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Message Subject Feb 2019! robots are ALREADY Self-aware!! we just don't know it yet!! Scientists say they made a robot that learned to be self-aware!!
Poster Handle Digital mix guy
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Research has traditionally been broken down along simple lines. There's basic, fundamental research into how the world works, and there's applied research that attempts to take these insights and make something useful out of them. The two have very different end goals and require very different approaches to the research process.

But there's a large gray area in between, where the approach is more applied but the end goal may be little more than "make something cool": things like tiny flying robots or 3D computer displays that rely on beads levitated by lasers. How do researchers find direction for these open-ended engineering challenges?

FURTHER READING

Researchers build miniature flying robots, modeled on Drosophila

The answer is "it depends." That's the answer we got when we had the chance to visit some of Columbia University's robotics labs.

Sailing west
Hod Lipson's lab is inspired by a seemingly simple question he posed at one point in our interview: "Can you 3D print a robot that can walk out of the printer, batteries included?" To get there, however, his approach is to head into the unknown—"just sailing west," as he put it. As a result, our time in the lab included discussions of projects like using drones to identify crops that are being damaged by infestations and the use of 3D printers to create elaborate food.
 
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