robots

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

If the robot takeover happens, Austin may face its share of the blame. At this year’s South by Southwest festival, there are more than 30 panel discussions about robotics, artificial intelligence and automation. That’s not even including vendors, the creative works by filmmakers, and bands and booths that explore the subject.

Photo by Jack Plunkett/Feature Photo Service for IBM

These days, many Americans would prefer to “age in place” – or stay in their home as long as they can live safely, independently and comfortably. How long will depend on each individual, but there’s a lab in Austin hoping to extend the timeline for all of us – with robots.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT

The president of General Motors now says plans with Lyft to bring a fleet of self-driving cars to Austin were only hypothetical. But, what kind of regulations do self-driving cars face in Texas?

Lyft via youtube

Update 11:37 a.m. A General Motors spokesperson says that actually, this news is not confirmed; President Dan Ammann was just using Austin as an example.

“At this time, we do not have an active agreement with Austin. We are not pursuing an agreement with Austin. We do not have a forthcoming autonomous vehicle test in Austin. Dan was just using it as a hypothetical example," says Annalisa Bluhm, GM Spokesperson.

UT Austin

Engineers at UT Austin have created a new kind of gel that can repair and reconnect electronic circuits. KUT's Mose Buchele reports on possible applications, from smarter smart phones to self-healing robot armies. 

Andrew Weber, KUT News

We’ve seen the future – and it is automated.

We have automated vacuum cleaners, cars and even warplanes. So it was only a matter of time until the practice moved to home furnishings. And Sunday before last, at 5 a.m., the UT Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) debuted the latest – and most peculiar – automation application: a robotic couch.

flickr.com/jurvetson

Robots can perform surgerybuild machinerytrade stocks, and even write news stories. And now they can drive cars.

California legalized so-called self-driving cars yesterday. Nevada has actually issued a drivers license to a robot car. And while Texas isn't exactly stepping on the gas with regards to driverless cars, it isn't stuck in neutral either.

The only traffic-ready self-driving car is currently offered made Google – although it’s not for sale. The system uses sensors and computers to navigate through traffic. Current laws require a human to sit in the driver’s seat, in case something goes haywire with the computer.

Google says its fleet of six Toyota Priuses, an Audi TT, and a Lexus RX450 hybrid have logged more than 300,000 trouble-free miles. There have been two collisions, but the company says that neither was the robot driver’s fault.