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Researchers Build a Projectile Vomiting Robot

Until today, the grossest robot we'd ever had the pleasure of meeting was Ecobot, which poops. This robot is much, much grosser. Its name is Vomiting Larry, and it's designed to do one thing: puke just like a human.

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Happy New Year!

Dear robots and the humans who love them,

Welcome to 2013. This is the year when everything is going to happen. We can confidently predict that just about every single day (weekday, at least), we'll have something new and amazing and robotic-y to share with you, because that's what we're here for. And we love doing it.

Oh, and we probably don't say this often enough, but thanks for reading. We're not here researching and writing articles every day for us, we're doing it for you. Whenever we meet one of you guys or gals in person, or get a nice email or a positive comment or anything like that, it makes us want to work even harder to bring you the best robotics news we possibly can. 2012 was a great year, and 2013 is going to be even better. So on behalf of Erico and myself and the rest of the contributors to IEEE Spectrum Automaton, thanks again, and keep in touch.

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Japanese Security Firm to Start Renting Surveillance Drones

We know, it's Friday. And usually, we post a whole bunch o' videos on Fridays, but since we've done that for two out of our last three posts (!), we figured we'd give you a bit of a break. Instead, we've got this little quadrotor from Japan that's trying to be the next level of paranoia in private security.

And there will be videos!

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Dyson (Still) Developing Robot Vacuum

Dyson has been working on a robot vacuum, for, like, ever, man. Seriously. This thing has been a project for a solid decade, perhaps longer. We haven't heard a peep on the subject for years, but apparently, Dyson released a few new normal vacuum models recently and dropped some hints about why the heck it's taking them so long to come out with a robot.

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Video Monday: Happy Winterval from IEEE Spectrum Automaton

Rather than try to puzzle our way through all of the different holidays and whatnot that seem to happen this time of year, we're going to follow in the path blazed by the City of Birmingham in 1997 and just go with a friendly, all embracing, and politically not-incorrect "Happy Winterval!"

Robots, being robots, celebrate their own festivities without telling us about any of them, but they nonetheless get conscripted into what we've going on. Before we head off for a few (very few!) vacation days, here's a bunch of robots that have been programmed with all sorts of holiday cheer. 

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Video Friday: Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots' Robots, Quadcyclorotors, and a Liquid That Thinks

Yes, it's robot versus human at Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots. This. Changes. Everything. It's a potentially deadly robotic metaburrito of meta-ness, now that humans have created robots that use robots to battle humans using robots. The Mayans were obviously right: the apocalypse has begun. So really, we don't even need to do a Video Friday, since by the time you'll read this you'll be a slave of either the Red Rocker or the Blue Bomber and your brain will probably have been replaced with a dollop of lukewarm tapioca. But in order to better serve our potential robot masters, we here are IEEE Spectrum are feel not just obligated but proud to be the new mouthpiece of the robotic propaganda machine. Huzzah!

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Researchers, Hobbyists Developing Flying Grasping Robots

Last week, we brought you a bunch of different videos of aerial grasping robots, including robots from DARPA, UPenn, and Yale. Perhaps in response (or just because it's really freakin' cool), we've had a couple people write in with flying grasping robots of their own, including researchers from University of Twente in the Netherlands, and a scruffy-looking hobbyist from Trossen Robotics.

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DARPA LS3 Robot Mule Learns New Tricks, Loves a Mud Bath

We heard back in September that the LS3 quadruped robot had gotten some nifty upgrades and was undergoing field trials with the military, and we've just gotten an update about how that's all been going. Short answer: quite well, but for a longer answer, we talked to DARPA. After the jump, we've got lots of good info for you as well as some some brand new video from the testing program, which includes LS3 doing an accidental barrel roll down a hill into a mud puddle.

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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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Erico Guizzo
Senior Writer
Evan Ackerman
Jason Falconer
Angelica Lim

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