Robotics

Continental looks to robot dogs to deliver your packages

Continental looks to robot dogs to deliver your packages

Forget drones. Your future parcels might be delivered by autonomous and electric quadrupedal “robodogs” instead. German automotive company Continental unveiled at CES 2019 its vision for “seamless mobility” which included not only a self-driving van but also a prototype of a similarly autonomous vehicle that will take care of the “last mile” of the delivery right to the doorstep. And those who have been keeping tabs on Boston Dynamics robots may have flashbacks to the robotics company’s Spot robots.

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Honda’s exoskeleton is one (assisted) step closer to launch

Honda’s exoskeleton is one (assisted) step closer to launch

Honda's Walking Assist Device, a partial exoskeleton to help those with difficulties moving unsupported, has been given the green-light for release by US regulators. The wearable robotic gadget was given Premarket Notification by the US FDA, after clinical trials helped demonstrate it can significantly help in rehabilitation.

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UBTech Walker and Cruzr robots strut into CES 2019

UBTech Walker and Cruzr robots strut into CES 2019

A company called UBTech has unveiled a pair of robots at CES 2019 that the firm calls its most advanced robots ever. The bots are a new version of the Walker bipedal humanoid robot and Cruzr, a cloud-based rolling humanoid service robot. Walker now has arms and hands while Cruzr has improved performance and reliability.

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Trifo Ironpie robotic home vacuum combines cleaning and surveillance

Trifo Ironpie robotic home vacuum combines cleaning and surveillance

Home robotics company Trifo has launched its first smart vacuum, the Ironepie. The robotic vacuum takes on Roomba and other competing models via an array of AI-enabled capabilities, including multi-sensor obstacle detection, zig-zag floor cleaning routes, surveillance tools for home monitoring, and more. Trifo undercuts is competitors by around $200, according to the company.

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PepsiCo snackbots deploy to bring snacks to college students

PepsiCo snackbots deploy to bring snacks to college students

PepsiCo has introduced snackbot, a robot that will deliver snacks to college students. This autonomous outdoor vehicle looks like a large cooler on a set of six wheels, each featuring a flag with a number that makes it possible to tell the snackbots apart. The robots will be dedicated to delivering Hello Goodness' portfolio of snacks and drinks targeted at students who don't want to make a trip to the store.

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Segway Shared Scooter Max, Loomo Deliver to fix last mile problems

Segway Shared Scooter Max, Loomo Deliver to fix last mile problems

Segway made a name for its self with its initially odd-looking “personal transporters” and, later on, the first hoverboards. But while they may look like toys for some, Segway’s mission has always been about conquering the “last mile” of transportation, those few hundred steps between your card and your actual destination. At CES 2019 next week, it will be showcasing not just its current lineup of products but two new ones, including a self-driving delivery robot.

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Lily smart speaker is a personal Chinese language AI tutor

Lily smart speaker is a personal Chinese language AI tutor

A crowdfunded smart speaker called Lily is a personal Chinese language tutor, according to the team behind it. This is the first smart speaker designed to teach language learners how to speak Chinese, doing so in a natural way that includes interactive conversations and vocabulary-based language games. The team behind the speaker anticipates launching Lily in March.

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3D Printed robotic hand can play piano by moving its wrist

3D Printed robotic hand can play piano by moving its wrist

Researchers have created a 3D printed robotic hand that can play simple musical phrases on a piano by moving its wrist. The hand was developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge and uses 3D printed soft and rigid materials together to replicate bones and ligaments.

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LG CLOi SuitBot now looks less like an exosuit

LG CLOi SuitBot now looks less like an exosuit

Of all the major consumer electronics companies, LG is perhaps the one that’s most obsessed with robots. Not the cutesy but practically useless robot dogs like the new Sony Aibo but ones that are designed to assist customers and reduce worker injuries. The strangest of them all, however, is the CLOi SuitBot, which doesn’t look like a robot at all. LG has now redesigned the janky-looking half-exosuit into one that looks more like a somewhat futurist back brace instead.

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DOOMBA revealed: the Roomba that makes DOOM maps

DOOMBA revealed: the Roomba that makes DOOM maps

This week a creator by the name of Rich Whitehouse revealed and released a project called DOOMBA. This is a program that works with a Roomba personal robotic vacuum cleaner to scan and map an environment. With this program and a Roomba, a user can potentially create their own custom original DOOM map.

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Harvard HAMR-E micro climbing robot is designed for jet engines

Harvard HAMR-E micro climbing robot is designed for jet engines

Harvard University's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the SEAS have created a new insect-like miniature robot designed with sticky feet to climb around surfaces. Called the Harvard Ambulatory Micro-Robot with Electroadhesion (HAMR-E), the mini-robot was made to climb inside of jet engines for inspection purposes.

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Sphero says goodbye to BB-8, Spider-man, Disney-licensed toys [Update]

Sphero says goodbye to BB-8, Spider-man, Disney-licensed toys [Update]

Sphero already earned a reputation among tech-savvy consumers early on but its name really went mainstream when it came out with the official BB-8 robot. It was, after all, a match that seemed destined by the Force. The success of that deal with Disney saw other characters come to robotic life, including Lightning McQueen and even Spider-man. Unfortunately, that profitable partnership is coming to an end because these toys have cost the company more than they’re worth.

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