Robotics

60-foot Gundam robot that walks is being built in Japan

60-foot Gundam robot that walks is being built in Japan

Japan is known for many things ranging from food to anime to, of course, robots. And not just the industrial or cutesy kind, mind, but the fictional ones that come to save the day or play. Of all the robots that the country's creative minds have produced, Yoshiyuki Tomino's Gundam has achieved the widest renown and the most number of recreations. The most ambitious one yet is coming later this year in Yokohama, featuring a 60-foot tall Gundam robot that will be able to walk.

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LEGO Education SPIKE Prime set released for $330

LEGO Education SPIKE Prime set released for $330

There's a next-level DIY robotics LEGO set out in the world starting this week, and it's called SPIKE Prime! This is a LEGO Education set, which means it's geared toward students - but you're not the sort of person to let a silly thing like that stop you from using the newest in LEGO power enhance the builds you've had brewing, right?

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Charmin puts VR on a toilet, Smells on a sensor, TP on a robot

Charmin puts VR on a toilet, Smells on a sensor, TP on a robot

Charmin has a set of three conceptual designs for CES 2020, including a toilet paper-retrieving robot, a smell sensor, and a VR experience for the WC. Before we go too much further, it's important to note, here, that Charmin has expressed that these items "won't be for sale in the future." That's unfortunate, especially given the helpful nature of the rolling toilet paper retriever. The VR experience might be best left in the conceptual universe.

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Tiny robot insects are soft enough to survive a fly swatter

Tiny robot insects are soft enough to survive a fly swatter

Different people have different concepts about robots, ranging from humanoid androids that may or may not be out to get us to unsettling quadrupeds that may or may not be accompanying the police of the future. Few, however, will probably think of robots the size of a fly that has better survivability than the real, organic one. That is exactly the kind of robot that engineering researchers have developed, paving the way for a swarm of intelligent insects that will hopefully not overrun the planet.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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