley

Dive deeper in the concept known as the uncanny valley with this in-depth look at the science behind roboticist Doctor Masahiro Mori’s thesis. More...

Article
Dave Bryant
Robonaut 2

Robonaut 2

In 2011, the first humanoid (that is, human-like) robot ever launched into space, became a permanent crew member on the International Space Station. Scroll down for the video demonstration. More...

Article
NASA
Scientist Profile: Robotic Life Scientist

Scientist Profile: Robotic Life Scientist

As a kid, this ground-breaking robot designer was inspired byStar Wars. Now Cynthia Breazeal is a professor at MIT and builds sociable robots. Meet her latest, Leonardo. More...

Profile
DragonflyTV/PBS
Build a Light-Tracking Robot Critter

Build a Light-Tracking Robot Critter

Stick with this challenging activity, and you'll have a robot that mimics many living things. All by itself, it will move towards or away from light. More...

Activity
Science Buddies
High School Student Develops Chemical-Detecting Robot

High School Student Develops Chemical-Detecting Robot

As a high school freshman, Anna Simpson set out to create a robot that sniffs out spilled chemicals. And 2 years later she had made one…out of Legos. More...

Profile
Live Science
Learn and Think About Robots

Learn and Think About Robots

This site zooms in on factory robots, undersea robots, bug-like robots, and much more. It was created by a robot scientist who truly loves…you guessed it, robots. More...

Article
LearnAboutRobots.com
Scientist Profile: Mars Rover Engineer

Scientist Profile: Mars Rover Engineer

Dr. Ayanna Howard uses artificial intelligence (AI) to make robots "smarter" so they can travel into space and other hazardous locations. Take a look at her SmartNav robot, which is headed to Mars. More...

Profile
DragonflyTV/PBS
Scientist Profile: Robotic Soccer Scientist

Scientist Profile: Robotic Soccer Scientist

Manuela Veloso is an artificial intelligence (AI) researcher who programs small robot dogs to play soccer in international World Cup competitions. Her goal? Increasing the learning abilities of 'bots. More...

Profile
DragonflyTV/PBS
Military Robots and the Future of War

Military Robots and the Future of War

You'll see some amazing robots here that are replacing people on the battlefield. But are they going to save lives in the long run? A military expert offers his opinion. More...

Video
TED
Neuroprosthetics of the Mind: Robots of Our Brain

Neuroprosthetics of the Mind: Robots of Our Brain

Olaf Blanke hopes to use robots, instead of medicines, to cure mental illness. He explains how in this TEDxTalk. More...

Video
TED
Robotics Engineer

Robotics Engineer

Curious about a career in robotics? Then check out this resource, particularly the interview section. Click on the names and find out about people who have made it as roboticists. More...

Article
Science Buddies
Scientist Profile: NASA JPL Researcher

Scientist Profile: NASA JPL Researcher

Lloyd French invents space robots. See his cryobot, designed to melt into the subsurface of the ice, take pictures and samples, analyze the data, and send it all back to Earth. More...

Profile
DragonflyTV/PBS
Scientist Profile: Ocean Scientist

Scientist Profile: Ocean Scientist

Meet Dick Yue, inventor of the Robotuna — a mechanical fish that moves through the water just like the real thing. He hopes to find new, efficient ways to get boats, ships, and submarines moving. More...

Profile
DragonflyTV/PBS
Scientist Profile: Research Scientist

Scientist Profile: Research Scientist

Una-May O'Reilly designs mobile robots that function without the help of humans. Her research in artificial intelligence (AI) will eventually give human faces and personalities to robots. More...

Profile
DragonflyTV/PBS
The Writer

The Writer

Were there robots at the time of the American Revolution? Yes! And one of them, still working perfectly, could write you a note. More...

Video
BBC
Underwater Robot

Underwater Robot

Stay dry and get a clear view of an underwater cave, thanks to a robotic camera system that takes panoramic, high-resolution photos. More...

Video
National Geographic
When Will We Have Robots to Help with Household Chores?

When Will We Have Robots to Help with Household Chores?

Laundry, cleaning toilets, unloading the dishwasher — do you have a household chore you really hate doing? Maybe one day a domestic robot can help. More...

Article
IEEE Spectrum
Make Robots Smarter

Make Robots Smarter

What will it take for us to make smarter robots? Ayanna Howard says it all starts with defining rules of conduct. Her top 3? Do not harm a human, obey us, and protect us. More...

Video
TED
Robots to the Rescue

Robots to the Rescue

Explore the world of robotics with the SciGirls, as they build a rescue robot. More...

Video
SciGirls/PBS
Spheres

Spheres

Someday they might have arms and legs; for now they're robotic spheres, being tested by NASA in space. Think you could hit one with your lightsaber? More...

Video
NASA

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