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We've spilled buckets of digital ink on headless horse bots, uncanny humanoids and the coming of the robot apocalypse, but there's a softer, more emotional side to these machines. Social robots, as they're referred to, are less mechanized overlords and more emotional-support automatons, providing

1 month ago 0 Comments
November 5, 2014 at 3:00PM
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We've seen robotics improve by (literal) leaps and bounds recently, but what about more nuanced things, like a fine sense of touch? Researchers at MIT and Northeastern University are showing off a new fingertip version of the GelSight sensor, a cube-shaped attachment that uses a camera and a sensi

3 months ago 0 Comments
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MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Lab (CSAIL) has been developing different types of soft robots for a while: you might remember the mechanical fish from earlier this year that can swim like a real one. Now, that same laboratory has come up with another soft robot, and this time it's inspired

3 months ago 0 Comments
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We've seen MIT's super-fast four-legged Cheetah bot sprint on a treadmill many times, but it seems that the team at MIT is finally ready to let the thing outside. Now, quadrupedal bots traversing hill and dale are nothing new, but the Cheetah's doing so using a new algorithm and without the benefi

3 months ago 0 Comments
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Have you ever wondered if five fingers is really enough? The folks at MIT have. Researchers in the institute's department of mechanical engineering have created a robotic glove that adds two additional digits to the standard human claw, positioning two long fingers on either side of the hand. It's

5 months ago 0 Comments
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Pro photographers can spend ages setting up lighting for a shoot. That work may quickly go out the window if the subject moves, however, and an assistant won't always be there to help. Thankfully, MIT researchers have devised a clever solution to the problem: meet Litrobot, an aerial lighting dron

5 months ago 0 Comments
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Two groups of MIT scientists are working on robotic limbs, which when worn together can make you look like one famous comic book villain: Doctor Octopus. Unlike prosthetic limbs developed to replace real ones, the teams' (from MIT's d'Arbeloff Laboratory) Supernumerary Robotic Limbs (SRLs) are des

6 months ago 0 Comments
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It's 2050, and you're prepping the oven to bake your next robotic minion while a 3D printer spews out its components. Wait a sec... bake a robot? As strange as that sounds, there's already a group of MIT researchers developing the technology and the printable materials that can self-assemble into

6 months ago 0 Comments
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While automated essay-grading machines can tackle 16,000 essays in 20 seconds, are they any good compared to a human? Online course administrators in the machine camp think so, but retired MIT prof Les Perelman has shown that such bots aren't about to pass a Turing test anytime soon. His proof is

7 months ago 0 Comments
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Robot fish are typically pale imitations at best -- even when they move quickly, they don't move all that gracefully. MIT's new soft robotic fish should be much closer to the real animal, however. Instead of relying on rigid joints and motors to swim, the new fish wiggles its tail fin by inflating

9 months ago 0 Comments
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And you thought the Big Dog was scary? Okay, Boston Dynamics' quadrupedal, un-tip-overable 'bot still takes the cake, but SCHAFT (pictured above) deserves its own condo in the uncanny valley. And to think, they'll both be eating together at a cafeteria in Mountain View soon. That 'bot won DARPA's

12 months ago 0 Comments