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Normally, picking up hitchhikers is a really bad idea. You never know what sort of ax-wielding entrepreneur you're going to get. But if you happen to see this friendly LED face on the side of the road, consider giving it a lift. That face belongs to hitchBOT, of Port Credit, Ontario, Canada. On Fr...

July 17th 2015 at 7:52pm 0 Comments
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Sphero, the ball-shaped robot, inspired a new generation of toys that aren't only fun, but can also be used as educational tools for kids. Vortex, pictured above, is one of these. Created by DFRobot, a company that's been selling open-source hardware since 2008, Vortex is being revealed today via...

July 9th 2015 at 9:00am 0 Comments
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Foot soldiers thrive on their shooting skills, but learning expert marksmanship can take a long, long time. US Army researchers could soon have a robotic shortcut to improving those skills, however. They're working on MAXFAS, an arm exoskeleton that uses cable-activated arm braces to correct invol...

July 5th 2015 at 5:36am 0 Comments
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Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a robotic cockroach that can crawl through the tightest of gaps. The team began by studying actual cockroaches, observing how they moved through the densely packed rainforest floor. While some obstacles are pushed past or climbed over, the cockroaches freq...

June 23rd 2015 at 9:44am 0 Comments
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For patients suffering from the effects of a stroke, ALS or muscular dystrophy, routine tasks like picking up a cup or grabbing a doorknob can be infuriatingly difficult. That's due to their lack of hand strength or fine motor control. However, this prototype "soft robotic" glove may soon restore...

June 19th 2015 at 2:01pm 0 Comments
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Humanoids are supposed to be best suited for a world that's engineered for humans. They can climb stairs, open doors and drive cars. At DARPA Robotics Challenge, most of the participating humanoids succeeded in completing those tasks, but when it came to walking, they were clumsier than the spec...

June 18th 2015 at 11:09am 0 Comments
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The robot apocalypse has been postponed. At DARPA Robotics Challenge in California, where the world's best and brightest robots came to compete, the machines were far from invincible. They moved at a glacial pace, stumbled and slammed to the ground and lay there motionless until their teams of hum...

June 8th 2015 at 5:00pm 0 Comments
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So what if some mechanical cheetah can hop curbs in stride? The ATRIAS bipedal robot from Oregon State University can now step over obstacles without even looking. For this experiment, the ATRIAS was not outfitted with an imaging or navigation system and could only react to obstacles once it ran i...

June 1st 2015 at 3:50pm 0 Comments
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As a rule, robots have to learn through explicit instruction, whether it's through new programming, watching videos or holding their hands. UC Berkeley's BRETT (Berkeley Robot for the Elimination of Tedious Tasks) isn't nearly that dependent, however. The machine uses neural network-based deep lea...

May 25th 2015 at 6:05pm 0 Comments
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Does DARPA employ psychics or something? I mean they must, or how else can you explain this precognitive glimpse at the modern world? The advanced research agency produced it more than a decade ago! Admittedly, many of the ideas featured were already rolling out, in development or pulled from sci-...

May 14th 2015 at 11:15pm 0 Comments
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Telecommuting surgeons are becomingly increasingly adept at working on humans but there are still limits on what they can do using the stiff metal manipulators of a robotic stand-in like the DaVinci. This new omnidirectional grasping appendage, however, could one day wind its way into the most rem...

May 14th 2015 at 9:24pm 0 Comments
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Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation announced Friday that it will provide Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL) exosuits to select senior employees as part of a pilot program aimed at reducing the strain of moving currency. "There have been many cases when a physical burden was placed on senior empl...

May 8th 2015 at 5:23pm 0 Comments