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Computers have been teaching each other how to play Pac-Man and StarCraft

While it may be getting easier for humans to teach robots how to perform new tasks, there's still one potential problem – when a new robot is introduced to a work environment, its user may have to teach it the task over again, from scratch. That might soon no longer be the case, however. Researchers at Washington State University have devised a method by which computers can teach each other, freeing humans from having to do so.  Read More

tDCS has come a long way from Giovanni Aldini's 1802 pioneering treatment of Luigi Lanzari...

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has become a widely used technique for reaching into a person's brain and altering the way in which it functions. Vanderbilt psychology Professor Geoffrey Woodman and graduate student Robert Reinhart have just published the results of a new study in the Journal of Neuroscience in which they found that tDCS stimulation of the mediofrontal cortex for a period of minutes can change one's ability to recognize and learn from error for a period of several hours.  Read More

The structures of the MobiVersum are all made of timber (Photo: Uwe Walter for Autostadt, ...

If you’re interested in seeing the latest, most advanced car designs while also taking in some modern art and learning about sustainability, then you might want to stop in at the Autostadt in Wolfsburg, Germany. The museum-showroom-education complex is now also home to the "MobiVersum," by Jürgen Mayer H. The new interactive sculptural installation by the Berlin-based architect is made up of a cluster of abstract shapes that resembles an architectural playground, but is meant to offer lessons in motion and sustainability.  Read More

The robot makes a bee-line for a red cylinder, after learning that 'red is good'

Because of bees' small size, maneuverability and almost machine-like swarm mentality, it shouldn't come as a surprise that scientists are developing tiny flying robots based on the insects. In order to navigate autonomously, however, those robots' artificial bee brains will have to be capable of identifying objects in their environment, and reacting accordingly. Well, thanks to research recently conducted in Berlin, they may soon be able to do so.  Read More

Gizmag reviews Rocksmtih 2014 from Ubisoft

When Rocksmith was released in 2011, it had all the ingredients of a gaming pie capable of satisfying kings of Guitar Hero and Rock Band controllers wanting to learn how to play a real instrument in a familiar digital environment and new six-string slingers looking for an entertaining, full-featured learning package. The platform has now been refreshed for 2014, and Gizmag has spent some considerable time in the company of Rocksmtih's infinitely patient, always available virtual guitar teacher on Ubisoft's note highway to callus hell.  Read More

A demonstration of RoboEarth has been given at Eindhoven University for Technology

A network and repository of data, where robots can share and learn from each other about the tasks they perform, has been demonstrated at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). The project is the culmination of four years of research by scientists from TU/e, Philips, ETH Zürich, TU München and the universities of Zaragoza and Stuttgart.  Read More

The Kano computer kit makes learning programming concepts painless (Photo: Kano)

Billed as "the computer anyone can make," the US$99 Kano kit supplies a Raspberry Pi computer board with the various accouterments (save for a display) required to make it into a complete computer. The Kano programming language uses graphic code blocks to implement a simple but powerful language reminiscent of BASIC.  Read More

Now this is how it's done – Cornell's Baxter robot, handling a knife safely

If you were buying a kitchen knife in a supermarket, you wouldn't expect the cashier to swing it dangerously close to you as they were ringing it up. If that cashier were a robot, though, it wouldn't know any better – unless it had been taught otherwise. That's just what engineers at Cornell University have done, using a unique new technique.  Read More

Play-i's robots teach kids the basics of programming while they have fun

With just a few taps on a tablet screen, children as young as 5 are programming a pair of robots called Bo and Yana using a simple GUI. Looking a bit like the cute one-eyed monsters from a Pixar film, the bots are the flagship products of a start-up called Play-i, founded by a team with experience at Amazon and Apple. In just two days, the company has nearly reached its crowdfunding goal of US$250,000, with plans to send out the first batch in the northern summer of 2014.  Read More

qCraft brings quantum mechanics to Minecraft

“Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it,” Niels Bohr famously wrote. However, Minecraft players can now be slightly closer to parsing the perplexities of quantum theory, thanks to qCraft, a collaboration between Google and Dr. Spyridon Michalakis, a scholar of quantum mechanics. What does this new mod bring to the game? Only quantum teleportation, observer dependencies, and Schrödinger’s Cat, for starters.  Read More

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