Orbiting Tomorrow

Explore the dissolving boundary between science and science fiction with news from the front lines of discovery and imaginative speculation on how each one could change our world.

I, killer robot: should autonomous lethal weapons be terminated?

Today the United Nations convened a meeting on the use of “killer robots”: autonomous lethal weapons that could select targets and attack them without the involvement of a human operator.  … Continue reading

May 13, 2014 · 1 Comment

Fuel for the Future: Orbiting Gas Stations Enable Space Travel

Earlier this month, an MIT team proposed two ideas for orbiting fuel depots that would supply missions traveling between Earth and the Moon. These stations could operate in a “steady … Continue reading

March 12, 2014 · Leave a comment

Fallout: A Community Copes with Uranium Pollution

Uranium pollution from wartime mining activity is driving Native Americans from their homes in Church Rock, part of the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. Toxic waste, radioactive dirt, and polluted … Continue reading

February 27, 2014 · Leave a comment

Silicon Swarm: Insects Inspire Self-Organizing Robots

Inspired by the behavior of termites, a team of engineers at Harvard have developed small robots that operate without central control. Simple algorithms allow the robots to communicate, assign tasks, … Continue reading

February 19, 2014 · Leave a comment