Robotics

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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Adidas test uses machines to knit buyers a custom sweater

Adidas test uses machines to knit buyers a custom sweater

Clothing looks and feels best when it is tailored, but few people use tailoring services with any sort of regularity. The reasons for that are numerous, and likely involve inconvenience as much (or more so) than the cost factor. The future may hold the solution, though, and that solution may come in the form of machine-produced custom-fitted clothing items made to a buyer’s exact body shape and measurements.

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Qbo One desktop robot heads to Indiegogo later this year

Qbo One desktop robot heads to Indiegogo later this year

Back in 2012, the original Qbo robot caught quite a bit of attention. Today, we're being introduced Thecorpora's next generation Qbo robot, appropriately named the Qbo One. Unlike its predecessor, Qbo One won't be zipping around on its own - instead, it's meant to sit atop your desk and interact with you from there.

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This drone is both stiff and squishy to survive crashes

This drone is both stiff and squishy to survive crashes

Drones are designed to fly, but crashes are a fact of life, whether because of external forces or pilot error. Some commercial drones employ techniques like propeller guards to at least protect the drone, or humans nearby, but they’re not exactly effective all the time. More industrially-inclined drones even have “cages” that protect them but also make them bigger and heavier. Researchers from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, or EPFL, in Switzerland may have come up with an actually effective solution. Unsurprisingly, their inspiration came from Mother Nature herself.

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Miso Robotics’ Flippy flips burgers, loves its job

Miso Robotics’ Flippy flips burgers, loves its job

Spongebob's days as a fry cook will soon be over. Somewhat. But while Spongebob is a fictional character, the robot that will be flipping burgers and putting them on buns definitely isn't. It's called Flippy and it's nothing but a smaller and more dexterous version of a stereotypical robotic arm. But unlike those industrial machines designed more for power, Miso Robotics designed Flippy to be fast, precise, and smart. All for the purpose of having it flip burgers and then, when properly fried, place them on buns.

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Mayfield Robotics’ Kuri adds IFTTT to tap into your home

Mayfield Robotics’ Kuri adds IFTTT to tap into your home

Mayfield Robotics' Kuri robot companion may not have launched yet, but it's already getting smarter, adding facial detection as well as IFTTT integration. The personable robot was announced at CES 2017 back in January, a Bosch-backed project to put a friendly AI in the modern connected home. Now, the ways in which Kuri will be able to interact with both people and its environment have been improved.

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MIT robots know what you’re thinking

MIT robots know what you’re thinking

Researchers with MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, more commonly called CSAIL, and Boston University have jointly created a robot that can read a human’s thoughts. Thanks to this ability, the robot doesn’t need to learn complex human languages or other ways to get orders from humans — those humans can instead command the robots using nothing more than thoughts and a special electrode cap.

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Cobalt’s autonomous security robot is more serious than it looks

Cobalt’s autonomous security robot is more serious than it looks

Robots make the best and the worst security guards. On the one hand, they’re efficient, precise, and unswayed by emotions. On the other hand, they’re also cold, impersonal, and unyielding. They are best used for security-related tasks that require more attention to detail but not so much human interaction. That’s what Cobalt Robotics is attempting with its autonomous mobile robot that can navigate around the area, recognize people, read IDs, and report any suspicious activities, potential security issues, and possible hazards. All without looking like a Terminator set to kill.

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