Robotics

1,024 robot flash-mob is cleverer when swarming

1,024 robot flash-mob is cleverer when swarming

If you've ever wanted to see more than a thousand robots working together to create letters of the alphabet, Sesame Street style, today you're in luck. A robot swarm - the Harvard University team responsible also refers to it as a flash mob, which perhaps sounds a little less ominous - has been created to show how individually dumb 'bots can work intelligently when given the right tools, borrowing methods from biological systems like cells or even termites.

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Tate After Dark releases robo-tourists into museum

Tate After Dark releases robo-tourists into museum

Think "Night at the Museum" but with robots: the Tate Britain gallery may be open to human visitors during the day, but it's populating the darkened halls with remotely-controlled robots at night as part of an interactive art installation. For the next five nights, a flock of four telepresence 'bots will be let loose among the gallery's halls, controlled from afar by live-stream viewers as part of the After Dark project.

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Gecko feet breakthrough could shape sticky robots

Gecko feet breakthrough could shape sticky robots

The method geckos use to switch their sticky feet on and off could open the door to clever new adhesives or even robots that could by turns cling to walls or rocky surfaces but then spring away with minimal exertion. A forest of tiny hairs known as setae cover the lizards' feet, and researchers at Oregon State University have figured out how they can toggle the stickiness of those hairs.

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Savioke SaviOne robot butler starts work at Starwood Hotels

Savioke SaviOne robot butler starts work at Starwood Hotels

A robotic butler is set to roam the corridors of the Aloft hotel in Cupertino, the first example of mysterious robo-startup Savioke's new plan to make service robotics mainstream. Dubbed A.L.O., the SaviOne "Butlr" is roughly three foot tall and topped with a touchscreen, and the Starwood chain hotel will trial how effective it is at delivering items like drinks and towels to guest rooms.

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Watch this: Robot assembles itself, then crawls away

Watch this: Robot assembles itself, then crawls away

Robots are typically very complicated devices, full of parts that need a long assembly time and a myriad of hands working on them. A new concept may change that, as researchers at Harvard and MIT have been working on a robot that builds itself. Like a Transformer lying in wait, this one can morph into a new shape.

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Roambotics Jr. unicycle robot wants to play security guard

Roambotics Jr. unicycle robot wants to play security guard

A self-balancing unicycle robot could be your next home or office security guard, if startup Roambotics has its way, trundling from room to room and wirelessly pinging out alerts to users' smartphones and tablets. Dubbed Jr., the wheel-shaped robot carries four cameras for near-360 degree video and still images, as well as microphones, WiFi, Bluetooth, and optional cellular connectivity.

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Elon Musk AI warning bolsters Iron Man image

Elon Musk AI warning bolsters Iron Man image

If you didn’t think Tesla and Space X CEO Elon Musk was living the Tony Stark life before, today’s chatter should have you wondering if he’s pumped up about Avengers: Age of Ultron. This film is about artificial intelligence getting out of hand - exactly the subject of Musk’s most recent public set of comments. Even as he speaks, Musk continues to invest in AI companies, aiming to keep a watchful eye on the lot.

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