Robotics

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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SlashGear 101: What is Boston Dynamics?

SlashGear 101: What is Boston Dynamics?

Google has been doing its holiday shopping, and latest on the list is robotics specialists Boston Dynamics, known for its at-times terrifyingly life-like animal robots. The company has created 'bots that can scale walls, jump like fleas, cross treacherous terrain, and outrun their human masters, but under Google's roof - and with Google's budget - the Boston Dynamics technology is likely to step up to the next level. Intrigued? Read on for the SlashGear 101.

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Google buys Boston Dynamics for terrifying robot expertise

Google buys Boston Dynamics for terrifying robot expertise

Google has acquired robotics engineering firm Boston Dynamics, known for its animal-like BigDog, WildCat, Cheetah, and Atlas robots, as former Android chief turned Google-robot lead Andy Rubin increases the search giant's "moonshot" efforts into the field. The deal was confirmed late Friday, the NYTimes reports, and will see Boston Dynamics continue its existing military contracts; according to Google execs, however, the company has no plans on becoming a military contractor on its own. Instead, it looks likely that projects like the DARPA Robotics Challenge are more in Google's sights.

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