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Tiny Clever Quadrotors Now on Kickstarter

Back when I started writing about robots (get off my lawn, by the way), helicopters were big and complicated and dangerous and crashy. It's kind of amazing that now (or at least, soon, hopefully) you can get a tiny little quadrotor that can stabilize itself in flight for just under $100. Or, to put it another way, for just under $10,000, you could get a hundred of 'em.

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Stutter Jumping Robot Requires Less Power

We love jumping robots, and not just because they're so much fun to watch. Jumping is also a great way to get around: it's far more efficient than flying, and much more versatile than driving or walking or crawling. Jumping robots do still need a big burst of power to get off the ground, but after 20,000 jumps worth of analysis, researchers at Georgia Tech have found a secret that makes robotic hops ten times more efficient.

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Korean Robot Will Toss Your Salad

This is CIROS, a household service robot from the Korean Institute of Science and Technology, and it's going to take that giant knife right there and use it to whip up a big fat cucumber salad for you while definitely not stabbing any puny human meatbags.

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Willow Garage Introduces Velo 2G Adaptive Gripper

For all that Willow Garage contributes to the robotics community, it's not often that they release new hardware. They've got the PR2, the TurtleBot, the PR3 and PR4 (oops, we can't tell you about them yet, bwahahaha), and that's about it. So when Willow comes up with something new, it's usually worth paying attention, and they've announced a new 3D printed adaptive gripper design for the PR2: the Velo 2G.

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Here are the Newest Additions to the Robot Hall of Fame

The official induction ceremony for the Robot Hall of Fame took place at at Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh last week. Over 17,000 people cast votes online to choose which are the four best robots of 2012, and which robots totally suck. We kid! If it was up to us, all of these robots would have made it in, and we're still holding out hope that a few of them will come back for the next round. But until that happens, here are the winners, along with some of our favorite video clips.

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Bossa Nova Robotics Launches Mobi Research Ballbot

Bossa Nova Robotics has just introduced a brand new research platform based on Carnegie Mellon's ballbot spherical locomotion platform. Called "mObi" (which I'll be capitalizing "Mobi" because, seriously now, c'mon guys), it's "the first step towards the creation of a 21st century personal robotics platform for everyday consumers."

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AR Drone Helps Swarm of Self-Assembling Robots to Overcome Obstacles

We’re used to thinking of robot swarms as consisting of lots and lots of similar robots working together. What we’re starting to see now, though, are swarms of heterogeneous robots, where you get different robots combining their powers to make each other more efficient and more capable. One of the first projects to really make this work was Swarmanoid, with teams of footbots and handbots and eyebots, and researchers presented a similar idea at IROS earlier this month, using an AR Drone to help a swarm of self-assembling ground robots to climb over a hill.

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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.
Contact us:

Erico Guizzo
New York City
Senior Writer
Evan Ackerman
Washington, D.C.

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