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April 2001. News and Events
APRIL Week 1 - Week 2 - Week 3 - Week 4 - Week 5
A computer-controlled cat door

Your cat has the habit of catching various animals, dragging them inside through the cat door, and letting them loose so they can be chased for hours. To put an end to this, a computer-controlled device has been built. It visually determines if your cat is carrying anything in its mouth when it enters, and if it does, simply does not let it in. This commercially available cat door (Cat Mate) is activated by a small magnet that the cat wears around its neck.

Sixth International Conference on AI Planning & Scheduling

The International Conference on Artificial Intelligence Planning & Scheduling (AIPS) will be held on April 23-27 at Toulouse. France. This is a well established scientific meeting for the presentation of new results in the growing field of planning and scheduling. The continuity of the AIPS conference series is ensured by the Artificial Intelligence Planning and Scheduling (AIPS) Executive Council.

The bionic eye

For decades, scientists and eye doctors have been trying to develop artificial eyes that would return the sense of sight to blind and visually impaired people. And the thought of the "bionic eye" may not be too far fetched. Many companies, such as Optobionics in Wheaton, Ill., have taken the first steps with tiny microchips that can mimic certain parts and function of the human eye - such as the rods and cones, sensors that convert light into electrical impulses at the retina located at the back of the eye.

Robots Raise Ethical Questions

Rodney A. Brooks' book, "Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us," is the kind of stuff that makes Trekkies salivate. In it, droids are inevitable, robots will be commonplace and humans will become cyborg-like with internal robots besting our genetic heritage with engineered biotechnology.

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