Robotics

UC Berkley robot learns from trial and error – just like us

UC Berkley robot learns from trial and error – just like us

Artificial intelligence has the potential to grow even smarter with the latest invention from the University of California, Berkley. There, a research team developed an AI algorithm that uses trial and error to learn from its previous mistakes. The robot carrying out the algorithm is named BRETT (Berkley Robot of the Elimination of Tedious Tasks), and it is a PR2 robot from Willow Garage. UC Berkley's algorithm uses "deep reinforcement learning" to develop an awareness of the robot's surroundings.

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Brain controlled robotic arm lets paralyzed man drink

Brain controlled robotic arm lets paralyzed man drink

Picking up a cup from the counter to take a drink is something that we all do hundreds of times a month without putting much thought into it. The process of picking up a cup is rather complex when you stop and think about it since we have to hold the cup in a way that it doesn’t spill and need to put enough pressure on the cup to keep it from dropping, but not so much that we crush the cup.

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This drone uses origami principles to become foldable

This drone uses origami principles to become foldable

Personal drones are all the rage now, even hitting mainstream media because of rather questionable antics. But not everyone might be interested in hulking quadrocopters the likes of which Amazon plans to use for deliveries. There are, of course, more than a dozen "mini" drones in the market, but these are pretty much just toys with very little strength for any sort of payload. So what to do if you want a slightly more capable UAV that can still fit on the palm of your hand? Try origami.

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Jibo home robot pre-orders re-open

Jibo home robot pre-orders re-open

Multitasking home robot Jibo returns to the pre-order business after its initial funding is accomplished many times over. What you're seeing here is the talking robot known as Jibo, a machine made to interact with your family and friends at home. This machine has a display, camera, and connectivity that'll allow it to be a smart home controller in the future as well. While it started with money from average citizens like you on IndieGogo, Jibo is now a $25.3-million dollar Series A funded venture project.

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Atlas robot gets pushed, doesn’t fall, doesn’t fight back

Atlas robot gets pushed, doesn’t fall, doesn’t fight back

Sometimes you'd think that it's "tests" like these that would have robots rebelling against their cruel human masters in the future. But for now, however, while they still don't have the intelligence to do so, we will keep on poking them. For Science! With DARPA's Robotics Challenge, the most grueling display of non-combative robot resilience, nearing its finals next month, teams like the Institute of Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) are pushing their Atlas robot to the limit, making sure they don't fall. Or don't push back.

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Jibo robot snags new Sensory cloud-free speech control

Jibo robot snags new Sensory cloud-free speech control

Home robot companion Jibo may be able to recognize natural speech but it won't demand a web connection to do it, the first 'bot to feature a new offline engine that cuts the cord. Jibo, announced last year and expected to ship in 2016, may look like a kitchen appliance brought to life, but thanks to Sensory's new TrulyNatural system will be able to perpetually listen and react to a broad range of voice commands without requiring a connection to the cloud as most speech-recognition does.

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Researchers create artificial muscle using onion cells

Researchers create artificial muscle using onion cells

We've seen different varieties of artificial muscles -- which will be used in things like robotics -- in the past, though none of them have thus far offered something equal to real muscle. That could be changing soon thanks to onions, particularly the thin skin-like substance that lies beneath the husk and over the meat of the onion. Using that layer, a little bit of gold, and an electrical current, researchers were able to create an artificial muscle that both contracts and bends, solving a problem that has long-plagued researchers.

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Fetch Robotics’ Fetch and Freight solve your logistics problems

Fetch Robotics’ Fetch and Freight solve your logistics problems

Robots have started invading factories, automating tedious and sometimes dangerous workloads once assigned to humans. But there is one area of the industry business where robots have yet to become a more efficient and more viable option: warehouse logistics. The process of repeatedly picking up products from warehouse shelves, carrying them back and forth locations points to prepare for shipping sounds like a perfect job for robots, and yet very few are actually used here. Fetch Robotics believes it has the answer to that puzzle.

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DORA telepresence robot works with Oculus Rift

DORA telepresence robot works with Oculus Rift

There are several telepresence robots on the market today that are typically nothing more than an iPad mounted on a remote control base that can be driven around. The DORA (Dexterous Observational Roving Automaton) is designed to make the operator feel like he or she is actually at the remote location. DORA was created by robotics researchers from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Super-strong robot pulls 100x its own weight, even climbs up walls

Super-strong robot pulls 100x its own weight, even climbs up walls

If I could carry 100 times my own weight, I'd never need to twist the arms of all my friends to help me move. Until I gain super-strength, I'll have to settle for dreaming of borrowing these tenacious robots. A team of mechanical engineers from California's Standford University developed a collection of tiny robots which can give Marvel's Ant-Man a run for his money. Don't let the size of these tiny robots deceive you. These 'bots are incredibly strong; they can pull 100 times their own weight.

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Charismatic android, Han, can flirt and use facial expressions

Charismatic android, Han, can flirt and use facial expressions

Robots from a galaxy far, far away tend to be stripped down, naked androids. For those of you who prefer your robots to have a little more flesh—like Star Trek's Data— you'll enjoy Hanson Robotics latest humanoid robot, Han. Han is designed to be a robot that can emote, or at least can mimic human facial expressions as it carries on a somewhat stilted conversation.

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A humanoid robot now works at a Japanese department store

A humanoid robot now works at a Japanese department store

Uncanny valley once more strikes the world's favorite robot country, Japan. The country's collective fascination, sometimes even obsessions, over human-looking robots or androids sometimes take rather strange turns that could, at times cause both fascination as well as discomfort. The latest trend seems to be to put these androids, particularly gynoids or female-looking androids, in behind reception desks and concierges to greet customers and patrons. We've heard of the concept in the soon to be built Henn-na hotel. But you can already see one even today at the Mitsukoshi Department Store in Tokyo.

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