Items tagged with robotics

There is something eerily frightening about watching a toy robot puncture a tomato with a screwdriver while laughing hysterically to a soundtrack of Chucky, the possessed doll from those cheesy Child's Play horror flicks from the late 1980s into the late 1990s. But that is exactly how security researchers at IOActive decided to demonstrate the potential threat that stems from exploiting robotics. This was not a legitimate concern in the days of Teddy Ruxpin. Back then, the world was a very different place, both in the home and at the workplace. Today, however, we live in a connected landscape where... Read more...
If you grew up playing the MechWarrior franchise of video games, the giant MegaBots robot beatdown that is coming soon will get you excited. MegaBots is a company that sought to pit country-against-country in a battle using giant robots and massive paintballs. The first two teams set to fight it out are the Americans and Japan. This giant robot beatdown was first dreamed up about two years ago. The American company published a video where it challenged a Japanese firm called Suidobashi Heavy Industry in a battle of mechs, and the Japanese team agreed. The last two years has consisted of the... Read more...
SoftBank has made yet another notable purchase in the land of tech, this time for Boston Dynamics, an engineering and robotics design company that has built some eerily lifelike robots. Google's parent company Alphabet had been shopping the robotics firm for more than a year after acquiring the company in 2013 and has now found a buyer. Boston Dynamics gained notoriety on the Internet by posting videos of its various robots, including Atlas, a human-like contraption that stands 5-feet 9-inches tall and weighs 180 pounds. Armed with sensors in its body, legs to balance, and both LIDAR and stereo... Read more...
Boston Dynamics earlier this month referred to one of its creations as a "nightmare-inducing" robot. The company was talking about a wheeled robot named Handle, and what makes it the thing of nightmares is its level of dexterity. Standing upright on two wheels, it is able to zoom forward and backward at a pretty good clip—up to 9 miles per hour. That's fast enough to give chase, if it ever had the inclination, but we did we mention it can jump, too? The ability to leap into the air and over objects (or on top of them) is what gives this robot a new level of Skynet hysteria. Don't get us wrong,... Read more...
The world is a rapidly changing place and that will always be the case. Unfortunately for our friends in the U.K. who might be working in a public sector job, change could precede unemployment. That's because there is a push to replace nearly 250,000 public sector workers in the U.K. with robots over the next 15 years, according to a new report by Reform, a thinktank focused on improving public performance within affordable budgets. While the concept of robotic workers and automated services is not new, Reform is pretty harsh on the downsides of human workers. It points out that "public services... Read more...
It does not matter what your political affiliation is, if any, we should all be able to agree that more can be done to take care of our military veterans. That is why DARPA (Defense Advanced Researched Projects Agency) deserves major kudos this holiday season. DARPA has developed a sophisticated bionic arm and is offering these upper-limb prostheses to amputees who are U.S. war veterans. The prosthetic system is cleverly named LUKE, which stands for Life Under Kinetic Evolution, but is also an intentional reference to the limb Luke Skywalker wielded in Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back.... Read more...
Nobody should feign surprise that robots are taking over. A new report by market research firm Forrrester predicts that robots will terminate 6 percent of jobs in the United States by 2021, jobs that were previously held by flesh and blood workers. To expect anything less would be naive, as collectively we're the fools who put this all in motion. Think about it. We used our highly evolved brains (comparatively speaking) to create these awesome and complex machines, then we gave them artificial intelligence. We even glorified their capabilities in Hollywood films, a practice that dates back to when... Read more...
Human hands have built a great many things, including robots and machines that replace human hands. In celebration of this transition from flesh and blood to metal and lubricant, Amazon's annual Picking Challenge tasks those in the field of robotics to compete in a competition to build automated systems that can simplify the task of picking items from shelves. This year it was won by Team Delft, a collaboration between TU Delft Robotics Institute located in the Netherlands and Delft Robotics. The challenge is separated into two finals, one for stowing and one for picking. For the stow task, robots... Read more...
Science and technology are getting closer and closer to deftly melding man with machine. Cyberdyne, Inc., a Japanese company that focus on robotics, alongside with Intel have released the Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL), the first cyborg-type robot that can improve, support, and enhance a person’s bodily functions. HAL is intended to be used in the welfare field, as assistance for heavy work in factories, and as assistance for rescue activities on disaster sites. How do these limbs work? First, the brain thinks something along the lines of “I want to walk”. The brain transmits the necessary signals... Read more...
Forget about diamond rings, flowers, and bowling balls. While you're at it, disregard any notions of buying another tie or tie rack, or whatever else you had in mind for your significant other. If you really want to show that you're committed to your relationship, then check out FoldiMate, which is the next best thing to having a maid fold your laundry. Not many people like to fold clothes. It's tedious and if you have kids, good luck trying to stay ahead of the game. That's where FoldiMate comes in. FoldiMate is a startup from California that built a robot that can de-wrinkle and fold your shirts,... Read more...
Hyundai Motor Group isn't just working on fancy new cars these days, it's also dabbling in robotics. It may have a bright future in the field, too—the automaker posted a handful of photos showing off a wearable robot suit that's not totally unlike the one Tony Stark built in Iron Man (minus the electromagnetic chest piece and ability to fly). The exoskeleton was a joint effort between Hyundai Motor Group, Hyundai Rotem Co., and Kia Motors. It's not clear exactly where the technology will end up, though Hyundai says its robot suits can be used in a wide variety of fields, including (but not limited... Read more...
Just last month, Boston Dynamics posted a video demonstrating the capabilities of its latest robot called Atlas. The robot's human-like movements are nothing short of impressive, though we can't help but wonder if the threat of an uprising by these repressed machines is the reason why parent company Alphabet Inc. is now looking to sell Boston Dynamics. We're kidding, of course, at least about the fear of a Skynet scenario playing out in the near future. Alphabet has no worry of these machines rebelling against the tests that its humans creators put them through, such as trying to maintain balance... Read more...
Google-owned Boston Dynamics as released new footage of its latest robot called Atlas, and it's both marvelous and frightening at the same time. It's marvelous because we see just how advanced the company's bipedal robot is at this point, with movements that eerily mimic that of a human, and frightening because they're incredibly difficult to topple—let's hope they never turn on us. "A new version of Atlas, designed to operate outdoors and inside buildings. It is specialized for mobile manipulation. It is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. It uses sensors in its body and legs to balance... Read more...
We all fear the day when humans end up under the mechanical thumbs of our eventual robot overlords, but for now, it's us who still reign over them. Such is also the result of a joint effort involving the Volvo Group and several partners to develop a robot that picks up trash under the supervision of a garbage truck driver. The project is called ROAR (Robot-based Autonomous Refuse handling) and it's being developed by the Volvo Group, Chalmers University of Technology and Mälardalen University in Sweden, Penn State University in the United States, the waste recycling company Renova. What Volvo is... Read more...
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