Man robot: “You need to start thinking about how cognitive science and psychology can help augment any artificial lifelike android into a convincing replica,” says Prof Hiroshi Ishiguro.

Sitting next to a rather sceptical man at the SXSW Interactive Extensions of Humanity event hosted at Japan House in downtown Austin, I knew he wasn’t(...)

Pepper humanoids from Japan’s Softbank: robots are likely to aid rather than replace healthcare professionals. Photograph: Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty

Green-eyed, diminutive and chatty, Pepper takes a break from his tireless singing and dancing: “You guys seem to be foreigners – where are you from?” (...)

US president Barack Obama  at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive festival: “I don’t recall the phrase being, ‘Yes I Can’. It’s ‘Yes We Can’.”  Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

When the rain started pouring on the first day of this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive festival, it was clear most of the Irish entourage(...)

A  group based at the University of California San Diego conducted lens replacement procedures on rabbits and on macaques before using the same procedure in 12 children, all under the age of two. File photograph: Getty Images

Twelve children in the US have had their vision restored to normal after the lenses in their eyes had been removed because of cataracts. Replacement(...)

Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe shakes hands with US ambassador to Japan John Roos as they announce  a US-Japan agreement on the return of some of the US bases in Okinawa in Tokyo today. Photograph: Issei Kato/Reuters

The United States and Japan have announced an agreement for the return to Japan of a US air base, taking a step to resolving an issue that has (...)