Robotics

Sony developing robot able to bond with humans

Sony developing robot able to bond with humans

During a Corporate Strategy Meeting today, Sony detailed plans to create a robot with which humans will be able to form an emotional bond. Named as one of the company’s new future initiatives, this yet-unnamed robot will “be…able to grow to inspire love and affection,” and will also be “capable of forming an emotional bond with customers.” It appears the robot will be targeted at retail stores, not private homes.

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How Anki’s Cozmo is the ambassador for robot-human relations

How Anki’s Cozmo is the ambassador for robot-human relations

Anki has come a long way from its WWDC 2013 demo of iPhone-controlled race cars, but today's big reveal of Cozmo, it's AI-blessed robot, is a lot more than just a toy. Scurrying around on its tank tracks, the palm-scale gadget looks like a plaything but is in reality a clever sleight of hand to bring some of the most complex parts of modern computing right into the home.

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Anki’s Cozmo introduced as a consumer-level robot with personality

Anki’s Cozmo introduced as a consumer-level robot with personality

Artificial intelligence and robotics are two things that permeate modern-day life, whether it's the Curiosity rover scouring the surface of Mars or Watson dominating at a game of Jeopardy. For the most part, however, these robotic applications have been left to the professional spaces, be it the military, manufacturing, or science in general. But what about consumer applications? Overdrive developer Anki is asking that very question today with the introduction of its new, consumer-focused robot that goes by the name of Cozmo.

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Nissan GT-R Drone built to keep up with the 2017 GT-R car

Nissan GT-R Drone built to keep up with the 2017 GT-R car

Trying to keep up with a race car in order to film it in high-speed action, while not impossible for a human to accomplish, would be dangerous and inefficient. Cases like these are where robots come in. To be able to catch up with the 2017 Nissan GT-R race car while filming it, Nissan decided to make its own drone. A racing drone for that matter. Meet the Nissan GT-R Drone, billed to be one of the fastest in the world. And it take pretty videos of equally fast race cars, too!

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Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini is small in size, still high in terror

Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini is small in size, still high in terror

Boston Dynamics' latest creepy creation, SpotMini, may be one of the smallest of its animal-inspired robots, but with its weirdly Alien-esque head it's still no cuddly AIBO. Shown off for the first time today, SpotMini is - as the name suggests - a smaller version of the existing Spot robot, coming in at 55 pounds without its robotic arm.

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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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Pint-sized exoskeleton aims to help kids walk again

Pint-sized exoskeleton aims to help kids walk again

The exoskeleton the little boy in the image here is wearing was created by engineers from the Spanish National Research Council and rather than being designed for adults, this one is designed to help children. Specifically the 26-pound aluminum and titanium exoskeleton aims to help children with spinal muscular atrophy known as SMA. The simple act of walking could help stave off potentially deadly side effects of the disease.

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Eidos, Razer, Open Bionics to make Deus Ex augmentations real

Eidos, Razer, Open Bionics to make Deus Ex augmentations real

There is an oft quoted (or misquoted) line about how life imitates art more than the other way around. In some cases, when art is expressed in a fantasy, futuristic form, that is almost impossible. Three different but connected companies, however, are going to team up and bring their unique specializations together to make life indeed imitate art. In this case, that means bringing the robotic, augmented limbs depicted in the Deus Ex game franchise to reality. Which may or may not be a smart idea, depending on which side of the transhumanism debate you stand on.

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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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Toyota is giving DEKA’s iBOT wheelchair a second life

Toyota is giving DEKA’s iBOT wheelchair a second life

In August, iBOT would have been celebrating its 10th birthday had not Johnson and Johnson quietly and without warning sold off the motorized wheelchair that promised to give the elderly and the disabled a new reason to get up in the morning. Seeing the potential use, not to mention market, for this contraption, Toyota Motor North America entered into a partnership with DEKA in order to develop and launch the next iBOT wheelchair, which will hopefully fare better than its predecessor.

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