Robotics

Are we ready to embrace robots in everyday life?

Are we ready to embrace robots in everyday life?

Sentient machines have long been considered an inevitable part of our future, and every year we come a little closer to seeing that belief become reality. DARPA has resulted in an impressive array of powerful machines, and researchers across the globe have tasked themselves with ever-improving our mechanical counterparts. Though there's still a long way to go before humanoid bots are working alongside us, the reality of interacting with robots in our everyday life has never been closer, and that poses a serious question: are we ready?

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Growing Jibo: Talking robot families with Cynthia Breazeal

Growing Jibo: Talking robot families with Cynthia Breazeal

The age of robotic butlers and Jetson's-style automation is yet to be delivered, but the team behind Jibo believes it has a more relevant, usable alternative. A robot that integrates into the family, as well as one which could spawn a family of its own, Jibo aims to humanize domestic robotics but without dropping us into an Uncanny Valley of creepy pseudo-skin. I caught up with company founder and MIT robotics expert Cynthia Breazeal to find out how the Jibo you see today is the gateway to a life peppered with electronic companions.

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Adopt a robot? Jibo aims to be part of the family

Adopt a robot? Jibo aims to be part of the family

Domestic robots have been attempted before, but a new company, Jibo, believes it has what it takes to deliver something more autonomous than a remote-control toy, but less complex and more affordable than something like ASIMO. Standing 11 inches high, the WiFi-connected robot can automatically snap family photos or video, work as a personal assistant with voice controlled messages and reminders, and read stories to kids.

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When Google finishes Skynet, only two will survive

When Google finishes Skynet, only two will survive

Google is building Skynet — that much we know. Robotics, location awareness, even self-driving cars. They’re in your home, in your pocket, and will soon be just about everywhere you turn. So, when the machines become self-aware and begin reasoning outside of interactions with humans, who lives? Two people, and only two people.

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SBRICK brings Bluetooth to your LEGO creations

SBRICK brings Bluetooth to your LEGO creations

As LEGO has proven over the past several years, there’s no limit to what this interchangeable interlocking brick system can do in the way of super simple buildings to extra-complex robots. They’re building pieces, after all, and open systems like the SBRICK - or SmartBrick - are coming in to expand the system even further than LEGO has already imagined. Here we’re going wireless with LEGO robotics and remote control.

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Self-driving cars need better people skills says Mercedes

Self-driving cars need better people skills says Mercedes

Self-driving cars like Google's distinctive little pods may not need us to drive them any more, but that just means we'll need a new way of communicating with them if we don't want to be run over in the street. That's the conclusion of new research led by Mercedes-Benz, which is working with robotics experts and linguists on ways that autonomous vehicles and pedestrians - or would-be passengers - might be able to talk with gestures and more.

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ReWalk is the first FDA-approved personal exoskeleton

ReWalk is the first FDA-approved personal exoskeleton

If you're still not used to seeing electric wheelchairs, robotic prosthetics, and other forms of hi-tech assistive technology in public places, it would be best to catch up with the times as a new one just joined the list. The US Food and Drug Administration has just given the thumb up to the ReWalk Personal exoskeleton, paving the way for similar machines that will help those who have lost mobility to get back on their feet.

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