Soft fabric robot grips objects like an elephant's trunk

The new tool may someday be used in work that needs a light touch.

Credit: UNSW Medical Robotics Lab
  • A team of engineers has developed a shape shifting tool that can grasp strangely shaped objects.
  • Unlike robots based on claws, this device can wrap around objects for a better grip.
  • It could be commercially available in as little as a year.
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Tiny parasite-like robots are the future of pain relief

Researchers design microdevices that can gradually deliver medicine by latching on to intestines.

Credit: Johns Hopkins University
  • A research team from Johns Hopkins University designs microdevices that can deliver medicine.
  • The tiny robots are based on parasite hookworms.
  • The machines can latch on to the intestines and gradually release pain-relieving drugs.
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COVID-19 is accelerating the pace of automation and the need for UBI

The pandemic has given us an early glimpse at how truly disruptive the fourth industrial revolution may be, and the measures we'll need to support human dignity.

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
  • The coronavirus crisis has acted as a catalyst for two powerful transformative forces: automation and universal basic income.
  • These two intertwined forces will undoubtedly gain steam, writes Frederick Kuo, and the pandemic will hasten the acceptance of them from a scale of decades to years or mere months.
  • This crisis has ushered in a glimpse of what a dystopian future could look like as a rapidly advancing fourth industrial revolution inevitably causes severe disruption in our economy and labor structure.
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An Intelligence That Can See Its Own Future Created by Scientists

UC Berkeley researchers create a robot that learns by playing and can predict the future of its actions.

Want to survive job automation? Don't think like a robot

Here's why coding skills alone won't save you from job automation.

The conventional wisdom developing in the face of job automation is to skill up: learn how to code, become a member of the rising tech economy. Venture capitalist Scott Hartley, however, thinks that may be counterproductive. "Just because you have rote technical ability, you may actually be more susceptible to job automation than someone who has flexible thinking skills," he says. Retraining yourself in tech-based areas is smart, but the smartest way to survive job automation is to develop your soft skills—like improvisation, relational intelligence, and critical thinking. Believe it or not, those 'softer' assets will rule in the digital age, so play to what makes you human. In time, everything else will be done by a robot. Scott Hartley is the author of The Fuzzy and the Techie: Why the Liberal Arts Will Rule the Digital World.

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