Robotics

Google takes over NASA’s Moffett Field for aviation, robotics

Google takes over NASA’s Moffett Field for aviation, robotics

In an interesting agreement, Google will take control of NASA’s Moffett Field. the 60-year agreement will see Google invest up to $200 million in the property. Though they’re operating and investing in the air strip, which previously used by Google as a private airstrip, NASA will ultimately retain ownership. According to NASA, Google’s Planetary Ventures LLC branch, a shell company for investment purposes, will dole out $1.16 billion over the contract, and reduce NASA’s operating cost by $6.3 million annually.

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Micro-scallop robot can swim through blood, eyeballs

Micro-scallop robot can swim through blood, eyeballs

Some of us might imagine robots to be big hulking contraptions of mass destruction, but one of the applications of robotics and science goes in the opposite direction, scaling down these objects so that they could be used for medical purposes. But alas, the laws of physics, as often is the case, hinder instead of help, preventing microscopic robots from swimming inside our bodies for whatever purposes. Prof. Peer Fischer and his research team at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Germany, however, might have found a way around that limitation.

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Cyborg cockroach experiment locates disaster survivors through sound

Cyborg cockroach experiment locates disaster survivors through sound

They may be one of the most disgusting insects you've ever seen, and laying eyes on one in your kitchen probably makes you want to scream, but one day cyborg cockroaches could save your life if you're trapped in a disaster. A pair of researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a way to control the bugs through a circuit board connected to their brain, and having them find the sources of sounds, including human voices.

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Bionic Bird: a flying bird controlled with a smartphone

Bionic Bird: a flying bird controlled with a smartphone

Those windup toy birds have received a modern makeover, and it is called the Bionic Bird. This device looks like a bird and flies like a bird -- flapping wings included -- and is controlled using a smartphone rather than a remote. The Bionic Bird is the first of its kind, says the maker, and is bid as the "only furtive civilian drone." Indeed when you see it, the first thing that will pop in your mind is There goes a bird, not oh look, a drone.

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Larry Page: AI will take jobs, but living will be cheaper

Larry Page: AI will take jobs, but living will be cheaper

Speaking this week on the future of Google and the technology-infused world at large, Larry Page made some rather interesting comments on you and the way you'll be working. Not at a job you don't like. Not in a menial labor job that can be done by robots. Artificial Intelligence, he suggests, will be a big factor in two key game-changers in our society. One is in taking the place of workers at jobs they didn't want to be at in the first place.

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Lowes’ new robot worker will help customers on its own

Lowes’ new robot worker will help customers on its own

The presence of robots in our lives is growing rapidly, and with them come all sorts of marvelous prospects and horrifying possibilities. Though we've had small robots vacuuming our floors and augmenting our military for a while now, the average person doesn't expect to interact with an intelligent machine while out grocery shopping or otherwise running errands. That'll be changing soon enough, with different companies adding robots to their worker lists. There's the Butlr robot being utilized by Starwood Hotels, for example, and soon to join it will be the OSHbot at Lowes hardware stores.

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Dexmo exoskeleton gloves can give you all the VR feels

Dexmo exoskeleton gloves can give you all the VR feels

Virtual reality is fast becoming commoditized with the rise of consumer-ready VR goggles like the Gear VR or, in the near future, the Oculus Rift. However, for all the sights, and sometimes sounds, that these devices offer, they still lack one crucial part of the whole VR experience: touch. That problem may have now met its match in Dexmo, an admittedly frightening looking exoskeleton just for your hands that not only lets you control robotic or virtual hands, it also lets you feel that a bit as well.

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Robots to contribute to new Ebola-fighting efforts

Robots to contribute to new Ebola-fighting efforts

As fears continue to grow over the recent outbreak of Ebola, scientists and researchers in the U.S. are hoping to develop a strategy for combating the virus' spread through the use of robots and autonomous vehicles. November 7th will see workshops put together by the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue that brings robotocists together with members of the medical and humanitarian aid communities to hopefully find a solution.

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iRobot announces new OS for more autonomous military robots

iRobot announces new OS for more autonomous military robots

iRobot, most known to consumers as the company that makes the popular automated vacuum cleaner Roomba, has announced a new operating system that can improve autonomous robots used by the military and in disaster situations. Through the use of an Android app, iRobot hopes to allow military robots to better think on their own, requiring less human time at the controls.

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