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  • Party Robot

    Originally developed as a therapeutic tool to help autistic children with social communication, this robot is now being released as a toy that can dance in time to music or clapping. Sensors make the robot sensitive to types of touch, allowing it to respond differently to, say, pokes and squeezes.

  • Letter from the Editor

    Our November/December 2011 issue features new technology for eavesdropping on the hive mind, an essay on the evolution of privacy, and much more.

  • Going Offline

    Google reveals how often ­governments ask it to banish things from its services and how often it complies.

  • A Light in the Desert

    Some of the world’s largest renewable-energy facilities are setting up in the harsh Mojave Desert.
    Photographs by Chad Ress

  • Instrument of Control

    Belts of electrodes can control muscles in the forearm to help a beginner play a musical instrument.

  • Battery Fill-Up

    Better Place’s switching ­stations allow electric cars to swap ­batteries during long trips.

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