What new technologies surprised us in 2021. We tell in detail

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Robot with human facial expressions

In early December, the British company Engineered Arts presented the Amici robot. It is an android robot with a flexible face and facial expressions reminiscent of a human.

The robot is controlled by the Tritium operating system, and is built on the Mesmer platform – these are the developments of Engineered Arts.

Amici can imitate people with gestures and facial expressions, he expresses “curiosity” and “surprise”.

The Engineered Arts website says that the Amici robot can be purchased or rented, but it is not specified how much you need to pay for this interesting development.

Also in November, the US, UK and some other countries began using delivery robots. They are manufactured by Starship Technologies.

Delivery robots are equipped with wheels, four or six, and have cameras, sensors, GPS and laser scanners for navigating sidewalks and crossing streets. The robot’s speed is just over 8 km / h.

To pick up the order, the customer enters the robot code in the application and opens the lid in the robot, behind which the order is hidden.

Sorting robots at Novaya Porcha

In the past year, robots have appeared on the Ukrainian “New mail”. The operator robotized the zones of freight and small shipments at 20 sorting centers; by the end of the year, the company plans to robotize 10 more objects.

To sort items up to 30 kg, the postal operator uses robotic pirouettes from the Ukrainian company Deus Robots. They got this name because of the ability to rotate around their axis. In the warehouse, the parcel goes to the robot from the unloading tape. Then he drives up to scan the parcel and then puts it on the roller conveyor.

AI earned the first million

Bottom’s artificial intelligence algorithm earned $ 1.3 million from six of its paintings sold in NFT format. Artificial intelligence analyzes fine art throughout the history of mankind and creates its own paintings on its basis.

How does Bottom work? First, the AI ​​creates a query from random words and sentences. Then two neural networks are connected. VQGAN gives the algorithm access to its database of art objects and helps generate images that look like them, and CLIP determines how well they match the request. Thus, thousands of works appear every week. Of these, the algorithm itself selects the 350 best and sends them to vote for the community members – the owners of the Botti cryptocurrency.

How AI is tested in battle

In May, the UK Navy tested artificial intelligence and machine learning systems for the first time. They are designed to modernize the air defense of the kingdom and NATO at sea. AI will increase the capabilities of supersonic missile interceptor operators.

During the Dangerous Shield 2021 exercise, the military checked the hardware and software of the state laboratory Distal and industry partners from Rooke, CGI and BAE Systems: the Startle and Scoriae systems.

The first is designed to ease the burden on seafarers monitoring the air landscape in the operating room: the system provides real-time advice and warnings. Scoriae draws on this data, identifies missiles in flight and makes recommendations on the choice of weapons to neutralize the threat. The rocket operators loved the use of AI.

Typing for the paralyzed

Stanford University created a new way of typing for paralyzed people in the spring of 2021. It uses a brain-computer interface and artificial intelligence algorithms. As a result, a person learned to type text with the power of thought at a speed of 90 characters per minute. They are mainly used in experiments to type text or to select specific items.  The user types text by moving the cursor to the desired letter, and then clicks on it. This is time consuming and can print at a speed of only about 40 characters per minute.

The second option involves the use of electroencephalography (EEG) – a person puts a cap on his head with electrodes that read brain activity. There is an alphabet on the screen, each letter of which flickers at its own frequency. A person looks at one of the letters, the blinking will cause a wave of activity of the same frequency in the visual zones of the brain, the EEG reads these frequencies and the computer guesses the letter that the person is looking at.


After being renamed from Facebook to Meta in October, the company promised to focus on developing the Metaverse. Little is known about Meta’s Metaverse yet. Judging by the videos, this is a virtual world with user avatars and locations where the avatars can be. A unified system of Meta accounts will be created for the Metaverse, covering all social networks of the company.

It’s the Project Cambria Headset, Presence Platform, AI Toolkit for Developers.

In December, Nike bought a footwear company for the metaverse, gaming studio GSC Game World decided to sell metal people in the game, and in the metaverse Decentral and sold the site for a record $ 2.5 million.

Microsoft will also have its own metaverse. The company is working to bring games to the Xbox console there.