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Robot That Can Turn Cartwheels, Do Somersaults

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Sherry Randhawa of Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, recently demonstrated some of the school's progress in robotics and computing. A major attraction was a robot capable of performing cartwheels, somersaults, balancing on one leg, and flapping its arms, as well as demonstrating exercises such as squatting.

Another technology on display was Thinking Head, an onscreen entity with a personality created by professor David Powers. "The more you interact with Thinking Head, the more it absorbs and gains artificial intelligence," said Randhawa. "Our students are trying to get it to process images and recognize speech. Now we can interact with it only by keying in statements through the computer keyboard."

David Lewis of the university's New Nanotechnology Center said the school is seeking to expand opportunities in nanotechnology. "We have nanotechnology in the things we see around us, like our plasma television screens or even in our wall paints. We are looking at a future where we can have plasma screens that are as flexible as paper; even a situation where we will not need plasma screens and the wall will double up to show visuals," he noted. "In health, too, there are applications. We are looking at objects so small that they will escape the immune system and become biologically compatible."

From "Robot That Can Turn Cartwheels, Do Somersaults"

Times of India (03/31/09)

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