Robot

Sphero SPRK+ robo-ball to get kids rolling with programming

Sphero SPRK+ robo-ball to get kids rolling with programming

Analysts, researchers, and even governments believe that IT jobs will still be en vogue by 2020, but the number of jobs will outnumber the roster of students capable of filling those openings. That's why a lot of companies and programs are trying to start kids young by introducing them to the world of computers and robotics, in the form of games, of course. One of those is Sphero, which is releasing its new and improved SPRK+ robot ball (ro-ball? ballbot?) and updated Lightning Lab app to get kids developing apps at a very early age.

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Harvard researchers create ‘muscles’ for soft-bodied robots

Harvard researchers create ‘muscles’ for soft-bodied robots

Humans are soft, easily bruised creatures, and robots are, well, not so soft. If a hard-bodied robot swings its arm around, not realizing your face is nearby, you're going to get a black eye, and no one wants that to happen. Soft-bodied robots are ideal for this reason -- it's harder for them to accidentally injure you -- and Harvard researchers have taken steps toward bringing these gentler robots to life. In a recently published study, the team details a new type of actuator that functions like a muscle.

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Robomow robotic mowers are like a Roomba for your lawn

Robomow robotic mowers are like a Roomba for your lawn

Summer is finally here, and that means mowing the lawn, and that means griping about mowing the lawn and contemplating yet again about replacing the sod with mulch. If mowing really isn't your thing, Robomow wants you to consider its alternatives: robotic law mowers that are basically big Roombas with blades on the bottom.

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Pittsburgh Steelers test robot tackling dummies

Pittsburgh Steelers test robot tackling dummies

The Pittsburgh Steelers are experimenting with robot tackling dummies that chase players across the training field, potentially ramming into them with columnar, padded bodies. The robot dummies are able to operate independently, featuring a base upon which they can roll and brake. In a demonstration video posted by the NFL, the dummies are able to zoom after someone, brake when they dodge, and reverse course quickly.

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Disney Research shows off haptic telepresence robot

Disney Research shows off haptic telepresence robot

If you have ever been to a Disney park, you can understand why the company would be working on different types of robots. The part is filled with mechanical actors that move around and perform in many of the rides. Disney Research has unveiled a new telepresence robot that will have a much wider range of use than lip-synching "It's a Small World" in a creepy ride for kids. What the researchers at Disney Research have created is a new type of hydrostatic transmission that uses a hybrid air-water configuration.

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Hyundai unveils robot exoskeleton that gives you super-strength

Hyundai unveils robot exoskeleton that gives you super-strength

Hyundai has unveiled a very cool robot exoskeleton that reminds more than a little of the suits worn in the Tom Cruise flick "Edge of Tomorrow". Hyundai says that its wearable robot prototype is sort of like an Iron Man suit and allows the wearer to lift hundreds of kilograms. The automaker sees the exoskeleton as being useful in factories, the military, and in physical rehabilitation in the future.

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Origami robot is able to unfold and treat stomach injuries when swallowed

Origami robot is able to unfold and treat stomach injuries when swallowed

Researchers from the University of Sheffield, Tokyo Institute of Technology, and MIT have teamed up to demonstrate a new foldable origami robot that can be ingested and then controlled inside the stomach to treat internal wounds or remove things like button batteries from the stomach. Button batteries are at times swallowed by children and can cause great injury if left alone. The ingestible robot starts in a digestible capsule that is swallowed.

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MARLO bipedal robot walks over snow and rough terrain with ease

MARLO bipedal robot walks over snow and rough terrain with ease

Researchers from the University of Michigan have been working on a freestanding bipedal robot called MARLO. Electrical engineering professor Jessy Grizzle and his students have been working on MARLO in an attempt to get the unsupported robot to be able to walk across varied terrain without issue. The team believes that the feedback control used in the robot could be used in other devices like powered prosthetic legs in the future.

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U of Michigan robot learns to walk on rugged, uneven terrains

U of Michigan robot learns to walk on rugged, uneven terrains

The University of Michigan has a bipedal robot, and it is able to walk without support. The researchers working with the robot recently showcased their creation walking on unstable and uneven ground, marking an update in its movement capabilities. The types of difficult terrain include ones covered with a “thin layer” of snow and steep slopes. The algorithms powering the robot’s walking abilities could one day aid other bipedal robots in tough environments.

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Robot monk Xian’er teaches temple visitors, chants mantras

Robot monk Xian’er teaches temple visitors, chants mantras

Longquan Temple, a Buddhist temple not too far from Beijing, is home to Xian’er, a 2ft. tall robot monk donned in a yellow robe and seeming holding a tablet in his hands. The robot is an unexpected blend of modern with the ancient, and is designed to, among other things, teach visitors some basic things about Buddhism. When not teaching, the robo-monk can chant mantras. The robot’s purpose is fairly simple — it is designed to attract visitor attention that may otherwise be dedicated to a smartphone.

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Puma made a robotic shoebox to help runners train

Puma made a robotic shoebox to help runners train

While it looks like little more than a shoebox with RC car wheels attached, Puma's BeatBot is a robot designed to help professional runners. The device was co-developed by the J. Walter Thompson ad agency, a robotics engineer, and three MIT students. It's self-driving, features a row of LED lights, two GoPro cameras, and is designed to look like, well, a Puma shoebox.

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Jibo the companion robot will start shipping in October

Jibo the companion robot will start shipping in October

Earlier this month, we heard that Jibo the companion robot had been delayed, and wouldn't be shipping out to backers this April as previously said. The company didn't know when it would start shipping, but said it would have more info by April 29. Today's the deadline, and the company has posted a video update, saying it will ship the robot to backers starting in October of this year.

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