Tag: robot

Amazon’s Vesta no-show highlights the challenges of home robots

You’d think Amazon would be the one to shake up a product category that has chewed up and spit out startups and corporate giants alike, but the company’s next flagship robot seemingly remains a work in progress. At a press event in downtown Seattle, some expected Amazon to preview a home robot that’s reportedly like […]

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Google’s robotic hand AI can learn to rotate Baoding balls with minimal training data

Using several fingers at once to grasp and manipulate objects is a straightforward ask of humans, despite the primitiveness of our hand anatomy. But robots have a much tougher go of it. That’s because tasks like writing on paper with a pencil require physics models directing the imparting of forces onto the target object, as […]

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Misty II begins shipping to crowdfunding backers

In June 2017, shortly after Misty Robotics spun out of Boulder, Colorado-based startup Sphero, it announced intentions to develop a “mainstream” home robot with the help of hobbyists and enthusiasts the world over. With $11.5 million in venture capital from Venrock and Foundry Group in the bank, it wasted no time in getting to work, […]

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Amazon’s Scout robots roll out in Southern California

It won’t be long before Scout, Amazon’s autonomous delivery robot, starts roving the streets and sidewalks of neighborhoods across the country. Amazon announced that this week, its driverless rovers will begin ferrying packages to select customers’ doorsteps in portions of Irvine, California. Initially, a “small number” of Scout devices will transport packages Monday through Friday […]

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AI researchers test a robot’s dexterity by handing it a Rubik’s cube

Humans can manipulate Rubik’s cubes with relative ease, but robots have historically had a tougher go of it. (A classic 2 x 2 x 2 cube has 3,674,160 internal configurations.) That’s not to suggest there aren’t exceptions to the rule — an MIT invention recently solved a cube in a record-breaking 0.38 seconds — but […]

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Researchers improve robot-assisted surgery with AI

Robot-assisted surgery promises nothing short of a paradigm shift in medicine. In subfields from urology and gynecology to cardiothoracic and pediatric surgery, it’s enabling surgeons to perform complex procedures without having to resort to laparotomy (surgical incisions into the abdomen). Better still, surgical robots contain cameras that capture every knife and needle movement and suture […]

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Mysterious Hole in Antarctic Sea Ice Explained by Robots and Seals

Instrumented elephant seal. Image: Dan Costa/UC Santa Cruz A gigantic hole in Antarctica’s sea ice has perplexed scientists for decades. Now, with the help of robots, satellites, and seals with sensors strapped to their heads, a team of researchers has discovered that climate, salt levels, and an underwater mountain all contribute to the weird recurring […]

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Facebook’s AI learns how to get around an office by watching videos

Humans undertake high-level planning every day, but it’s not so easy for robots. Fortunately, a growing body of work suggests that hierarchal abstractions (namely visuomotor subroutines) can boost sample efficiency in reinforcement learning, an AI training technique that employs rewards to drive agents toward goals. Traditionally, these hierarchies must be handcoded or acquired via end-to-end […]

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