Robotics

Now you can buy an actual, real car-sized transformer

Now you can buy an actual, real car-sized transformer

If the bewildering success of the last decade of Transformers movies have proven anything, it's that deep down in many of us there's a fascination with the idea of a full-sized car turning into a robotic being that can move on its own. When not watching them on the big screen, we've had authentic toys to play with, sure, but now it's time for the real thing. Turkish company Letvision seems to agree, as they have successfully created a working prototype, and now plan to sell these transforming vehicles to buyers.

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Print A Drink creates edible 3D objects in your cocktail

Print A Drink creates edible 3D objects in your cocktail

We’ve seen dozens of uses of 3D printing, some of them even bordering on the bizarre or the insane. This one, however, probably takes the cake. Or in this case, the drink. Forget 3D printed chocolate car. But while Print A Drink doesn’t exactly print a whole drink for you, it does print out fascinating 3D structures inside them. All while there’s already an existing, drinkable liquid sitting inside the glass, making it almost too wasteful to actually drink the thing.

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Oh great, now we’re giving drones robot-claws

Oh great, now we’re giving drones robot-claws

Prodrone, a Japanese UAV company, has taken the wraps off its new PD6B-AW-ARM, a drone that contains a pair of robotic arms for grasping items from the air, among other things. The drone was recently showcased at InterDrone in Las Vegas, and it hints at a future where drones are for more than just aerial photography.

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Parrot, Canonical make a S.L.A.M.dunk to make drones smarter

Parrot, Canonical make a S.L.A.M.dunk to make drones smarter

Ubuntu” and “drones” are probably not two words you’ll come across often, even though both are quite popular in their respective areas. So when Parrot, one of the most famous drone makers, and Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, come out with a special product, it’s hard not to take notice. Painfully spelled as S.L.A.M.dunk, short for “Simultaneous Location and Mapping”, this “drone development kit” piggybacks on a drone, from Parrot preferably, like a Remora fish on shark, giving any drone some autonomous navigation capabilities of its own.

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Alphabet drones will come bearing burritos at Virginia Tech

Alphabet drones will come bearing burritos at Virginia Tech

The hype around unmanned aerial vehicles, more popularly known as drones, may have died down a bit, but neither Alphabet nor Amazon are forgetting their ambitious dreams of populating the skies with such robotic delivery personnel. In fact, Google’s parent company will be conducting tests this month to bring it a step closer to that goal. But instead of jumping, or flying, directly into delivering ordered goods, Alphabet’s research arm X will instead simply try to food some lucky students and staff at Virginia Tech with what else but burritos.

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Japanese robotic sumo wrestling is completely autonomous

Japanese robotic sumo wrestling is completely autonomous

If you have ever seen the show "Battlebots" that airs in the US, you know that most of the robots used are set on destroying the competition literally rather than simply pushing them out of the ring. Robot Wars here in the US is also a competition that is as much about the humans who are controlling the robots via remotes as it is about the capabilities of the robots themselves. Japan has a robot sumo wrestling competition that is very different from what we see here in the US.

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Lowe’s robot workers heading to stores in San Francisco

Lowe’s robot workers heading to stores in San Francisco

Lowe’s has introduced the ‘LoweBot' robots and says it plans to roll them out in stores in San Francisco soon. The LoweBot is a NAVii autonomous robot designed for retail service by Fellow Robots, according to Lowe’s, which says the robo-workers will roll out in a total of 11 stores located in the San Francisco Bay Area this autumn. The company says its previous OSHbot tests, which we detailed in late 2014, were successful.

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Neato Botvac D3 and D5 details: covering all bases

Neato Botvac D3 and D5 details: covering all bases

This week the folks at Neato have revealed two new robotic home vacuums, one called Botvac D3 Connected, the other the D5 Connected. Both devices have Wi-Fi connectivity and work with the Neato app. Both devices are self-charging and have automatic charge and resume functions. Both devices are able to work with Scheduling, and both have Neato's own Combo Brush to make homes clean.

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Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum sucks, but in a good way

Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum sucks, but in a good way

Xiaomi is mostly about smartphones and tablets, but that isn't all the company has up its sleeve with the unveiling of a new robot vacuum cleaner. The device is called the Mi Robot Vacuum and it has lots of cool tech inside that will allow you to get clean floors without any effort. The device has LDS intelligent path planning, ultra-high 1800Pa air pressure suction, smartphone controls, and real time cleaning status.

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Star Wars BB-8-controlling Force Band from Sphero debuts this month

Star Wars BB-8-controlling Force Band from Sphero debuts this month

One of the biggest Star Wars-related products to be released last year in the build-up to The Force Awakens was the robotic BB-8 toy from Sphero. The device could move around on its own in an automated mode, or be controlled via smartphone, but in January the company revealed a new Force Band accessory. When paired with BB-8, the wristband allows users to control their bot with mere hand gestures. And it will finally be available later this month.

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Dexmo exoskeleton VR gloves inches to a final product

Dexmo exoskeleton VR gloves inches to a final product

Back in 2014, before the first commercial VR headsets hit the market, Chinese company Dexta Robotics was already asking the hard questions: how do you implement user input and interaction without breaking the illusion of an immersive virtual reality world. Although its Dexmo Kickstarter was canceled, the company continued working on the idea of exoskeleton gloves for VR. And based on its latest video and PR materials, it seems quite ready to take the new Dexmo into the final phase of an actual, commercial product.

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Roborace DevBot self-driving racecar needs no humans to win

Roborace DevBot self-driving racecar needs no humans to win

The most common argument used by self-driving car proponents like Google is that these vehicles, which practically robots, are better at maintaining road and driver safety than humans have proven to be. DevBot, however, is different. While its own survival is probably a key consideration, it is more interested in speeding. Because, yes, DevBot is the prototype for a robotic, fully automated, self-driving racecar for Forumula E’s Roborace and it will be zooming, not cruising, on a race track soon. The NHTSA’s worst nightmare.

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