Robotics

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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NASA’s ISS Robonaut 2 will soon have a pair of legs

NASA’s ISS Robonaut 2 will soon have a pair of legs

Robots might not be at a Terminator level of sophistication, but the technology is growing rapidly, and NASA has revealed what it calls "another milestone" in humanoid space robotics: legs for the Robonaut 2, more commonly called R2. The agency's engineers are presently working on the climbing legs, which will give the robot a new degree of mobile freedom, enabling it to perform more tasks than currently possible.

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Flying robot designed using jellyfish as inspiration

Flying robot designed using jellyfish as inspiration

When it comes to flying creations, inspiration is often gathered from a common pool of creatures: birds, insects, maybe a dragon or two. Researchers at New York University went a more unconventional route, and designed a flying robot based on, of all things, a jellyfish. The robot doesn't need water to pull off its gravity-defying maneuvers, however, prompting the creators to call it an "aerial jellyfish".

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