robots

Mars rock appears out of seemingly nowhere in Opportunity rover image

Mars rock appears out of seemingly nowhere in Opportunity rover image

A few NASA rovers have been working their way through the Red Planet, each working to expand scientists' knowledge of Mars and its history. As part of this, large quantities of images are taken and shuttled back to Earth, where researchers analyze them. Recently, the rover Opportunity sent back two images of the same area that had one surprising difference: the sudden appearance of a rock that hadn't been there shortly before.

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RoboSimian is the NASA JPL entry for the DARPA Robotics Challenge

RoboSimian is the NASA JPL entry for the DARPA Robotics Challenge

There are several teams participating in the DARPA Robotics Challenge. The contest is to see what team can create a robot that is capable of performing a set of specific tasks. The robots developed may one day be able to help humans in an emergency situation like a nuclear meltdown or other challenge. One of the teams participating is the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory or JPL.

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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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