Tag: category-/Science/Engineering & Technology/Robotics

Automata wants to democratize industrial automation with a $6,600 desktop robotic arm

Despite lingering fears that “robots” are coming to steal our jobs, automation is infiltrating just about every facet of society, from supermarkets to repetitive software-based jobs and even the creative industries. And one London-based startup wants to capitalize on this growing trend by bringing an affordable desktop-based industrial robot to market. Founded in 2015 by […]

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MIT CSAIL refines picker robots’ ability to handle new objects

Picker robots — that is, motorized pincers which pick up and place things — might have repeatability in their favor, but complex poses and unfamiliar objects pose a challenge for most of them. It’s no wonder why: They not only have to locate objects and understand how to grasp them, which requires an enormous amount […]

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Origami-inspired robot gripper grasps objects up to 120 times its weight

Robotic hands have a tough time getting a grip on pliable objects, but it’s not for lack of trying — most make do with rigid pincers that aren’t designed for precision grasping. Fortunately, if a newly published paper (“A Vacuum-driven Origami ‘Magic-ball’ Soft Gripper”) is any indication, more versatile systems are on the horizon. In it, researchers […]

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Autonomous system uses quadcopters to help wheeled robots climb steep cliffs

Sheer cliff faces present a traversal challenge for most wheeled robots on the market, but researchers at the University of Tokyo say they’ve developed a two-robot framework that works pretty reliably in their testing. In a newly published paper on the preprint server Arxiv.org (“UAV/UGV Autonomous Cooperation: UAV assists UGV to climb a cliff by […]

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AI Weekly: Nuclear fusion, neurology, robotics, and other frontiers advanced by AI

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Artificial intelligence (AI) will eliminate jobs, encode biases against ethnicities and genders, and automate war machines. And it might just lead to a third world war. Those and other dire AI predictions resurface continuously in reports and speeches by analysts, celebrities, and prominent researchers alike — admittedly not […]

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Hanson Robotics debuts Little Sophia, a robot companion that teaches kids to code

Hanson Robotics is the Hong Kong and Los Angeles-based company behind Sophia, the humanoid robotic citizen of Saudi Arabia who has appeared on CBS’ 60 Minutes, Good Morning Britain, and panels hosted by the United Nations and International Telecommunications Union. Now Sophia has a 14-inch sibling: Little Sophia, who wants to help kids learn how to […]

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Embody uses VR and tracking to center the body

Embody from Melissa Painter’s team at MAP Design Lab is being shown at Sundance 2019, featuring full body tracking with only a headset attached to the body. Embody’s “visual metaphors” help guide visitors back to their bodies. That might sound a bit abstract, but with no controllers or additional body attachments beyond a headset, the […]

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AI teaches 4-legged robots how to recover when they fall

Teaching robots to walk is one thing, but what about helping them to learn how to recover from a stumble? That’s the not-so-easy feat researchers at ETH Zurich set out to accomplish with the help of artificial intelligence (AI). In a newly published paper (“Robust Recovery Controller for a Quadrupedal Robot using Deep Reinforcement Learning“) […]

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Researchers develop flexible nanobots to deliver drugs inside your body

What comes to mind when you hear the word “robot”? Boston Dynamics’ quadrupedal Spot? SoftBank’s humanoid Pepper? Or flexible, practically microscopic devices that can swim through bodily fluids? It probably isn’t the last of those three, but that’s the one that might someday deliver life-saving drugs to the hard-to-reach places inside your body. In a […]

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AI Weekly: Charlatan AI is a public nuisance

That’s why tech companies should spare the world overblown or fabricated depictions of what their AI can do. False perceptions about what is and isn’t possible have potentially negative implications for public perception, business decisions, and even government policy. More lawmakers talked about AI last year in Congress and the United Kingdom’s Parliament, according to the […]

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Nvidia opens robotics research lab in Seattle

Nvidia today opened its robotics research lab, a 13,000-foot facility in Seattle. The lab will house 50 roboticists, 20 from Nvidia Research staff, and others from the wider academic research community. Dieter Fox, a member of University of Washington computer science faculty, is the director of the lab. The lab was intentionally opened in Seattle […]

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Naughty America uses volumetric video capture to put AR strippers in your bedroom

Naughty America has created a new version of its augmented reality technology, allowing you to see virtual strippers in your bedroom with your smartphone or AR glasses app. Naughty America once again enjoys its status as the only porn company in the Las Vegas Convention Center during CES 2019, the big tech trade show. The company has a meeting room, […]

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Sphero’s Specdrums turn color into sound

It’s been quite the journey for Sphero, the Colorado company best known for its app-enabled balls that teach coding, perform tricks, and make for great cat toys. In the roughly eight years since it announced its eponymous product, Sphero has launched an education-focused lineup ( Sprk) and miniature Sphero models (Sphero Mini) and collaborated with Disney […]

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This AI teaches robots how to walk

Artificially intelligent (AI) systems have imbued robots with the ability to grasp and manipulate objects with humanlike dexterity, and now, researchers say they’ve developed an algorithm through which machines might learn to walk on their own. In a preprint paper published on Arxiv.org (“Learning to Walk via Deep Reinforcement Learning“), scientists from the University of California, Berkeley and […]

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Ottopia’s remote assistance platform for autonomous cars combines humans with AI

The burgeoning autonomous vehicle (AV) revolution seems to crank up a notch every other week, with Waymo recently unveiling its first commercial driverless car service, Volvo announcing its first commercial autonomous truck, and countless companies working on the underlying technology that will bring self-driving transport to the mainstream. But full autonomy that involves millions of […]

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RightHand Robotics raises $23 million to grow its ecommerce solution in Europe and Japan

RightHand Robotics today announced the close of a $23 million funding round to bring its services to customers in Europe and Japan and expand sales, engineering, and customer service divisions of the company. The RightPick platform combines proprietary machine learning-driven tech with commercially available cameras and robotic arms to complete orders by picking and sorting items […]

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Google teaches robots how to recognize objects by interacting with their environment

Google’s teaching AI systems to think more like children — at least, when it comes to object recognition and perception. In a paper (“Grasp2Vec: Learning Object Representations from Self-Supervised Grasping“) and accompanying blog post, Eric Jang, a software engineer at Google’s robotics division, and Coline Devin, a Ph.D. student at Berkeley and former research intern, describe an […]

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Anki’s Cozmo gets a holiday update with new storyboarding features

Who said old robots can’t learn new tricks? Just two years and change following its debut, Anki’s Cozmo — a cute companion with an AI-powered personality — is getting a milestone update to ring in the New Year. The first spotlight feature in 3.1 Holiday Release (as Anki’s calling it) is Cozmo Performs. It replaces […]

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Microsoft HoloLens shoves off for boot camp

The United States Army awarded a $480 million contract to Microsoft that will equip military personnel with prototype versions of HoloLens intended to increase “lethality, mobility, and situational awareness.” HoloLens is an all-in-one augmented reality headset from Microsoft which first shipped in 2016 for $3,000. Its robust tracking system constantly maps the world while overlaying […]

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Roam Robotics raises $12 million to enhance human capabilities with exoskeletons

Roam Robotics, a company that’s setting out to “enhance” human capabilities through exoskeletons, has raised $12 million in a series A round of funding led by Yamaha Motor Ventures, with participation from Menlo Ventures, Boost VC, Heuristics Capital Partners, R7 Partners, Spero Ventures, Valor Equity Partners, and Venture Investment Associates. Founded out of San Francisco in […]

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