Remember the floating training remote in Star Wars? Some people have done DIY versions of the remote that can levitate on your desktop. However, leave it to NASA to create the real thing and call it SPHERES: Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites: robotic bowling balls (OK, 18-sided polyhedron satellites) with autonomous propulsion, power, avionics, software, communications, and metrology subsystems, that fly freely in the ISS. First tested in 2006, they have been upgraded with Android smartphones, which makes them (for now) the less terrifying item in Google's growing robotic arsenal.
Watch a swarm of flying robotic drones construct a tiny building. In the future, construction workers will be a buzzing, mildly disturbing haze of mechanical diligence.
I'll tell you one thing: if I was in London, I'd mosey on over to the Kinetica Art Fair. It looks like fun.
Miniature Robotic Insect Takes Off Researchers have created a miniature robotic fly that weighs just 60 milligrams and has a wingspan of three centimeters for covert surveillance. Thats progress!
Buy your own fully functional Bipedal Exo-Skeletal Semi-Robotic Vehicle—or Mech—courtesy of Neogentronyx.
Feral Robotic Dogs OUT THERE, in happy family homes, in the offices of corporate executives, in toy stores through out the globe, is an army of robotic dogs. These semi-autonomous robotic creatures, though currently programmed to perform inane or entertaining tasks: begging for plastic bones; barking to the tune of national anthems; walking in circles; are actually fully motile and AWAITING FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS.
Robotic Scientist - Scientists created a closed, automated system to conduct simple labor intensive scientific experiments in molecular genetics. The robot creates hypothesis and tests them. Supposedly it works more efficiently (picks less expensive experiments, and fewer of them) then its human counterparts (graduate students in biology and comp sci.). More detailed article in Nature here (institutional access / subscription required). I for one, welcome our new robot overlords.
Proof that there are some brilliant teenage girls out there. This robotic rescue device was created by a couple of teenaged twin sisters, no less. Just imagine what these two will accomplish by the time they reach adulthood. The Craig sisters make excellent alternative role models to the likes of Britney and Christina. You go, girls.