A few years back, when my writing partner and I were working on our book, we had a series of discussions with programmers about artificial intelligence in non-player characters. That led us out to MIT, where we spent a day getting demonstrations on how researchers were using animal simulations to help “train” the computer to think.
Over the next few years, I had the chance to edit a series of stories on how researchers were going one step further: using biology to inform how robots can move, including this story which we published in Technology Review last week.
So, I was particularly delighted to read a story in yesterday’s New York Times (with kudos to Brittany Sauser for sending this along).
Roaches Aid in Robotic Innovations
In an article from the New York Times, Garnet Hertz, a graduate student at the University of California has found a simple solution to robotic navigation by creating Robo-Roach.
The Madagascar hissing cockroach, which can grow as big as a mouse, rolls around in Hertz’ three-wheeled cart that rises about knee high, and steers the contraption by running on a modified trackball (really).
Hertz’ motivation came from other robotic pioneers – such as MIT’s Rodney Brooks – who have suggested that robot intelligence should be similar to that of roaches and other insects that react quickly to their environment.
Five poems about the mind
Work reinvented: Tech will drive the office evolution
As organizations navigate a new world of hybrid work, tech innovation will be crucial for employee connection and collaboration.
I taught myself to lucid dream. You can too.
We still don’t know much about the experience of being aware that you’re dreaming—but a few researchers think it could help us find out more about how the brain works.
Is everything in the world a little bit conscious?
The idea that consciousness is widespread is attractive to many for intellectual and, perhaps, also emotional
reasons. But can it be tested? Surprisingly, perhaps it can.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.