Robots

Samsung announces Ballie, a personal robot that helps you manage your smart home

Samsung announces Ballie, a personal robot that helps you manage your smart home

While many of us expect Samsung to get up on stage and announce phones, tablets, or even TVs, the company threw us something of a curve ball tonight. During a presentation at CES 2020, Samsung announced a new robot companion named Ballie. Ballie almost looks like a real-world BB-8 from the Star Wars sequel trilogy, as it rolls along the floor and helps you with your day-to-day tasks.

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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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Samsung C-Lab CES 2020 showcase includes invisible keyboard, humanoid robot

Samsung C-Lab CES 2020 showcase includes invisible keyboard, humanoid robot

Save for the Galaxy Fold, some may criticize Samsung for throwing away its spirit of innovation and experimentation in exchange for consistent profits. That's what the company's C-Lab, formerly Creative Labs, is for, to be its skunkworks arm that allows it to fund those wild ideas without affecting its main products and turn them into profitable businesses afterward. Naturally, Samsung will spare no expense to show off the fruits of its innovation program at CES 2020, some of which may induce head-scratching more than awe and wonder.

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Volkswagen mobile charging robot drives to where electric cars are parked

Volkswagen mobile charging robot drives to where electric cars are parked

One of the biggest logistic problems with electric vehicles or EVs is charging locations. Often you have to drive to these stations that are laid out in sprawling areas to accommodate multiple cars at once. Sometimes, however, the best time to charge such a car is when it's parked but parking spaces are cramped and putting a charging station there could cause a line that will block the flow of cars in and out parking. Volkswagen is almost genius in its simplicity and brings the charging station to the car instead, courtesy of a self-driving robot and its "wagon".

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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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Turkey’s military drones will bring machine guns to the air

Turkey’s military drones will bring machine guns to the air

They may be mostly considered today as annoying toys but the origin of drones can hardly be considered innocent. Originally used to describe unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs the size or small planes, drones have become even smaller to the point that consumers could take them around for entertainment or professional photography use. Armed forces around the world, however, are using the same advancement in drone technology to improve their original purpose. Turkey, however, maybe literally taking that to new heights with a drone that comes bearing arms.

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Astronaut remotely navigates rover through obstacle course from ISS

Astronaut remotely navigates rover through obstacle course from ISS

The European Space Agency has announced that astronaut Luca Parmitano successfully navigated a rover through an obstacle course to collect a rock sample all the way from the International Space Station. The obstacle course was located in the Netherlands where the test took place on Monday. The ESA developed the technology used to remotely operate rovers from space.

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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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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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Disney Research shows off a robot character with fast handovers

Disney Research shows off a robot character with fast handovers

When two people are talking, and one wants to hand the other something, the handover process is done quickly and fluidly. The same can't be said for handovers that are done with most robots. Disney Research has a new system that it says generates a fast and robust handover with a robot character.

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MIT engineers develop a robot that can twist and turn as needed

MIT engineers develop a robot that can twist and turn as needed

Robots have a hard time performing some tasks that humans take for granted. Tasks like reaching behind objects on a shelf to get the one required for a job that situated in the back without disturbing other items on the shelf is an example of a task easy for humans. That sort of task is a challenge for robots, but MIT has a new robot that offers a solution to this challenge.

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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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