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March 26, 2010

Robots, part III

Robots continue to grow in their importance amongst law enforcement, military use, medical research and care, space exploration and entertainment, among other tasks. Robots recently in the news include Russia's decades-old Lunokhod rovers - recently photographed from Lunar orbit, the naming of "Curiosity", NASA's next Mars rover, and a robotic dental patient, designed for realistic training. Collected here are a handful of relatively recent photographs of robots around the world - and the solar system. [Previously, 1, 2]. (33 photos total)

A robotic hand which has been designed to aid army bomb disposal personnel is demonstrated by Rich Walker of Shadow Robot Company at the Centre for Defence Enterprise in Oxford, in central England, on February 11, 2010. (BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

A dentist demonstrates a training procedure, using the new humanoid robot named Hanako which was developed by local engineers at universities and a robot maker to aim at training experience to simulate real dental work for student dentists, at Showa University in Tokyo Thursday, March 25, 2010. Hanako is equipped with the set of teeth made of hard plastic and lifelike mouth cavity which can bleeds and flows saliva just as human reflects against stimuli. It also has voice recognition and speech capability so that trainees can just not only improve treatment skill but also learn to hold conversation with the patients to relax them. (AP Photo/Junji Kurokawa) #

South Korea's android robot "EveR-3" (Eve Robot 3) wears a traditional costume while performing a Korean musical in Seoul on February 18, 2009. A South Korean-developed robot that played to acclaim in "Robot Princess and the Seven Dwarfs" is set for more leading theater roles this year, a scientist said on February 10. (KITECH/AFP/Getty Images) #

Suspect Warren Taylor, of Sullivan County Tenn., lies on the ground after surrendering to a robot after holding hostages at a post office in Wytheville, Virginia on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2009. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) #

A humanoid robot, without its facial skin, is displayed at Japan's largest robot convention in Tokyo Wednesday Nov. 28, 2007. The life-size dental training robot, dubbed Simroid for "simulator humanoid," has realistic skin, eyes, and a mouth that can be fitted with replica teeth that trainees practice drilling on and cries in pain when the drilling goes wrong. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder) #

Boston Dynamics' quadruped robot named BigDog, designed to help soldiers carry heavy equipment in the field, climbs a snowy hillside. (Boston Dynamics) #

A robot named "Robovie-II", developed by Japanese robotics research institution ATR, moves around a grocery store during a shopping-assist experiment in Kyoto, western Japan January 6, 2010. The robot greets the shopper at the entrance of the store, follows him to the shelves while holding a grocery basket and reminds him of the items on a shopping list, which the shopper would have entered beforehand in a specialized mobile device. (REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao) #

Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate student Kenton Williams checks on the face of a robot named Nexi in an area of the Robotic Life Research Group on March 5th, 2010. (Globe Staff/David L Ryan) #

The Shadow Robot company's dextrous hand robot, performs a task at the Streetwise Robots event held at the Science Museum's Dana Center on May 6, 2008 in London, England. The Dextrous Robotic Hand has a bank of 40 Air Muscles which make it capable of 24 movements. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) #

These three combo photos show a "cybernetic human" HRP-4C, designed to look like an average Japanese woman, creating expressions like anger, left, and surprise, right, during a demonstration in Tsukuba, near Tokyo, Monday, March 16, 2009. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara) #

Captain Judith Gallagher of 11 EOD (Explosive Ordnance Division) Regiment displays an anti-IED robot known as the 'Dragon Runner' during a photocall on military technologies in London, on March 17, 2010. The robot weighs between 10-20 kg and is easily carried by a soldier in a backpack and is robust enough to operate in rough terrain. (Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty Images) #

An English-teaching robot stands in front of children at an elementary school in Daejeon, 140km south of Seoul on December 11, 2009. Robot teachers -- who never get angry or make sarcastic remarks -- have been a hit with pupils during a pilot project in some South Korean schools, a government report said. (Knowledge Economy Ministry/AFP/Getty Images) #

Robots assemble Nissan Motor Co. Patrol sport utility vehicles at Nissan Shatai Kyushu Co.'s new plant in Kanda Town, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010. (Kimimasa Mayama/Bloomberg) #

Japan's machinery maker Kawada Industries' new robot Nextage cuts a ribbon with other attendants at the opening ceremony for the International Robot Exhibition in Tokyo on November 25, 2009. (YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images) #

Visitors look at the football-playing robots at the world's biggest high-tech fair, the CeBIT on March 2, 2010 in the northern German city of Hanover. Some 4,157 companies from 68 countries were displaying their latest gadgets at the fair taking place from March 2 to 6, 2010. (DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images) #

A U.S. Army soldier walks past a de-mining robot named after the computer animated character "Wall-E" at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, March 10, 2010. (REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov) #

An engineering student soothes a baby robot during a presentations at a laboratory in Tsukuba University, Ibaraki Prefecture on February 12, 2010. The robot, Yotaro, giggles and wiggles its feet when you shake its rattle, but will get cranky and cry from too much tickling. (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images) #

An employee of the engineering company Festo gives a barbell to the hand of a robot 15 April 2007 at the Hanover fairgrounds, where the Hannover Messe industrial technology fair will officially be opened in the evening. (DAVID HECKER/AFP/Getty Images) #

Russia's Lunokhod 2 Rover (bright spot, top left) and tracks it made (faint, across center) are seen on the surface of the Moon on March 12th, 2010, as seen by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The Lunokhod 2 landed on the surface of the Moon on January 15th, 1973, and operated for about 4 months, covering 37 km (23 mi). More. (NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University) #

A worker walks past a 'Motoman' dual arm robot by Japanese company Yaskawa Electric during final preparations at the "Hannover Messe" industrial trade fair in Hanover April 18, 2008. (REUTERS/Christian Charisius) #

A soldier looks at a bomb disposal robot at a local administration building in Yala province, about 1,084 km (674 miles) south of Bangkok, Thailand on February 18, 2010. A villager alerted the police of a suspicious package which was later found to harmless, police said. (REUTERS/Surapan Boonthanom) #

Actor Branch Worsham performs during a rehearsal of the musical "Robots" at the Barnabe Theatre in Servion, near Lausanne, April 22, 2009. The musical tells the story of a man in self-imposed exile who lives with three robots (a butler, a pet and a dancer) and who is facing a visit from a woman who represents his last link with the outside world. (REUTERS/Valentin Flauraud) #

The Heron, a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV (Unmanned Air Vehicle) for strategic and tactical missions is seen in this handout photo provided on February 16, 2010 by the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). With a wingspan of 16.6 meters and a takeoff weight of 1,250 kg, the Heron UAV can reach an altitude of 30,000 feet and has the endurance of up to 50 hours. It is in use by coalition forces in Afghanistan which rely heavily on them for to provide crucial intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance information in real-time to commanders and directly to front line soldiers. (Israel Aerospace Industries via Getty Images) #

A humanoid robot developed to get students interested in robotics demonstrates with Nippon Institute of Technology associate professor Yuichi Nakazato (top R) during an unveiling event in Miyashiro, north of Tokyo December 19, 2009. (REUTERS/Toru Hanai) #

An Israeli police explosives expert guides a robot after a controlled detonation of an explosive device on the Palmachim beach, south of Tel Aviv February 3, 2010. (REUTERS/Amir Cohen) #

Mahru-Z (R), a robot developed by the Korea Institute of Science and Technology picks up a sandwich in Seoul on January 15, 2010. South Korean scientists have developed a walking robot maid which can clean a home, dump clothes in a washing machine and even heat food in a microwave. The institute took two years to develop Mahru-Z, which is 1.3 metres (4.3 feet) tall and weighs 55 kilograms (121 pounds). (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #

A view of Concepcion crater, as seen by NASA's Mars rover Opportunity in February of 2010. Concepcion is a young crater, targeted for autonomous exploration by Opportunity. Using software named Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science (AEGIS) the rover analyzed images to identify the feature that best matched criteria given for selecting a target - in this case, rocks that were larger and darker in color. The rover then used the software to take more detailed observations of the selected target using its panoramic camera. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/color mosaic by James Canvin) #

A "toddler robot" called "Child-Robot with a Biomimetic Body" or "CB2" looks around the room at a robotics lab in Osaka, Japan on Aug. 30, 2007. The robot is specially designed to mimic a real, human child between one and three years old to assist in child development studies. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder) #

Imformatics PHD student Sebastian Bitzer performs push-up exercises with a programmed Kondo humanoid robot at the newly opened Imformatics Forum building of the University of Edinburgh, Scotland September 3, 2008. (REUTERS/David Moir) #

Pingpong-playing robot "Topio" is displayed during the International Robot Exhibition 2009 in Tokyo November 25, 2009. The bipedal humanoidrobot is designed to play table tennis against a human being. (REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon) #

In this photo provided by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency/Carnegie Mellon, the Army's new Crusher combat robotic vehicle makes its way through the desert Tuesday Feb. 19, 2008 at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. This 6.5-ton, six-wheeled truck with a .50-caliber machine gun affixed to the top has no driver, no cargo hold for soldiers. Instead, the Crusher is an unmanned ground combat vehicle that will never see combat. (AP Photo/ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency/Carnegie Mellon via The El Paso Times) #

Pierpaolo Petruzziello's amputated hand is linked with electrodes to a robotic hand, seen at top left, as part of an experiment called LifeHand at the Bio-Medical Campus University of Rome. The experiment is designed to allow a human to control the prosthetic with their thoughts. A group of European scientists announced in December of 2009 that they successfully connected a robotic hand to a man, Petruzziello, who had lost an arm in a car accident, allowing him to control the prosthetic with his thoughts and feel sensations in the artificial limb. The experiment lasted a month. But scientists say it marks the first time an amputee has been able to make complex movements using his mind to control a biomechanic hand connected to his nervous system. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Bio-Medical Campus University) #

The robotic arm for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory is bent at nearly a 90-degree angle. The robotic arm is undergoing testing in a laboratory at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. The Mars Science Laboratory is now named "Curiosity" and scheduled for launch in October 2011. The arm and tools will reach out and test martian rocks and soil. This arm is identical to the flight hardware that will actually be attached to Curiosity. (NASA/JPL-Caltech) #