You probably know Sphero best for licensed toys like the super-cute-but-now defunct BB-8 and other licensed bots. But its latest robot, the RVR (pronounced Rover) pushes forward with the company’s renewed focus on STEAM friendly robots, by adding a modular robot that can keep up with more advanced coders.
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Tepco, the state-owned operator of the badly damaged Fukushima nuclear plant, has conducted an important test in which a remote-controlled probe managed to grasp several small grains of radioactive debris, AFP reports. The successful operation marked an important achievement for the company as it prepares for a cleanup operation that could take decades.
A steady hand is needed to play a game like Jenga without toppling the tower, but being a successful block-stacker also requires a fine-tuned sense of touch as you try to find the perfect piece to remove. Until recently it meant robots relying solely on visual data weren’t actually great at playing Jenga (yay, humanity!) but by adding a sense of touch, researchers have once again given automatons the advantage. (Never mind.)
After years of rumours, iRobot’s finally announced its robot lawnmower: the Terra. Now, instead of getting up early and mowing and annoying the neighbours, you can sleep in and let the robot do it for you. On top of being able to mow your lawn, it seems the Terra will borrow quite a few features from iRobot’s successful Roomba vacuum cleaners, including smart mapping.
Resurrected back in 2017, Sony’s robotic dog Aibo made a big splash at CES 2018, but there wasn’t much fanfare for the pup at Sony’s CES booth this year. A few weeks later, however, Sony has announced a new version of the robotic companion featuring a beagle-inspired tri-colour paint job, and some new tricks that expand the pricey toy’s capabilities.
Amazon has begun rolling out a “new worker safety wearable” to over 25 of its locations over the past year, TechCrunch reported on Friday—namely, a “Robotic Tech Vest” that alerts robots to the location of workers within a facility in order to prevent workplace accidents.
Engineers in Switzerland say they’ve found a way to make a four-legged robot even harder to fight off during the eventual robopocalypse. In a new paper, published Wednesday in Science Robotics, they describe a system that trains the bot to move faster than ever, while still being able to resist attempts to knock it down. It could even get back up through its own power if it did fall.
Hotel owner Hideo Sawada said he wanted to run “the most efficient hotel in the world” by staffing it almost exclusively with robots. According to a new report, however, the hotel has laid off more than half of its bots for being inefficient since its launch in 2015.
Do you find yourself feeling lonely or craving companionship? Have you considered purchasing a machine that could fill that void? No, not that kind of robot. I’m talking about moving, talking, thinking robots that can do things like fetch a cup of coffee and dance with you. This has been a futuristic concept for decades, and that future is finally here. It’s also for sale.
A six-hour standoff between police and a 40-year-old man who allegedly splashed gasoline on the floor of a Novato, California, convenience store “while threatening to burn it down” and later fled to a nearby Safeway ended when police defused the situation with a robot carrying a vape pen, the Sacramento Bee reported Sunday, citing reports by the Bay City News, KGO, KPIX, and Marin Independent Journal.
Home robots had a bad 2018, and compared to previous years, they’re not as visible on the ground at CES 2019, too. The robots that haven’t bit the dust tend to be of the “teach kids how to code” variety, or conceptual bots like the laundry folding FoldiMate that at this point are more CES perennials than likely consumer products.
Earlier this month we looked at predictions from kids at the turn of the 20th century. But what about more recently? Say, from the 1980s? Well, you’re in luck, because today we have predictions about the future from kids in 1984. And some of them are as dark and terrifying as you might guess for kids who were experiencing ever-present anxiety about the Cold War.
This year was dismal for home robots, but that’s not deterring Japanese startup Groove X from announcing the Lovot, an adorable and cuddly robot designed to manipulate your emotions.
Copying one of Mother Nature’s designs is a clever shortcut when building robots that need to navigate our complex world. But those designs aren’t always adaptable—a fish can’t do much when it’s out of the water. Adding some human ingenuity, however, results in the best of both worlds; a robot that swims like a fish, but can also use its fins to get around on land.
The robots are coming for our jobs, artificial intelligence is ascendant, and invisible programs are taking over our lives. "Automation" is the word that comes up in each of those contexts and plenty more. It's certainly one of the looming concepts of Our Times — a business imperative, an economic driver, a utopian ideal. We're automating work, systems, services. Surveillance, commerce, manufacturing, policing. Everything, almost, or trying to.