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Video Games and the Future of Robotics
Technology normally has to percolate in the military or the space program before it trickles down, but video games can be an interesting exception.
By Mark Ingebretsen


Technology normally has to percolate in the military or the space program before it trickles down to private companies and consumers. But video games are an interesting exception. A few years ago, scientists realized that the graphics chips in video games could function as cheap, ultrafast math processors. You could build a low-cost supercomputer just by wiring together a half dozen or more Sony Playstations (manual). The result: Desktop high-performance computing (HPC) was born. Recently, researchers in robotics-related areas have harnessed HPC computing for computationally intensive tasks, such as computer vision.

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