Roomba Goes Rogue

A saw-wielding Roomba is readying itself to help you build your own furniture from start to finish. (Later, IKEA.) It, along with its robotic coworkers, may one day become your very own cadre of carpenters. The MIT-developed software that comes along with this adjusted Roomba and its autonomous buddies will (1) allow you to choose or adjust a generic design for various household items (like desks, chairs, and tables—with sheds and decks on the horizon), (2) guide these robots to do all your wood-cutting bidding, and (3) walk you through assembly. This project still in research mode, but it’s being presented at a conference in Australia in May, and it’s seen some solid success. Watch the video here:

So, You Think I Should Shift this Row to the Right?

A basketball-sized robotic head, called CIMON, is headed to the International Space Station (ISS) for the summer. It has three goals while up there floating around: help with medical applications, aid crystal research (although we’re not yet clear on what that means), and help at least one astronaut solve a Rubik’s Cube. Yup. And it’s hoped that its AI smarts, which include text, speech, and image processing, will help with efficiency and reduce astronauts’ stress.

Questioning Questionable Clauses

When pitted against 20 able lawyers, this AI-powered NDA review tool had a 94 percent accuracy rate at identifying and labelling different desired elements in NDAs, and the lawyers were accurate on average 85 percent of the time. The decided advantage in this AI’s favor, though, is that it took 26 seconds to complete the task while it took the lawyers between 51 minutes to 2.5 hours.