Robotics

SBRICK brings Bluetooth to your LEGO creations

SBRICK brings Bluetooth to your LEGO creations

As LEGO has proven over the past several years, there’s no limit to what this interchangeable interlocking brick system can do in the way of super simple buildings to extra-complex robots. They’re building pieces, after all, and open systems like the SBRICK - or SmartBrick - are coming in to expand the system even further than LEGO has already imagined. Here we’re going wireless with LEGO robotics and remote control.

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Self-driving cars need better people skills says Mercedes

Self-driving cars need better people skills says Mercedes

Self-driving cars like Google's distinctive little pods may not need us to drive them any more, but that just means we'll need a new way of communicating with them if we don't want to be run over in the street. That's the conclusion of new research led by Mercedes-Benz, which is working with robotics experts and linguists on ways that autonomous vehicles and pedestrians - or would-be passengers - might be able to talk with gestures and more.

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ReWalk is the first FDA-approved personal exoskeleton

ReWalk is the first FDA-approved personal exoskeleton

If you're still not used to seeing electric wheelchairs, robotic prosthetics, and other forms of hi-tech assistive technology in public places, it would be best to catch up with the times as a new one just joined the list. The US Food and Drug Administration has just given the thumb up to the ReWalk Personal exoskeleton, paving the way for similar machines that will help those who have lost mobility to get back on their feet.

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NAO robot gets smarter and stronger (but just as cute)

NAO robot gets smarter and stronger (but just as cute)

Research and entertainment robot NAO is getting faster, smarter, and strong: in fact, it's a good job he only comes up to your knees, as otherwise we'd be worried. NAO EVOLUTION, the handiwork of Softbank acquisition Aldeberan, takes the hobby-bot and boosts its awareness of the surrounding environment - including its emotion-recognizing abilities - as well as how well it can interact with it, thanks to things like defter hands.

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SoftBank Pepper emotion-sensing robot headed to retail

SoftBank Pepper emotion-sensing robot headed to retail

SoftBank plans to sell an emotion-sensing humanoid robot, Pepper, in Japan next year, putting the sensor-toting 'bot into customer services duties in stores from this week. Expected to go on sale from February 2015, Pepper can track the emotions of the humans around it through their expressions and voice tones, and then react accordingly depending on what apps and cloud-data are available.

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MIT researchers use robotic arms to assist with heavy lifting

MIT researchers use robotic arms to assist with heavy lifting

A group of MIT researchers have set out to make you a bit more robotic, adding a few extra limbs along the way. Their design offers up robotic arms, which sit on your body like a backpack. The goal is not to take the place of your arms, or replace limbs in any way. Instead, the concept is to give yourself a helping hand with heavy lifting and the like.

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No blending-in: Google’s self-driving cars aim to be noticed

No blending-in: Google’s self-driving cars aim to be noticed

Google is making its own self-driving cars, and it wants you to see them. The surprise announcement of a fleet of autonomous vehicles - based on Google’s many thousands of miles of research driving, but without the safety backup of traditional controls - to test their viability was notable not only for how audacious Google is being, but for the scale of the challenge its chosen design presents to the current car industry behemoths.

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