Tag: Robots and Robotics

Can We Make Our Robots Less Biased Than Us?

On a summer night in Dallas in 2016, a bomb-handling robot made technological history. Police officers had attached roughly a pound of C-4 explosive to it, steered the device up to a wall near an active shooter and detonated the charge. In the explosion, the assailant, Micah Xavier Johnson, became the first person in the […]

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Japanese Monster Wolf Robot Aims to Scare Bears

Video Officials in Japan installed a “Monster Wolf” near a residential neighborhood after wild bears became a nuisance, increasing the risk of deadly encounters with humans.CreditCredit…Kyodo/Reuters The wild bears were becoming more than a nuisance, lumbering into a small Japanese city on the northern island of Hokkaido in search of food and increasing the risk […]

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To Scare Off Wild Bears, Japanese City Calls In the ‘Monster Wolf’

Video Officials in Japan installed a “Monster Wolf” near a residential neighborhood after wild bears became a nuisance, increasing the risk of deadly encounters with humans.CreditCredit…Kyodo/Reuters The wild bears were becoming more than a nuisance, lumbering into a small Japanese city on the northern island of Hokkaido in search of food and increasing the risk […]

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To Survive the Pandemic, Savile Row Cuts a Bespoke Strategy

LONDON — One morning in early November, a tailor on Savile Row took the measurements of a client 5,500 miles away with the help of a robot. The tailor, Dario Carnera, sat on the second floor of Huntsman, one of the street’s most venerable houses, and used the trackpad on his laptop to guide the […]

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Robots Join the Sales Team

Zenny is not your ordinary real estate broker. For starters, Zenny is only three feet tall, with a long slender body and a rectangular head. Zenny is also quite young: Created in 2017 by Zenplace, a rental management start-up, Zenny is a remote-controlled robot that is essentially an iPad mounted on a wheeled base, and […]

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Dances With Robots, and Other Tales From the Outer Limits

In a messy warehouse, a dancer’s silhouetted spine and legs begin to undulate. Illuminated only by a spotlight attached to a machine, she begins to move, tracing shapes with her arms. But then something odd happens: The spotlight starts to move of its own accord. Responding to the dancer, it finds its own rhythm and […]

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In Isolating Times, Can Robo-Pets Provide Comfort?

When Linda Spangler asked her mother, in a video chat, what she would like as gift for her 92nd birthday, the response came promptly. “I’d like a dog,” Charlene Spangler said. “Is Wolfgang dead?” Wolfgang, a family dachshund, had indeed died long ago; so had all his successors. Ms. Spangler, who lives in a dementia […]

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A New Ship’s Mission: Let the Deep Sea Be Seen

In 2014, when crude oil was selling for more than $100 a barrel, the cost of a new drill ship for oil exploration could run to $100 million. So when the price of oil crashed, Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates, an investment firm in Westport, Conn., saw an opening. In 2016, he bought […]

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Two Books Wonder: How Long Until You Fall in Love With a Robot?

WORK MATE MARRY LOVEHow Machines Shape Our Human DestinyBy Debora L. Spar SEX ROBOTS AND VEGAN MEATAdventures at the Frontier of Birth, Food, Sex, and DeathBy Jenny Kleeman “Science fiction is not about the future,” the sci-fi novelist Samuel R. Delany wrote in 1984. The future “is only a writerly convention,” he continued, one that […]

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For Robots, It’s a Time to Shine (and Maybe Disinfect)

The Neo is a four-foot-tall, 1,000-pound robot floor scrubber. The high-tech machine can cruise large commercial buildings on its own, with no human supervision required. Since its introduction in 2016, Neo’s sales have roughly doubled each year, said Faizan Sheikh, the chief executive and a co-founder of Avidbots, the Canadian start-up that created the robot. […]

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The Star of This $70 Million Sci-Fi Film Is a Robot

The strangest part of Matthew Helderman’s video call came when he bit into an apple. Or rather, what followed. “What kind of apple is that?” asked the 23-year-old with blunt bangs and big brown eyes peering at him through his laptop screen. Helderman, the chief executive of BondIt Media Capital, was meeting with the leading […]

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No, My Toddler Doesn’t Need to Learn to Code

Botley is a small plastic robot that makes a big claim. According to toymaker Learning Resources, Botley can teach children as young as 5 how to program computer codes. In fact, “he’ll have kids coding in minutes,” the company promises on Amazon. Using a remote control, children can “program” a path for the robot to […]

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Grant Imahara, Engineer Who Co-Hosted ‘MythBusters,’ Dies at 49

Grant Imahara, an electrical engineer who co-hosted the pop science show “MythBusters” on the Discovery Channel and operated robots in the “Star Wars” prequels and other major Hollywood films, has died. He was 49. Mr. Imahara’s death was confirmed by Discovery Communications on Monday night. A company spokeswoman said the cause was believed to be […]

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Grant Imahara, ‘MythBusters’ Co-Host, Dies at 49

Grant Imahara, an electrical engineer who co-hosted the pop science show “MythBusters” on the Discovery Channel and operated robots in the “Star Wars” prequels and other major Hollywood films, has died. He was 49. Mr. Imahara’s death was confirmed by Discovery Communications on Monday night. A company spokeswoman said the cause was believed to be […]

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