Robotics

Meccanoid G15 KS Hands-on: your programmable, 4-foot buddy

Meccanoid G15 KS Hands-on: your programmable, 4-foot buddy

Not, this isn't Johnny 5, but you might as well mistake it for him if not for the lack of tank treads for mobility. But then again you can probably add those to Meccanoid G15 KS later on as well. This 4-foot robot at CES 2015 is more than just a 4-foot robot. He's (or It's) a completely programmable, interactive, and configurable mechanoid that is being advertised as a personal robot for makers, players, and even, quite amusingly, fanatics.

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Robots are learning to use tools by watching YouTube videos

Robots are learning to use tools by watching YouTube videos

Our future is promised to be filled with robots equipped to perform all sorts of jobs, and artificial intelligence will pave the way to making that reality possible. Deep learning has received a lot of attention as of late -- we've detailed it a few times in the past -- and latest among it is a project by researchers using YouTube videos of people cooking to teach robots how to use tools. The efforts were recently detailed in a report available to the public.

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Meet Hector, a giant insect-like robot to study terrain movement

Meet Hector, a giant insect-like robot to study terrain movement

Researchers at Germany's Bielefeld University did something crazy, and a little funny too. They have built a giant robot insect with six independently moving legs in order to study movement over various terrain. But that's not the crazy/funny part. It's that in order to design the robot, they actually motion captured a real stick insect walking and climbing, using a bunch of those little balls you always see attached to actors when they make CG movies. Oh, and they named the robot Hector.

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Double amputee fitted with two robotic arms

Double amputee fitted with two robotic arms

Robotic prostheses have reached a whole new level. We've seen different sorts of them over the years, many of them typically revolving around the hand rather than an entire arm. Les Baugh is different. He lost both arms at the shoulders a handful of decades ago in an accident, and thanks to the hard working scientists at John Hopkins University, he has received a robotic replacement. Baugh has been fitted with two robotic arms he is slowly learning to control.

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Scientists “upload” a roundworm brain to a LEGO robot

Scientists “upload” a roundworm brain to a LEGO robot

It sounds like a scene from a sci-fi flick. Or a horror film. Take your pick. Scientists of the future have finally found a way to digitize our brains and store them in storage disks (or Dilithium crystals for more capacity). One day you're human and the next day you find yourself in the body of an android. OK, this experiment might not exactly be that sensational, unless you happen to be a roundworm whose suddenly finds itself with the body of a LEGO robot.

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iRobot Create 2 brings DIY to Roomba robots

iRobot Create 2 brings DIY to Roomba robots

The Create 2 is iRobot's attempt to bring the form and abilities of the Roomba cleaning robot to students, developers, and DIY-enthusiasts. All Create 2 robots are made from remanufactured Roomba platforms (based on the Roomba 600 series), bringing the full collection of LEDs and sensors from said platform to your fingertips. This system was made for creators - students - to program sounds, behaviors, and movements in a simple learning environment. This system was made for robotics students ranging from beginner all the way to advanced - it's functional no matter the skill level of the user.

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This little rover thinks it’s time we went back to the moon

This little rover thinks it’s time we went back to the moon

The attentions of the space-faring industry may have turned to more distant targets, like Mars or even hurtling comets, but that's not to say there's not still room to explore a closer neighbor, like our own moon. Carnegie Mellon has revealed the robotic rover it believes will not only clinch it part of a $20m+ Google Lunar XPrize, but discover new and unseen pits and caves that pock the moon's surface. Dubbed Andy, the robot is predominantly the handiwork of students, and took just nine months to develop.

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Watch: Chappie, a robot movie with District 9, Die Antwoord on mix

Watch: Chappie, a robot movie with District 9, Die Antwoord on mix

Neill Blomkamp, director of District 9 and Elysium, is about to release a movie that'll throw you for a true loop. Inside this film you'll find Hugh Jackman, the voice of Sigourney Weaver, Dev Patel (from The Newsroom and Slumdog Millionaire), and Sharlto Copley - whom you'll recognize from District 9 as the main character, Wikus Van De Merwe. Chappie also features the two characters that bring Die Antwoord to life: Yo-Landi Visser and Ninja, Africa natives and musical personalities absolutely and completely without equal.

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Darkside Ollie hits market for the evil robot lover in you

Darkside Ollie hits market for the evil robot lover in you

Earlier this year we had a peek at the Sphero Ollie, a two-wheeled remote-control robot from the same folks that made the original spherical Sphero device. Now the two-wheeled beast has been given a slight reboot in an all-black design called Darkside Ollie. This unit will cost you just a bit more than the original Ollie, and not just because it comes in a limited-edition color scheme. This unit has a whole lot more in the box as well - Prime Hubs and Flux Hubs and Turbo Tires, oh my!

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