robots

Sony ends maintenance for its iconic Aibo robot dog

Sony ends maintenance for its iconic Aibo robot dog

Sony's robot dog, Aibo, is the seminal pet robot of the early 21st century. A new version hasn't been released in almost ten years, but that hasn't stopped collectors from clamoring for the Aibo. Models sold for almost $2000 USD, so the robot dog wasn't really ever accessible by the everyday consumer. Despite its elite following, Sony has officially announced they will no longer offer support for the Aibo. They will no longer offer any maintenance, so users may have to turn to online support forums for new ways to keep their Aibo robot dogs in service.

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Google’s AI wins Space Invaders, proves “human-level control”

Google’s AI wins Space Invaders, proves “human-level control”

A new study has been published this week which suggests that artificial intelligence can now learn "human-level control." The team of researchers come from Google's DeepMind, where they're using Space Invaders - the video game - to show how the search for truly human artificial intelligence isn't too far off. The machine learns to play the video game, learns to win at the video game, and dominates all humans at the game they've created to help us defend our planet against the alien hordes.

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Sartorial robots sew fashion and robotics together

Sartorial robots sew fashion and robotics together

Move over self-lacing shoes. While you're still bidding your time to fulfill childhood dreams, a fleet of these tiny robots might already be busy zipping up clothes. Adam Whiton from MIT's Personal Robots Group is introducing a new kind of robot, one that does not fly, does not clean, and does not cuddle. These "sartorial robots" have one purpose and one purpose only, to give a more human appeal to robots by incorporating them into one of the most human pursuits of all: clothing.

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Spot is BigDog’s kickable little robot brother

Spot is BigDog’s kickable little robot brother

About two years ago, DARPA and Boston Dynamics unveiled the gigantic and strange-looking BigDog, a quadruped robot that was intended to be a pack mule of sorts and engineered to walk on any type of terrain. Now Boston Dynamics is revealing Spot, which might as well be named as MediumDog, because LittleDog is already taken. Although also a quadruped, it is substantially smaller in size and was designed for use both indoors and outdoors, able to overcome any sort of terrain, even stairs. And yes, you can kick it too and it will pick itself up.

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Japan’s Henn-na hotel will greet you with human-like robots

Japan’s Henn-na hotel will greet you with human-like robots

Here's another one for the "only in Japan" books. A rather "forward-looking" hotel will be opening in Nagasaki later this July with a touch of high-tech fanciness you only read about in books or see in movies. But aside from the usual amenities you might imagine, there are some features that you can't, or rather, wouldn't want to imagine. In addition to the human staff that the hotel will be employing, it will also make use of 10 robots, three of which will stand, or sit, behind the check-in counter.

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Robo-vac owner naps in the wrong spot, vacuum eats her hair

Robo-vac owner naps in the wrong spot, vacuum eats her hair

Robotic vacuums like the Roomba come with a lot of benefits and few downsides, but their autonomous functionality coupled with a relative lack of intelligence means some snafus are bound to happen (though they're usually the owner's fault). We've seen instances of this in the past. In late 2013, for example, a Roomba parked on a counter activated for its scheduled session and rolled its way onto a hot stove where it burnt up into ashes. In the latest incident, a robotic vacuum "ate" its owner's hair while she napped.

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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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Double amputee fitted with two robotic arms

Double amputee fitted with two robotic arms

Robotic prostheses have reached a whole new level. We've seen different sorts of them over the years, many of them typically revolving around the hand rather than an entire arm. Les Baugh is different. He lost both arms at the shoulders a handful of decades ago in an accident, and thanks to the hard working scientists at John Hopkins University, he has received a robotic replacement. Baugh has been fitted with two robotic arms he is slowly learning to control.

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Amazon’s robots, and humans, work to keep Cyber Monday real

Amazon’s robots, and humans, work to keep Cyber Monday real

It is the place where your online shopping wishes and dreams come true, so Amazon aptly calls them fulfillment centers. But if you're thinking of happy elves busily packings gifts to be delivered by flying reindeer, you are definitely thinking of the wrong holiday. In Amazon's eighth generation fulfillment centers, the buzz and the noise don't come from cheery creatures with pointed ears but from robots of all shapes and sizes, working in unison to meet the hectic surge of demands this Cyber Monday.

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Robot dolphins go deep to understand Antarctic melt

Robot dolphins go deep to understand Antarctic melt

We knew the West Antarctic ice was melting, but it's taken a school of robotic dolphins to figure out why, with researchers at Caltech using ocean gliders to explore the ocean eddies responsible. The six foot long robots take advantage of changes in buoyancy to soar through the water, rather than propellers, and swam the Southern Ocean off the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula for two months, diving to depths of around 1.2 miles before surfacing again to report their findings around temperature and salinity via radio links to the Caltech team.

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