Robotics

Alphabet’s X wants to make robots that can learn to do mundane tasks

Alphabet’s X wants to make robots that can learn to do mundane tasks

There has been a lot of attention paid on AI and robotics these days but the majority of those focus on either very specialized tasks or, on the other extreme, theoretical algorithms. The robots of today are still a far cry from the robots of fiction that exist not just to build cars or drive them but also to help humans in their everyday lives. To that end, Google's sibling company X has started an Everyday Robot Project to design, build, and train robots that can learn to do the messy stuff that comes as second nature to humans.

Continue Reading

Sony aibo robot dog gets whimsical features in new major update

Sony aibo robot dog gets whimsical features in new major update

Sony has released a major software update in the US and Japan for its aibo robotic dog, the company has announced. Software version 2.50 is made for the ERS1000 aibo model, bringing 'whimsical' capabilities that include the ability to potty train the dog, feed it virtual cookies, and other fun things. As well, the robot dog also has a new web-based API with visual programming for beginners.

Continue Reading

A tiny Transformers toys gift guide: Robust is best in 2019

A tiny Transformers toys gift guide: Robust is best in 2019

Transformers is a toy line that's never really dull. I remember getting Transformers toys for gifts for Christmas and birthdays when I was a kid, and even when (90% of the time) I did not know the character in the box, I was thrilled to get another one of these bafflingly entertaining pieces of moving parts in plastic. The difference between a "good" transformer and a "could've been better" transformer gift always depended on the intended audience for the toy. Not all Transformer toys are made for little kids.

Continue Reading

Watch new MIT Mini Cheetah robots flip for your amusement

Watch new MIT Mini Cheetah robots flip for your amusement

The latest from MIT's Biomimetic Robotics Lab is a demonstration of the advancements made in the Mini Cheetah. This is not to be mistaken for the non-mini Cheetah as developed by Boston Dynamics. While the Boston Dynamics Cheetah is a relatively large and exceedingly FAST robot, the MIT Mini Cheetah is best known for its backflip! And other super-impressive feats of far more affordable four-legged robot action than what B.D. is doing at the moment.

Continue Reading

Harvard researchers RoboBee is powered by soft artificial muscles

Harvard researchers RoboBee is powered by soft artificial muscles

In the past small robots like the RoboBee developed at Harvard were packed with hard parts that were fragile and could be destroyed in an impact with a wall or other robot. The scientists behind RoboBee have developed a new and resilient version of the robot that is powered by soft artificial muscles that can crash into things without being damaged.

Continue Reading

Misty’s robotics master plan is more Android than R2-D2

Misty’s robotics master plan is more Android than R2-D2

Misty II doesn't look too pleased to see me when I sit down in front of the new platform robot, and even with only a pair of cartoon eyes to express itself, there's no doubting the glare. A stroke across the touch-sensors on the back of its head is enough to make it coo with pleasure, however. I feel like I may have begun what could be an interesting friendship, though for the moment I'm not the person Misty Robotics is trying to convince.

Continue Reading

M-Blocks 2.0 revealed: Now these cube robots can collaborate

M-Blocks 2.0 revealed: Now these cube robots can collaborate

Almost exactly six years ago, we reported on the first iteration of the self-assembling cube robots called M-Blocks. Since then, they've become exponentially more radical. Here in October of 2019, the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) revealed their newest edition of the robotic cubes they call M-Blocks 2.0. The newest edition has many upgrades, the most amazing of which is a communication system with which the blocks can communicate, and thereby collaborate.

Continue Reading

Uber Eats drone won’t actually deliver food to your doorstep

Uber Eats drone won’t actually deliver food to your doorstep

When you hear about delivery drones, you probably envision large flying machines that will drop, hopefully slowly, a package right at your doorstep. Most of the time, that is an accurate picture as far as the likes of Amazon or even UPS are concerned. Uber, specifically its Uber Eats arm, is curiously doing it the other way around. It just revealed the design of its planned meal delivery drone that will, almost ironically, leave the actual delivery in the hands of humans.

Continue Reading

Sphero RVR programmable robot rover now available for purchase

Sphero RVR programmable robot rover now available for purchase

Sphero may have gotten out of the business of making licensed robots, particularly for Disney, but it hasn't turned away from its core spirit: making programmable robots that appeal to both kids and adults alike. It seems, though, that it is taking a break from robot balls but not from things that roll. After a highly successful turn at Kickstarter, Sphero is bringing its latest RVR to consumers, educators, and students around the world to give them the chance to experience what it may feel like to control and program a space rover.

Continue Reading

Mantis haptic robot arm is simple enough for anyone to use

Mantis haptic robot arm is simple enough for anyone to use

Researchers at the University of Bristol have designed a new robot arm that could be the low cost and easy to use the robotic device of the future. The team calls the robot arm Mantis, and it was designed to offer a lightweight, affordable, and accessible haptic force feedback device. Haptic feedback aims to simulate the sense of touch.

Continue Reading

New MIT algorithm helps robots rapidly pick up and sort items

New MIT algorithm helps robots rapidly pick up and sort items

Though we're not yet at the point where robots can take fully take over warehouse jobs, technology is rapidly developing toward that end goal. One big issue surrounding robots in these jobs is their ability to sort items. Unlike boxes, which are neatly stacked and easy to grasp, small unpackaged items introduce randomness into the mix, requiring a robot to do a bunch of thinking about how it will grasp the items. This takes a fair bit of time...or at least it used to.

Continue Reading

This is the Spacebit moon spider

This is the Spacebit moon spider

This bit of robotics from the folks at Spacebit is known as "The Walking Rover". It's effectively a moon spider - albeit with 4 legs instead of 8, and a box-like body of metal rather than organic. It's powered by the sun via solar panels and stores energy on rechargeable batteries. It weighs around 1.3kg, works with Swarm Intelligence, is part of a Modular Robotics Platform, and it can jump.

Continue Reading

1 2 3 4 Next