robots

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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Atlas robot tries to do the Karate Kid “Crane” stance

Atlas robot tries to do the Karate Kid “Crane” stance

If robots of the future start trying to become our new overlords, we could probably trace it back to this day. Well, sort of. Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IMHC) is teaching its Atlas robot a few kickass moves. Or at least is trying to. The latest stunt this humanoid contraption is trying to pull off is that iconic stance from 1984's Karate Kid, popularly known as "The Crane". But while it seems to have its arm movements down to a T, it still needs a lot of work on its legs.

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Bionic Bird: a flying bird controlled with a smartphone

Bionic Bird: a flying bird controlled with a smartphone

Those windup toy birds have received a modern makeover, and it is called the Bionic Bird. This device looks like a bird and flies like a bird -- flapping wings included -- and is controlled using a smartphone rather than a remote. The Bionic Bird is the first of its kind, says the maker, and is bid as the "only furtive civilian drone." Indeed when you see it, the first thing that will pop in your mind is There goes a bird, not oh look, a drone.

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Larry Page: AI will take jobs, but living will be cheaper

Larry Page: AI will take jobs, but living will be cheaper

Speaking this week on the future of Google and the technology-infused world at large, Larry Page made some rather interesting comments on you and the way you'll be working. Not at a job you don't like. Not in a menial labor job that can be done by robots. Artificial Intelligence, he suggests, will be a big factor in two key game-changers in our society. One is in taking the place of workers at jobs they didn't want to be at in the first place.

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Lowes’ new robot worker will help customers on its own

Lowes’ new robot worker will help customers on its own

The presence of robots in our lives is growing rapidly, and with them come all sorts of marvelous prospects and horrifying possibilities. Though we've had small robots vacuuming our floors and augmenting our military for a while now, the average person doesn't expect to interact with an intelligent machine while out grocery shopping or otherwise running errands. That'll be changing soon enough, with different companies adding robots to their worker lists. There's the Butlr robot being utilized by Starwood Hotels, for example, and soon to join it will be the OSHbot at Lowes hardware stores.

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