robots

  • Welcome To The Age Of 4D Printers

    Welcome To The Age Of 4D Printers

    Welcome to Future World where the weird is commonplace! To wit: engineers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science have created a 4D printer. That doesn’t mean the printer outputs objects into the space-time continuum. Instead, it means they are building objects that can change based on the physics of the materials used. By extruding objects in multiple materials… Read More

  • A Robot That Bought Drugs Online Is Now Free From Police Custody

    A Robot That Bought Drugs Online Is Now Free From Police Custody

    If that headline doesn’t make much sense, welcome to the 21st century when a program designed to automatically buy random items from illegal marketplaces can be arrested by Swiss police. As you’ll recall, Swiss police seized a program called Darknet Shopper, a bot that visited darknet markets and bought random items with bitcoin. Most of the items were mundane – counterfeit… Read More

  • Rethink Robotics, Home Of Baxter, Brings A New Robot Arm To The Party

    Rethink Robotics, Home Of Baxter, Brings A New Robot Arm To The Party

    Remember Baxter, the robotic arm with a smiling face that you can teach to do simple, repeatable tasks? Well he has a little brother! Rethink Robotics’ Sawyer is a smaller, lighter Baxter with a higher-precision hand. While Baxter was designed to, say, place items in a box over and over again, Sawyer can be used for “tasks that require significant agility and flexibility.”… Read More

  • Four Japanese Startups Visit Me At The Bates Motel During SXSW 2015

    Four Japanese Startups Visit Me At The Bates Motel During SXSW 2015

    Operating out of Room #4 at the Bates Motel at SXSW 2015 (this is another story), I got the opportunity to interview a few fascinating startups that traveled from Tokyo to Austin, TX over the weekend to show their hardware-based concepts. During a rapid-fire demo session, I was able to see eight different startups and four really struck me as doing some novel work. Read More

  • RoboCore Is A Core For Your Robo

    RoboCore Is A Core For Your Robo

    Krakow-based RoboCore has just launched on Kickstarter and is looking for a mere $50,000 to help you build better robots. The device is essentially a brain for your robotic projects. It is compatible with LEGO MindStorms and allows you to control multiple servos and sensors. You can also stream audio and video through the box. You program it via an IDE and then upload instructions… Read More

  • Highly Dexterous Robot Can Fold Balloon Animals, Close Zip-Ties

    Highly Dexterous Robot Can Fold Balloon Animals, Close Zip-Ties

    The Terminator: The Skynet Funding Bill is passed. The system goes on-line November 14th, 2014. Human decisions are removed from strategic balloon animal-making. Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, November 30th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug. Sarah Connor: Skynet fights back. The Terminator: Yes. It folds eight balloon fish… Read More

  • Swiss Police Confiscate The Things Purchased Randomly By A Darknet Bot

    Swiss Police Confiscate The Things Purchased Randomly By A Darknet Bot

    Robots need ketamine too! And to supply their robot with drugs a group of Swiss techno-artists programmed an agent to randomly buy an item on a random darknet site with bitcoin, resulting in a cache of drugs and other contraband that, at first, was a fun art project and then caught the eye of the authorities. Called the Random Darknet Shopper, the robot simply found a random item and bought it. Read More

  • A Million-Dollar Robot Suit Is Available On Amazon Japan

    A Million-Dollar Robot Suit Is Available On Amazon Japan

    A few years ago we wrote about something called a Kuratas, a robotic mech suit that allowed the wearer to fire a BB Gatling gun whenever they smile at their soon-to-be vanquished enemies. When it appeared in 2012 everyone thought it was a funny joke. Now it’s available on Amazon Japan for $1 million. The robot is obviously a bit hobbled – the powers that be don’t want us… Read More

  • CES 2015: The Automaton Rolls On

    CES 2015: The Automaton Rolls On

    This year’s Consumer Electronics Show was typical in one key regard: The best insights to be had at the event are those that appear when you look at its overall composition, rather than at any single announcement or product unveiling. For CES 2015, one theme in particular struck me as especially important, made more so because of it considerable progression over the past few years of… Read More

  • Robotbase Wants To Put An Intelligent Robot In Every House

    Robotbase Wants To Put An Intelligent Robot In Every House

    If it’s up to Robotbase, you’ll soon be coming home and a robot will greet you at the door. While you were away, the Robotbase Personal Robot patrolled your home, made sure the temperature was lowered when you left, maybe locked the door after you were gone and, through its built-in camera, allowed you to check in on your dog, too. Robotbase is launching its Kickstarter campaign… Read More

  • Ozobot’s Tiny Robots Use Squiggly Lines And Google’s Blockly To Teach Kids To Code

    Ozobot’s Tiny Robots Use Squiggly Lines And Google’s Blockly To Teach Kids To Code

    One of the bigger evolutions in education has been the push to get kids to become more computer-literate, yet one of the hardest hurdles has been making the process of learning and writing programming languages less dry. A startup out of southern California has found an innovative way of tackling this, using a golfball-sized robot that follows trails that you draw using fat, colored felt… Read More

  • Tesla Is Working On Robotic Snakes That Emerge From The Wall To Charge Your Car

    Tesla Is Working On Robotic Snakes That Emerge From The Wall To Charge Your Car

    Elon Musk is pretty much the best thing about Twitter, and today is no exception – the Tesla CEO tweeted that his electric car company is actually working on tech that would allow chargers to snake out of the wall and plug into your car automatically, eliminating the need to manually connect when you get your Model S back to your garage at night. Btw, we are actually working on a… Read More

  • Watch This Double Amputee Control Two Robotic Arms At Once

    Watch This Double Amputee Control Two Robotic Arms At Once

    It’s rare to see the future unfold in front of our eyes this dramatically but here it is: the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab has helped a man who lost both his arms in a “freak electrical accident” connect to dual robotic arms by connecting to and reading from his nervous system. The results aren’t quite staggering as he still has limited control over the… Read More

  • Santa’s Robotic Elf Sings A Merry Tune

    Santa’s Robotic Elf Sings A Merry Tune

    This holiday season it’s important to remember the true meaning of Christmas: the slow encroachment of robots upon human existence and the expectation of the enslavement of Homo sapiens by 2050. To that end we present a pair of jolly robotic hands that pick up candy and place it into a stocking – a feat that was all but impossible a few years ago. These dextrous hands come from… Read More

  • Meet The Somabar, A Home Bartending Robot With Class

    Meet The Somabar, A Home Bartending Robot With Class

    There once was a man from Blue Grouse
    Who wanted to become fully soused
    He got in his car
    And went to the bar
    And wished he had stayed in his house. “A robot I need,” said he.
    “To prepare a tipple for me.”
    He bought some steel rods
    And some whiskey pods
    And started to work on his spree. The robot he made is a thrill
    It spits out your booze with a chill
    Called the Somabar
    Read More

  • Forget Mistletoe Drones, These Inventory Drones Are Where It’s At

    Forget Mistletoe Drones, These Inventory Drones Are Where It’s At

    Let Amazon have its scuttling crab-like robots that can move entire shelves – a German company is working on an inventory management system that will fly around warehouses and confirm whether items are in stock. The Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics has created a sort of mobile antenna that can move through a warehouse and ping RFID tags (or read barcodes) on… Read More

  • This Robot Falls Like A Cat

    This Robot Falls Like A Cat

    Our future robot overlords could have feline cunning and cat-like reflexes thanks in part to research being conducted at Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing. Read More

  • Why Is It Bad For Tech To Eat Jobs?

    Why Is It Bad For Tech To Eat Jobs?

    Most jobs suck. Yours probably doesn’t–after all, you’re a member of the highly educated, cutting-edge TechCrunch demographic–but most jobs, almost by definition, are done by people coerced by the fear of not having enough money into doing work they mostly don’t want to do. We should be ecstatic about the prospect of robots doing that work for us. Shouldn’t we? Read More

  • This Ambulance Drone Can Fly Into Trouble With First Aid

    This Ambulance Drone Can Fly Into Trouble With First Aid

    A Dutch engineer has created a flying defibrillator for emergency situations. The drone, called the Ambulance Drone, would be stationed at various points in the city. In an emergency, people on the scene can call it in and it arrives a few seconds later. The built-in defibrillator unit can be used by anyone and it allows doctors to monitor the situation after the shocks are administered. The… Read More

  • Japanese Hobbyists Build A Working Transformer

    Japanese Hobbyists Build A Working Transformer

    Eee-urrk-urrk-urrk-urk! A pair of Japanese hobbyists have built a transforming robot that can walk or, when in sports car form, drive around autonomously. It’s called the J-deite Quarter and is four feet tall. The goal, apparently, is to make a full-sized transformer… just because they can. The team consists of Kenji Ishida and Wataru Yoshizaki of Brave Robotics and Asratec. The… Read More

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