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It's not easy to find research in the field of robotics without military applications (or military funding), and Brown University's latest is certainly no exception. Starting out with iRobot's PackBot (and some pocket change from DARPA and the Office of Naval Intelligence) researchers at the school...

March 12th 2009 at 4:04am 0 Comments
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We haven't heard a whole lot about Singapore's DARPA-esque TechX robot challenge since it first kicked off early last year, but with the final round getting underway on Sunday, Popular Mechanics has now thankfully offered up a preview of what's in store. Among those set to compete is the so-called...

September 19th 2008 at 6:02pm 0 Comments
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It's not the first time a robot has been given fresh life with a new career, but it's always nice to see bots saved from the scrap heap, which is just what the Army's 95th Chemical Company has done with some PackBot-based bots that were once busy disposing of bombs in Iraq. Apparently, the bot was...

July 15th 2008 at 4:08pm 0 Comments
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We like the way the U.S. military thinks. One of the Wii's biggest flaws is the painful stretches of downtime between its bigger releases, causing dust to settle on Nintendo's minuscule console and cobwebs to form on our Wiimotes. What better way to get more mileage out of our neglected gyroscopic...

March 29th 2008 at 8:30pm 0 Comments
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The U.S. government is apparently experimenting with using the Wii remote to control a bomb-defusing robot. They've adapted Packbot, made by the company that built my vacuum cleaner, to accept commands from a Wiimote -- we assume that includes motion input as well, otherwise there'd be no point in...

March 28th 2008 at 10:30am 0 Comments
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Get ready, battlefields, as yet another iRobot is gearing up to take you all by storm. Announced today, the aforementioned outfit has received an award under DARPA's LANdroids program which will enable it to "develop a new portable communications relay robot that is small, inexpensive, intelligent...

March 3rd 2008 at 5:09pm 0 Comments
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iRobot has unleashed yet another semi-autonomous robot ready to take on whatever the battlefield throws at it, but this one's got a much better feel of where it's headed. The PackBot with Mapping Kit ups the ante by "creating a real-time two-dimensional structural map for the soldier while on the mo...

December 12th 2007 at 4:23pm 0 Comments
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While it's always bittersweet to report on the latest advancements in autonomous military killbots, the one upside to Foster-Miller's most recent heavily-armed robotic platform is that it possesses enhanced safeguards to minimize incidences of friendly fire or civilian casualties. That being said,...

October 8th 2007 at 5:57pm 0 Comments
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It looks like Robot FX has run into a bigger obstacle than it's bargained for, with the company now facing not one but two lawsuits from iRobot over alleged patent infringement. Apparently, iRobot thinks that Robot FX's "Negotiator" robot is a little too similar to iRobot's popular Packbot, and it'...

August 20th 2007 at 12:20pm 0 Comments