Robotics

iRobot Ava 500 ‘bot offers pricey telepresence

iRobot Ava 500 ‘bot offers pricey telepresence

iRobot's Ava 500 smart telepresence robot has gone on sale, autonomously mapping out your office, industrial facility, or anywhere else, and then allowing you to remotely log in and wander around it chatting to those physically there. Announced last year, Ava 500 blends Cisco's video conferencing with iRobot's autonomous robotic base; unfortunately, that sort of remote intelligence doesn't come cheap.

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Cubestormer 3 Robot sets Rubik’s Cube record

Cubestormer 3 Robot sets Rubik’s Cube record

Before you can finish reading the title of this post and this sentence, The Cubestormer 3 Robot would have solved the Rubik’s Cube puzzle about three times or more. Bazinga! This is no prank, but the honest truth, and those who attended the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham, UK, got a chance to catch the action live. For simple folks like us at home, we do have a YouTube video that shows you how the cube was solved in 3.253 seconds flat.

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Myo Jedi-armbands hooked up to Oculus Rift, robots and more

Myo Jedi-armbands hooked up to Oculus Rift, robots and more

Motion-tracking startup Thalmic Labs has been showing off what its early developers can do with a muscle-reading Myo armband and a little imagination, with the new peripheral already integrated with Oculus Rift, capable of remotely controlling mean-looking robots, and more. The company isn't planning to ship broadly until midway through this year, but its Myo Alpha Developers program is underway, and already the ideas are proving diverse.

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Willow Garage shut down in January

Willow Garage shut down in January

Willow Garage, a research lab focused on robotics with many notable achievements under its belt, shut down last month, reports Bloomberg. The business decision was made by founder Scott Hassan, who has elected to work full time as CEO of Suitable Technologies, a company that resulted from work done at Willow Garage.

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Robo-termite builders could colonize Mars without our help

Robo-termite builders could colonize Mars without our help

Robotic termites capable of building complex structures without requiring human supervision, prior programming, or even intercommunication could change the way construction, emergency services, or even space exploration are managed, borrowing swarm behaviors from nature. The TERMES project, handiwork of the self-organizing systems research group at Harvard University, has taken four years to create a scalable artificial intelligence system made up of simplistic robots that together can create towers, pyramids, and castles, even erecting temporary staircases to allow them to climb higher.

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