BMW’s Virtual Factory Uses AI to Hone the Assembly Line

BMW’s Virtual Factory Uses AI to Hone the Assembly Line

Grüeneisl says machine-learning algorithms can simulate robots performing complex maneuvers to find the most efficient process.

Bliss Is the Worst Kind of Open-Ended Sci-Fi Movie

Bliss Is the Worst Kind of Open-Ended Sci-Fi Movie

Released in 2014, it’s about vision scientists searching for the origin of the human eye—look, a pun—which, if you didn’t know, is “the window,” as one character literally says, “to the soul.” They find it in the genes of a sightless worm, but not before Karen, played by Brit Marling, warns her lab partner that she, at least, has no interest in getting famous, in being seen: “Recognition makes me nauseous,” she says.

Meet Xenobot, an Eerie New Kind of Programmable Organism

Meet Xenobot, an Eerie New Kind of Programmable Organism

They hope that this new kind of organism—contracting cells and passive cells stuck together—and its eerily advanced behavior can help scientists unlock the mysteries of cellular communication.

A Scientist's Tiny Black Hole Brings the Cosmos Into the Lab

A Scientist's Tiny Black Hole Brings the Cosmos Into the Lab

Jeff Steinhauer makes tiny scale models of black holes in his lab out of rubidium atoms.In another experiment involving cold atom blobs, physicists at the University of Chicago simulated a different extreme environment—what it would be like for a person to accelerate to billions of g’s.

If You Want a Robot to Learn Better, Be a Jerk to It

If You Want a Robot to Learn Better, Be a Jerk to It

To that end, researchers at the University of Southern California have shown that when working in a simulation, you can give robots “tough love” by trying to knock objects out of their hands, and it’ll actually help them better learn to grasp objects.

How It Feels to Drive—and Crash—the First-Ever Mid-Engine Corvette

How It Feels to Drive—and Crash—the First-Ever Mid-Engine Corvette

I’m sitting in one of General Motors’ fanciest new toys and most helpful new tools, the high-fidelity simulator the automaker’s engineers used to create the Chevy that the motoring world has talked about for decades and that I just crashed: the first mid-engine Corvette.

A New Kind of Space Camp Teaches the Art of Martian Medicine

A New Kind of Space Camp Teaches the Art of Martian Medicine

The couple were both enrolled in the Martian Medical Analogue and Research Simulation, a continuing-education course for medical professionals who wanted to learn about health care in space by pretending to practice medicine in pretend space .Here's how that marital rift came to pass: About seven miles outside of Hanksville, Utah, a man stood inside a grain-silo-like building that he and the crew called the Hab. On the other side of the door stood his wife.

Noisy Quantum Computers Could Be Good for Chemistry Problems

Noisy Quantum Computers Could Be Good for Chemistry Problems

However, for chemistry simulations, the noise would be representative of the physical environment in which both the chemical system (e.g., a molecule) and the quantum device exist.

As the World Warms, Clouds Could Disappear—Catastrophically

As the World Warms, Clouds Could Disappear—Catastrophically

This is one of several lines of evidence, Bretherton said, “that would favor the range of predictions that’s 3 to 5 degrees, not the 2- to 3-degree range.” Schneider’s new simulation with Kaul and Pressel improved on Bretherton’s earlier work primarily by connecting what happens in a small patch of stratocumulus cloud to a simple model of the rest of Earth’s climate.

Would You Pay $6,000 For Vision-Quality VR?

Would You Pay $6,000 For Vision-Quality VR?

The first time I saw the Helsinki company’s prototype headset, nearly two years ago, it was little more than a kludge: an Oculus Rift that Varjo had rigged to project an ultra-high-resolution micro display into the center of my field of view.

A Crocodile-Like Robot Helps Solve a 300-Million-Year Mystery

A Crocodile-Like Robot Helps Solve a 300-Million-Year Mystery

But today, in an epically multidisciplinary paper in Nature , researchers detail how they married paleontology, biomechanics, computer simulations, live animal demonstrations, and even an Orobates robot to determine that the ancient critter probably walked in a far more advanced way than was previously believed possible.

The Clever Clumsiness of a Robot Teaching Itself to Walk

The Clever Clumsiness of a Robot Teaching Itself to Walk

But lately, researchers have been experimenting with a novel way to go about things: Make robots teach themselves how to walk through trial and error, like babies, navigating the real world.

This Hyper-Real Robot Will Cry and Bleed on Med Students

This Hyper-Real Robot Will Cry and Bleed on Med Students

If you like, you can even speak through the robot, with a system that turns your voice into that of a 5-year-old.One of the reasons for building Hal was to train medical workers on how to approach children, who may not be forthcoming about their symptoms.