Robotics

Rural Japanese town relies on robotic wolves to scare away bears

Rural Japanese town relies on robotic wolves to scare away bears

A rural Japanese town called Takikawa on the island of Hokkaido has been dealing with nuisance bears roaming neighborhoods within the city. The town installed a pair of Monster Wolf robots after bears were increasingly roaming in the town back in September. According to town officials, since the pair of robotic wolves had been installed, no bear encounters have been reported.

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UNSW researchers develop a gripper modeled after an elephant’s trunk

UNSW researchers develop a gripper modeled after an elephant’s trunk

Engineers from UNSW Sydney were inspired by nature to develop a soft fabric robotic gripper that behaves like an elephant's trunk. The gripper can grasp, pick up, and release objects without breaking them. Researchers believe the technology can be widely applied in many sectors where fragile objects are picked up.

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Researchers design robots with wheels that transform into legs

Researchers design robots with wheels that transform into legs

One of the most efficient ways for robots to move around the environment is wheels on relatively smooth terrain. However, wheels aren't the most efficient way of traveling when it comes to getting over certain types of obstacles. Legs, for instance, can help a robot to climb obstacles like stairs. Scientists at Texas A&M University have teamed up with DARPA to create robots for military applications able to determine with or without human intervention whether wheels or legs are more suitable to travel across the terrain.

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iRobot warns one Roomba auto-emptying dock could “present a hazard”

iRobot warns one Roomba auto-emptying dock could “present a hazard”

iRobot's automatically-emptying Roombas are meant to be a time-saver, but at least one model could be a headache the company has warned owners today. The company is contacting those with one model of its robot vacuum cleaners to alert them that the Clean Base docking station could "present a hazard" in certain situations.

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Walmart leak claims robot plan ditched in favor of human workers

Walmart leak claims robot plan ditched in favor of human workers

Walmart will not continue using robots for certain tasks, a new report claims, instead opting to stick with human workers. The robots were tasked with tracking inventory on store shelves, an effort in automation that partially removed the human element. The company had around 500 robots in use, but has reportedly found a better human-powered way to keep its shelves stocked.

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Cat-like AGRO robot always lands on its wheels

Cat-like AGRO robot always lands on its wheels

One of the challenges emergency response workers face when trying to deploy a robot into a hazardous setting is getting the robot where it needs to be. Sometimes it's best to throw a robot into a debris-filled room or building, but robots have to be on their wheels or treads, or they're not functional. Researchers have developed a robot known as AGRO that can be thrown into an environment and always lands on its wheels.

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Elon Musk says Tesla robo-snake charger is still on the roadmap

Elon Musk says Tesla robo-snake charger is still on the roadmap

It's been a few years since we last saw Tesla's faintly-disturbing robot snake charger in action, but if you assumed Elon Musk had forgotten about the time-saving gadget, think again. Teased in late 2014, and then shown as a functional prototype in mid-2015, the "solid metal snake" robo-charger promised to rescue drivers of the EVs from having to plug in their car manually to charge.

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NVIDIA Jetson Nano 2GB is $59 gateway into AI and robotics

NVIDIA Jetson Nano 2GB is $59 gateway into AI and robotics

If you've been looking for a pandemic hobby, NVIDIA might have just the ticket, with the new Jetson Nano 2GB promising a one-box gateway into robotics and AI development. Announced today, the new starter kit costs less than sixty dollars but still gets access to the CUDA-X software and tools that pro-developers are using to create smarter robots and artificial intelligences.

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Today’s worst TV show idea is: RoboCop without RoboCop

Today’s worst TV show idea is: RoboCop without RoboCop

There's a TV series in the making right now that involves characters from the RoboCop movie franchise. RoboCop, the 1987 movie directed by Paul Verhoeven, the movie that had two sequels: RoboCop 2 and RoboCop 3, the movie that had one reboot: RoboCop (2014). Now there's an idea in the mix for a TV series that'd be a prequel to RoboCop... so... no RoboCop.

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Neato’s three new robot vacuums tap autonomous car tech

Neato’s three new robot vacuums tap autonomous car tech

Though IFA 2020 is a lot different from previous shows, the event is still happening in some regard and companies are still announcing new products. One such company is Neato Robotics, which today announced three additions to its lineup of robot vacuums - the Neato D10, D9, and D8.

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RoBeetle is a tiny robot that uses methanol for fuel

RoBeetle is a tiny robot that uses methanol for fuel

One of the biggest challenges facing researchers who are working on small robots is how to power them. The problem is that most batteries add significantly to the weight and take up lots of space inside small robots, making them impractical. Scientists have come up with a robot called the RoBeetle that doesn't use a battery, instead relying on liquid methanol for power.

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Pumpkii home robot is like a Roomba that can scoop litter boxes

Pumpkii home robot is like a Roomba that can scoop litter boxes

A newly introduced home robot called Pumpkii is made specifically for pet owners (assuming they have a dog or cat, that is). The robot promises a variety of functionality that enables it to keep pets entertained, help owners interact with their pets from a distance, and more. One of the robot's most unique features is an extension arm equipped with a scoop for cleaning litter boxes.

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