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China launches rover for first far side of the moon landing

China launched a rover early Saturday destined to land on the far side of the moon, a global first that would boost Beijing's ambitions to become a space superpower, state media said. The Chang'e-4 lunar probe mission -- named after the moon goddess in Chinese mythology -- launched on a Long March 3B rocket from the southwestern Xichang launch centre at 2:23 am (1823 GMT), according to the official Xinhua news agency. The blast-off marked the start of a long journey to the far side of the moon for the Chang'e-4…

Artificial muscles give ‘superpower’ to robots

MIAMI: Inspired by the folding technique of origami, US researchers said Monday they have crafted cheap, artificial muscles for robots that give them the power to lift up to 1,000 times their own weight. The advance offers a leap forward in the field of soft robotics, which is fast replacing an older generation of robots that were jerky and rigid in their movements, researchers say. "It's likeĀ giving these robots superpowers," said senior author Daniela Rus, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at…