Robotics

Give three thumbs up with this robotic extra finger

Give three thumbs up with this robotic extra finger

Prosthesis is nothing new but the 3D printing and robotics have made it both more accessible as well as more advanced. But what if you don’t have any missing limb or body part? What if you just wanted to add one more? That’s the very question that Dani Clode from UK’s Royal College of Art is trying to answer. And her first answer comes in the form of a thumb that you can attach to your hand and control with your feet.

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Toyota gave a paralyzed US army vet a robot aide: Here’s what happened

Toyota gave a paralyzed US army vet a robot aide: Here’s what happened

Toyota has finished its first domestic robot trial in the US, putting a prototype Human Support Robot in the home of a paralyzed US war veteran. The robot, known as the HSR, is part of Toyota's "partner robots" project, exploring how technology can enable those with limited mobility and other restrictions to live more productive and independent lives. For vet Romy Carmago, in Florida, that means a robot nurse-cum-butler to help in ways he's unable to.

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This ‘robot’ doesn’t need a power source to move around

This ‘robot’ doesn’t need a power source to move around

Researchers have managed to create a sort of 'robot' that can move without requiring a power source, instead gaining its mobility skills via increased humidity levels. This was accomplished using a sheet of graphene oxide cut into a vaguely insect-like shape, including four legs. After exposing the graphene oxide sheet to a flash of bright light, researchers found that it will 'bend' when the air around it experiences a large humidity increase.

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Cozmo Code Lab makes robot programming easy as dragging blocks

Cozmo Code Lab makes robot programming easy as dragging blocks

Anki's Cozmo may have looked like a toy by way of Wall-E when it launched last year, but the personality-filled robot has bigger ambitions than mere entertainment. Launching today is Cozmo Code Lab, an incredibly simple way to unlock the many talents of the robot, even if you can't string together a single line of code.

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Q.bo One open source robot launches for DIYers

Q.bo One open source robot launches for DIYers

A new type of consumer-tier robot has launched, and it is called Q.bo One. This model, unlike ones before it, is open source and designed for anyone to build. The robot utilizes a simple programming language called Scratch, while the hardware itself is based around Raspberry Pi and Arduino. Multiple cameras, microphones, lights and speakers, among other things, makes Q.bo One suitable for a variety of tasks.

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Sony KOOV robotics kit finally out a year later, on Indiegogo

Sony KOOV robotics kit finally out a year later, on Indiegogo

Sony has a rather strange relationship with consumer robotics lately. It's definitely no stranger to them, having had at least two in the past. Now it is taking a more educational spin to these robots, but it isn't going directly to the market. Toio, revealed last week, is on Sony's internal "First Flight" crowdfunding platform. And now the KOOV coding and robotics kit has made its way to Indiegogo as well, finally making a real public appearance a year after Sony was supposed to launch it.

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Sony Toio is a mashup of tiny cube robots and game consoles

Sony Toio is a mashup of tiny cube robots and game consoles

Sony might not be a name you'd immediately associate with robotic toys, but it does, or rather did, have a few under its name, from the dog-like Aibo to the the "dancing" Rolly to, more recently, the KOOV robotics kit. It isn't done yet, however, and a Toio product may be just over the horizon. Aimed at very young learners, Toio mixes papercraft, tiny rolling robot cubes, and a system that resembles a gaming console, complete with controllers and even cartridges.

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Softbank acquires robotics company Boston Dynamics from Google

Softbank acquires robotics company Boston Dynamics from Google

Robotics aficionados may have mixed feelings right now. On the one hand, Alphabet, Google's parent compny has just sold Boston Dynamics, potentially saving the robotics company from descending into obsolescence in the company. On the other hand, the buyer is none other than Japan's Softbank, which may raise a few eyebrows within the tech industry and raising the biggest question of all: what does Softbank plan to do with Boston Dynamics' giant robots?

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Researchers create robotic set of secondary arms

Researchers create robotic set of secondary arms

If you've ever felt like having only two arms just isn't enough to accomplish all your tasks, a practical solution could soon be on the horizon. Researchers from Japan's University of Tokyo and Keio University have developed a wearable pair of extra robotic arms, easily increasing your number of limbs and hands. Dubbed the "Metalimbs" project, the arms can be on similar to a backpack, and instead of being connected to the wearer's brain for thought control, users tell the appendages what to do with their legs.

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Apple’s Swift Playgrounds gets robot hook-up with LEGO, Parrot, more

Apple’s Swift Playgrounds gets robot hook-up with LEGO, Parrot, more

Swift Playgrounds, Apple's software developing toolkit intended to encourage kids to learn code, is breaking out of the iPad and connecting with educational toys from LEGO, Parrot, and more. Launched at WWDC 2016 a year ago, Swift Playgrounds took Apple's programming language and wrapped it up in an iPad app that aimed to be equal parts education and entertainment. Now, the fruits of Swift Playgrounds will be able to engage with devices in the real-world.

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Laundroid is a household robot that will fold your laundry

Laundroid is a household robot that will fold your laundry

Washing clothes today is far easier and less time consuming that it was mere decades ago, and that's thanks to improved technologies boosting cleaning quality and drying times while decreasing energy consumption. Modern technology has done little to reduce the human element involved in clothes washing, though, meaning you still have to retrieve the dried clothes, fold them, and put them away. Laundroid may change that.

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BIKI is a drone that can dive and swim but not fly

BIKI is a drone that can dive and swim but not fly

Who says all drones can do is fly and crash? While nothing in its formal definition limits it as such, drones these days have mostly been associated with unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs. Robosea, however, is introducing a new kind of UAV, an unmanned aquatic vehicle. BIKI doesn't look like a helicopter but more like a fish, because that is exactly what it is. Meet the world's first bionic underwater robofish drone.

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