Interview: Architect Carlo Ratti on Cities and Connection

The engineer, professor and entrepreneur on the future of robotics and humans

Thinker, researcher and entrepreneur Carlo Ratti is particularly passionate about defining life in the cities of the future. His goal is not the conception of bigger and grander cities, but cities that genuinely interact with their citizens—and vice versa. He does this within the context of his job as director of MIT Senseable City Lab, as well as in his own design and innovation firm …

TED 2018: Why You Should Make Useless Things

Simone Giertz's discusses inventions, failure, performance anxiety and more

In a charming and humorous talk from TED 2018, maker and robotics enthusiast Simone Giertz does more than share her wacky and “useless” inventions; she explores the ways in which failure and performance anxiety can be embraced and overcome. While showcasing her “shitty inventions” (such as a googly-eye shirt, toothbrush helmet and more) Giertz explains the importance of making “useless” things, and how the outcome …

“My Special Aflac Duck,” a Robot Companion for Children with Cancer

Insurance company Aflac and health research company Sproutel unveiled a robot duck companion at this year’s CES, made for children going through cancer treatment. More than just a plush toy, the animated robot features a chest sensor with a chemotherapy PICC line attachment. This allows children to witness their toy friend go through the same treatment as themselves, and offers emotional support. Further, there’s a …

YuMi the Robot Conducts Tenor Andrea Bocelli

In a program titled “A breath of hope: from the Stradivarius to the robot,” YuMi the dual-armed robot made its debut as a conductor. Through the compositions of Verdi, YuMi directed none other than world-famous tenor Andrea Bocelli in singing “La Donna è Mobile,” the aria from “Rigoletto” as well as many other performers. YuMi is the invention of ABB—and he was built as a …

fuseproject Designed Cobalt Office Security Robot

Yves Behar's visual language for a roaming, sensor- and algorithm-based watchdog

Upon its unveiling yesterday, the Cobalt office security robot—developed by Palo Alto-based Cobalt Robotics Inc and designed by Yves Behar’s fuseproject design studio—defied our expectations of mobile robots with human tasks. The Cobalt wasn’t designed to replace tradition human security guards, but to increase their reach in 24-hour surveillance scenarios. Each robot has the sensing and computational skills of an autonomous car, more or less. …