No science fiction: Robots are gaining human abilities

It may seem uncomfortably close to science fiction, but robots are moving ever nearer to having humanlike abilities to smell, feel and see their surroundings, allowing them to operate more independently and perform some of the dangerous, dirty and dull jobs people don’t want to do. They can “smell” gas leaks, conduct underwater surveillance and even sort boxes by shape and color and toss them into the appropriate warehouse bin. Advances in sensor technology and software allow these machines to m...

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