Minds of their own

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Science  10 Oct 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6206, pp. 182-183
DOI: 10.1126/science.346.6206.182

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EyeRover may look like a miniature Segway with eyes, but the foot-tall bot is packed with some of the most advanced robotic technology ever devised, including a prototype computing platform designed to emulate the human brain. Unlike conventional computer chips and software, which execute a linear sequence of tasks, this new approach—called neuromorphic computing—carries out processing and memory tasks simultaneously, just as our brains do for complex tasks such as vision and hearing. Many researchers believe that neuromorphic computing is at the threshold of endowing robots with perceptual skills they've never had before, giving them an unprecedented level of autonomy. At the same time, robots could provide the perfect demonstration of the power of neuromorphic computing, helping persuade scientists in fields ranging from computer vision to environmental data analysis to embrace the approach.

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