robots

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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K5 security robot resembles a non-weaponized Dalek

K5 security robot resembles a non-weaponized Dalek

Technology start-up Knightscope last week debuted a prototype security robot that looks a lot like a Dalek (of Doctor Who infamy.) The K5 Autonomous Data Machine stands five feet high, rolls around on wheels, can sense a variety of potential security threats through an array of sensors, and can instantly notify the police in the event of an emergency. It was shown at the Plug and Play Winter Expo this week, gaining a top-three mention from a panel of 101 Silicon Valley judges.

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Roomba reportedly activates self, parks on hot stove and “dies”

Roomba reportedly activates self, parks on hot stove and “dies”

In what some are calling the first robot suicide (issues of sentience aside), a Roomba reportedly activated itself in an Austrian home and rolled itself over to a hot stove top, where it pushed a cooking pot off the surface and proceeded to wheel around the hot area before eventually melting to the surface and burning up. The Roomba was a 760 model, and amazingly enough managed to burn down to ashes and unfortunate little cogs.

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TronicalTune robo-tunes any guitar in an instant

TronicalTune robo-tunes any guitar in an instant

The Tronical device called TronicalTune is a robotic accessory that automatically tunes a guitar without need for any sort of in-shop modification to the instrument. What we're seeing this week is the machine hooked up to a set of guitars, activated, and literally listening in and turning the cranks on its own. This machine and its ability to tune so quickly becomes doubly interesting when you find you're able to switch tunings in the middle of a song.

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Atoms modular robotic building toy kits launch

Atoms modular robotic building toy kits launch

A new and high tech set of building toys designed for kids and adults to build their own robotic creations has launched called Atoms. Atoms started off as a Kickstarter project and has now launched for everyone to be able to purchase via the company's new online store. There are multiple Atoms modules available that serve different purposes.

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Virtual simulation and robotic butt named Patrick offers med students hands-on practice

Virtual simulation and robotic butt named Patrick offers med students hands-on practice

Earlier this month, comedian Rob Delaney caught attention after tweeting an image of a man performing an, shall we say, invasive exam on a robotic butt positioned in front of a large monitor displaying a virtual doctor's examination room. The tweet provided no details about the image, and not being content with making ample backside jokes, some industrious folks have hunted down the story behind the intriguing image.

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