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Kinect@Home Wants to Start 3D Scanning the World

Back in January, Adept's Erin Rapacki told us all that it's time to start 3D scanning the world. We agree with her, but it's not an easy thing to actually go and, you know, do. There are approximately 975 bajillion different objects out there in the world that robots need to know how to interact with, and the only way we're going to learn about them all (short of Google throwing approximately 975 bajillion dollars at the problem) is through a cooperative, crowdsourced effort like this new project called Kinect@Home.

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AeroVironment's Mola Robot Flies Underwater on Solar Power

A mola, or ocean sunfish, is a very big, very flat, and (in this reporter's opinion) rather silly looking tropical bony fish. Aerovioronment has used the sunfish as an inspiration for one of their latest proof of concept robots: Mola, an oceangoing robot that's powered by the sun.

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Meet the Very First Rover to Land on Mars

Before Curiosity, before Opportunity, before Spirit, and before Sojourner, the very first robot to land on Mars was this little guy, way back in December of 1971. Called PrOP-M, the rover was part of the Soviet Union's Mars-3 mission, which had the potential to deploy the first ever mobile scientific instruments onto the Martian surface.

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Robot Hall of Fame 2012 Voting and Tip Sheet

Carnegie Mellon's Robot Hall of Fame (that's RHoF for you neobots) will be inducting four brand new robots this October, and you get to help choose which ones are worthy. We have the whole lineup for you, along with insightful expert commentary on each from us here at IEEE Spectrum to help aid you in your decision-making process.

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Stanford's Autonomous Racer Hits 120 MPH on the Track

We first met Stanford's robotic Audi TTS back in 2009, and while it's managed to climb Pike's Peak all by itself, it didn't do so in a time that was all that impressive. More recently, Stanford let Shelley off the leash at California's Thunderhill Raceway, where it almost (almost!) destroyed all human drivers with some aggressive laps around the track.

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Video Friday: Squishy Bots, Squishier Bots, and Robot Cars Will Kill Your Grandma

You remember this thing, right? The vaguely creepy little soft robot that can crawl through gaps and can't be killed? In addition to not being able to stop it or kill it, you now can't even see it, since it's learned how to camouflage itself. Even in the infrared. And also, just for fun, it glows in the dark. Video of this, and oh so much more, in today's Video Friday.

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Automaton

IEEE Spectrum's award-winning robotics blog, featuring news, articles, and videos on robots, humanoids, drones, automation, artificial intelligence, and more.
Contact us:  e.guizzo@ieee.org

Editor
Erico Guizzo
 
Senior Writer
Evan Ackerman
 
 
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Jason Falconer
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Angelica Lim
 

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