robots

Atlas robot gets pushed, doesn’t fall, doesn’t fight back

Atlas robot gets pushed, doesn’t fall, doesn’t fight back

Sometimes you'd think that it's "tests" like these that would have robots rebelling against their cruel human masters in the future. But for now, however, while they still don't have the intelligence to do so, we will keep on poking them. For Science! With DARPA's Robotics Challenge, the most grueling display of non-combative robot resilience, nearing its finals next month, teams like the Institute of Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) are pushing their Atlas robot to the limit, making sure they don't fall. Or don't push back.

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Fetch Robotics’ Fetch and Freight solve your logistics problems

Fetch Robotics’ Fetch and Freight solve your logistics problems

Robots have started invading factories, automating tedious and sometimes dangerous workloads once assigned to humans. But there is one area of the industry business where robots have yet to become a more efficient and more viable option: warehouse logistics. The process of repeatedly picking up products from warehouse shelves, carrying them back and forth locations points to prepare for shipping sounds like a perfect job for robots, and yet very few are actually used here. Fetch Robotics believes it has the answer to that puzzle.

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A humanoid robot now works at a Japanese department store

A humanoid robot now works at a Japanese department store

Uncanny valley once more strikes the world's favorite robot country, Japan. The country's collective fascination, sometimes even obsessions, over human-looking robots or androids sometimes take rather strange turns that could, at times cause both fascination as well as discomfort. The latest trend seems to be to put these androids, particularly gynoids or female-looking androids, in behind reception desks and concierges to greet customers and patrons. We've heard of the concept in the soon to be built Henn-na hotel. But you can already see one even today at the Mitsukoshi Department Store in Tokyo.

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South Korea to fight fire with fire, drones with drones

South Korea to fight fire with fire, drones with drones

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Or something like that. When South Korea notice a drone, with a camera, hovering near its borders, it decided that it needed to protect itself from such unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs. And what better way to do that than by using another UAV. Roboticists at the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology or KAIST are trying to develop drones whose sole purposes would be to intercept and disable other drones. It's like Robot Wars, except in the sky and for less entertaining purposes.

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Audi plans to have robots move cars around in the plant

Audi plans to have robots move cars around in the plant

Audi may have given its human employees to either rejoice or curse advancements in robotics technology. It is announcing the start of a testing phase for driverless transport systems, but this time it will not be the car itself that will be driving around. Instead, it will be a robot named Ray that will be lifting and transporting, not driving, cars that are still in production from one place to another. The car makers hopes that the new technology would make the production and logistics process more efficient, and maybe give their humans a break.

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Pleurobot is a robotic salamander skeleton

Pleurobot is a robotic salamander skeleton

Robotics researchers like to base the robots they build off living creatures. Those living creatures can be humans, fish, donkies, and even salamanders. The latter is the animal that the Pleurobot is based on. The Pleurobot isn’t only designed to look like a salamander, it's designed to move, and swim like one as well.

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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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