Autom Robotic Weight Loss Coach Now Affordable on Indiegogo
We first met Autom in, believe it or not, 2007, when she was a fledgling project at the MIT Media Lab. It's taken half a decade, but the friendly little weight loss robot is now on Indiegogo, and will be shipping in six months at a price that's impressively affordable.
Human Rights Watch is Apparently Terrified of Military Robots, But You Shouldn't Be
Human Rights Watch, an international organization that advocates for human rights around the world, published a report about a week ago warning against the development of autonomous armed robots and suggesting that they be preemptively banned by international treaty. We're unashamedly pro-robot around here, but this is an issue that I do take very seriously, and there are some good reasons why I think that attempting to ban autonomous armed robots is a mistake.
The Robots Are Coming . . . to Your iPad
We know you love robots. We love robots, too. In fact, who doesn't love robots? Robots are one of those things that capture the imagination of people of all ages, backgrounds, nationalities. So we're really proud to unveil this project. Robots for iPad is an app featuring the world's coolest robots. If you want to know how robotics is going to change the world, this app is for you.
Video Monday: Rat Heart Robots, Cheap UAVs, and Disney's Humanoid
As you may (or may not) not have noticed, I've been on vacation for the last couple weeks getting acquainted with manta rays, Komodo dragons, suicidal Balinese on mopeds, and quite possibly malaria, dengue fever, and/or intestinal parasites. I'll keep you updated on those last three. Many, many thanks to Erico Guizzo, Angelica Lim, and Frank Tobe for filling in so capably, and I can only hope that y'all won't be too disappointed to have me back.
To get back into the swing of things, we'll be playing a little bit of catch-up today, with a run-through of some robotics news from the last few weeks that you may have missed.
Video Friday: Snake Robot Swims, Nao Goes to School, KITT Escapes
In this edition of Video Friday, Nao goes to school, snake robot goes on vacation, and strange robot sightings are reported in San Francisco.
Toshiba Unveils Robot for Disaster Response
Robots played a key role in assessing damage and radiation levels at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, crippled by the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan more than a year ago. But so far all the robots relied on tracks to navigate inside the reactors, in addition to aerial vehicles used to observe the site from above. None of the robots had legs. Now Toshiba is about to change that. The company announced yesterday that it plans to send a quadruped robot to the disaster site. Is this Japan's answer to BigDog?
HEARBO Robot Has Superhearing
We live in a world of sounds, full of beautiful music, birds chirping, and the voices of our friends. It's a rich cacophony, with blaring beeps, accented alarms, and knock-knock jokes. The sound of a door opening can alert us to a friend's arrival, and a door slamming can alert us to an impending argument.
HEARBO (HEAR-ing roBOt) is a robot developed at Honda Research Institute–Japan (HRI-JP), and its job is to understand this world of sound, in a field called Computational Auditory Scene Analysis.
Video Friday: Thought-Controlled Robot, PackBot With Jamming Gripper, Furby Teardown
In this edition of Video Friday, we bring you humans controlling robots, humans interacting with robots, humans building robots, and humans tearing robots apart!
iRobot Smashes Its New Robotic Hand With Baseball Bat
What's up with roboticists and baseball bats? Last year, German researchers showed off their tough new robot arm by smashing it with a bat. Not to be outdone, iRobot now turns to the same "stress test" technique to prove that its robot hand can take some serious punishment and come out unscathed. Watch:
Robot Mirrors Our Emotions To Be More Social
We all have that friend: The one who understandingly pats us on the back when we feel down, or shares our excitement when we're brimming with joy. They share our frowns when we've been wronged, and say "I've been there" when we confess our worries. Psychologists have long known that this kind of empathy is an important social construct for building relationships, and now researchers are testing whether it can bring us closer to robots, too.
IEEE Spectrum's award-winning robotics blog, featuring news, articles, and videos on robots, humanoids, drones, automation, artificial intelligence, and more.Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
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