Ellie works on a car engine assembly line. Despite her best efforts, she occasionally forgets to screw in one of the bolts, but a laser beam from the ceiling highlights the loose piece as the engine passes, reminding her to tighten it.
This imagined scenario could soon be reality. A robot called Watch-Bot can watch people work, learn the steps that make up the task, then remind people when they forget a step. In 24 trials watching humans at work in the office and kitchen, Watch-Bot was about 60 per cent accurate in shining a laser pointer at the missed task, such as returning milk to the fridge.
THE planet’s surface is more than 70 per cent water. Yet we know more about the moon than we do about what’s going on in the deep oceans. A Massachusetts start-up has a ball-sized robot it wants to fix that.
Meet EVE – the Ellipsoidal Vehicle for Exploration – a sensor-studded yellow robot the shape of a pumpkin.