Robotics

YouTube videos teach robots to cook

YouTube videos teach robots to cook

When it comes tasks like cooking, humans naturally know all the little steps that are required for doing something as simple as taking a cup out of the cabinet and filling it with milk. Robots on the other hand have to be taught all the little motions and steps like opening and closing cabinet doors, setting the cup down, opening the milk, pouring, and then closing the milk and putting it away.

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Slackbot Bot is a robot crafted from a Roomba and tornado siren

Slackbot Bot is a robot crafted from a Roomba and tornado siren

If you've an old Roomba lying around and a desire to tinker, the Redpepper team has demonstrated how far you can take your little robotic vacuum. Using the aforementioned Roomba, as well as a tornado siren, a Raspberry Pi, and a bit of creative ingenuity, they cobbled together the Slackbot Bot, which rolls around following commands like giving someone a high-five and making announcements like "it's taco Tuesday". We've got a video of it checking bathroom occupancy, playing music, and more after the jump.

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DARPA Atlas Robot keeps the feet, upgrades the rest

DARPA Atlas Robot keeps the feet, upgrades the rest

We've been following along with the development of the Atlas DRC robot with Boston Dynamics and DARPA now for some time. What we're seeing this week - today, in fact - is a much-improved release. This robot no longer need to be plugged in to the same degree it did in previous releases - it's also 75% redesigned. Only the lowest bit of the legs and the feet have been kept from the original design - everything else has seen significant change since the last time we saw this amalgamation of power.

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Personal Robot is an AI assistant on wheels

Personal Robot is an AI assistant on wheels

The age of personal robotic assistants is upon us, and soon enough they'll gravitate from our phone and laptops to dedicated devices able to roll from place to place, offering up help when needed and tending to small tasks we don't have time to do ourselves. The idea is an old one, and though the technology to pull it off is much newer it isn't unheard of at this point. We've seen free-moving assistant robots in the past, and here to challenge them all is the Personal Robot.

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Elon Musk donates $10M to Artificial Intelligence research

Elon Musk donates $10M to Artificial Intelligence research

The team at Future of Life Institute have announced this week that Elon Musk has donated a cool $10 million dollars to help run a global research program "aimed at keeping AI beneficial to humanity." This program will be carried out globally through an open grants competition in which funds will go toward AI researchers and AI research involving other fields including policy, law, and ethics, amongst others. "This will provide the impetus to jump-start research on AI safety," said Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence president Tom Dietterich.

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Disney Beachbot draws in the sand

Disney Beachbot draws in the sand

This cute little robot looks like a turtle with a big orange shell and it is designed to do something fun at the beach. The Beachbot is designed to draw large scale art in the sand as it rolls around under its own power. The robot was designed by a team from ETH Zurich and the Zurich division of Disney Research.

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Zuta Labs’ robo printer is post-post-paper: hands-on

Zuta Labs’ robo printer is post-post-paper: hands-on

It may be a post-paper world in theory, but in practice a printer is all too often required, but what if it could - like a tiny autonomous car - roam around the page rather than sit in a corner of the office looking ugly? Zuta Labs promised just that last year, a palm-sized mobile printing robot small enough to drop in a desk drawer or a bag, and yet capable of spitting out a page of text and graphics from your laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Rather than shuffling the paper through a slot, however, the little printing robot does all the movement. With working printers now in hand, I caught up with the Zuta Labs team at CES to find out more.

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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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