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Cute Little Drone Could Soar Through the Skies of Saturn’s Moon Titan

The surface of Titan, one of the moons of Saturn, is a bizarre place, as the Huygens probe found out back in 2005. There are hydrocarbon lakes kept full by methane rain, with volcanoes that spew mixtures of water and ammonia. It's definitely strange enough that we should take another look at the place, and a mission being proposed by a group of scientists would send an airplane there to cruise Titan's nitrogen skies.

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Video Friday: Dancing Robots, Sumo Robots, War Robots, and More

It's been a little while since we've cleaned out our robot video backlog, so here you go, a gigantic steaming pile of awesomeness in the form of six more or less entirely random robot videos that we've made a special effort to choose. Just. For. You.

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UPenn's Robockey Cup Looks Like Fun, Even At Night

We're onto you, University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering. You say you're teaching your students about computer-controlled electromechanical systems, but really, it's all just one big excuse to host your own robockey tournament every year. You're not fooling anyone, even if you host your matches at night.

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Eye3: Aerial Photography Drone Unveiled on Kickstarter

It's fairly easy to buy your own camera-equipped flying robot these days. Heck, you can get yourself an AR Drone for just $300. But stepping up to something a little bit more advanced (say, with an autopilot and enough payload for a serious camera) is both intimidating and expensive. A project now on Kickstarter, the popular website that crowdsources funding, aims to take all of the stress out of buying and using a professional flying camera platform, while saving you a pile of money (maybe) at the same time.

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Shrewbot Finds Its Way Around With Sensitive Whiskers

Last time we checked in with the Bristol Robotics Lab, in the U.K. (back in 2008), they'd just finished building Scratchbot, a whiskery robot inspired by rats. Since then, they've been hard at work bewiskering more robots, including their latest creation: Shrewbot, inspired by the small (but capable) Etruscan shrew.

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GWU Pet Project Means Your Dog Really, Really Wants a Robot

Teaching robots to S.C.O.O.P. P.O.O.P. is fine for humans with dogs, but the dogs themselves couldn't care less what happens to their, uh, leavings. What dogs do care about is going for walks, playing fetch, and getting fed, and in an effort to appeal to the canine user demographic, students at George Washington University are hard at work teaching their PR2 robot to be your dog's new best friend.

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Animatronic Robot Baby Cannot Be Unseen

Remember how we keep on saying that you shouldn't make robot babies? That's because you shouldn't make robot babies. It's a little bit more excusable if you're a professional animator and someone is paying you to make one of these... Things... But that doesn't make it any less creepy.

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This Is What Kids Want From Robots

Image via ALIZ-E Project

We've been waiting for years (decades, in fact) for robots to become integral parts of our daily lives, but it hasn't quite happened yet. We're getting closer, that's for sure, but it's starting to look like it might be our kids (and not us) who will get the full benefit of the forthcoming robot revolution. With that in mind, Latitude Research has collaborated with with LEGO Learning Institute and Australia's Project Synthesis to compile a study of how children see robots fitting into their lives.

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IEEE Spectrum's award-winning robotics blog, featuring news, articles, and videos on robots, humanoids, drones, automation, artificial intelligence, and more.
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