Brian Heater

Brian Heater

Hardware Editor

Brian Heater is the Hardware Editor at TechCrunch. He worked for a number of leading tech publications, including Engadget, PCMag, Laptop, and Tech Times, where he served as the Managing Editor. His writing has appeared in Spin, Wired, Playboy, Entertainment Weekly, The Onion, Boing Boing, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Beast and various other publications. He hosts the weekly Boing Boing interview podcast RiYL, has appeared as a regular NPR contributor and shares his Queens apartment with a rabbit named Juniper.

The Latest from Brian Heater

Here are the 30+ startups showcasing at HAX’s May 1 Demo Day

A few weeks back, TechCrunch ventured out to New Jersey to pay an early visit to HAX’s Newark offices. As much as I complained about the 90-minute commute in from Queens, it’s nothing compared to

Amazon ends California drone deliveries

Amazon confirmed it is ending Prime Air drone delivery operations in Lockeford, California. The Central California town of 3,500 was the company’s second U.S. drone delivery site, after College Stat

Oura’s smart ring hits Target stores

Oura on Monday announced that its smart ring will be available in select Target stores in the U.S. The deal, which also brings the wearable to the retailer’s site, follows similar announcements with

Robots can make jobs less meaningful for human colleagues

Much has been (and will continue to be) written about automation’s impact on the jobs market. In the short-term, many employers have complained of an inability to fill roles and retain workers, furt

ChatGPT is a squeeze away with Nothing’s upgraded earbuds

Nothing today announced a pair of refreshes to its earbud line. The naming conventions are a touch convoluted here, but the Nothing Ear is an update to the Nothing Ear (2), while the Nothing Ear (a) i

Alphabet X’s Bellwether harnesses AI to help predict natural disasters

The world is on fire. Quite literally, much of the time. Predicting such disasters before they get out of hand — or better yet, before they happen — will be key to maintaining a reasonable

Boston Dynamics’ Atlas humanoid robot goes electric

Atlas lies motionless in a prone position atop interlocking gym mats. The only soundtrack is the whirring of an electric motor. It’s not quiet, exactly, but it’s nothing compared to the hydraulic

Formlabs says new 3D printer ‘rivals injection molding’

This month marks five years since the release of the Form 3, Formlabs’ last major 3D printer refresh. To celebrate the occasion, the MIT spinoff has unveiled the long-awaited Form 4. At the top of t

A humanoid robot is on its way from Mobileye founder

Mentee Robotics hasn’t been in stealth, exactly. The Israeli firm caught a small wave of press at the tail end of 2022, following Tesla’s initial humanoid robotics announcement. As that was the ye

Atlas shrugged: Boston Dynamics retires its hydraulic humanoid robot

Now that humanoids are all the rage in the robotics industry, Boston Dynamics on Tuesday officially retired theirs. The Hyundai-owned firm has always marched to the beat of its own drummer. Even so, i

These 74 robotics companies are hiring

It’s tough out there — and yet, doing my semi-regular jobs post always gives me hope. Seems every time I post one of these, the number increases. At 74 companies, this is undoubtedly the l

Walmart will deploy robotic forklifts in its distribution centers

The story of warehouse robotics is a story of attempting to keep up with Amazon. It’s been more than a decade since the online giant revolutionized its delivery services through its Kiva Systems acq

Humane’s $699 Ai Pin is now available

Humane today announced the availability of its first product, the Ai Pin. The Bay Area-based hardware startup has been kicking around since 2017, a year after co-founders Bethany Bongiorno and Imran C

European car manufacturer will pilot Sanctuary AI’s humanoid robot

Sanctuary AI announced that it will be delivering its humanoid robot to a Magna manufacturing facility. Based in Canada, with auto manufacturing facilities in Austria, Magna manufactures and assembles

Apple opens access to used iPhone components for repair

On Thursday, Apple announced that it has opened its iPhone repair process to include used components. Starting this fall, customers and independent repair shops will be able to fix the handset using c

Humane’s Ai Pin considers life beyond the smartphone

Nothing lasts forever. Nowhere is the truism more apt than in consumer tech. This is a land inhabited by the eternally restless — always on the make for the next big thing. The smartphone has, b

Muscle tissue harvested from mice cells move ‘biohybrid’ robots

Sometimes nature provides the best blueprints for building effective robots. It also can provide the best material. Billions of years of natural selection has built some pretty impressive machinery, s

Collaborative Robotics is prioritizing ‘human problem solving’ over humanoid forms

Humanoids have sucked a lot of the air out of the room. It is, after all, a lot easier to generate press for robots that look and move like humans. Ultimately, however, both the efficacy and scalabili

Dyson’s new AR feature shows where you have (and haven’t) vacuumed

If this had been announced exactly a week prior, it would have been easy to mistake for some corporate April Foolery. Dyson, however, assures us that augmented reality vacuuming is real and coming in

Fairphone launches easy-to-repair earbuds

The right to repair has been a hot topic for several years now, hitting a kind of critical mass with domestic and international legislation. Advocates note that these proposals give users more control
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