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Video Friday: Festo's ExoHand, Russian Robonaut, and Hugvie the Huggable Robot

Festo ExoHand

It's Friday, and as we do most Fridays, it's time to deliver a horse doctor's dose of robot videos straight into your skull. Not that your brain didn't get a healthy amount of robotic juice this week: On Wednesday we had clips showing a robot purposefully cheating and deceiving humans (all in the name of science), and yesterday you saw robots shooting plastic pellets and mini rockets at each other (all in the name of fun). But we're not done, and today we bring you robot videos featuring hands, humanoids, and hugs.

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Study Shows That Humans Attribute Moral Accountability to Robots

"I'm sorry, but I never make mistakes like that," says the robot, informing you that you've lost the game and won't get the prize. How would you react if you knew the robot was actually wrong?

The Human Interaction With Nature and Technological Systems (HINTS) Lab at the University of Washington, in Seattle, recently published two large studies exploring whether humans view robots as moral entities, conceptualizing them as possessing things like emotional and social attributes to them as opposed to thinking of them simply as sophisticated tools. Here's what they've found.

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RoboGames 2012: Mech Warfare Post-Game Preview

We spent all of last weekend at RoboGames, and have emerged battered, bruised, and sporting several shiny new robot-related minor injuries. I spent most of yesterday going through robot withdrawal, not so much from an excess of weekend robotitude (although there definitely was that), but mostly due to the accidental inhalation of copious amounts of whatever is that comes out of burning battery packs and fried speed controllers. But, being a professional journalist and all that (!), I'm managed to pull myself together enough for this little teaser gallery of the 2012 Mech Warfare competition, featuring a brand new arena that many of you helped make possible.

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RoboGames Starts Today!


Today is officially the first day of RoboGames, and if you're reading this blog and are anywhere near San Francisco, there's really no excuse not to go. Robots will be competing in approximately five million different events, ranging from heavyweight combat to micromouse maze solving to autonomous firefighting to hardcore Mech Warfare. Oh, and there will be a symposium, too, and you really shouldn't miss that, especially if you like watching certain robot bloggers act all nervous and awkward-like while attempting to give a talk. Ahem.

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DARPA Awards Simulation Software Contract to Open Source Robotics Foundation

Last week, DARPA officially announced its Robotics Challenge for disaster robots. According to the program, teams that don't want (or can't afford) to build their own robots will be able to prove themselves using a standardized simulation environment (and later may receive a real robot to use in the competition). Now we got official confirmation that this standardized simulation environment will be based on the Gazebo simulator, one the primary tools used in the ROS community, and will be provided by the Open Source Robotics Foundation. Huh? Open Source Robotics Foundation?

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RoboCops Now Guarding South Korean Prisons

The next time you find yourself in a South Korean prison (and don't worry, it happens to the best of us), this not especially friendly looking robot is going to be either your new best buddy or your new worst enemy. But probably the latter.

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Stanford Robot Block Party Has PR2s, SPHERES, More (Photos)

If you couldn't make it to the Robot Block Party at Stanford on Wednesday, you should probably take a minute and seriously re-examine your life goals. And after you've done that, head on past the break to check out our gallery of pictures from the event, which ought to give you a fairly good idea of all the robot fun that you missed out on.

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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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Angelica Lim

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