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Would You Buy a Telenoid from Outer Space?

This is the year 2250. At the space railway station on planet Telvikos, the small robot Telenoid R1 is waiting for his departure to Earth. It is already nighttime on Telvikos, and Telenoid can be recognized from afar by his bright silicone skin. His form and face somehow resemble people from planet Earth, although he is only as tall as a puppet. "Telenoid R1, please float to Chronoportation," the loudspeakers at the space railway station say. The robot sighs briefly and packs in his long-term memory cell for the journey.

Would you buy a Telenoid robot with a sci-fi background? According to research conducted at the Ars Electronica Futurelab, you're not only more likely to adopt a Telenoid, but also perceive it as more useful, when it's introduced with the story above.

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Video Friday: Robots That Fold, Robots That Drive, Robots That Drink

Have you seen anything so terrifying made of origami? I think not! And even if you have seen something more terrifying, it's unlikely that it's ever chased you down and try to bite you, like this foldable robot bug can. See it skittering around, and more stuff that's almost as cool, in this week's Video Friday.

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CMU Snake Robots Can Now Strangle Things on Contact

See this little guy smirking at you? Want to know how he got up there? A word of advice: as of right now, do not stand anywhere near a snake robot while looking like a tree, because these things will now fly right at you and go for your throat.

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Robot Combat League: Heather Knight Tells Us About Her Experiences on the Show

Tonight at 10/9c, the Syfy channel airs another episode of Robot Combat League. It'll feature Carnegie Mellon PhD student, Robot Film Festival organizer, and overall friend of the blog Heather Knight driving a gigantic humanoid combat robot and trying to beat the screws out of another gigantic humanoid combat robot. "For me, it was really exciting to see actual, real robots instead of CGI characters," Heather tells us. And that, in a nutshell, is why it's worth giving this show a look.

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Japanese Robot Actroid Gets More Social, Has No Fear of Crowds

Actroid-SIT, a lifelike robot from Japanese firm Kokoro, hasn't received as much attention as her cousin  Geminoid F, which happens to be a copy a real woman. But while Geminoid F is a teleoperated robot, Actroid-SIT can function autonomously, talking and gesturing while interacting with people. In fact, researchers have recently demonstrated how improvements to Actroid's behavior can make it look smarter and more expressive than your average android.

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Even Brainless Robots Can Show Swarm Behavior

Bristlebots are robots without sensors or brains that do things that robots without sensors or brains do. As it turns out, this is a lot more than you might expect, since researchers at Harvard have shown that if you stick enough of them in a small space, they self-organize into swarms.

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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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Evan Ackerman
Washington, D.C.

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