Robotics

Dubai’s “real Robocop” starts its active duty

Dubai’s “real Robocop” starts its active duty

Don't worry, no human police officers were harmed in the creation of these mechanical policemen. Though called "Robocop" to give their name a bit more weight and credibility, these are really more robot cops than cyborgs, all metal and computers inside. And these will be the robots that could make up a quarter of Dubai's police force by 2030. And though they currently only patrol the hallways of the Gulf Information Security Expo and Conference (GISEC), they will soon start their public service on streets.

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This ‘soft’ 3D-printed robot can walk on rough surfaces

This ‘soft’ 3D-printed robot can walk on rough surfaces

University of California San Diego mechanical engineering professor Michael Tolley and a team of researchers have created what is said to be the first 'soft' robot that is able to handle traveling on rough terrain. The robot features a total of four legs that were made using 3D-printing, and with them the robot is able to walk across rough surfaces like sand, as well as crawling over larger objects. The company demonstrated the robot's walking capabilities in a video.

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Lowe’s, Virginia Tech make lightweight exosuit for heavy lifting

Lowe’s, Virginia Tech make lightweight exosuit for heavy lifting

Forget images of sci-fi battles between enhanced soldiers, aliens, and machines. Though it definitely looks like a prototype prop for the Edge of Tomorrow, this exosuit has a less violent and more benign mission. Born from a collaboration between Virginia Tech and home improvement company Lowe's Innovation Lab, the exosuit simply uses the principles of preservation of energy and a few flexible but sturdy materials to make lifting something like a bag of concrete less painful.

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Lowe’s teams with Virginia Tech to develop robotic exosuit for workers

Lowe’s teams with Virginia Tech to develop robotic exosuit for workers

Hardware and home improvement store Lowe's is no stranger to innovative tech -- the company began testing robotic workers at some of its stores late last year, for example. Now the company is back with another development, this one made in conjunction with Virginia Tech -- robotic exosuits (eg, exoskeletons) for warehouse workers. The suits are designed to help workers lift and move heavy items without getting tired as quickly.

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Loomo Go is an autonomous delivery robot from Segway

Loomo Go is an autonomous delivery robot from Segway

Intel recently took to the stage to introduce Loomo Go, an autonomous delivery robot created by Segway Robotics. The robot can be operated like an actual Segway, at least per the demonstration by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, but it is much more than that. Using various technologies, Loomo is able to perceive the world around it and operate through it, doing so as part of an overall delivery process to bring humans objects.

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Bionic hand sees, instinctively reaches for objects

Bionic hand sees, instinctively reaches for objects

Forget whatever fantasy you might have of artificial limbs. Reality is far more cruel than fiction. Although we do have hi-tech prosthetics today, operating them requires no small amount of effort and time. Even the act of reaching out for a stick can take more than just a few seconds because of the time it takes for our brains to interpret what our eyes see, transmit it to electrical signals, which in turn get interpreted by artificial limbs into movement. That is why biomedical engineers from Newcastle University are trying to cut down the time by giving the artificial arm its own eye and brain.

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Honda and Kyoto University partner for AI that works with humans

Honda and Kyoto University partner for AI that works with humans

Honda has teamed up with Japan's Kyoto University to help spur the development of artificial intelligence. This effort will see the two entities researching and developing such technologies, and doing so with particular goals in mind. Honda envisions a future were AI can collaborate with humans, being integrated into everyday life in a way that is beneficial and able to grow with humans. The company notes that humans would have the 'leading role' in this reality.

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Amazon’s autonomous car strategy is not to build one

Amazon’s autonomous car strategy is not to build one

Much like what's suspected of Apple's driverless car strategy, Amazon has been reported to be taking a different approach. Instead of building their own vehicles that'd be able to drive themselves, Amazon is said this week to be working on leveraging the incoming technology. This means Amazon would use autonomous cars made by 3rd-party companies instead of going through the trouble of making their own.

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Mayfield Robotics’ Kuri just passed the peanut butter test

Mayfield Robotics’ Kuri just passed the peanut butter test

Mayfield Robotics' Kuri was the surprise hit of CES 2017, but the robot companion isn't relying solely on cutesy looks to charm users, with a new set of features announced today. Intended to bring domestic robotics into the mainstream, Kuri - which looks like a cross between a Roomba and a Wall-E character - is gaining a new set of behaviors that Mayfield calls "romojis" or robot emojis. Although they might look like they're just for entertainment, they're actually going to be pretty important for daily life with the 'bot.

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Honda Miimo robotic mower is like a Roomba for your lawn

Honda Miimo robotic mower is like a Roomba for your lawn

Honda has taken the wraps off Miimo, its first robotic lawn mower in the U.S. This contraption is sort of like a Roomba, but for your lawn rather than your carpet. Instead of spending time outside manually pushing around a mower, homeowners can set Miimo to cut the grass for them, leaving it to its task while going off to do something else. Miimo is able to mow a lawn on its own thanks to integrated sensors and other technology.

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Domino’s will start delivering pizzas with robots in Europe

Domino’s will start delivering pizzas with robots in Europe

Domino's, the same pizza company that has embraced drones, will soon start delivering some pizzas in Europe using delivery robots. The machines were created by Starship Technologies, a company based out of London that has developed a self-driving robot with six wheels. The deliveries will be limited to some cities in the Netherlands and Germany to start with; whether they'll expand to cover more regions in the future is unclear.

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NASA’s little Rover companion was inspired by origami

NASA’s little Rover companion was inspired by origami

There is only so much you can launch into space, much less land on planets like Mars. Space, weight, and budget all conspire against having more rolling laboratories roving the planet. Not that you'd want to depend solely on a rover either. Big and expensive, they are hardly qualified for cramped spaces and more treacherous terrain. Which is why NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratories or JPL has been developing a companion robot for rovers that would serve as research scouts. But to make them compact and lightweight, the engineers and scientists took inspiration from the foldable properties of paper.

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