Robotics

iRobot Looj 330 and Mirra 530 hands-on: gutter and pool cleaning made fun

iRobot Looj 330 and Mirra 530 hands-on: gutter and pool cleaning made fun

Before we saw the iRobot Mirra 530 pool-cleaning robot and the Looj 330 gutter-cleaning robot here in person at CES 2013, we never imagined we'd be considering work with either area of dirtiness to be an entertaining prospect. In fact now with these two robotic masterpieces ready for iRobot-level cleaning in the near future, it may be time to purchase a home with a pool and gutters just to make use of these fabulous home-friendly amalgamations of technical excellence.

Continue Reading

LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 robots hands-on

LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 robots hands-on

LEGO has been into robotics for quite some time now, but today at CES, the company unveiled the new MINDSTORMS EV3 robotic system, which is LEGO's first robotic system that comes with iOS and Android app support. The best part is, we got some hands-on time with a few of the robots on display at the company's booth at Pepcom.

Continue Reading

iRobot to unveil new cleaning robots at CES 2013

iRobot to unveil new cleaning robots at CES 2013

Out of the many head-turners that will show up at the pool this summer, one new gadget will certainly catch the eye of any geek getting his tan on. iRobot will be unveiling the Mirra 530 pool-cleaning robot at CES next week, along with the Looj 330 gutter-cleaning robot, both of which provide the same great robot-cleaning technology from the makers who brought you Roomba.

Continue Reading

Quadriplegic uses mind-controlled robotic arm to eat chocolate bar

Quadriplegic uses mind-controlled robotic arm to eat chocolate bar

Jan Scheuermann, a 36-year-old mom of two, was diagnosed with spinocerebellar degeneration after slowing losing the ability to move her limbs. Now, more than a decade after becoming a quadriplegic, Ms. Scheuermann was able to feed herself a piece of chocolate via a robotic arm that she controlled with her mind. In doing so, she proclaimed, "One small nibble for a woman, one giant bite for [brain-computer interface technology]."

Continue Reading

NEC boosts people-spotting tech for robots and CCTV

NEC boosts people-spotting tech for robots and CCTV

Tomorrow's robots and security systems could be able to face-recognize three times as many people using a fraction of the processing power, according to NEC. The company's new large-scale image processing tech can track and identify faces and clothing - as well as potentially suspicious behavior - for three times the number of people in-frame simultaneously, compared to existing systems, a potential boon not only to security installations in airports and shopping centers, but for your friendly home robot.

Continue Reading

iRobot Scooba 390 and 290 hands-on

iRobot Scooba 390 and 290 hands-on

This week we've had the chance to catch up with the folks at iRobot who have let us in on several new robotic cleaning machines in their Scooba and Roomba lineups. In our interview with the group we started out with the iRobot Scooba 390, a device that works with a four-stage cleaning process for a scrub-tastic cleaning of your large flat floor - toss out your mops! We had a peek at the iRobot Scooba 290 next, made much tinier to make with the small bathroom cleaning - gotta get behind those porcelain thrones, after all.

Continue Reading

MIT robot plane deletes the pilot

MIT robot plane deletes the pilot

When the robots come for you, at least they won't scratch the walls. MIT research into autonomous flight has delivered a robotic plane that can thread its way, at speed, through enclosed and indoor conditions, without requiring preconfigured flight plans or GPS navigation. The plane has significantly longer flight time than autonomous helicopters, though introduced a fair few problems of its own.

Continue Reading

Earthworm robot developed at MIT for tiny science missions

Earthworm robot developed at MIT for tiny science missions

Designers at MIT have created an autonomous robot with the ability to inch forth like an earthworm while it remains impervious to most bashes, drops, and rough terrain. It's called "Meshworm", and Sangbae Kim, the Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, notes that it's a new step towards squeezing through tight spaces and navigating rough terrain in the future. Will we see a robot earthworm plodding around Mars the next time we head out? We shall see!

Continue Reading