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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
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Used to be that if you wanted to become an Ieyasu master and swing a katana around with reckless abandon, you'd have to spend years training your mind, body and spirit in preparation as well as subscribe to a strict Bushido, or "warrior's code." These days, you really just need a Motoman-MH24 indu...

June 5th 2015 at 6:02pm 0 Comments
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MIT recently unveiled -- or rather, unfurled -- an unusual drone specimen. The tiny robot weighs a third of a gram and is just 1.7 cm long. It starts its existence as a flat, paper or polystyrene wafer. When activated with a small heat source, the drone folds itself up into the complex shape you s...

May 28th 2015 at 9:12pm 0 Comments
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Having a robotic vacuum scoot around your home sucking up filth isn't all that novel. But if your current rolling dust buster just isn't cutting it, Neato just updated its D-series line. The Botvac D75, D80 and D85 all sport the new spiral blade brush that Neato says offers the same cleaning power...

May 27th 2015 at 8:00am 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