Robotics

Disney’s VertiGo robot will drive you up a wall

Disney’s VertiGo robot will drive you up a wall

We've seen a lot of upgrades to remote-controlled flying machines over the last few years. So much so, that it seems like everyone has a drone or a quadcopter these days. However, the RC car seems to have been left in the dust. After all, who wants a toy that is limited to driving on the ground? Well, Disney is working on a new car that will take you to new heights.

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DARPA’s BigDog robot put to pasture for being too noisy

DARPA’s BigDog robot put to pasture for being too noisy

It is probably a sad day for the robotics community. LS3, more popularly known as "BigDog" or even "AlphaDog", is practically being shelved. The quadruped robot, built by Boston Dynamics (before it was bought by Google) for DARPA, will no longer be the US military's dreamed pack mule in the field. Despite having all the flexibility, agility, strength, and even autonomy they'd want in a robot, BigDog apparently failed in one very critical criteria: it was just too noisy, making it dangerous to have around you in a hush hush operation.

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Boston Dynamics sends Christmas greetings with robo-reindeer

Boston Dynamics sends Christmas greetings with robo-reindeer

We're just days away from the Christmas holiday, and to help usher it in is a new video from Boston Dynamics, the company behind robots like Spot the 'dog'. Its' new video doesn't give us a creepy glimpse of the future, though, or reveal a new type of robotic hellhound. Rather, it gives us a real-world twist on classic Santa imagery: a sleigh being pulled by three robotic reindeer.

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LG HOM-BOT Turbo+ weds AR and security cameras

LG HOM-BOT Turbo+ weds AR and security cameras

If it seems that the world of "living room" robotics have moved away from the likes of the Roomba, LG might have a word or two to say about that. Coming to CES 2016 is a trio of new vacuuum cleaners from the consumer electronics maker. And one of them is practically a smart robot. It even looks like a Roomba. What makes this cleaner different is how users can employ augmented reality to control the vacuum and the way it also doubles as a security guard as well.

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Google X embraces robotics, Titan drone in Alphabet reorg

Google X embraces robotics, Titan drone in Alphabet reorg

Four months after Google announced its new Alphabet parent, we're still seeing former Google projects and divisions trying to find their proper place in the new, grander scheme of things. And for those that can't, there's always Google X. The seed bed of many experimental and moonshot projects, Google X has formally become an Alphabet subsidiary in October and is now welcoming into its fold two equally amorphous Google experiments, the still unrealized dream of robotics and Google's foray into the skies with drones, both Titan and Wing.

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New Japanese muscle suit capable of lifting 30kg, weighs only 5.5kg

New Japanese muscle suit capable of lifting 30kg, weighs only 5.5kg

Japanese company Innophys has unveiled a new wearable exoskeletal-like harness that can reduce the weight something being lifted by as much as 30 kilograms (66 pounds). Dubbed the Muscle Suit, the harness features hydraulically controlled attachments that pair with a wearer's arms and legs, essentially adding artificial muscles that provide additional strength when lifting heavy loads. It doesn't actually lift objects on its own, but it does make them seem much lighter than they are.

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Fleye flying robot is the size of a soccer ball

Fleye flying robot is the size of a soccer ball

Quadcopters are fun, especially given how many miniature-sized versions are now on the market. The problem is safety — though some designs have taken steps to protect people from the rotors, many drones still pose safety risks. Improper use or a simple accident can end catastrophically. That’s where Fleye comes in — it is a drone in the broadest sense, but not like any drone you’ve seen before. Its’ makers call it a ‘personal flying robot.'

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Karma is what GoPro named its drone, coming 2016

Karma is what GoPro named its drone, coming 2016

It seems that all the pieces are set and GoPro is ready to take to the skies in just a few months. It has finally given a formal name to its first direct entry into the growing drone market. GoPro Karma, as it is now known, is set to take flight in 2016, but much about it remains unknown and GoPro has done the almost impossible and has kept much of the drone's details under wraps up to now. Something that smartphone makers probably need to learn how to do better.

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This robot guides travelers around a busy airport

This robot guides travelers around a busy airport

Seeing as how the busiest travel season of the year is now in full swing, it would be the perfect time to debut a robotic airport guide to help direct tired and stressed out travelers. That's exactly what Örebro University is doing as part of their research with Spencer the robot at Schiphol Amsterdam Airport. The international hub is known to have a terminal layout that is confusing to navigate, so the robot, outfitted with detailed maps, aims to help passengers get to the right place in time for their flight.

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Formula E reveals ROBORACE driverless EV series for 2016

Formula E reveals ROBORACE driverless EV series for 2016

Could driverless racing ever as exciting as events where there's meat behind the wheel? Formula E believes so, with ROBORACE expected to kick off during its 2016-17 season. Billed as part of the support package for the FIA Formula E Championship, the races will see autonomous electric cars going up against each other as teams compete to hone the best AI.

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Robo kitty is Hasbro’s first robot companion for seniors

Robo kitty is Hasbro’s first robot companion for seniors

Hasbro has a new line of life-like robotic companion pets designed for seniors, and though it seems depressing at first, the robo pets could help fill a void in cases where living pets aren't appropriate. The pets are designed to provide a sense of companionship, but come without some of the other aspects of pet ownership: food and care costs, messy litter boxes, and other things.

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NASA donates two robots for DARPA Mars research and exploration

NASA donates two robots for DARPA Mars research and exploration

Two university groups receive their very own Valkyrie robots from NASA as part of the DARPA Robotics Challenge. NASA calls these robots the Valkyrie or "R5" models, as revealed earlier this year as part of the DARPA Robotics Challenge. These robots and their intended purpose are important to the future of beyond-Earth exploration. Both are humanoid so that they're able to "help or even take the place" of astronauts that'd otherwise be working in extreme space conditions and environments.

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