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Robotics

Personable Pepper robot gets a job in a pizza joint

Visitors to a Pizza Hut in Asia will soon be able to place an order, ask about nutritional info and pay for their meal without even speaking to a member of staff, or at least a human one. A robot that can interact with customers, like a glorified self-checkout, is to be piloted at the restaurant.Read More

Rapid robots staff new Adidas factory

Adidas has announced that it is ready to begin commercial production of footwear at a robot-staffed factory in Germany. The so-called "Speedfactory" in Ansbach will apparently allow the firm to produce more shoes, with greater precision and with new designs.Read More

Harvard's RoboBee now perches on overhanging surfaces to preserve power

When the insect-sized RoboBee first took flight in 2012, its developers were unable to keep it aloft for more than a few seconds at a time. These days, the tiny drone is so adept at flying that researchers are actively bringing it down to rest. In the latest exhibition of their flying microbot, Harvard researchers have demonstrated the RoboBee's newfound ability to land on surfaces during flight, a neat trick that allows it save power and remain in action for longer periods of time.Read More

New soft actuator endows robots with a bit of give and take

The first law of robotics, according to Isaac Asimov, states that a robot must not injure a human being, or through inaction, allow a human to come to harm. But until robots are smart enough to understand such a law, we have to rely on other techniques. With this in mind, a team of researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems has developed a new soft actuator that makes it safer for humans and robots to work alongside one another.Read More

Saab's underwater robot tackles terrorist bombs

Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) aren't just a threat on land, they're also a major problem underwater as well. To help track down and neutralize these devices, Saab has developed its Sea Wasp Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), which was unveiled at the US Navy League's Sea-Air-Space Exposition in National Harbor, Maryland.Read More

Programmable robot trainer pitches ping-pong practice anywhere

Practice makes perfect, and many types of sports offer ways for individuals to hone skills alone on their own time. But what if your game happens to be ping-pong? A team has developed a smart robot that provides players a programmable opponent to challenge. Trainerbot is designed to sit on a table and lob shots with complete spin, direction, and trajectory control.Read More

Hyundai beefs up robotic exoskeleton

Following on from a small, discreet mobility exoskeleton it unveiled last year, Korean auto giant Hyundai has revealed images of a much beefier, tougher looking robotic exoskeleton aimed at the transportation, industrial and military markets. The suit, which is still in its pre-production form, would let you lift and manipulate objects weighing over 60 kg (132 lb) with no stress to your legs, arms or back.Read More

New hybrid system gives robot arms human-like grace and precision

Disney Research has come up with a glockenspiel-playing robot that can indulge in balloon toss ... when it isn't safely picking up fresh eggs. The telepresence robot uses a new type of hydrostatic transmission that combines hydraulic and air lines to provide more degrees of freedom, as well as greater precision and delicacy of touch in a lighter, simpler design.Read More

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