Robotics

E-skin made for “fully soft robots”

E-skin made for “fully soft robots”

Researchers are on the verge of creating electronic skin - a component of robots of the future made with "soft" features. Softness here means the opposite of rigidity. The softer the part, the more the part can be bent, molded, and shaped to meet challenges. The problem, said researchers this week, is that existing robots have set of necessary parts that aren't by their nature soft. These researchers presented a "skin-like electronic system" with which the gap between hard and soft can be bridged.

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Disney shows acrobatic Stickman robot doing a mid-air somersault

Disney shows acrobatic Stickman robot doing a mid-air somersault

Researchers with Disney Research have been exploring the possibility of creating robots that can perform acrobatics, the company has revealed. During the 2018 International Conference on Robotics and Automation, the team introduced Stickman, a robot shaped like a "z" that can perform select acrobatic tricks. Joining that is a newly published video showing the robot in action.

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Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini robot dog sales start in 2019

Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini robot dog sales start in 2019

Boston Dynamics is upgrading from merely terrifying us with the sight of its lifelike robots to actually selling them, with sales of its dog-like 'bot expected to start next year. The company is currently owned by SoftBank, which has already launched robots of its own, though none quite as advanced as those Boston Dynamics has developed over the years.

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Watch Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot go for an untethered jog outside

Watch Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot go for an untethered jog outside

Boston Dynamics has released a couple new videos featuring its robots, chief among them being one of the humanoid Atlas running outside without a cable tether. In addition to running on camera, Atlas also leaps over an obstacle, demonstrating how much progress the team has made over the past few years. This is the same robot that once struggled to simply walk outdoors.

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Misty II personal robot recognizes faces and supports DIY skills

Misty II personal robot recognizes faces and supports DIY skills

Misty Robotics has unveiled a new personal robot called the Misty II, a model with a fun design and the ability to recognize faces, among other things. Misty II is currently being funded through a crowdfunding campaign where early adopters can get a unit for pledging at least $1,499 USD. The first model was revealed back in January.

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Starship has big campus plans for its robot delivery fleet

Starship has big campus plans for its robot delivery fleet

You may soon be sharing a campus sidewalk with an autonomous delivery robot, with Starship Technologies launching a fleet of its six-wheeled self-driving 'bots in California. The startup had been operating residential trials in the US and Europe, with the robots delivering take-out food and more.

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Alexa Rosie robot? The Jetsons aren’t far off

Alexa Rosie robot? The Jetsons aren’t far off

Amazon's next move in smart assistant domination may be a robot that moves around with its user. It doesn't hover, it doesn't wear an apron, and its name isn't Rosie - but it might as well be. Following along with the fire and flame theme Amazon's rolled with for years, this project's code-name is "Vesta." That's a Roman goddess of hearth, home, and family, most often represented as a sacred fire.

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Rumored Amazon robot is the Alexa evolution we’re not sure we want

Rumored Amazon robot is the Alexa evolution we’re not sure we want

Amazon has already worked its way into homes around the world with Alexa, but now the company might be thinking bigger. New rumors today claim that Amazon is looking to launch something technophiles have dreamed about for decades: a consumer robot for the home. Many companies have tried and failed to create domestic robots before, but if there's one company that might have the resources to pull it off, Amazon definitely tops the list.

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Walmart Pickup Tower deployment expands

Walmart Pickup Tower deployment expands

This week the folks at Walmart announced the arrival of a whole bunch more "high-tech pickup towers" at a number of stores across the United States. These giant towers appeared at just under 200 Walmart stores in the past year. Now the store is aiming to expand the program to "more than 500" stores by the end of this year. You might see this massive machine at your Walmart soon... very soon.

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NASA Marsbee flying robotic insects may explore Mars in the future

NASA Marsbee flying robotic insects may explore Mars in the future

NASA recently funded a new potential future way to explore the Red Planet: Marsbee, an insect-like flying robot that could operate in swarms with a rover serving as a base station. Marsbees are described as about the size of a bumblebee with wings like you'd find on a cicada; they don't need much energy and can be recharged from a rover that doubles as a communication center.

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Electrolux Pure i9 triangular robotic vacuum maps rooms in 3D

Electrolux Pure i9 triangular robotic vacuum maps rooms in 3D

Electrolux is planning to launch a new robotic vacuum in the US market, one said to trump competing models in multiple ways. Called the Pure i9, this vacuum sports a triangular shape that better enables it to clean corners, for example. As with other robotic vacuums, the Pure i9 is equipped with a variety of sensors and software that enable it to analyze the environment around it. However, this model promises to take things up a notch with the use of 3D Vision.

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MIT SoFi soft robot swims in the ocean like a real fish

MIT SoFi soft robot swims in the ocean like a real fish

MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has unveiled SoFi, a soft robotic fish that can swim in the ocean using realistic movements, enabling it to get up close and personal with real sea life. SoFi was tested in the Rainbow Reef, where it was able to swim at depths down to 50ft, taking on ocean currents while capturing videos and photos using a built-in camera.

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