Robotics

SlashGear Weekly Wrap-Up: March 24, 2012

SlashGear Weekly Wrap-Up: March 24, 2012

Happy Saturday, everyone. It's that time again where we showcase all the biggest stories of the week. Not everyone has the time to stay up-to-date on the latest tech news every day, so here's a quick look at what made news over the last several days. For starters, T-Mobile had to layoff nearly 2000 employees is causing AT&T to blame the FCC over its failed merger deal. Also, big news in the social world - Social gaming startup OMGPOP was officially acquired by Zynga. Keep reading for more of the major headlines.

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Ohio high schools pit robots in basketball competition

Ohio high schools pit robots in basketball competition

Ohio is a very spors-centric state. The Ohio State Buckeyes are one of the best college football teams in the country, and even though the Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Indians, and Cincinnati Bengels aren't the best, they have ardent fans and are among the most well-branded spors teams. But when it comes to basketball, Ohio has a deficit. So maybe it's time to stop looking for humans and see if robots can do the job.

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CaddyTrek robotic golf caddy is awesome technology for a boring product

CaddyTrek robotic golf caddy is awesome technology for a boring product

The CaddyTrek is a pretty cool product. It's designed so that you don't have to carry your golf clubs around an entire 18-hole golf course. Instead, your bag is carried by an autonomous wheeled contraption that can sense your movements from behind and follow you from hole to hole. It is a way to reduce the physical demand of what is already one of the least physically demanding sports out there.

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Robotic tech brings freedom to paraplegics

Robotic tech brings freedom to paraplegics

Turkish scientists have invented a revolutionary new device for paraplegics that gives them more freedom and mobility than ever before to live independent healthy lives. The Tek Robotic Mobility Device, as it's called, uses robotic technology in a new platform that's completely different from traditional wheelchairs.

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MIT, Yale create gesture-controlled drones

MIT, Yale create gesture-controlled drones

When it comes to automating aircraft controls, there has been a significant amount of progress in the fields of science and military. It's possible for an unmanned aircraft to take off, to fly, and to touch down. But when it comes to actually moving on the ground, humans still need to have direct control. That may not be the case for much longer.

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Qbo robot dons ASUS 3D sensor crown for intelligent autonomy

Qbo robot dons ASUS 3D sensor crown for intelligent autonomy

Open-source robot project Qbo has gained a new set of sensors, in the shape of a custom ASUS Xtion tiara that allows the 'bot to 3D map his environment, autonomously navigate and - most importantly - avoid obstacles. While Qbo already has twin HD webcam eyes and four ultrasonic sensors (two up front and two on the back), adding in the Xtion Pro Live sensor bar augments the robot's awareness of its environment, layering 3D on top of the 2D mapping it was already capable of recording.

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iRobot Scooba 390 cleaning ‘bot gets serious

iRobot Scooba 390 cleaning ‘bot gets serious

Grubby floors beware; iRobot has introduced a new floor washing 'bot, the Scooba 390, a full-size version of the Scooba 230 that demands less prep work by its human owners. Where the 230 could wash your tile, linoleum or hardwood floor but first insisted that you manually brush it, the Scooba 390 includes a rotating brush to scoop up any obvious dirt before it gets down to more intensive cleaning.

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NASA and GM reveal Robo-Glove for astronauts and engineers

NASA and GM reveal Robo-Glove for astronauts and engineers

Tech for astronauts and automotive engineers seldom overlaps, but a robotic glove co-developed by General Motors and NASA could change all that. An offshoot of the Robonaut 2 project from last year, the Human Grasp Assist device - known unofficially as the K-glove or Robo-Glove - promises to make manual labor less intensive as well as reduce the risk of repetitive-stress injuries by cutting the amount of force needed to hold and use tools.

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Costa Concordia gets search help from robotics

Costa Concordia gets search help from robotics

Italian authorities have confirmed that they will be using robotic equipment for the kind of tasks that it does best - maneuvering through areas that humans can't successfully navigate. And there are, as you might expect, a number of those areas on the capsized cruise liner the Costa Concordia. The mission will be to track down the seven bodies that are still believed to be on the ship.

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Neato XV-21 autonomous cleaning robot released

Neato XV-21 autonomous cleaning robot released

The next big thing in robot cleaners have arrived, and it comes from Neato Robotics, a group known for their ability to create strange and wonderful devices galore. This device is an automatic vacuum cleaner made specifically for pet owners as well as allergy sufferers. This robot has a bristled brush to pick up pet hair, dander, and fibers across any floor type you have to throw at it. This newest model has increased airflow and suction over past models, three times the fine dust that the company's standard model was able to pick up in fact, all of this due to its updated filter.

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