Robots

Can a machine be taught to understand the plant world?

Innovation for Good

Is This Weed-Spotting, Yield-Predicting Rover the Future of Farming?

The robot, developed by Alphabet Inc.'s X, will make its public debut at the Smithsonian

The Nautilus, a research vessel operated by the Ocean Exploration Trust, and the ROV Hercules (in the water) on the hunt for a cancer-busting marine bacteria.

A Marine Bacteria Species Shows Promise for Curing an Aggressive Brain Cancer

A new glioblastoma drug is derived from a microbe found in the ocean at depths of up to 6,500 feet

A chameleon’s exterior can dapple on demand with a remarkable variety of colors and patterns. Researchers are inching towards realizing that capability in robots.

Scientists Design a Robotic Chameleon That Crawls and Changes Color

A new artificial skin can sense its surroundings and create a camouflage coat

Run, Cassie, run!

'Star Wars'–Like Running Robot Finishes 5K on Two Legs

The untethered bipedal bot made history by completing the outdoor course in 53 minutes

Four robots printed the steel structure in just six months.

Innovation for Good

World's First 3-D-Printed Steel Bridge Debuts in Amsterdam

The newly opened overpass measures 40 feet long and weighs 6 tons

Orange scalefin anthias fish swarm in front of a fire coral in the Red Sea's Ras Mohammed Marine Park, Egypt.

Smithsonian Voices

Will the Oceans of 2030 Brim With Reef Robots and Other Fancy Stuff?

Imagine a world where an Indigenous fisher can get forecasts of local marine life from a smartphone, or robots offer real-time data on coral reef health

President Barack Obama fist bumps a robotic arm being controlled by electrodes implanted in Nathan Copeland's brain at the University of Pittsburgh on October 13, 2016.

New Research

Researchers Create Mind-Controlled Robotic Arm With Sense of Touch

Touch feedback allowed a man with electrodes implanted into his brain to command a robotic arm and complete tasks quickly

Artist's rendering of "Futures," an upcoming exhibition at the Smithsonian's Arts and Industries Building

Futures Exhibition

From Floating Cities to Biodegradable Burial Pods and Flying Cars, the Smithsonian Envisions a Multitude of Futures

The Arts and Industries Building will reopen this November with a thought-provoking exploration of what lies ahead for humanity

Perseverance landed on Mars using a sky crane, which hovers above the planet's surface and drops the rover on ropes.

Perseverance Rover Shares Its First Video and Audio of Mars

The Curiosity rover landed the same way in 2012 but the engineers who designed the system hadn’t seen it in action until now

NASA's Perseverance rover will store rock and soil samples in sealed tubes on the surface of Mars.

Exploring Mars

Perseverance Kicks Off Elaborate Effort to Bring Mars Rocks to Earth

The decade-long mission requires dozens of glass tubes, two rovers and three more rocket launches, including the first from another planet

Each fish-inspired robot uses two wide-angle cameras to look for the LEDs on its companions.

New Research

These 3-D Printed Robot Fish Sync and Swim

The small water-bound robots use wide-angle cameras and three bright LEDs to move in synchronized swarms

Italian company Beeing’s B-Box is small enough to keep on even a modest urban balcony.

Nine Attention-Grabbing Inventions Unveiled at This Year's CES

Held virtually, the Consumer Electronics Show still debuted plenty of new gadgets, from an easy-to-use beehive to a Bluetooth mask

(Top row) Jing Liu and Florian Idenburg, Barron Ryan, Arturo Elizondo, (middle row) Samantha Pratt, Gitanjali Rao, Anitra Belle Henderson, (bottom row) Kennyjie, Andrea Ponti and Brett Phaneuf

Innovation for Good

Ten Innovators to Watch in 2021

These visionaries are imagining an exciting future with chicken-less eggs, self-piloting ships and more

Look out for the Atlas' "Twist" and Spot's bourre in the nearly three-minute-long video.

Dancing Boston Dynamics Robots Show Off Their Sweet Moves

These bots can’t resist a bop

One specimen of the ultra-black fish species Anoplogaster cornuta.

Innovation for Good

Ten Scientific Discoveries From 2020 That May Lead to New Inventions

From soaring snakes to surfing suckerfish, nature is an endless source of inspiration

Daphne, an autonomous solar-powered vessel developed by British Columbia–based Open Ocean Robotics, is part of a wave of new ocean robots designed to police illegal fishing.

A New Generation of Autonomous Vessels Is Looking to Catch Illegal Fishers

A design challenge has tech companies racing to build a robot that can police illegal fishing in marine protected areas

A wolf-like robot dubbed "Monster Wolf" photographed in 2017. An updated model was recently installed in the town of Takikawa on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido. The robot's motion sensor triggers flashing red LED eyes and a selection of 60 sounds aimed to frighten animals back into the wild.

Robotic 'Monster Wolf' Protects Japanese Town From Bears

No bear interactions have been recorded in the town since the robots' installation in September

Fireflies in a forest at night in Tennessee.

How Fireflies' Dramatic Light Show Might Spark Advances in Robot Communication

Researchers say understanding the brilliant display could help them create groups of drones that operate without human control

Researchers test out Curly, an AI-powered curling robot, in 2018.

Curly the Curling Robot Can Beat the Pros at Their Own Game

An AI-powered robot was able to beat professional curling teams 3-out-of-4 times, a new study shows

Each of the more than 50 animatronic dinosaurs remains fully functional.

These Life-Size, Animatronic Dinosaurs Are Heading to New Homes

Yesterday, an auction house in Canada offloaded more than 50 robotic reptiles in a unique online sale

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