robots

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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Neato’s robot vacuums now obey Google Home’s voice orders

Neato’s robot vacuums now obey Google Home’s voice orders

The number of ways you can automate your home just by barking at it continues to grow, with Neato adding Google Home support to its connected robot vacuum range. Available as a new talent for the smart speaker today, the integration allows you to trigger a clean entirely hands-free. The functionality joins Neato's existing Amazon Alexa support.

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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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Elon Musk says humans may need to merge with AI to stay useful

Elon Musk says humans may need to merge with AI to stay useful

Elon Musk has had quite a bit to say about artificial intelligence over past years, and he’s not done yet. Speaking today at the World Government Summit held in Dubai, Musk said that humans must learn to merge with machines in the future to address some big potential issues surrounding the rise of artificial intelligence. Among other things, the proliferation of machine intelligence that outpaces human intelligence may result in a ‘usefulness problem,’ not to mention concerns about whether humans will remain in control in the future.

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Agility Robotics showcases ‘Cassie’ as future of walking robots

Agility Robotics showcases ‘Cassie’ as future of walking robots

Oregon State University’s robotics program has been spun off its own company, Agility Robotics, and it aims to ‘revolutionize’ the future of robotics mobility. The new company is based out of both Oregon and Pennsylvania, and it says it already has ‘several’ customers in the pipeline. The company’s current crowning achievement is ‘Cassie,’ a bipedal robot that is able to walk around untethered on its own two legs.

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Ocado tests gentle robot hands for picking and packing fruit

Ocado tests gentle robot hands for picking and packing fruit

The UK online grocery store Ocado is testing a new technology that may trim the number of human warehouse workers it needs: a robotic arm/hand that both picks and packs vegetables and fruit. The robot has been developed in partnership with Disney Research and a number of other institutions, and the end result is the testing of two different types of robotic hands, both designed to accommodate the random sizes of fruits of vegetables, and to handle them without damage.

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Starship’s robot-couriers start US trials with Postmates and Doordash

Starship’s robot-couriers start US trials with Postmates and Doordash

Your next lazy meal might show up on your doorstep inside a robo-cooler-on-wheels, with news that two on-demand companies in the US are kicking off trials with Starship Technologies' delivery robots. The company's robots look more akin to miniature moon rovers, with their squat bodies and six wheels, and Postmates and DoorDash will take advantage of their autonomous navigation to make deliveries where previously human couriers would be relied upon. However, the trials will be fairly low-key, at least initially.

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Proposal seeks kill switch and mandatory registration for ‘smart’ robots

Proposal seeks kill switch and mandatory registration for ‘smart’ robots

The distant future once detailed and imagined in science fiction movies and books is now upon us, and humans are scrambling to stay ahead. Robots are no longer a foreign concept to the average consumer, and indeed you may even find versions of them, such as the Roomba, in the average home. Innovations in robotics will no doubt move quickly over the coming years, and will happen in step with advancements in artificial intelligence, painting a picture of a future where advanced robots can learn and think for themselves. To keep such advanced technologies in check, humans need a plan.

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Grillbot Pro debuts with Bluetooth 4.0 and grill cleaning cartridge

Grillbot Pro debuts with Bluetooth 4.0 and grill cleaning cartridge

There’s a new cleaning robot on the market, and it is called the Grillbot Pro. Building upon the previously launched Grillbot, the Grillbot Pro features Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity for advanced grill-cleaning powers, enabling the robot to connect to your mobile device where you can then utilize certain elements of control. The new Grillbot Pro also features a grill cleaning cartridge said to improve the robot's cleaning abilities.

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LG sires a dancing Alexa Home Hub ‘bot and an airport Dalek

LG sires a dancing Alexa Home Hub ‘bot and an airport Dalek

LG is thoroughly obsessed with robots, not that we can blame them, bringing a variety of robo-helpers large and small to its CES 2017 press conference today. In addition to domestic robots, which the company hopes will offer a more personal interface for its connected appliances, there are larger versions intended for public spaces. Your next flight check-in might be courtesy of a friendly Dalek.

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Meet Kuri, the Bosch-backed ‘bot aiming to crack home robotics

Meet Kuri, the Bosch-backed ‘bot aiming to crack home robotics

Gently I stroke the top of the robot's head and, with a delighted bloop, he comes alive, eyes smiling as he looks up at me. I may be a cynical British tech journalist but I still catch myself grinning in response, and anyway, I can't blame myself too much for anthropomorphizing the latest attempt at a robotic family companion to grace CES. Kuri's creators, Mayfield Robotics, have put personality front and center in their efforts to crack a surprisingly stubborn segment.

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