Robotics

DALER: vampire-inspired robot can fly and walk

DALER: vampire-inspired robot can fly and walk

This robot can crawl around on all fours - and it can fly. If you're terrified at the possibility that the future will be run by a robot race that's far superior to humankind thanks to their ability to both walk and fly, turn back now. What we're seeing here is the future of transformer-like technology, bringing LIS, EPFL, and NCCR Robotics together to bring home the gold with a winged metal creature that can crawl. This is DALER, otherwise known as the Deployable Air-Land Exploration Robot, and it's been inspired by a vampire bat.

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Here come the drug drones

Here come the drug drones

This week a quadcopter drone landed - rather badly - in a Mexican supermarket parking lot carrying more than its average payload. Instead of carrying just a camera and its propellers, this particular drone was carrying meth. A whopping 6-pounds of methamphetamine, in fact, with intent to distribute. Tijuana police are investigating the drone's origin and destination, but currently have no significant (public, anyway) leads on how this situation came to be. This may, in fact, be the point at which drones begin breaking bad.

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Care-O-bot 4 is a multi-purpose robot launching later this year

Care-O-bot 4 is a multi-purpose robot launching later this year

Robots are the next big thing, and we've seen more than a few examples in the recent past. There's the Personal Robot, for example, and there's the hotel-centric Botlr that satisfies customers' most basic desires. Joining them is an update to the Care-O-bot, bringing it up to version 4, and with the update comes some big improvements thanks to the technology that has been developed over the last several years. Care-O-bot 4 looks like something out of Wall-e, and it can do everything from bring you a flower to use a laser pointer integrated into its arm.

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YouTube videos teach robots to cook

YouTube videos teach robots to cook

When it comes tasks like cooking, humans naturally know all the little steps that are required for doing something as simple as taking a cup out of the cabinet and filling it with milk. Robots on the other hand have to be taught all the little motions and steps like opening and closing cabinet doors, setting the cup down, opening the milk, pouring, and then closing the milk and putting it away.

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Slackbot Bot is a robot crafted from a Roomba and tornado siren

Slackbot Bot is a robot crafted from a Roomba and tornado siren

If you've an old Roomba lying around and a desire to tinker, the Redpepper team has demonstrated how far you can take your little robotic vacuum. Using the aforementioned Roomba, as well as a tornado siren, a Raspberry Pi, and a bit of creative ingenuity, they cobbled together the Slackbot Bot, which rolls around following commands like giving someone a high-five and making announcements like "it's taco Tuesday". We've got a video of it checking bathroom occupancy, playing music, and more after the jump.

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DARPA Atlas Robot keeps the feet, upgrades the rest

DARPA Atlas Robot keeps the feet, upgrades the rest

We've been following along with the development of the Atlas DRC robot with Boston Dynamics and DARPA now for some time. What we're seeing this week - today, in fact - is a much-improved release. This robot no longer need to be plugged in to the same degree it did in previous releases - it's also 75% redesigned. Only the lowest bit of the legs and the feet have been kept from the original design - everything else has seen significant change since the last time we saw this amalgamation of power.

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Personal Robot is an AI assistant on wheels

Personal Robot is an AI assistant on wheels

The age of personal robotic assistants is upon us, and soon enough they'll gravitate from our phone and laptops to dedicated devices able to roll from place to place, offering up help when needed and tending to small tasks we don't have time to do ourselves. The idea is an old one, and though the technology to pull it off is much newer it isn't unheard of at this point. We've seen free-moving assistant robots in the past, and here to challenge them all is the Personal Robot.

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Elon Musk donates $10M to Artificial Intelligence research

Elon Musk donates $10M to Artificial Intelligence research

The team at Future of Life Institute have announced this week that Elon Musk has donated a cool $10 million dollars to help run a global research program "aimed at keeping AI beneficial to humanity." This program will be carried out globally through an open grants competition in which funds will go toward AI researchers and AI research involving other fields including policy, law, and ethics, amongst others. "This will provide the impetus to jump-start research on AI safety," said Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence president Tom Dietterich.

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Disney Beachbot draws in the sand

Disney Beachbot draws in the sand

This cute little robot looks like a turtle with a big orange shell and it is designed to do something fun at the beach. The Beachbot is designed to draw large scale art in the sand as it rolls around under its own power. The robot was designed by a team from ETH Zurich and the Zurich division of Disney Research.

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Zuta Labs’ robo printer is post-post-paper: hands-on

Zuta Labs’ robo printer is post-post-paper: hands-on

It may be a post-paper world in theory, but in practice a printer is all too often required, but what if it could - like a tiny autonomous car - roam around the page rather than sit in a corner of the office looking ugly? Zuta Labs promised just that last year, a palm-sized mobile printing robot small enough to drop in a desk drawer or a bag, and yet capable of spitting out a page of text and graphics from your laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Rather than shuffling the paper through a slot, however, the little printing robot does all the movement. With working printers now in hand, I caught up with the Zuta Labs team at CES to find out more.

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