A helping, robotic, hand at CeBIT

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CeBIT, the world’s largest annual IT fair, is a good place to meet the latest generation of robots, like Roboy, a humanoid machine with built in muscles and joints, designed by Swiss and German researchers as a training aide for medical professionals. And meet Charlie, the space robot monkey with sensitive feet and a flexible spine, who can move across uneven shifting surfaces.

The head of the Istruct project at the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence, Daniel Kuehn, said: “We have integrated more than 60 sensors into the feet and we pre-process the data right there so that only the results are sent to the main computer. The spine is flexible and can move in all directions and has the same movement range as us humans.”

The AI center used chimpanzees as models when developing Charlie.

Data security is obviously a hot topic and several companies were offering so-called “tap-proof” communication solutions to make smartphones more secure.

Encryption apps like Secure Call (jointly promoted by British Vodafone and Secusmart, a German company which secures Merkel’s BlackBerry mobile phone), could potentially stop hackers stealing personal data or eavesdropping on conversations but encrypting speech on one device and decrypting it on the other. As data is fully encrypted throughout the network, tapping and spying would be impossible.

Tento Technologies, from the UK, have developed a new password system based on visual cryptography. Log in with a plastic card overlaying the screen image and a password is revealed.

The Managing Director Tento Technologies Ltd, Howard Yates, explained: “It takes an image and splits it into two. One of the images we print on the card here and the other image we put on your PC screen.”
 
Bundesdruckerei, the German manufacturer of banknotes, stamps, ID cards and passports is also developing security solutions. For example, a system called Full ID makes automated border controls possible at the self-service terminal of tomorrow’s airports.

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