Researchers interact with rats by becoming virtual rats themselves

A wise man once said, "In order for us to understand the rat, we must become the rat." Now, it's quite possible that no one has ever actually said this, but that doesn't matter. But what does matter is that it's the driving sentiment behind a project that's seeking to bridge the gap that's separating us humans from… » 11/01/12 2:45pm 11/01/12 2:45pm

How did this game bot score higher than humans on a Turing Test?

Anyone who plays video games knows that game bots, artificially intelligent virtual gamers, can be spotted a mile away on account of their mindless predictability and utter lack of behavioral realism. Looking to change this, 2K Games recently launched the BotPrize competition, a kind of Turing Test for nonplayer… » 10/01/12 1:20pm 10/01/12 1:20pm

This creepy-as-hell kissing device will let you send a smooch over…

Cutting-edge devices that allow you to be ‘telepresent' are slowly starting to make an appearance in our lives, but a new kissing device that looks like the cross between Mr. Potato Head and and an ostrich egg may make us wish they will never catch on. » 7/19/12 9:40am 7/19/12 9:40am

Japanese handshaking robot will inevitably be used for evil. Sexy evil.

Meet Osaka University's remote handshaking telepresence device. Combine it with the Telenoid R1 sperm monster and the remote kissing machine for an erotic fiesta of disembodied horror. » 3/27/12 2:30pm 3/27/12 2:30pm

High-tech robotic head owes a debt to Disneyland's Haunted Mansion

Projection people aren't an entirely new phenomenon, but this Mask-bot — a new yammering robo-visage from German and Japanese researchers — was built to give robots emotive faces and to replace conference calls with talking heads. » 11/07/11 12:00pm 11/07/11 12:00pm

Somebody went and invented the power loader from Aliens

We've seen some fairly convincing power loader facsimiles before, but this refurbished Ditch Witch by Raytheon-Sarcos — who are also experimenting with robotic exoskeletons — isn't that far off from James Cameron's original vision. » 10/15/11 8:00am 10/15/11 8:00am

Man inventing cell phone that can kiss you

Ever wished your phone was a little more... intimate? Fabian Hemmert, a design researcher at the Berlin University of the Arts, Germany, certainly does. "Mobile phones use so little of our sensory abilities," he says. "They are great for information exchange - text, video, and speech - but they provide no feeling of… » 9/11/11 8:30am 9/11/11 8:30am

Long-distance relationships of the future will be more depressing,…

Researchers at Japan's Kajimoto Laboratory at the University of Electro-Communications are developing a device that allows the user to engage in some telepresence smooching by furiously tonguing an apparatus that resembles an electric toothbrush or talk box. Sexy futurism? » 5/04/11 7:30am 5/04/11 7:30am

Five years from now, we will talk on phones shaped like squirming…

Remember the Telenoid R1 telepresence robot we featured several months back? Now researchers from Osaka University have collaborated with NTT Docomo and Qualcomm to build the Elfoid, a telephone shaped like a pallid amphibious man. » 3/07/11 12:10pm 3/07/11 12:10pm