robots

  • Tynker, A Startup That Teaches Kids To Code, Now Works With Robots, Drones And More

    Tynker, A Startup That Teaches Kids To Code, Now Works With Robots, Drones And More

    Tynker, a startup that teaches children the fundamentals of programming by having them build their own games, is now expanding its platform to allow kids to control connected devices, including drones, robots and other “smart home” products, like lighting systems. The company will introduce these capabilities this weekend at the Bay Area Maker Faire in San Mateo, and the… Read More

  • Micro Tug Robots Can Pull Objects 2,000 Times Their Own Weight

    Micro Tug Robots Can Pull Objects 2,000 Times Their Own Weight

    Like the noble ant or the sassy-yet-lovable tugboat, Micro Tugs can pull more than their own weight. The robots, which come from Stanford’s Biomimetics and Dextrous Manipulation Lab, use a “controllable adhesive” plate that sticks to surfaces only when shear pressure is applied. In one case a 12 gram robot was able to pull objects 2,000 times its own weight. Read More

  • 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

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