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Today on In Case You Missed It: Space X's latest ISS-resupply mission goes up in smoke after its Falcon 9 rocket explodes immediately after launching; Google debuts a smart refrigerator that dispenses free beer (so long as you can say "I'm a Canadian" in at least six languages) and a robotic fin...

June 30th 2015 at 9:00am 0 Comments
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We've seen capacitive-touch-enabled plants before, but the robotic vines and leaves of Branching Systems are something altogether different. And, perhaps craziest of all, they respond to your presence. The leaves react to your inputs, and then nearby leaves react to those reactions and so on. Crea...

June 28th 2015 at 1:21am 0 Comments
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A research team from the University of Houston and Boston Children's Hospital debuted a novel new approach to internal medicine: using a swarm of tiny, noninvasive robots as a gauss gun to shoot medicine or clot-busting needles directly at the afflicted tissue. Much like rail guns, gauss guns rely...

June 26th 2015 at 11:44pm 0 Comments
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For all the modern tools and heavy machinery found on construction sites these days, one aspect has remained a decidedly manual labor: bricklaying. Just as they did 6000 years ago when masonry was first developed, today's bricklayers still perform their backbreaking work almost exclusively by hand...

June 25th 2015 at 8:45pm 0 Comments
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Today on In Case You Missed It: The tiny robot that's modeled after cockroaches because science is disgusting; the family-friendly tech gadget to teach your two-year-old to call her grandma, if only you didn't have to install the corresponding app on your Mom's phone; and Parrot's new drones inclu...

June 24th 2015 at 9:00am 0 Comments
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With every new bot on the block, we're inching closer to sharing our homes with machines. DARPA's recent Robotics Challenge wasn't about finding the best personal robot companion, but hinted at a future where they will run free (albeit very slowly) and rush to save lives when disaster strikes. B...

June 22nd 2015 at 1:10pm 0 Comments

By Eric Alt A few weeks ago, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) held the DARPA Robotics Challenge—the culmination of a three-year contest pitting teams from around the world against one another to develop a robot capable of performing rescue missions in disaster areas.%Slid...

June 21st 2015 at 5:05pm 0 Comments
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Normally when a jellyfish loses a limb, say to the jaws of a hungry sea turtle, it simply regenerates the lost appendage, no big deal. However, a Caltech research team has been studying a certain jellyfish species that doesn't regrow its limbs but rather rearranges the remaining ones to maintain s...

June 18th 2015 at 3:23pm 0 Comments
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You don't have to worry about robots rising up against humanity anytime soon -- the bipedal ones, at least. When they aren't constantly falling down, two-legged robots are running down their power supplies due to inefficient gaits and wasted motion. During a recent DARPA competition, teams from Sa...

June 16th 2015 at 7:54pm 0 Comments
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Tired of your $10,000 anatomically-correct sex doll just lying there? Well, now RealDoll, purveyors of alarmingly lifelike silicone sex partners -- and apparently not movie buffs -- plans to give them personalities. According to the New York Times, RealDoll founder and CEO Matt McMullen has hired...

June 12th 2015 at 9:43pm 0 Comments
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At the DARPA Robotics Challenge last week, a robot drove in on a red UTV. The vehicle slowly came to a halt on the obstacle course as it reached the door of a simulated disaster building. The driver, a six-foot-two Atlas humanoid, sat motionless for many minutes. About half a dozen researchers w...

June 12th 2015 at 12:30pm 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