Sunday, September 27, 2009

Air Hockey table = space?

air hockey robots

Perhaps destined to be a companion for the Robonaut, a team of researchers at the Polymorphic Robotic Laboratory is designing more robots for use by NASA. Following the current trend in artificial intelligence, the robots use group intelligence (i.e. each individual is relatively dumb but when their powers combine they form a super-smart collective) to perform complex tasks. Since the robots need to work in a frictionless environment they were put through their paces on an air-hockey table, which is apparently the closest simulation of space the researchers could come up with. Had we known air-hockey tables were that cool we never would have thrown ours out.

[Via Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends]

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